by Jeremy Newlin
I want to start out by thanking God for His protection every time I travel. As I visit the church in Patos, some would look at my car and exclaim: You came in that?! And then when I get ready to leave, they say: You’re going back in that?! I have made the trip nine times in this car, but people still show surprise when they see it.
Anyway, that is just a side note. The real story begins here. Every month an evangelist goes to Patos to teach intensive Bible courses to the brethren there and from other cities. I make the trip just about every month because I am coordinating the Seara program, and it is also a good opportunity for me to visit with the majority of the workers from the interior without having to travel to each city.
This month, Raniere Menezes taught "The Life of Christ, According to the Gospel of Mark". The course is 15 hours (Thursday night 7 - 10 p.m., Friday night 7 - 10 p.m., Saturday 2 - 10 p.m. and Sunday - Sunday school and sermon). The number of participants in the courses has grown. Praise God, there is more interest in studying God's Word.
The church in Patos has become more organized through the creation and delegation of ministries. I know that seems so logical and like, dah! but sometimes it takes time for the need to become a reality. The church had ministries in the past, but those responsible did not delegate, and they eventually died out. But now they are ready to involve others. Something really exciting: the two most influential men in the congregation, who don't see eye-to-eye on almost everything, have put a lot of those differences aside for the growth of the church. Their cooperation is the main reason for the church recreating ministries.
On Friday morning Roberto (one of my travel companions from João Pessoa) and I went to the next cities West to visit two evangelists. One of them, Givanildo, is a full-time worker. We gave him some challenges for his own spiritual growth and some others for the growth of the church with which he serves. He accepted.
· that Givanildo will strive to overcome his fears and step out of his comfort zone;
· that Luciano and Betinho will continue to work together and bring unity and growth to the church in Patos;
· that more and more members of the church will be interested in growing in their relationship with God through the study of His Word.