The year was 2017. The occasion was the largest mission’s mobilization event held in Brazil every three years, the Congress of Brazilian Missions. A young couple stood waiting patiently for us at the stand of SEPAL, the partner mission agency of OMF in Brazil. Maysa was clutching little Aurora, just five weeks old, sleeping peacefully in her arms. “Do you know anything about Cambodia?” they asked tentatively. Our hearts leapt!
So began the three-year journey of Samuel, Maysa, Aurora and then little Leo too with OMF – as they pursued their calling to Cambodia, following their first visit there in 2016. This journey saw them wind up their jobs, move back to Brasilia to live with Maysa’s parents (thank the Lord for a house spacious enough to accommodate them all), go through the candidate processes of OMF and SEPAL, embark on partnership development, work closely with the missions committee of their small church and finally reach support clearance just as the pandemic swept the world, wreaking havoc, pain and loss in such gargantuan measure, upsetting untold numbers of plans, hopes and dreams. They watched in disbelief as the May orientation course in Singapore was cancelled and the borders of Cambodia closed. What now, Lord? Are we really called to Cambodia, they asked? Was this all in vain?
‘What now?’ proved to be a string of miraculous events which left each of us surer than ever that the Sovereign Lord of the harvest was indeed calling this family to Cambodia:
• The opportunity to take part in an online orientation course
• further gifts to make up for the catastrophic crash of the Brazilian currency due to the pandemic
• a passport for little Leo against all the odds
• re-booking of airline tickets ensuring their luggage went all the way through
• the exact visas hoped and prayed for from the Cambodia Embassy in Washington DC (only possible with the submission of important documents both from OMF Cambodia and Brazil),
• last-minute Covid tests to show they were safe to travel
• overcoming the news that awaited them at the airport on the very day of travel that they could no longer fly via the route the airline had offered.
How good is the God we adore! The One who called them is faithful; He has done it!
[The Barbosa family arrived safely in Phnom Penh on 30 October 2020, with their luggage, Covid-free.]
OMF New Horizons Brazil
Pray with us
The Barbosa family ask for prayer for:
• Our language and culture learning: we have started our Khmer language classes. We do private lessons and we also have meetings with the group of new workers to learn about the culture. Pray we may be diligent learners.
• Our adaptation as a family: that we can feel more and more at home in the culture and be accepted by Cambodians. That we can adjust well to a new diet and a new climate and learn how to get around Phnom Penh safely.