I am going back to Patos this weekend. I will not be teaching a seminar this time. I will be helping to plan the Grande Ceia (Great Supper) for the church throughout Paraíba in October. I will also be conducting a PORmissões meeting with the churches in the desert region of the state.
Their goal for the last PORmissões meeting was to prepare at least one man to take their place preaching, organizing the order of worship and teaching Bible studies. They all did so. The goal for them to accomplish for this meeting is to train the men they prepared to prepare another man to take his place. You may be asking why. The reason is so that they can leave their congregations and begin a new body of believers, not a different body of believers but "new" because they are "new" in Christ.
Two baptisms in Patos with one more close to picking up his cross. The names of the two baptized in Patos are Aldo and DaGuia. Anderson and Jessica, his wife, were baptized just two months before. They went after this couple, studied the Bible with them and are now meeting together in a city about 6 miles from Patos, called São José do Bomfim. A new congregation is born. They meet every Sunday. They bought 10 chairs with their own contribution and want to grow, and they have. Of course, Anderson and his wife were not alone. Two of the men that Luciano helped prepare baptized Anderson and Jessica. That is exciting!
In Cajazeiras, two teenagers were baptized, Leandro and Lucas. The church in Cajazeiras door-knocked around the church building, handing out invitations. One person came, Leandro. He never missed another church event over the 4 or so months before he was baptized. He is a quiet young man but ready to suffer for Christ. Lucas is the younger brother of one of the boys who is now a Christian through participation in the Passo Certo program (The Right Step Program) that teaches boys and girls about Christ using soccer as a means of contact with the kids and family members. The church now has around 40 members and growing. (I don't have pictures at this time but will send them as soon as I can.)
- that these new Christians will grow and teach, at least, one more person about their Lord in the next year;
- that God will continue to open people's hearts to believe and obey His Word;
- that God will give us wisdom to train men and women to live a Christ-like life and share this life with others;
- the church needs vision to guide those who do not know Christ back to their Creator.