A letter from Farris Goodrum
We send greetings from Decatur, Georgia, near Atlanta. As I write this I see that two months have gone by since we arrived here after leaving Vitoria, in southeastern Brazil, where we have worked with the United Presbyterian Church of Brazil since January of 2010. There were going-away parties and many dinners with friends during our last days in Vitoria, and we appreciated the way the community had received us, with open arms, throughout our two and a half years in Vitoria. They hated to see us go and look forward to our return at the end of this school year. We enjoy keeping in touch with friends in Brazil by email or Facebook, and some of our friends there plan to visit us during this time that we are in the States. We look forward to having them with us here!
There was rain on the day Thelma, Joel and I left Vitoria in July, so our flight was delayed. We were to meet our son, Michael, in Sao Paulo and travel together to Atlanta, via Mexico City, but we did not get to Sao Paulo in time, so Michael had to travel to the States alone. The airline arranged a hotel for Thelma, Joel and me, and we left for Atlanta 24 hours later. Soon the family was reunited at Mission Haven, where we have lived many times over the years. This beautiful, wooded neighborhood, just behind Columbia Seminary, is a pleasant place to live while we are on “home assignment.”
Michael, who studied for two years at a university in Brazil, has been looking for a job ever since arriving in Decatur and plans to enroll in a university this coming semester. Joel is in ninth grade at Decatur High School. Both Michael and Joel have amazed us with their ability to adapt as we go back and forth between Brazil and the United States, and they always reconnect with friends with whom they have maintained contact over the years.
We are enjoying going to conferences and visiting churches to tell about our work in Brazil. Our travels have already taken us to Kentucky, North Carolina, Alabama, and to several churches in Georgia. We have just returned from a trip to First Presbyterian in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where we had the opportunity to share about our work at a midweek lunch gathering, and then at a dinner that same evening. We enjoyed many other outings and get-togethers, and all of this was especially enjoyable because First Presbyterian has sent mission teams to three different Brazilian cities where we have served over the years (Fortaleza, Londrina and Vitoria), and it was good to see friends that we have seen in Brazil over the years. The most recent mission team sent by First Presbyterian spent 10 days with us in Vitoria, a little over a year ago, and it was wonderful to reconnect with this group, and to share about the many ways their presence in Vitoria challenged and inspired our Brazilian friends. Our friends from Tuscaloosa expressed the same sentiment, as everyone's lives, it seems, are changed in positive ways by trans-cultural mission experiences.
If you should be interested in having us visit your church, please get in touch with us, as we would love to share with you about our ministry as mission co-workers in Brazil. We appreciate the support of the home churches and look forward to seeing many of you during our year here in the States.
Take care, and let us hear from you!
Sincerely, in Christ’s service,
Farris and Thelma Goodrum
167 Inman Drive
Decatur, GA 30030
Telephone number: (404) 373-3733
The 2012 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 27