Monday, April 25, 2016

Hope for Paraiba by Jeremy Newlin

          I traveled to Patos on the 23rd of April to meet with the men of the desert region (yes, that is what that region of the state is called), I know you are probably thinking of the Sahara or Death Valley, it is not sand dunes and mirages but it is hot and it does not rain a lot. (I was not trying to rhyme). 

          Truth be told, I really did not want to go to this meeting.  I was feeling a little depressed.  I went anyways.  I would usually ask someone to go with me for the 4 ½ hour trip and to meet with the men but I wanted to be alone.  Anyways, enough about me.

          I am glad that I did go.  These men are encouraging to be around.  They are visiting one another.  They are planning activities together and thinking about how to evangelize their region of the state.  The PORmissões plan (Organic Missions Plan) is being put into action.  They wanted me to be at the meeting to give my insight and help them plan steps in a long-term plan. 

This first meeting was directed by one of their own, Betinho.  He did a great job and the meeting ended with a mission statement being chosen and plans to be made and brought to the next meeting, the beginning of June.

I left the meeting excited, uplifted, and hopeful.  The state of Paraíba will be fully evangelized one day, God’s Word will reach everyone; it may be after I am long gone, but it will be done.  Please pray that God will bless these men and their plans and guide them in planning so that His Word may reach more people in less time.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Learning That We Are Poor In Spirit

            Ten members of the church in João Pessoa and I studied the Sermon on the Mount this past Saturday.  We spent the afternoon and most of the night going over what Jesus told His disciples.  We weren't there to hear the words from His lips, but those same words still amaze and cause us to ponder.  What a deep and powerful sermon!  What makes it so powerful is that we know that the person who spoke the sermon was already living what He taught and never has faltered. 
            The first Be-attitude (Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven) seems to be what ties the sermon together.  If we could just see how much we need God, all we have to learn from Him, how far our actions and attitudes are from His, seek Him, being changed by Him, we would be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect, we would seek His glory and not glory from other men, we would not worry or be anxious, we would not even judge others' intentions, our focus would be our relationship with the One who allows access into His Kingdom.  If we could only see how poor we are without God, our lives would be built on the Rock.  The thought of losing a job for doing God's will would not affect us.  Rejection of our family for following God would not dissuade us.  Being put in jail for obeying God's will and not the law of men would be a joy.  If we could only see how poor we are and see that God is giving us what we need and a lot more.

Please pray:
  • that the World may see how blind and poor they are
  • that we, as Christians, may not be complacent but continue to seek God's Kingdom and His righteousness.