Traveling? You get excited just thinking about going on a trip to a different place, sleeping in a different bed, eating different foods, and meeting different people. To tell you the truth, I don't like to travel without my family. I don't like spending nights away from home when my family is not with me, although I was not alone. Joe McKinney is a great traveling buddy and a great Christian example. We had fun, but by the end of the trip, we were ready to go home. But some things just have to get done.
I went on this trip to renew interest in PORmissões (Organic Missions Plan), the state-wide plan to evangelize Paraíba. This plan is working and producing fruit throughout the state, especially in its four major cities. Now, it is time to build up these congregations and revive their vision for reaching out to other cities. My main focus was the congregation in Patos.
We left Friday morning, traveled 2 ½ hours to Areial, a city of around 10,000. If you remember, about a month ago, I traveled to Areial not to visit but to bury a sister in Christ. This time Joe and I went to visit the two Christian ladies that live in this small town. One of them is having doubts about God and His goodness. Her sister died after many, many people prayed for her recovery. Does God care? Does prayer make a difference? I talked with her and she seemed relieved to know that it is okay to have doubts. I told her the best way to resolve her problem was to talk to the person with whom she felt disillusioned, God.
We left for Patos. Slept. Visited a family. Left for Pombal. We visited the four Christians in this city of close to 60,000 people. What an exciting visit! We did not get to spend much time with them though because we had a class scheduled in Patos. After Joe's class, evangelists from Patos and Emas and I discussed the state-wide plan and the need to stimulate each Christian to evangelism. What an exciting impromptu meeting! The very reason I went. Now it is time to get to work: to set-up a meeting for all the congregations in Paraíba and help them recapture God's vision.
Sunday, we met with the church in Patos in the morning and with both the Emas and Caatingueira congregations together at night. We met in a house, in an overcrowded small room, one person sitting in the door. I was greatly encouraged by their joy of being together.
Monday we left for home. We stopped in Campina Grande only for a short visit, long enough to hear that the campaign results have been good: class has started, also some Bible studies, and if faith is found, new lives will begin.
Please pray for all of these cities.