Dear Praying and Supporting Friends.
It is with a heavy heart that we write you and let you know our church has decided we are not what they want. We stepped down as pastor on October 14th. We offered to stay and help them reorganize but they refused our help. We are deeply saddened by these events. We had planned and hoped to stay with these people the rest of our lives and train others to go and reach Brazil. We ask you to pray in particular for a teenage girl in our church, Julia. She has a great desire to serve God, sadly her parents are one of our strongest oppositions. Pray she will stay faithful to the Lord despite the opposition in her church.
We want you to know that we are not quitting. We are packing our things and we will go to my parents in Londrina, Brazil. We are planning on serving in their church as we take some time for personal recovery. Our furlough is scheduled for next year but we have an obligation that keeps us here in the country until March. When we have fulfilled our obligation we will be heading home on furlough. We will not make an immediate decision about our next location of service because of the hurt and pain we have been through. we do not feel it is wise to make a decision right at this moment.
On a positive note, our publishing company, ELO is doing fantastic. We have already completely sold out of our first book that we published. There have been many requests for more books like it and we have 2 more being proofed and getting ready for the printer. During our time of rest we will be working on getting out as much as possible through ELO before our furlough. There is much planning in the works for ELO, including a new Sunday School curriculum. There is no independent Baptist curriculum to speak of here and it is difficult for the Brazilian churches to get good material.
In closing I would ask you to be in special prayer for my wife and children. The women of the church have been very cold against my wife for the last 3 years and the last few months in particular. ON the day we left they cornered her and 8 women just yelled in her face about how awful a person she was. My children have felt the pains. Lots of tears are being shed in our home on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. We are spending a lot of time in the Bible as well as together as a family.
Still In His Service,
Bryan & Rebekah Johnson
Jeff, David, & Lee