Last weekend I traveled to Patos, where I conducted the state-wide plan meeting, spent time with an evangelist, helped plan the Great Supper in October and met with two different congregations.
The state-wide plan is still moving forward. Their goal for this meeting was to have someone prepared who is able to prepare another person. Each congregation is still working towards this goal. They each have someone in place that they are training. The short-term goal is to train men and women who will be able to train other men and women. The mid-term goal is to prepare the congregation in various aspects of the work and spiritual life so that it, the congregation, can continue to grow without the current evangelist. The long-term goal is to prepare the congregation to send out the current evangelist or other men to establish a congregation in a new city. We are moving slower than I would like to see but we are moving forward. That is good news.
I spent a full day with one of the evangelists supported through funds from the U.S.A. We spent time talking about the work, about his personal life, and about vision for the future of the church in Paraíba. I am confident that he now has a better understanding of the direction in which, I believe, the church needs to move. It was good to spend time with Givanildo.
While with Givanildo, Silvan and Diogo, I helped plan the Great Supper. This is an event for the church throughout the state of Paraíba, a feast of knowledge of God's Word, of fellowship with the church and evangelism in the host city, Catingueira.
I met with the church in Emas, Catingueira, and Patos on Sunday. It was encouraging to see the simplicity of a small congregation, meeting in a house and having lunch together after services, as well as, the simplicity of a larger congregation in Patos, meeting in a building in construction, supporting an evangelist all at the same time, but having the same love and concern as the smaller congregation.
- that God will direct our path for the state-wide plan. That the plan will be His, not ours;
- that the vision Givanildo now has will permeate his plans and actions;
- that the Great Supper will be a true spiritual feast for the church in Paraíba;
- God's people will live and "...proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;" 1 Peter 2:9