Monday, July 29, 2013

Seeds Sprouting in Unexpected Places

I studied the Bible with a deacon from the Presbyterian denomination for months last year. The study ended for lack of interest.
Last week, on a beautiful Sunday morning with rain pouring down, I was teaching Sunday school to the adults. In walks a woman I had never seen. I go up to meet her, yes, in the middle of class, after waiting to see if anyone recognized her and was going to get up and speak to her. No one did, so I went. I said, "Good morning, my name is Jeremy. What's yours?". She said, "Good morning, my name is Flavia. I am Luiz's sister." I immediately began running through the Luizs I knew to make a connection. I guess my brain was a little slow and along with the blank look on my face she saw that I did not make the connection. She explained to me which Luiz to which she was referring, the deacon.
I had been to her house and studied the Bible with her father and her brother but had never met her. She seems open and is seeking the truth. Isn't it interesting where the seeds of the Gospel fall. Did I plant the seed in her life? How? You know what I see through this experience? I see God. He is not far off. The Lord is close and active. Let him use you to share His Word with others.

Please pray:
  • that Flavia will continue to seek the truth in God's Word;
  • that Luiz will continue his search for truth in God's Word.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Teaching, Cleaning and Planning

I traveled to Patos at the end of June to teach an intensive course on Romans, visited with evangelists from four different congregations and met with three congregations.  It was an encouraging and productive trip.
                The class on Romans was 12 hours long.  It was supposed to be 15 hours but got cut short because of the rain.  The city of Patos got about three inches of rain.  That is a lot of rain for the desert region of the state and it had been a while since such a hard rain.  The drain at the back of the building was stopped up because a cat had crawled into the drain pipe under the building and died.  The water backed up and eventually flowed into the church building.  The class stopped and the clean up began.  Everyone was really excited with the rain.  They all enjoyed the class as well, and we were able to finish the whole book.
                Two of the evangelists were in my class on Romans so it was easy to visit with them.  The other two were about 30 miles away so I went and visited them and met with the two congregations in those cities.  We also planned our next moves for the Great Supper in October (a weekend for all of the Christians in Paraíba to get together for fellowship, learning, teaching, and evangelizing in the host city).
                
Please pray for:
·         The evangelists:  Luciano, Santo, Givanildo, and Silvan
·         The congregations in the cities:  Patos, Belem, Emas, and Catingueira
·         The unity of the church in all of Paraíba

Coming to Christ in Cajazeiras


           When I last traveled to Cajazeiras, I was talking to Café, the evangelist, when a 16 year old girl came up to him and said she was ready.  She had decided to be baptized.  Café had been studying the Bible with her for some weeks and she came to the realization that she was dead without Christ.  Café was happy and told her that was great and then looked at me and said, “You baptize her.”  I looked at Café strangely and said, “But I don't even know her.”  I asked what her name was and he told me it was Michele and that she was 16.

I agreed but reluctantly.  I am of the opinion that if you baptize someone you should take care of them and help them mature.  That was why I was reluctant but I went ahead and baptized her.  Michele is the first girl that is not one of Café's four daughters to be baptized in Cajazeiras.  Not the first female but the first girl.  She has not participated in the Passo Certo soccer program (The Right Step Program) but is a friend of someone in the program.
          Since my last trip to Cajazeiras at the beginning of June, two more people have been baptized.  Their names are Victor, he is 13 and is a part of the Right Step program and Juliano, 38 and father of 3 children who do not participate in the Right Step program.  He is very evangelistic and is eager to get to work, telling others about Christ. Please pray for all of the new babes in Christ, that they may be faithful until death.       
                                                                                   Jeremy Newlin





The Family Grows



         Adriana Cristina has been a faithful Christian since 2005. From then to now she has had several ups and downs in life. The ups have been the conversion of her husband and two daughters, one of which, Beatriz, went to the AIM program and is doing mission work in Phoenix, AR. Her daughter Roberta got married to Jansen, and they have given Adriana her first grandson, Samuel. He was born premature but is now home from the hospital.

         Another recent up was Adriana’s son, João Vitor, giving his life to Jesus. Neal Shultz baptized him for remission of his sins. Neal is one of our Aimers, and João Vitor is the first person he baptized. I asked Neal how he felt. He said it was Awesome! Amen to that!
iz, went to the AIM program and is doing mission work in Phoenix, AR. Her daughter Roberta got married to Jansen, and they have given Adriana her first grandson, Samuel. He was born premature but is now home from the hospital.

         Another recent up was Adriana’s son, João Vitor, giving his life to Jesus. Neal Shultz baptized him for remission of his sins. Neal is one of our Aimers, and João Vitor is the first person he baptized. I asked Neal how he felt. He said it was Awesome! Amen to that!



Say a Little Prayer for These



The basis of our mission work is starting congregations of people to spread the Gospel throughout the state of Paraiba. Faith, maturity, vision, personalities, personal experiences, resources, and opportunities all play a part in the success or the lack of success of this mission. We need God, we need God working through these disciples, we need God doing the impossible through incapable servants in this work. Please pray for these congregations:  João Pessoa (Luna, Manaira, Colinas, Mandacaru, Mangabeira), Campina Grande, Patos, Cajazeiras, Alagoinha, Areial, Belem do Brejo do Cruz, Caruaru, Catingueira, Cubati, Emas, and the brand new São José do Bomfim. And may God bring about more!

The Good Samaritan Scare



         All my life, when I have heard the parable of the Good Samaritan preached, the danger of being robbed also or maybe being killed was mentioned, but the fact that the kind man didn’t let this stop him from helping a dying man was emphasized. Love is this: putting the needs of others above your own needs or safety. And God, who is the Owner of Death and Life and who loves us with this very love, will work it out.
           A few months ago, Givanildo Brasil, a church worker in the Paraiba city, Emas, was driving his niece to a graduation in another city. They came upon a car, stranded on the side of the road. Givanildo stopped to see if he could help, but quickly took off when he saw that the men were stealing cattle. They gave chase and shot his car twice. One of the bullets grazed his niece, another left a hole in the door of his car. They were fine just shaken up. It took a while for Givanildo to get up the nerve to travel outside his city.
         Even though not every good Samaritan is going to find a good hurt person to help, our mission in life is to love as our God loves us, and He gives us the best life insurance in the universe: everlasting life, no matter what happens, no matter what!

Givanildo and his wife Helena