Monday, October 31, 2011

Youth Group

by Diego

(Extracted from Diego dos Anjos' newsletter. If you would like to receive his newsletter, please email him at: )

    We went to a youth camp last month in the city of Santa Cruz do Capibaribe. We took about 15 young people from Joao Pessoa and drove 4 hours to get there and met others youth groups from different cities. The theme for this camp was “Seeking the Kingdom of God”. The speakers really encouraged us to aim as a priority in our lives to seek God and His Kingdom. Raniere, one of the speakers, did an amazing job helping us think about this phrase: We are just able to seek God and His kingdom if we decide to have a daily relationship with God. What have you done about that? How is your relationship with our Father? Share your stories and let’s seek His kingdom together!

     I have enjoyed the past weeks of our youth Sunday Bible class. We have studied about “The dangers and consequences of the sin”. We went through the first chapter of Genesis, understanding the difference between Adam and Eve’s relationship with God before and after they had sinned. After they did what God had told them to not do… they hid from God, they feared God, and they blamed each other. That’s pretty much what happens when we sin, right? The question now is: since we all have sinned and are far apart from God’s glory… what should we do now to get back and have a relationship with God? Could you reply back with some Bible passages for me to share with the youth group.
     Next month the youth group will organize our ANNUAL YOUTH RETREAT. About 100 men and women of God coming from different cities around our town will get together on 11, 12 and 13th of November. The theme for this retreat will be “Myth Busters”! We are excited to discuss some controversial phrases that are taught by society to us like: “God doesn’t want anyone to suffer in this life”; “Going just to Sunday worships I guarantee my eternal salvation”; “I need to wear masks in order be accepted in society”. I am really excited about this upcoming event… please… be praying for us and these days we will have worshiping God and learning His will for our lives. 

Francisco, William, and Jesus

Rivaldo Café in Cajazeiras has baptized two more people. Francisco, 40 years old, lives on a farm with his wife and eight kids, four of which participate in the Right Step Soccer Project. Café has been studying with this family for five months, and after one of the studies Francisco asked to be baptized. William, a 15 year old boy in the project, was there and also decided to follow Jesus. They went down to the creek and were born again in Christ.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Time To Go

This last month and a half I have spent in João Pessoa.  I have not traveled to the interior but there is plenty to do here.  I taught a three week class to the members of the church on "Letters to Asia Minor" (Galatians, Ephesians and Colossians).  I am teaching Sunday School on "Contentment", looking at how Jesus, the apostles and the first Christians thought, taught and dealt with the material wealth that God entrusted to them.  We moved into a more personal and practical aspect this past Sunday and began working on our own personal budgets, living below our income to be able to serve more and not live in debt as so many do here.  I preached the Sunday after Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement, Leviticus 16) on how God told Moses what to do on this day, what the Jews do today and how Jesus fulfilled this day for all Christians and that the forgiveness we have in Christ is complete and forever as long as we remain faithful to Him.
     Now that my class is over, Sunday school is moving into the direction of working more closely with those who desire to live free of debt and serve God with what He has given them.  I will begin traveling again.  This week I am going to Patos to teach the same class on "Letters to Asia Minor" to evangelists and other members from different cities, meet with those involved in the PORmissões plan (reaching every city in the state with the Good News); we are working on establishing a congregation in the city of Pombal by August 2012, visit one or two other cities close by and go to Cajazeiras to meet with the evangelist living there. 
     Please pray for this trip, especially the PORmissões meeting; our planning and execution of the same. 

May God be praised for allowing us to serve Him.

The Process of Coming to Christ

by David McKinney
     Beliza is a wonderful teenager who was invited to a youth camp last year by Iago, a Christian who, has left the flock. She immediately made a lot of friends began attending some Church meetings and our Monday basketball games.   Iago's sister, Leylane, who is the wife of my brother-in-law, began studying the Bible with her.  After many months she decided to give her life to Christ.  Her mom, who I do not know very well, came to her baptism and cried saying that she had prayed for years for this day to come. To me, it is interesting that it took years of prayer, an invitation from lost sheep, a Christian camp, basketball, friendship, Bible study, and who knows what else to bring Beliza into the arms of Christ. I know that all these people and things were important, even the basketball, because it allowed us to spend quality time with her. You can learn a lot about a person while sitting on a bench. Truly it is hard to know all that God does to win us over and keep us close. Thank you Lord!

Continent Care Connection

         Continent of Great Cities has a great service for missionaries called Continent Care Connection, in which they invite ministers from South America for a week of spiritual renewal in São Paulo. It is amazing how we, sharing the Gospel with others, end up pushing aside our own spiritual needs and become depleted.
          I confess that I was needing this reconnection with God more than I realized, and it took stopping everything for a week and a lot of reflection and encouragement from a special group of men who volunteered to serve us and take care of us. I feel like I have tools to proceed in the work in a healthier way for myself and for my family.
          Hundreds of people made this encounter possible and I pray that God will bless each one of them as much as He has blessed me through their effort.

Bible Bowl Video

Jeremy put a video on You Tube of the Bible Bowl winners being announced.

Here is a link to the Bible Bowl video.  The Bible Bowl was September 24.  The kids from João Pessoa did great.  Check out the video on youtube.  The link is below.

Samuel McKinney 88 out of 100 (1st place overall, including some up to 25 years old)

Nicholas Newlin 83 out of 100 (3rd place in 1st Division, 4th place overall)

Nicholas' team won 1st place in the 1st Division (6 to 12 years old)

You can see the video announcing the prize winners.

Link to video: