Son of career missionaries, Bobby and Geneva Poole,
John Poolerecalls his memories of his parents'
ministry in Brazil.
Find out more about the ministry of Free Will Baptist International Missions by visiting their website: www.fwbgo.com.
THE WORDS, "RENDER TO CAESAR the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's" resound in my mind. I want to pay tribute to my parents, Bobby and Geneva Poole, who recently completed 48 years of non-stop missionary work in Brazil. I believe a tribute to someone compiles all a person is and has done, then acknowledges it all would have been impossible without God’s intervention.
I admire you for leaving for a place totally unknown in December 1960, after only three months of marriage. You’ve stayed for a lifetime, never abandoning your post, serving faithfully throughout all these years. I salute you for your perseverance.
I appreciate your love for the Lord and for His harvest. I know your commitment is not only due to your obedience to your missionary calling. But, because you experienced God’s love, you wanted to share His love with those you minister among.
I am grateful for the vision you’ve had—starting new ministries in our church and town, where none previously existed. I remember when you worked hard to bring the Gideon’s International to our city so Bibles could be distributed in our region. I remember you beginning the “Family Retreat” during Carnaval time. What began as a simple event of our local church, has continued and grown for 35 years.
I remember the Fone Vida (phone ministry)—you used answering machines to tape messages for all those who called in. I remember you opening the Bible institute in our church because there were people who felt a call to prepare for the ministry. They now form a lasting legacy of many laborers sharing the gospel over the last 30 years.
I recall how the correspondence course Fonte de Luz (Source of Light) was launched—reaching various prisons, many parts of Brazil, and even other Portuguese speaking countries. It is still in use today. I remember how you invested in the young people, couples ministry, puppet ministry, choir, and drama.
I appreciate all the missions conferences. I remember your insistence that the fledgling church have a missionary vision. This has paid off. We have a missionary in China due to the vision you nurtured.
I remember you insisting on keeping the camp property in Jaboticabal. And so much more!
You are leaving a very important legacy. You have produced spiritual descendants. Many who are active in the harvest today—pastors, missionaries, lay workers—are faithful because you invested in their lives. This is the greatest tribute to someone who invests his entire life in the ministry: to know the work begun will perpetuate. To God be all the glory!
May God Himself recompense you greatly.
ABOUT THE WRITER: John Poole followed his parents example and ministers in Brazil, pastoring the First FWB Church in Ribeirão Preto. To learn more about Free Will Baptist International Missions, visit their website at www.fwbgo.com.