Tuesday, July 16, 2013

We have never heard this before...

 We are in the last week of our Nebs and each one has been so unique.  Dn. Lore held one at her home and invited around 20 people.  The first study only one man came and he didn't come back for any of the others.  The second study she had a neighbor lady come as well as a few teenagers.  The lady came back faithfully for the next three weeks.  Last night she was back along with a crowd that just kept growing.  We praise God for each of the souls that were there and heard once again the Gospel as presented in John 4 to the Samaritan woman.   Two adult women and three teens were there, along with  a few church families. 
At the end of the study, the neighbor who had participated in 3 of the studies said,

"I, we, have never heard this before,"  She told us as she looked to the other visitor for confirmation.   "All of our lives, our mothers taught us that we have to do good to receive good.  It is just so hard to be told that all you have ever believed is wrong. "  

We praise God for these opportunities to share salvation by Faith alone with these women who have never heard.  Please pray that the seeds planted would produce fruit. 

While the kitchen was crammed full of adults, the living room was bursting with children!  I had the privilege of sharing the Gospel with them as well.  I have been using the Two Ways to live for Kids material that is free on line.   It was amazing how many questions the kids had.  I am praying that God will continue to create a hunger for spiritual things in their young hearts. 

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Tithe and the Brazilian Church...Leaving the Gospel behind

This past  month we have had the privilege to get to know a man from the North East of Brazil.  He came down here looking for work.  It is very common here for people from the north to send down one family member who searches for better paying work, then once he is a little settled they move the whole family down to start over here.  

One of our men met this man on the job site and started bringing him to church and a Neb.  He is an electrician and so we had him come and do a few little jobs here at our house just to help him while he was searching for work.  He is now at the end of his month here and still hasn't found a permanent position and so is planning to return home this weekend.  

James has spent a lot of time with him over the past few days and talked extensively with him about salvation. Although he attended a Baptist church in the north he doesn't demonstrate a  saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  But, he has been faithfully giving his 10% every week he has been at church.  Sadly, he might think he is right with God because of his faithfulness in giving.  

The evangelical church here is infamous for focusing on tithing.  Tithe to keep demons away, tithe for good health, tithe to get rich, tithe for salvation, tithe, tithe, tithe.  There is NO talk of grace giving, in RESPONSE to what God has done, sending Christ to die in our place.   (2 Cor. 9:7 "Each person should do as he has decided in his heart-not out of regret or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.")  

10% is a great place for us to start our giving but we give because we have already been blessed by God through Jesus Christ in salvation.  The New Testament does not compel Christians, but rather invites them to give generously in response to the needs of others, and as an expression of their love for God.   

We praise God for our time with this new friend and are encouraged that the seeds of the Gospel by grace through faith will not return void.  

Update:  As I was typing this post, we received word that our friend was hired for a local business, so I guess God is giving us more time with him!  

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

NEB Update

Thank you so much for your prayers regarding our NEB's.  I shared briefly with you about our main outreach this winter in a past post.  NEB is a Nucleo de Estudo BĂ­blico  or a small group Bible study.  

After much prayer and planning Redemption Baptist Church is hosting 4 NEB's in four different homes over the next four weeks.  Four of our people opened their homes to host the studies.  We teamed up with them to try and invite 30 different people to each study.  (That seems like a lot to invite but normally inviting this many will result in only 5 or 6 actually coming.)  
 We are now in the second week of NEB's and we are amazed at what God is doing.  James made four simple studies from John 1,3 and 4.  Our goal is to use the Scripture to present the Gospel.  The leaders (three of our men and James) strive to stick to the text and let the Word speak for itself.  In the first week we were able to share the Gospel in detail using John 1 with 16 new people!  Half-way through the second week we have had three new people come.  
Another blessing is that several of these families have visited our church since the Neb's began.  Last week a lady couldn't return to her neb as she was sick so she came to church Sunday night to make up for it.  This was a huge blessing as her daughter who attends regularly has been praying for months for her parents to visit and God used this to finally bring her mom to church.

Please keep praying for us as we have two more studies this week on Thursday night and Friday night.  Pray  for people to return and others to come for the first time.  Pray that God will open eyes to the Gospel and be saved.