Monday, November 28, 2011

Faithful Until The End

      Areial, a city 2 ½ hours away from João Pessoa with three Christians is the city I visited Sunday. Two adult women and one teenager are the only Christians in this city of 10,000 inhabitants. I began visiting this city about 10 years ago with Joseph and David.
    
     A woman named Sônia, born and raised in Areial, had gone to work in São Paulo. She also began her life in Christ in the third largest city in the World when Ricardo Sobral baptized her into Christ. Sônia moved back to her home town of Areial and our team heard about her new life in Christ from Ricardo so we began visiting her. She was the only Christian in town at the time.
    
     Sônia is a faithful follower of Christ to this day. Her two sons, Jalmir and Elmir, were baptized. One is faithful; the other does not like to even talk about God, right now. The son who is faithful to Christ is now living in another state while the son who left the Church still lives with her. Sônia evangelized her sisters, too. Two of them were baptized. One passed away this year from a motorcycle accident. The other sister is faithful and her daughter is also a Christian.
The church in Areial was not always this small. There were once around 15 Christians, both men and women. The Church had a full-time evangelist and was growing. Different things happened and people began to fall away. Sônia has remained faithful through all of these difficulties.
  
      I went to visit this Church Sunday. I was encouraged to see their faith and dedication. These three women want the church to grow in their city. It is a difficult city to evangelize. The Catholic Church has a very strong presence in the town but the church has grown in the past.
  
  If you would like to say something to Sônia, Beta, Bia or Elmir, you can e-mail me your message and I will translate it for them.

Please pray that:
• God will continue to strengthen Sônia, Beta and Bia in their faith and love to God;
• Elmir, Sônia's son, will open his eyes to see how much God loves him;
• God may open the hearts of the people of Areial to hear, really hear, His Word and believe;
• The church in Areial will grow in faith and number.

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