Tomorrow, I will be leaving to head back to the town of Anapu in Northern Brazil. I will be joined by Larry Meers, a good friend and one of the pastors at Redeemer Church in Abilene, Texas. Larry and I will be teaching the second module of our Reaching & Teaching pastoral training program.
The training in Anapu presents its challenges, each of which I will present as a prayer request:
Travel – Getting to Anapu is difficult. My flight itinerary has me flying from Reagan International to Orlando, where I will meet up with Larry. From there, we will have an overnight flight all the way to Sao Paolo. After a four-hour layover, we will fly to Belem, where will have a six-hour layover. Then, Wednesday evening, we will fly from Belem to Altamira. Our friends Jonathan and Rebecca Edney (IMB missionaries) will pick us up, and we will spend the night at their house. Then, Thursday morning, we will do the two-hour drive to Anapu.
Interpreters – While we have had excellent interpreters on the last couple trips (daughters of one of the pastoral leaders down there), evidently they are not available for this trip. So, we will have a new interpreter. I have communicated with him by email, and he has shared his concerns about being adequate for the job. Jonathan Edney is planning on coming over to Anapu for a couple of the days to help out.
Schedule – Many of the pastors and leaders are unable to leave their farms or business on weekdays, so most of the training must be done in the evenings. We will start the training on Friday evening, do a full day on Saturday and a few hours on Sunday, then do evening training on Monday through Thursday. This is not optimal, compared with being able to do full-day sessions. However, we’re thankful for the opportunity.
Please pray for each of these, as well as for the teaching itself. The academic topic for the week is a survey of the New Testament. Plus, the spiritual discipline one which we’ll focus is prayer.
In addition to the teaching, I have been asked to preach at an anniversary service on Saturday night. I imagine Larry and I will each be preaching in different churches on Sunday. Plus, Jonathan Edney sent me an email, saying they’re wanting me to preach an evangelistic message at a gathering they’re putting together for Thursday evening (the night we arrive).
Our founder and president, Dr. David Sills, is well known for his phrase “Semper Gumby!” Our trips to Anapu usually give us plenty of opportunity to put this into practice. As I say this, I must also convey my excitement to return. These are incredibly sweet people who love the Lord and who exceed most of us when it comes to showing hospitality.
As usual, when you think of us and pray for us, please be sure to be praying for our families as well. Please pray for Kathy, Glenn, Josh, and Amanda. Also, pray for Jean, Larry’s wife. Jean’s mother, who had lived with them, passed away on June 1. With Larry being gone, this leaves Jean in an empty home for 11 days. I’m sure she (and Larry) would be grateful for your prayer.
As always, thank you for your faithfulness in praying for us!
My support has risen to approximately 70% of the needed amount. Please pray for additional partners. My budget was based upon making six to nine international teaching trips during 2016. As of the end of May, I will have made six. I’m thinking I might exceed the estimate. While I am thrilled for these opportunities, the financial cost of ministry increases with each trip. Please let me know if you know of people with whom I can share the vision of this ministry.
A Commitment to Good Communication – Your role as a partner in this ministry demands that I keep you regularly informed about what the Lord is doing so that you can better pray for and rejoice with us.
A Commitment to Good Stewardship – Your financial commitment is significant, both for you and for those to whom we are ministering. I promise to steward your resources well and to give myself wholeheartedly to the work of the gospel through Reaching & Teaching.
A Commitment to YOU – You can count on my commitment to you as a valued partner in the work of the gospel. I am eager to hear from you – your personal prayer requests – so that we can move forward together in the service of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
(Include a note: “Preferenced to Dean Bertsch Ministry Support”)
To partner online:Go to reachingandteaching.org/give.
Select “Give Online.” Then select “Dean Bertsch” from the drop down menu.