Tuesday, June 17, 2014

All Honor to Christ

The Right Step Program, idealized by Mark Hagewood and headed up by Rivaldo Café,  started in 2008 in the city of Cajazeiras. In addition to bringing young men to give their lives to Christ, the soccer program also teaches them life values: honesty, service, family, responsibility, and purity.

The results have been impressive in society, enough so to call the attention of the authorities. Because of the good sown and the lack of political funding, the city councilmen voted to give Café the Title of Citizen of Cajazeiras. They recognized him and Leila, his wife, with a plaque at Council Hall.

Lots of social programs that sound good and have good ideas start, but most don't last more than a year because of the lack of commitment. We are thankful to be involved in a work that over six dedicated years has not only bettered society but brought families eternal life.

And what does Café have to say about all this? "All honor to Christ!"

The Planting, the Watering, and the Increase

Emesson started coming to Bible Club over a year ago, when Neil Schultz and Cait Beckloff, our AIM team, were teaching it. For several months, they planted the seed in his and his sister's hearts. Unfortunately Neil and Cait's time in João Pessoa ended.

In 2014 Bible Club received a boon when Erick and Jenny Paddy, former AIMers, returned to the field and picked up teaching the Bible Study for English speakers. They watered the sprouting seed in Emesson's life until God's Word became more important for him than just practicing his English.

Last Wednesday night, God gave the increase, adding Emesson to the Family of Christ. Sometimes things don't happen when we think they should, but God is in control; His time is best, and we must thank Him for playing a small part in His plan. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Let Go and Let God!

I traveled this past weekend to Belém do Brejo do Cruz with six others from the church in João Pessoa . Santo, the evangelist with the church in Belém invited all of his neighbors to hear an evangelistic message on Saturday night. We sang, I taught, and we ate. There were over 60 present.  
On Sunday, we met with the Christians where Francinaldo taught on James and I preached from the book of James. There were around 25 present on Sunday morning. We ate lunch together and made the 6 1/2 hour trip back.
Please pray:
  • that the seed that was planted in the visitors hearts may produce fruit;
  • that the church in Belém do Brejo do Cruz may continue to spread the seed and water where they have planted.

Modern Day Slavery

Ten hours to get there, all night on the bus, I arrived in Aracaju, the capital city of Sergipe. The church had invited me to teach Biblical Finances, and I started on Saturday at 8 a.m., two hours after arriving. This intensive course went for 9 hours on Saturday and 2 hours on Sunday. 25 came, and most admitted that they have debt and they do feel like slaves with a master.
My prayer for them is that they may learn to live according to God's ways of handling money, living on less than you make. The purpose for living in such a way is to invest more in God's Kingdom.
The church in is ready to take this next step in maturing in Christ and beginning to support its own workers and send out missionaries. The Christians I talked with in were excited, dreaming about the possibilities of maturing and investing in God's Kingdom.
Please pray:
  • that the Christians in may grow in love for Christ and spiritual maturity;
  • that the managing of personal finances may increase our focus on God and His Kingdom.

Three Months Rolled Into One

Hello everyone! I know it has been a long time since you have heard from me. I have been travelling and teaching quite a bit. In this newsletter, I will tell you what I have been doing and what my plans are for the next three weeks.
In March, I took a 10 hour bus ride to the south of where we are to teach the church in Aracajú over a weekend. My parents also came and spent 9 days with me and my family in March.
In April, I stayed more in João Pessoa teaching and preaching because most of the workers from the interior churches were in São Paulo for 18 days in intensive classes. I did get to travel with my family to Patos where Monica taught the women at their annual celebration of the beginning of the women's prayer group.
In May, I taught Financial Peace at the São Lourenço congregation, a four day intensive course, beginning with contentment. I also preached at another congregation in Recife and scheduled a time to teach in June at the Varzea congregation. On Thursday, May, 15th of this month I will be travelling to Patos to teach the Gospel of Matthew, a four day course. From Patos, on May 19th, I will be travelling to Feira de Santana, a twelve hour drive to begin a four day course on the same day I arrive. From there I will be travelling up to Aracajú for a Leader's training camp, about four hours from Feira de Santana and then back to João Pessoa, about 10 hours from Aracajú. Lord permitting, I will arrive back in João Pessoa on May 26th. On May 31st, I will be travelling with a group from João Pessoa to Belém do Brejo do cruz, about five hours from João Pessoa and arriving back in João Pessoa on June 1st.
After these trips I plan to stay more in João Pessoa, teaching and visiting the members with the intent to help them grow and begin doing some of the travelling and taking care of one another that I have been doing.

Please pray:
* that God will use me at all times during the driving and teaching on these trips;
* that God's Word may be taught without fear of persecution or rejection;
* that God may give peace and paitents to Monica, Nicholas & Dylan while I am gone.

Enemies of the World

Three more saved in Cajazeiras, Paraiba, but this time - SURPRISE! - not teenage boys because of the Right Step Soccer program, but neighbors to the church building. On June 7th, João, 79 years old, Manuel, 40 years old, and Amanda, 12 years old, gave their lives to Christ through baptism and took a stand against the world.

Please join us in prayer that these will bring in more to receive eternal life!