Diego is a remarkable leader, the pastor of Maranatha Baptist Bible Church, a vibrant, missions-minded church in Fortaleza, Brazil. In January 2016, Diego enrolled in the Escola Bíblica de Expositores to further develop his skills as an expository preacher. It was my honor to have Diego in my Hermeneutics class.
Last month I reconnected with Diego at the Shepherds’ Conference at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. Diego brought me up to date and told me that he and his wife Vanessa have been approved with a Brazilian mission board to go as missionary-church planters to the south of Brazil—a region that does not have many strong churches. Diego is currently training two men to take his place and carry on ministry at Maranatha Church when he and Vanessa are sent out.We also got to spend time with Roberto, our dear friend and the pastor of Evangelical Christian Church in Goiânia. We thank the Lord for a ministry partner here in California who extended a generous scholarship for Pastor Roberto to attend Shepherds’ Conference. I just received word from Roberto that yesterday in Goiânia, they launched a brand-new church-based Bible training center for discipling believers and raising up new leaders in the church.
Pastors like Roberto and Diego are my heroes. These are Brazilian pastor-teachers with missionary zeal who do the “heavy lifting” day in, day out proclaiming the gospel and equipping the church for the work of the ministry. It is merely my privilege to come alongside these national pastors and missionaries to serve and encourage them as the Lord gives opportunity, that Christ may receive glory in his church both in Brazil and around the world!
The Master’s Academy International (TMAI)
In the days just prior to Shepherds’ Conference, EBEx’s academic director Diego Ramos and I participated in several meetings with TMAI, a fellowship of seventeen like-minded ministry training centers around the world. Though our Escola Bíblica de Expositores in Fortaleza is not yet a member school of TMAI, we were blessed to be able to participate in the meetings.
The banner image above shows representatives from TMAI schools in Mexico, Honduras and Spain as well as from other like-minded training ministries in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil. I can’t tell you how encouraging it was to gather with “brothers in arms” to pray for and hear from each other our experiences on the field “… as iron sharpens iron.” We are hopeful that EBEx may be officially recognized as a TMAI member school by the end of this year.
Furlough & Support Update
We have enjoyed the opportunity to share with many people the work the Lord is doing in Brazil. March 5, we were guests at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Glendale. March 26, we presented our ministry at Grace Baptist Church in Wilmington. While at Shepherds’ Conference, I met with the leadership of Eastridge Baptist Church from Kent, Washington. We praise God that Eastridge Baptist Church has chosen to make us an extension of their missionary outreach.
At Grace Baptist Church in Wilmington with Brian Opre.
Brian serves as an elder at GBC and is
a missionary on his way to Italy.
Currently, we are 72% fully funded to return to Brazil in July 2017. If you or someone you know would be interested in learning more about the ministry in Brazil, we’d love to tell you about it!
Last September we shared with you our goal of purchasing our own home in Fortaleza. We are trusting the Lord to provide $50,000 as a down payment. To date, we have received $3,230.16 in gifts designated for this purpose. If you would like to make a special gift earmarked towards purchasing our own home on the field, you may donate online. Please just include a comment mentioning “home downpayment.”
Please thank the Lord with us for the opportunities he’s given us to share with others about the work he is doing in Brazil.
Please pray for Brazilian pastors and missionaries, men like Pastor Diego and Pastor Roberto, that the Lord would equip and strengthen them to boldly proclaim the gospel and build up the body of Christ.
Also remember the Escola Bíblica de Expositores, the other teachers and students, as they continue teaching and studying while we are on furlough stateside.With our first group of students now in their third semester, our leadership is fine-tuning our program and recruiting the next cohort, that is, our second group of students. We’ve enjoyed a blessed start with our first batch of students, but I’ll feel like we’ve knocked off the “training wheels” when we start with our second batch of students. 🙂
May God be pleased to make our work fruitful training up Brazilian pastors and missionaries. We thank the Lord for each one of you who so faithfully partners with us through your prayers and financial gifts!
Yours in Christ,
Matthew & Elsiene Carroll