Latin lovers of the Lord leave for Lima
South America has always been part of Daniel and Regiane Clark’s lives. Now they are returning to serve there with BMS World Mission
When you hear about the backgrounds of Daniel and Regiane Clark, you can see why they became husband and wife. They have so much in common.
Both grew up in Brazil. Both had parents involved in mission – Daniel’s parents, John and Norma Clark (pictured, right), were long-term BMS mission workers in Brazil, while Regiane’s father was a pastor and her mother played a big part in church life.
Both felt a calling to mission at a young age – as teenagers, Daniel did mission work in the favelas of São Paulo and Regiane was heavily involved in church life, particularly Sunday school in Minas Gerais. Both studied theology and both ended up living in London, where they would eventually meet.
For Regiane, coming to the UK to learn English was the most difficult thing she had ever done, but God looked after her. “It was a very difficult time – it was a different culture, different weather and I couldn’t speak the language,” she says. “God was faithful though and helped me.”
Regiane got to know Daniel at Southall Baptist Church. She attended the church as her English language school was based there and Daniel started coming to the Brazilian services while studying for his Master’s degree at the London School of Theology. Love blossomed and they returned to Brazil in 2002, getting married in 2003.
In 2005, just before they came back to the UK, their daughter Ana Sophia was born. Daniel became associate pastor of Southall Baptist Church. They spent five years there, followed by five years at South Ashford Baptist Church in Kent and then South America beckoned them once more. This Saturday (16 January), they leave for Peru to serve with BMS.
They are all excited about returning to South America. “I’m very excited,” Regiane says. “There are some similarities with Brazilian culture as well. Of course it is another country, another culture, but some things are very similar. I think it will be lovely to work with the Peruvian people.”
Both Daniel and Regiane will be working with the Peruvian Baptist Convention. Regiane is passionate about getting involved in health and social care, which she studied at the University of Kent. Daniel will be working at a Baptist seminary in Lima, with one of his tasks being the development of a Master’s course. He is looking forward to helping train new church leaders.
“What excites me is the possibility of enabling people to fulfil their potential,” he says. “Where we are going, there will be people who are called by God, who are gifted by God and we will hopefully have this opportunity of enabling them to fulfil their gifts. That will be exciting.”
He hopes they can build up the Church, so they are not needed!
“I think it is helpful to see us mission workers as preparing for a time when we are not there,” he says. “By equipping others, by building capacity, you are in a sense enabling something to continue beyond the period of time that you are in a place.”
Both Regiane and Daniel are also hoping to explore partnering with churches working in deprived communities and supporting BMS work in Nauta.
The family faces challenges as they embark on their mission work and ask for your prayers. Regiane has been quite ill during their time at the BMS International Mission Centre and requires surgery, which they are looking to arrange in Peru. They also need to find a suitable school for Ana Sophia and get used to a new culture.
Despite the challenges, Regiane knows that God will be with them.
“I know he is going to equip us for the job,” she says. “I hope he can show us what to do and we won’t miss any opportunity to tell others about God, especially through our lives and testimonies. We hope we can help people learn more about God and serve him better.”
Pray for Daniel, Regiane and Ana Sophia, that they will settle into life in Peru. Pray for the work that Daniel and Regiane will be doing and for good relationships to develop. Pray they will find a home, a school for Ana Sophia, a church to attend and that Regiane will be able to get the medical treatment she needs.
This article first appeared on the website of BMS World Mission and is used with permission.