January 5, 2009
Comings Family Ministry Report for 2008
What follows is the report that we will give on Wednesday here at the annual conference of the Northeastern Region field council of Baptist Mid Missions do Brasil.
This year has been full of challenges and blessings for our family as we seek to serve Christ and his Church in the Cariri Valley.
Cariri Baptist Seminary
In 2008 our main emphasis continued to be the ministry internship of the Cariri Baptist Seminary. We oversaw the work of 53 students in 27 churches and congregations and two seminary ministry teams. Our students faced many challenges in their ministries, and we are very proud of them. Almost every week we heard reports of people coming to Christ through their efforts.
Beginning the second semester, Andrew picked up Mark Lounsbrough’s “Panorama of Doctrine” class. This was a new and exciting challenge, which he enjoyed greatly. His students are a constant source of blessing to him.
Itacyara taught English 1 and 2 this year. Her studies at URCA have helped her refine her language and teaching skills. Her students demonstrated real progress during the year.
Andrew continued to direct the seminary puppet team this year. Transportation issues made it impossible to schedule events off campus. However they were able to do a presentation at the romaria in Juazeiro. The team put on five presentations where the Gospel was explained four times. Many of the spectators returned for all five presentations—thus hearing the Gospel twenty times.
The biggest challenge of our missionary career to date has been our work at the Iguatu Camp. Further information will be provided in the camp report, but highlights of the year included the ladies retreat, Carnaval retreat, two weeks of camp in July, and a church work day.
As was the case last year, Andrew and Itacyara were blessed with the participation of Luis Meneses and Pr. Clederson Conceição. Without their support it would have been impossible to run this year’s program.
We were privileged once again this year to host young people from the US. This year we were visited by groups from two churches—Bible Baptist Church in Cortland, NY and Grace Baptist Church in Batavia, NY—and one young person who stayed with us for three months.
These groups saw firsthand what ministry in Brazil is all about. They worked on projects in partnership with Brazilian young people, and formed lasting (thanks to Facebook) friendships with them.
This year Andrew continued his puppetry work with a couple from the Novo Juazeiro church. They administered two schools of puppetry and recorded several clips for the Razão Para Viver TV program.
Igreja da Paz
The Comings family continued active in the Igreja Batista Regular da Paz. For a few weeks (until transportation became and issue) Andrew led the youth prayer team on Wednesday nights. Itacyara has continued her informal ministry to the young ladies of the church as they continue to seek her out for counsel.
As a family, we confronted two major challenges this year: housing and transportation.
The beginning of the year saw us still living in the home of John and Jean Peterson while they were on furlough. A hunt for a new house proved fruitless. We finally settled on living in Bloco A of the seminary dormitory. This was dead last on our list of preferences, but has proven to be a blessing as we are able to interact more in the lives of our seminary students. It has also provided Mikey and Nathan with a huge, relatively safe area to play in and explore.
After three years of being relatively problem-free, the Hilux broke down this year in Minas Gerais as we were on our way to the Conferência Fiel. After much hassle, and an extra trip to Minas, we were finally able to sell the truck and purchase a Volkswagen Gol. Once again, this would not have been our choice, but in retrospect, it was the best choice.
In keeping with the theme of this year's conference, we can only be joyful at what God has done, and how He has worked in our lives throughout 2008. We consider it a privilege to serve with BMMB NER, and look forward to the great things God has in store for the future.
Andrew and Itacyara Comings
Posted by Andrew on January 5, 2009 9:56 PM.
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