“There were Wesleyan Brazilians being called to missions. We’re no longer needed in the roles we had held for 30 years. The Brazilian national church was strong and growing,” Jill explained.
*Jill and *David, Global Partners missionaries who faithfully served Brazil for 30 years, were blessed to see the Brazilian national church begin to send their own missionaries out into the world. To arrive at this point of completing the 5 Phases — the driving force behind the mission of Global Partners — Jill and David have spent years remaining faithful to serving the far ends of the earth.
As the couple has transitioned to South Asia, they’re able to act as a bridge for the Brazilian church to send missionaries to South Asia. This is a direct reflection of an international Wesleyan initiative, which aims to bring the gospel from “Everywhere to Everywhere.”
In addition to bridging Brazilian missionaries to South Asia, David will set up online classes to train local pastors for ministry and national leaders to train other pastors. “Since this is a role David knows very well,” Jill said, “it can become easy to question what my role should be.”
But just when Jill needs it most, someone ends up asking her to lead something or preach for them. For her, those moments are continuous affirmations from the Lord. “Thank you, Jesus, for confirming through things that I can offer as well,” she said.
The Lord has certainly sustained and encouraged the couple with his Word and faithfulness, but the Brazilian Wesleyan Church’s love and support carried them as well.
“Without these relationships we wouldn’t have lasted. They loved, encouraged and embraced us,” Jill wrote. “As we move to South Asia, we’ve once again felt welcome. We’re also reminded there are many who’ve never heard, and the need is an urgent one.”
Aryanne Batista, director of missions for The Wesleyan Church of Brazil, met Jill and David when she was 12 years old. As someone who feels blessed by their love, time, resources and example, Aryanne said seeing the two of them accept the challenge of moving to another country in obedience to the Lord is encouraging.
“We can see the action of God and his purposes being fulfilled through them,” Aryanne said.
Already, Jill and David have welcomed a Brazilian couple that traveled to South Asia for their internship in preparation to be launched into the mission field. The Brazilian couple jumped in and served in whatever ways they felt Jesus leading them, while Jill and David were there cheering them on along the way.
“It’s been neat to see how the Lord is using the Everywhere to Everywhere initiative in such creative ways,” Jill said. For example, in South Asian places that aren’t always welcoming to North Americans, they’ve discovered their Brazilian partners blend in more naturally.
Witnessing Brazilians travel to South Asia with a heart and willingness to serve as missionaries is meaningful on a personal level. Seeds that God used the North American church to plant in both places over the course of decades are bearing fruit, and they’re seeing it firsthand.
“There’s nothing we love more than missions. Going into the world, seeing how the Lord is calling people with that same desire to do whatever it takes — it’s just a joy to see. God is so faithful to call all people,” Jill reflected.
Rev. *Christopher, a South Asian national leader, has developed a partnership with Jill and David throughout their transition. He wrote that just as Ecclesiastes says there’s “a time for everything,” Jill and David visited South Asia “not a day early nor a day late.”
Rev. Christopher explained that the Wesleyan work in the nation where he leads is a little more than 25 years old. The church now needs to strengthen the Wesleyan ministry in terms of organizational structure, Wesleyan theology, preparing the first batch of pastors for ordination and so on.
“We’ve been blessed by their years of experience in service to the Lord, and at this point of our ministry, we couldn’t have asked for a greater blessing in terms of seasoned partners,” Rev. Christopher wrote.
In continuous surrender to the Lord, Jill and David trust their lives will be used to reach the unreached.
“As I daily come in contact with those who don’t know Jesus yet, I have the opportunity to let him touch their lives through me,” Jill said. “What a privilege it is to go and be used by him.”
Heather Auker is the communication supervisor for Global Partners of The Wesleyan Church.
*Names have been changed due to security guidelines.
**Originally published in “Wesleyan Life,” spring 2023. Click here to subscribe and access our archives.