Monday, December 21, 2015

Patos Graduation, by Jeremy Newlin

I traveled to Patos for SEARA, the four-year training program.  The four years of training not only included a 15-hour intensive course once a month but also putting into practice what they were learning.  This trip was not to teach but to celebrate with five of the seven students on their conclusion of the 47 classes plus a study of one of Paul's letters complete with four Bible studies.  The graduates included 2 men and 3 women.  The women are heavily involved in prayer groups, teaching and visiting, not only to their congregation but they have visited almost every congregation in the interior of the state, encouraging and evangelizing the women of each city.  The two men that graduated are the main preachers of the congregation in Patos.  They have grown in their learning, study and teaching of Bible studies.  One of the men has been attending EBNESR in Recife, the Church's theological school.  He has said, on more than one occasion, how far ahead he is in knowledge to the other men studying in his classes because of SEARA.
            It is a good feeling to help another person grow in their knowledge of God and His Word and see that growth in practical ways, such as:  classes given, dealing with problems in a different way than before and growing in their understanding of why the Church exists and their part in fulfilling God's desire for her.
            Many of the church members came to the ceremony to show their support of the graduates.  After the ceremony, we had a dinner, cake and sweets.  May God be praised for the dedication and perseverance of each of these men and women: Luciano, Sandra, Josinete, Cida and Cicero.
            Please pray that more men and women will desire to grow in their knowledge of God and His Word.

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