Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thank You All for your Prayers and Encouragement

I want to thank all of you for your encouraging words to Nicholas and our family.  I read to Nicholas what you said to him and he sat there with a big grin on his face.  He enjoyed hearing about your experiences and I sure he felt motivated to continue "fighting the good fight".

Thank you all and please continue to pray for the work here in Paraíba - Brazil.

God bless you all!  Have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Jeremy, Monica, Nicholas & Dylan Newlin

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

This Is Good News

      I remember the day my oldest son, Nicholas was born. It was a very exciting day and also a very scary time. It is a great responsibility, I should also add privilege too, to raise a child. How was I going to raise him? My life changed quite a bit after he was born. Everyone who has children probably know what I'm talking about.
      December 14, 2011, I had the enormous privilege to see Nicholas choose Jesus as his Lord. He was baptized for the forgiveness of his sins and now has God's Spirit living in him. I have baptized people before and it is always a miracle to witness. This time was different. It all happened so fast, I thought after I baptized him that I had forgotten to do or say something.
      Nicholas is only 11 so let me share with you how he came to his decision. When he was 8 he told me he wanted to be baptized. I said o.k., so let's study. We had one little Bible study and then I waited for him to ask me to study with him again. He did so about 2 years later. So when he was 10 he told me he wanted to be baptized, again. So, again, we sat and had one little Bible study and then I waited for him to ask me to study with him again. He did so about 1 year later. This year, around his birthday he asked me if we could study so that he could be baptized. I told him to read one of the four gospels and then we would study. The Bible bowl this year in Brazil was on the Gospel of Luke. He asked if that counted for reading the gospel so that we could study. I told him yes. After the Bible bowl we studied two lessons and then I waited, about 1 month later he asked to study again so that he could become a Christian. We finished studying on Saturday, Dec. 10. I knew that he understood the purpose and the life-long commitment that he was wanting to make. But in the car Saturday night, he said "Lord willing and if y'all let me, tomorrow I want to be baptized". I then knew, he was not ready. We got home I sat down with him and talked. I asked him, if he knew that some parents disown or get mad when their children are baptized. He said no, he did not know that. I asked him if he would be baptized if he knew that I was going to get mad at him. He thought and said yes he would. Monica told him about how her family did not like the fact that she was baptized. He went to bed and the next day we waited for Nicholas to say something but he never did. Tuesday came around and he told me that he wanted to be baptized. I asked him why. He said that he wanted to follow Christ. I asked him what he would do if I told him no. He said he wanted to be baptized anyway. I asked him again, what if I say I don't think you are ready. He did not say anything else. Later that night he asked me why I did not think he was ready. Both Monica and I talked with him. He finally seemed to understand that it was his decision and not ours. He went to bed and the next morning I read 1 Peter 2:18-25 to him and asked him if was ready to suffer injustices for God's glory. He said yes. I asked him if was willing to give up his life-long dream of becoming a professional soccer player if it meant he had to lie to become one. He said yes. I then said, I think, now you understand what it is going to take for you to be faithful to death.
      Thursday, December 15, I walked by his room and he was sitting on his bed reading a book. I stopped and starred because I remembered, he has God's Spirit in him now. God is now guiding him. My job, of course, is not finished but God is living inside my oldest son, or should I say my youngest brother.
     Please pray for Nicholas and his life in Christ that:
  •  he may be faithful until death;
  •  he may be light and salt wherever he may be and whatever he may do in his life.
     If you would like to send a message to Nicholas you can send it to my e-mail address and I will be sure to get it to him.

God bless you all with a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year,

Jeremy, Monica, Nicholas & Dylan Newlin

Monday, December 12, 2011

Teaching Others How To Teach Others

      I traveled to Cajazeiras to teach classes on "The Role of Women in the Church". Café, the evangelist working in the city wants the women to be more involved in evangelizing the community. Women really do have a lot of potential to evangelize other women. Their relationships and conversations are usually deeper than those of men. Women, in general, are accepted into homes more easily than men and the list goes on and on.
      We talked about the purpose for God creating woman. She is the perfect help mate for man. We also talked about the fall; when the roles that God had established for both came into conflict with a new reality. We talked about how both man and woman will now have to struggle to reach the level of harmony that existed between them before the fall. We discussed that the man is the head of woman and she is to be submissive to him. I asked the women if they would have a problem being submissive to a man who gave his life for his wife everyday in everyday tasks and one that is always looking out for her best interest, all of them said no, they would not have a problem. Imagine that!
      Men, we need to step up and fulfill our role that God has given us and be the head through serving. Women, you need to help the man lead by serving. Isn't this a novel idea! No! It is what God planned from the beginning.
      Most lessons I have heard on this subject only talk about the worship assembly. I did discuss the times when the Church comes together as one but I focused on each one individually as a member of the church more so than the assembling of the Church. What is my role in the Church or as a member of Christ's body at my workplace, school, home, etc…? That is what I talked about in a nutshell. I know that a lot more goes into what is usually a very delicate subject.
     The women that I met with were afraid to evangelize other women because they did not know how to give a Bible study. I gave them some direction on how to study the Bible for themselves and also with others. I then divided them up in pairs and each one gave a short Bible study to the other, on a passage that I had chosen. They enjoyed it but said that they needed more Bible knowledge to feel more comfortable giving a study. I said, great! I asked them when they were going to study together. I suggested they study an evangelistic Bible study, to learn it and then go out and study those lessons with others. They set-up a day and time and one of them is going to bring a study for the group to work on together. What a great time, teaching others how to share God's Word.
      I then went to Pombal, this is the city in which we, the Churches in the state, are trying to establish a new congregation. Two Christians live in this city, a father and daughter. I had planned to visit some of their contacts in the city with them but no one was able to receive us while I was in town. I only had a little over four hours with them so instead I taught them how to give a Bible study. They planned to visit a friend later that same day and teach him what I had passed on to them.
      It is a reward to see in someone's eyes a desire to share God's Word with others. A lot of people are scared to do so because they feel unprepared. It is a wonderful opportunity that God has given me and a great privilege to help others better prepare how to tell friends and family about God's plan to save them. I thoroughly enjoy seeing in their eyes an excitement that they cannot express in words as they imagine themselves actually studying the Bible with another person. That is priceless!
If you have any comments or questions I would love to hear from you. Please don't hesitate to write.