John Benham Travels to Brazil
When they first met in a Northwestern College residence hall, John Benham (MIWC's founder) counted on the knowledge and experience of his resident advisor, Steve Sheldon.
Now his long time friend, and also a former MIWC board member, Sheldon joins Benham for a month long trip to Brazil, where they will draw on the knowledge and experience Sheldon gained from serving deep in the Amazon jungle.
Sheldon and his wife have worked with the Wycliffe Bible Translators since the early 1960's, serving with the Piraha people in the Amazon. Sheldon also served as executive director of WBT and is currently assistant to the director of ALEM, the Brazilian branch of WBT. ALEM provides biblical education for ethnic minorities.
On Sep. 13, Benham and Sheldon travel from Minneapolis to Sao Paulo, Cuiaba, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro before returning home in mid-October.
While in South America, the two will meet with members of various ethnic minority groups, the New Tribes Mission leadership and the Christian University of Brazil.
At the university, the pair will investigate a potential partnership with Liberty University to provide ethnomusicology training to Brazilian nationals. Ethnomusicology is the study of music from different cultures (especially non-Western cultures). At MIWC, missionary associates study the music to understand the culture, which helps to understand how to communicate the Gospel message to people from that culture.
Benham anticipates he will be teaching on the trip, focusing on worship and the use of music as a means of cross-cultural communication.
MIWC asks supporters to lift up in prayer these specific requests:
• Approval of John Benham's visa, preferably a multi-entry one with a 10-year limit
• Safety in travel
• Safety for family while away
• Accurate communication of biblical truths, with minimal cultural or language gaffes