The Gospel Under the Southern Cross (1)

18 August 2011 by Wes Bredenhof

Tomorrow a long time dream of mine begins to come true.  When I was a kid, one of the things I found really cool about my Opa Bredenhof was that he had written a book.  The little book was about his 1977 visit to Brazil.  This was in connection with his work as the secretary of Mission Aid Brazil.  In connection with that, Opa would also often send me stamps from Brazil (he knew that I was a stamp collector).  I remember receiving large yellow envelopes covered in stamps.  Inflation was crazy in Brazil back then and so mail from Brazil to Canada would require outrageous numbers of stamps.  Especially because of my grandfather and his great love for the Reformed mission work there, I’ve also been deeply interested in the progress of the gospel “under the Southern Cross.”

Tomorrow morning I’ll be setting off for two weeks in Brazil.  This is technically part of my summer vacation time.  I’ll be using it to visit the mission work in Brazil and do some teaching.  I’ll be teaching a couple of courses in apologetics at Instituto João Calvino and the Reformed Reading Room in Recife.  I also hope to have the opportunity to preach in some of the churches, including the church at São José which my grandfather visited long ago.  I’m really curious to see if any of the people he mentioned in his book are still there.

Anyway, I will be posting regularly here on my blog about my time there.  I won’t be writing a book, but hopefully this series of blog posts will help you get a sense of the great work still being done by our Saviour in north-eastern Brazil.

And, by the way, Opa’s book has a lot of pictures.  In one of them, you’ll find one of Maranatha’s current missionaries, Rev. Julius Van Spronsen.  He was already there back then — the son of the former missionary, Rev. C. Van Spronsen.  Lots of connections between the past and the present!