Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A New Assignment!

Dear Prayer Partners, When last we wrote, we shared that we were not given medical approval to return to Brazil because of Cam’s medical situation. The IMB doctor told us that we needed to stay in the USA for an extended period of time. This started a process of seeking God’s will for the future of our family. We are excited and pleased to share the answer to your prayers! We have accepted a two-year assignment with the IMB in the USA. This position will allow us not only to continue on our insurance, but also to remain as missionaries with the IMB, leaving the door open to possibly return to the field when our medical situation stabilizes. However, the most exciting part of all of this is our assignment itself. Did you know that in Mexico alone, there are eleven indigenous people groups who are completely unreached with the gospel and do not even have anyone trying reaching out to them with the good news? In addition, there are an additional eighteen people groups in Mexico who are still unreached, but have missionaries or churches making initial attempts to win them to Christ. Many of these groups speak languages into which the Bible has never been translated. But God is doing something new! Many of these peoples are moving to the United States looking for work. Joining God in what He is doing, we will be researching unreached indigenous peoples from other parts of the Americas who have moved to the USA. Once we discover where they are (which is not an easy task - but with God, all things are possible), we will be encouraging churches and ministries here in the USA to adopt the unreached people groups who have been hidden around them, win them to Christ, and then to work with them to take the gospel back to their people in their home countries. As we celebrate the season of Christ’s birth here in the USA, where God has blessed His Church so richly, it is almost unfathomable to me that in the country right next door, there are dozens of people groups who have never had the privilege of hearing the good news of Christ. In addition, there are literally hundreds of other unreached groups throughout the rest of the Americas still waiting to hear the message of why Christ came for the very first time. Your giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions is what enables our 4,854 IMB missionaries to take the gospel to 874 people groups in 134 countries. Without your support, we, and all of your Southern Baptist missionaries, would not be able to serve, and the people groups among whom we serve might not otherwise have the opportunity to hear the Gospel. There are many more missionaries waiting to be sent out. Please pray about giving even more this year to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions through your church or through www.imb.org , so that the many people groups among whom we serve, as well as those who are still waiting, will hear the Good News. Please pray: 1. Thanking God for His provision and care for us. 2. Asking for complete healing for Cam, including being able to come off all of the medicine 3. Asking for God to give us special wisdom and anointing to know how to move forward with this new assignment 4. Asking God to give us a special anointing and ability to learn Spanish quickly!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Wherever He Leads, We'll Go"

In January of 1936, the Southern Baptist songwriter B.B. McKinney was leading the music at a convention. The featured speaker was Rev. R.S. Jones, McKinney's friend of many years who, because of ill health, had recently returned from missionary service in Brazil. The two men were visiting over dinner one evening when Mr. Jones told Dr. McKinney that his physicians were not going to allow him to return to South America. When asked about his future plans the missionary said, “I don't know, but wherever He leads I'll go.” The words stuck in Dr. McKinney's mind. Before the convention's evening session, he had written both the words and music of this beloved hymn which we have sung so many times. As the associate pastor of our home church shared this story with us last night, I felt led to investigate further. As I type, I sit amazed at the similarities between Mr. Jones’ story and ours. You see, we have now officially heard from the mission doctor that we do not have medical approval to return to Brazil. While Cam's undifferentiated inflammatory arthritis is greatly improved, she is on a number of medicines that lower her immune system and will take considerable time to wean down. As a result, the IMB doctor has specifically told us that Cam needs to stay in the USA for "an extended period of time," and we have been told to transition back to the USA. So far, we have come up empty in our search for the next place of service that God has for us. We can honestly say, wherever He leads, we’ll go – but right now, we do need your prayers for us to know where He is leading us after 13 years of missions work in Brazil. Please pray especially for: 1. Complete healing for Cam, including being able to come off all of the medicine 2. Favor for us with those making decisions regarding our future 3. A ministry position that “fits” with who we are (and also provides group health insurance!) 4. Wisdom for us to know what to do in regard to the boy’s school while we don’t know where we will be living. With tremendous gratitude for your prayers, Jeff, Cam, Blake and Parker

Friday, May 31, 2013

May Update

Dear Prayer Partners, “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now….” Philippians 1:3-5 As I sat down to write, this verse ran through my head. Many of you have been faithful to pray for us for many years now, and we are so grateful for your role in all that God has done and is continuing to do, both in and through us. Please do not ever underestimate the incredible impact your prayers have on the advance of the Kingdom – you will probably not know the fulness of your impact until you get to Heaven, but I am sure that it is deeper and more profound than any of us can imagine. As you know, we continue to be in the USA on medical leave from the mission for a somewhat mysterious inflammatory condition. We and our team of doctors are investigating some new possibilities for what could be causing the condition and we continue to believe for Cam’s complete and total healing. In the meantime, we have heard from the mission doctor that they can only give us a few more months of medical leave. If at that point Cam has not improved to the point of being able to get medical leave to return to Brazil, we would need to take a leave of absence or resign from the mission. Please join us in praying for direction in how we should move forward at this time. There are a lot of things up in the air. We are believing for Cam’s healing, but if that does not come just yet, we do not know if we’ll be able to return to the field. If we do not return to Brazil, we will need to find a ministry position here in the USA. Please pray: 1. That God would heal Cam completely and quickly. 2. That God would clearly show us and the mission doctors whether or not we are to return to Brazil. 3. If the door to Brazil is closed, that God would clearly show us what doors He is opening for ministry for us.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

February Update

Dear Praying Friends, As you know, we are on Stateside Assignment in the USA for medical treatment for Cam. The doctors believe that she has an inflammatory disease that if not properly treated, could develop into an even more severe auto immune disease. She is taking a variety of medicines, some of which help to mask her symptoms and help her to be mobile and have less pain, but which also have other side effects. The doctor at Johns Hopkins is now telling us that the treatment isn’t working as well as she had hoped and that Cam really isn't getting better. Therefore, we need to start looking at new treatment options. For now, she is upping her current medications again, and if that doesn't work, she'll start doing injections of a different and much more tricky kind of medicine. Given what’s going on, the IMB has extended our medical leave until early May. Before that date arrives, we will all need to evaluate where we are at and whether we go back to Brazil sometime soon or will need to look at transitioning back to the USA on a more permanent basis. We have had the blessing of staying with Jeff’s parents in Delaware for the last several months, but the missionary house provided by our church in South Carolina opens up in March, so we'll be moving there (and to warmer weather!) at that point. We continue to homeschool the boys, who are growing rapidly (Blake is already as tall as his dad, and Parker is well on his way to catching his mom). They are both learning a lot about perseverance as they take ice skating lessons and enjoy learning to play the ukulele. We firmly believe that God is in control of everything that is happening and that He is working His perfect timing for Cam’s complete healing and for our family as a whole. We are so grateful for all of the prayers and support we have received from so many. We are especially grateful for the blessing of a community that believes in us and in the importance of missions. Your generous gifts to the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering have enabled us and our colleagues to serve on the field in Brazil and are now making it possible for us to get the medical care that our family needs during this season of our life. As we pray about our current situation and our future, what we hear is that we need to wait and be patient, so that's what we're trying to do! Please pray with us for Cam’s complete healing and for God’s perfect will for us to be accomplished in His perfect timing. With grateful hears for your prayers and your partnership with us, Jeff, Cam, Blake and Parker Dunson