Catch Up On The Past Few Months
Greetings from Barreiras.
We want to take some time to update you on the last several months of ministry and life here in NE Brazil. We will send out a separate update on how the current COVID-19 situation is affecting us personally here in our corner of the world.
We started off 2020 with a fun New Year’s Eve service at our house. We had about 40 people for a service that pointed us toward the importance of remembering and obeying God’s Word in our daily lives. We ended up with a great dinner.
We also used January to have some much needed organizational meetings. Our church leadership met in January to plan some things for the coming year and to discuss next steps for the building. I’m thankful for a group of men that are serious about serving the Lord and have wisdom and experience in many areas of life. They are a blessing to me and the church.
Our ministry volunteers had an important meeting where I taught them about our vision and purpose as a church. It was good to get everyone on the same page and establish some important guidelines and organizational steps. We focussed on organizing our way to be better servants for the One who gave us His best.
We were privileged to have a Child Evangelism Fellowship conference here in our town. Our church hosted a team and we had Bible Clubs during the last week of January: 3 clubs per day, Monday - Thursday at our house in the morning, a church member’s house in the afternoon, and at church at night. Then, on Friday, we went to the farm to hold Bible clubs there. It was great time to train some people in the church in children’s ministry, as well as to help motivate them to be witnesses to spread the Gospel. We praise the Lord for those who participated from our church and also for several children who accepted Christ as their personal Savior!
Neftali, our recent college student intern.
At the beginning of the month, we picked up a College student intern in Brasília to be with us. Neftali is an 18-year old who has a big heart for serving the Lord and is very interested in missions. We were glad to have had the opportunity to host her in our home. She learned a lot and got a lot of great experiences in the ministry here. Visiting and make lasting friendships with many people was probably a highlight for her. She was able to share her testimony on several occasions, help with the children’s ministry, and even teach an English class several times. We feel like she got a great hands-on experience in the Brazilian culture while she was here. She looks forward to returning next year. Our children gained a new “Big sister” and we are thankful for the opportunity that we all had.
As always, our Annual Retreat during Carnaval was great! Many Gospel seeds were planted and watered. We had several unsaved and unchurched people participate this year. Some of our church members family came for services. Some of them have never participated in any sort of “evangelical" church service before. The Gospel was clearly presented in the services. And we also had so many Gospel conversations during the week with individuals. It was refreshing to sit around in the mornings or afternoons and talk with people about their eternal destination and give them assurance that God has provided a way for salvation for all who believe in His Son, Jesus. Please pray for those who were evangelized during the retreat - that they would trust in the Savior. Pray for Ítalo, Andreza, Theia, Jaime, Vera, Albetino and Jaílson.
The last night of the retreat always ends with a treasure hunt. In this picture we are displaying the found treasure - boxes of chocolate.
EVANGELISTIC BIBLE STUDY
We began a Bible study for non-believers or non-church goers on the first Tuesday night of the month in March. This was an effort initiated by one of our church members. She and her husband opened their home to 7 or 8 couples (family, friends and neighbors) that do not go to any type of church or have clearly stated they are not Christians. We began looking at the importance of the Word of God as Truth. Everyone had a great time and they are all looking forward to our next meeting. Please be in prayer for this ministry as we reach out to those around us who need the Lord. Pray specifically for their minds to be illuminated by the Scriptures and for faith to accept Jesus Christ as the only Savior of mankind.
MISSIONS AT THE FARM
One of our ongoing mission/evangelism efforts is what we call “Missions at the farm”. It’s one of our favorite ministries. We go to a town about 2 hours away (Cotegipe) and from there travel about 35 kilometers by dirt road to a farm village called “Baixa Preta” (Low Black). One of our church members is from the village and much of her family still lives there. This time I asked, “How many of you don’t have a Bible?” All of the adults but one raised their hand. So, we are going to take Bibles out there the next time we go.
We praise the Lord for a young lady, Carol, who accepted Christ a couple of weeks ago at church. Carol used to attend our church as a preteen and teen. Then her family moved to São Paulo for several years. She just returned to our town as a full-grown 21-year old young lady. We’re thrilled that she has the hope of eternal life in Christ. Pray for her as we begin to walk along side her in her spiritual journey.