Saturday, April 29, 2006

Why is M for Mud Guy?

Who am I?
My name is Jeff Dunson and I am a missionary in Porto Alegre, Brazil with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board. I have one lovely and wonderful wife named Cam and two active boys. Blake is 6 and Parker is almost 2. We have served in Brazil since the year 2000.

As a member of "Team Gaucho" (a Gaucho is a Brazilian cowboy), my main responsibility is to start new churches in a way that new Christians in those churches can reproduce themselves, and thereby start new churches on their own, as well as to teach others to do the same.

So why is this blog called M is for Mud Guy?
And who on earth would call themselves "Mud Guy" anyway? As far as the "M" goes, it is short for "missionary" in most religious blogging circles, and is used because of the necessity of increased security for many of us living in cultures which are hostile to Christian influence.

The "mud guy" part will take a little longer to explain. Our first term of service was spent in the Northeastern Brazilian state of Maranhao. I had the privilege of ministering to and with wonderful people in extremely rugged third-world conditions in the swamps and forests of the Brazilian Amazon. On one very trying day, the head of the Baptist Association that I was working with spoke of the many different support roles that people had in the development of the work in that area. And then he concluded by saying, "but you and me, we're the mud guys", meaning that we were the ones with dirty hands where ministry was really happening. I have carried that simple statement it in my heart as both a badge of honor and as a reminder of what God has called me to and what is really important. It has been a check on my attitudes and motives many times.

We have now moved from the wild rural jungle of Northeast Brazil to the urban jungle of a vast urban area in South Brazil, but M is still for Mud Guy (perhaps because nobody has called me "asphalt guy" yet, and anyway, it wouldn't sound as cool).

So why Blog?
My goal is twofold. First, to personalize missions. I had a volunteer tell me that he had some idea of the challenges missionaries face, but had no idea what we do - he thought we sat under a tree somewhere and waited for people to come talk to us!
(Ah, if only it were that easy....) At the risk of demystifying missionaries and missions, I'd like to let you know what it's really like.

Second, I want to inform you how you can be involved in our ministry through prayer. Time and time again, we have seen God answer the prayers of His people when they were informed on how to pray in a timely and informed way. We serve in a very tough area, and we need your help in taking the needs of our ministry before God's throne and interceding for us!

Thanks for taking the time to read this - I'll do my best to post regularly. I welcome your comments. To make a comment, simply click on the underlined word "comments" below, fill out the little form (don't let this scare you off), and type away - I'd LOVE to hear from you.



Dad said...

Oh, my! This blogging seems to be contagious. I was interested to hear how you earned the bestowed title of "mud guy".

Cam Dunson said...

Great start. I love the layout!!
You'll always be my mudguy!

Uncle Bill said...

Sigh... are you actually doing anything useful like missions work or preaching or spreading the gospel to the nations?!?!? Or are you just going to blog all day?? :)

...of course, I'm writing this while on the clock for the United States Taxpayers... :)

Blake Dunson said...

dAD I like your blog

G'ma said...

I am glad that someone else is doing your laundry now, Mud Guy!
I think that you are doing a marvelous job. Keep it up!

N'omi said...

...and to think that I actually had second thoughts about my daughter dating a very skinny, nervous young man with an Indiana Jones hat and boots! Had no idea how prophetic that hat and boots were!

Yo Momma in Law

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jeff for helping me to know you and your family better. I so enjoyed meeting you and your family at the OMC in Lexington in 2005.
The neat thing is that you and Marcello worked together in N Brasil and he had been my interpreter on occasion when I had been in Brasil on volunteer mission trips in the Rio area.
I am going to share this information from your site with our newly being formed GA group. Hopefully you will hear from them. We will be praying for you. Agape, Betty Haimbaugh

martyduren said...

Ok, just so all your comments won't be from family members...

Loretta said...

well, I am not a relative, but I am a co-missionary. Great job on your blog site...


Anonymous said...

Hi, Jeff. My name is Rogerio. We talked a couple of times.
May God bless you and may He give you complete revelation of what He wants from you. May He give you wisdom and power to gain the lost for Christ Jesus, our LORD

Berdie Hope said...

Hi Jeff,

Looks like you're to a good start on your blog. I look forward to reading it and reminiscing about MY time in Brazil, specifically 1968-2001 in Mato Grosso and Tocantins. Ben and I will be praying for you and your work.

Berdie Hope, retired in Gadsden, AL. said...

Doing some catch-up reading on your blog and hoping to learn all I can about the work in Brazil. Your page is great and you are right to be proud to be a mud guy. Keep up the good work and see you all in November....Elaine Salonich, Springdale Baptist Church

Anonymous said...

Olá Jeff, só hoje, dia 30/03/11 li sobre o Mud guy, que Deus te abençoe e te guarde a ti e tua família todos os dias até a volta de Cristo que já está próxima, saudades, até outro dia.

Jeff Dunson said...

Olá Marisco,

Obrigado por suas orações! Que Deus te abençõe e guarde.


Anonymous said...

Hello..Brod,I have prayed for you upon opening this blog..I pray that God will continue to encourage you as you participate in the Great Commission.God bless.

Jeff Dunson said...

Thank you so much for your prayers!