2012 Year End Ministry Perspectives

Your Servant in Christ Ministries

Steve Loopstra

 2012  Year End Perspectives

 Paul writes to the Ephesians, and in Chapter 5, verses 15 -17,

 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.
Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.
Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do
. (NLT)

The exhortation of “…be careful how you live” has the idea of looking around, being aware of your life and what is going on around you and then “redeeming” or making the most of every moment as you understand what the Lord would have you to do with those moments He has given you. The year 2012 was a year where I desperately tried to live that way.

The year 2012 has been a year like no other in my life. The year started, still in shock and grief over the loss of my dear wife, Marilou on September 3rd. December of 2011, I took her ashes to Brazil, and returned home just before Christmas.

January of 2012 was a time of trying to find my orientation… “who am I,” “what do I do now?” I was determined not to fall into a victim mode, but to “redeem” this new season of my life. It was a time of asking and seeking from the Lord the direction He would have me to take. In December when in Brazil, Bishop Eneas Araujo, pastor of First Baptist Church in Valentina had asked me to consider coming and working with them in Brazil. In January, this was still only a seed beginning to germinate.

February brought some greater clarity to this, in a telephone conversation with a prayer/revival leader, who in the midst of our conversation told me that as they were praying for me, they had the sense that the Lord had put a “Macedonian Call” on my life. He explained,  “When a nation calls, you do not take it lightly.” It was a powerful confirmation for me of what had been stirring since that December invitation.

 In February, I conducted a “College of Prayer” in Wisconsin, and then began to investigate what would be needed for me to move to Brazil. I also began to seek opportunities to preach, and raise an income, since the income from The Sentinel Group had dried up back about the time Marilou died.

In March, while having coffee at Caribou with Pastor Scott McClure on the subject of prayer, he leaned over to me and said, “You need a family.” It was exactly what I needed to hear. Thus a personal and ministry relationship began with Monroe Community Chapel, who would later sponsor Your Servant in Christ Ministries, which began that month.

In April I had cataract surgery and began the process of a check list for what I needed to do to get a “Missionary Visa” to go to Brazil. I continued to work on the mission and message of Your Servant in Christ Ministries, and raise an income by preaching in various chuches.

From April until July was a matter of waiting, preaching, praying and doing what I could to prepare to move. On July23rd, the last document I needed for my visa arrived.. the FBI report arrived. I immediately made my online application and made an appointment to take the application to the Brazilian Consulate in San Francisco. The appointment was for July 30th at 11:00 am. On July 25th, I drove to California. I stayed with my good friend Mark McPherson over the weekend, and on Monday drove to San Francisco to the Consulate. I had investigated many options for my visa. The website said the processing time was 90 “Business Days” which means you exclude weekends, and Brazilian as well as American holidays. My estimate according to those figures was early December to be able to arrive in Brazil. I arrived an hour early and by my appointment time, I was heading out the door of the consulate, and the girl said I would have the visa by August 10th . It arrived the 9th.

In September I made a wonderful trip to the Twin Cities to visit friends and try to rest the rest of my support.

October was full of packing, selling and preparing to leave on October 25th – MOVING to Brazil.  I arrived here in Joao Pessoa, Saturday, October 27th at about 2:30 am.

The last two months have gone by so very quickly, and much has happened. I am working on language study, and learning the culture…sometimes the hard way.

When I began plans to come to Brazil, the Lord gave me a passage in Psalm 71, verses 17-21, which says,

 O God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.  Also Your righteousness, O God, is very high, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You? You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, Shall revive me again, And bring me up again from the depths of the earth. You shall increase my greatness, And comfort me on every side.                                          Psalm 71:17-21 (NKJV)

In many ways the Lord has already begun to fulfill this word to me.

I have a house to live in, and right above the House of Prayer… The people of the church have been so warm and made me feel a part of the family from the beginning… I LOVE the climate… no shoveling snow here!!… and…I have a wonderful “connection” with many of the youth in the church, and have had opportunities to begin to invest into their lives.

What an honor that is. I have seen multiple ways in which the Lord has confirmed over and over that I am in the right place. He is bringing me comfort on many levels, and I consider myself among men, greatly blessed.

Thank you for your interest in Prayer Transformation Ministries and my ministry in Brazil.

Only the Lord knows what awaits in 2013, but we can know that His desire is to bless us with all His heart… Jeremiah 32:41. Thank you for praying. Please continue to lift this ministry up to the Lord that I might was, as Paul says, redeeming the time that He gives me.


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