Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sapé - A Beginning

      Since October I have been making monthly visits to the interior city of Sapé (about an hour from João Pessoa), studying the Bible with Vera Lúcia and several of her neighbors. Vera is Severina's and Dalva's
sister, and when they became Christians, she started asking questions. We studied with her, she studied on her own, Severina spent a weekend studying with her, and she decided for Christ and asked to be baptized,
the first of 2012 in Paraiba.
     The first church meeting in Sapé was held in Vera's house on the second Sunday of January. Along with some neighbors and a carload from João Pessoa, Dona Bel participated, an elderly Christian who has just
moved to Sapé from Recife. I had hoped that Bel could help this new babe in Christ in the walk of light, but she is dealing with several physical ailments and emotional hurt: she lost her only son suddenly to a heart
attack.
    Whatever the way, I am certain that our Father has plans for this city, starting with Vera's open house and open heart to serve Him and to share her newfound light.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Different Kind of New Year




    Having experienced over 40 New Years, I have been inclined to agree with the U2 song that says, "Nothing changes on New Year's Day," until this year. This New Year was promising to be more of the same - getting together with family, eating too much, counting down the seconds, and hugging everybody while the city rattled with fireworks - when my daughter Lydia called me aside and said, "Daddy, I want to be baptized." Gulp. She explained, "I want to start the New Year a new person. I feel ready."
    Yes, this was a different New Year. We went down to the swimming pool and right before fireworks started raining through the sky, Lydia was immersed into Christ.
    It was strange not being with our spiritual family at this moment. We were with Edda's family, most not part of the church. They probably thought the procedure weird, but were supportive, and we were happy they could witness a new birth and reflect on spiritual matters.
    Thank you, God, for Lydia's decision. Thank you for answering our prayers.