Monday, October 28, 2013

Thanksgiving



         We have so many reasons to be thankful. When Jesus brought Jairus’ daughter back to life and then told him not to tell anybody, imagine the difficulty of trying to keep something like that a secret, the joy bursting out, the uncontrollable urge to shout to the world his encounter with the Almighty God in the flesh. Fortunately for us, the Lord has given us an easier command: tell all to everybody. Jesus has cured us of the spiritual cancer that sucked our life away, resurrected us to eternal life. Go, tell everybody what he did! The Father cured my son Samuel of cancer through his love and power, a big, ugly, life-sucking tumor. We have to tell everybody!

         I never imagined that this disease could unite so many people around the world in prayer. So many congregations, so many messages, so many positive thoughts and prayers coming our way, that when God acted in our son’s body - not even chemotherapy is necessary - we had to unite everybody in thanksgiving. October 20th – two months after Samuel’s surgery – was our chosen day. We invited everybody to a thanksgiving service: doctors, neighbors, school teachers and students, friends, everybody. For those in other cities, we sent our a message to congregations to be read during the Sunday meeting, requesting that glory be given to God in prayer for his mercy. Several churches in the US and in Brazil were with us, thanking the Lord for Samuel’s life.

         The building in João Pessoa holds about 120 people comfortably; 200 showed up. There were not enough chairs for everybody, but several disciples stood to give seats to visitors. We gave New Testaments to visitors, one per family. We gave out 50. 

         Edda and I made a commitment to God to share with everybody we know what God has done in our family, and the new life has for us all. One doctor showed up; school teachers, neighbors, Catholics, Protestants, people with no belief system, even a Jewish family came. People cried and praised God when the story was told and the small melon the size of the tumor was shown. 


       At the end of a period of thanksgiving prayers, Samuel got up and shared a short message that he had prepared:  “It’s true, I had cancer, and with cancer there were bad things and good things. The bad: I had to be stuck with about 40 needles and I spent a whole week without eating. The good: I learned more and matured. I did not get worried at all because I knew that God was taking care of me and even if things went all wrong, I would still be well with God. Psalm 23 says ‘The Lord is my Shepherd, I will lack nothing.’ And also it says, ‘Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will not fear any evil.’ Truly the Lord took care of everything and I was not afraid of anything, except when it was time to get another shot. The best thing in life is to have God and I would like to invite you all to seek God, learn about Jesus in the Bible and discover his love. In this way, even a cancer won’t be able to defeat you.”   
         Thank you, God!

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