Richard and Sarah Robison
Richard D. Robison, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy S. Robison of McKeesport, Pa, was born Sept 8, 1931. At the age of 12 Richard accepted Christ as his Savior. While attending Camp Christian, Mill Run, PA., he dedicated his life to full time Christian service. After graduation from McKeesport High School in 1949, he entered Johnson Bible College in the fall of that year. While attending Johnson Bible College Richard met Miss Sarah Dunn of Milledgeville, GA., and they were married in Oct, 1951. Both Richard and Sarah graduated from Johnson Bible College in 1953. AFter Johnson, Richard served the East Ridge Christian Church, Chattanooga, Tenn., through the end of September. After which Richard engaged in speaking arrangements through March of 1954.
When Dick and Sarah graduated from Johnson bible College in 1953, they intended to go to Brazil within a couple of years. However, they received a letter from Bill Loft in Brazil urging them to come soon. They waited for their first child, Ann, to arrive; raised their support and docked in Belem, Brazil August 3, 1954 on the southern bank of the Amazon River.
Their first term was spent in learning to speak Portuguese, directing a Children's Home, preaching at the Outeiro Rd. church and teaching three young men to preach. David, their second child, was born during this period. During their first furlough, Dick had a bout with infectious hepatitis, did the class work toward a masters degree at Johnson Bible College and visited their supporting churches
The Robisons returned to Brazil in 1959 to the city of Macapa on the northern bank of the Amazon River. The equator runs through this town. They were substituting for the Clint Thomas family. The work there was a little more difficult because of a high concentration of nuns and priests. At present a Brazilian Christian, Gaudencio, ministers to the church. He is one of the three men taught by Dick in his early years there.
Mary Lou was born in Macapa. She was delivered by a mid-wife.
In 1962 the Robisons moved back to Belem to teach at Para Bible Institute along with the other missionaries. A college curriculum was taught on a simpler level. After several years this was closed because all concerned thought it was premature . Since then eight-week courses have been taught at various times in the churches at night. The men are not uprooted from homes or jobs and this plan has been more successful in their area. They spent five years and four months on their second term. During this time period Dick was in charge of SEVIC (evangelizing society of the churches of Christ - a voluntary cooperation of all the missionaries in and around Belem) is making for a radio ministry "The Gospel Light".
When they went to Brazil in October 1965 for the third time, they were beginning to feel like veterans. This term was more varied. In cooperation with the other missionaries, they offered a Bible correspondence course. Colorful slides were used to teach the Gospel in homes. The Children's Home was closed and homes were found for all the children. One-day retreats were held periodically rotating between the men, youth and the women. Usually a holiday was chosen so that the largest possible number could attend. A weekly half-hour program was dick's responsibility. A weekly half-hour program was Dick's responsibility. An elder in the Outeiro Rd. church helped for about a year and the program was left in his hands when the Robisons returned to the U.S.
There are six churches and four or five preaching points that these churches sponsor. There is some missionary supervision, but the main work is carried on by the Brazilians themselves. Prayer is requested for all the churches and the men who lead. People often ask, "what is one of the biggest problems on the mission field?" One of the leading problems would surely be the language. There is a large language school in southern Brazil, but such a long way from the Amazon region. In the Belem area there is a small school, but it is limited in its capacity. When Dick Robison returns to Brazil from this present furlough, he hopes to begin a Language and Orientation School for missionaries in northern Brazil, if the Lord opens the door for such an undertaking.
The Belem missionaries are busy at many tasks. To name some: there is language study, personal visitation, women's classes, evangelistic meetings among the area churches and in other places, correcting the correspondence course, retreats, teaching the leaders of the churches in special classes, supervising some of the churches and making reports to living link churches and answering the mail from home. It is heartbreaking to see hundred of opportunities and not have enough missionaries to answer the calls.
They served in Brazil from 1954 to 1969.
They served in Puerto Rico from 1972 to 1975.
They served at Johnson Bible College from 1975 to 1981.
They are presently in Portugal.
They have 3 children: Ann, who along with her husband, serves with Go Ye Chapel in New York. David, serves in the army. He and his family are stationed in Frot Brag, NC. Mary Lou and her family are living in Michigan and are planning a move to Knoxville.