Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gospel Moments - 2

Last week I was at the church with another lady and her daughter.  I was bent down at the door trying to clean the tract of sliding glass door.

Suddenly there was a man in front of me, mid-20's, and strong.

He arrived so quietly that he took me by suprise and I was a little scared.

"I need to talk to the Pastor,"  he demanded.

I stood inside the door with it open part-way.
"The Pastor is not here but I can call him for you."  I said.

He seemed a little agitated, (and now I wonder if he wasn't on drugs.)
"Are you a member here?"  He demanded again. 
"I am."  I responded.

"Let me ask you a question,"  he said.
"What is the most important thing you have in this life?"

I quickly answered, "Jesus Christ."
With this he suddenly relaxed.

"I have been to two churches today and neither Pastor gave me that answer."
"I am going up the hill to preach and I need someone to pray for me to have courage and protection."
"Will you pray for me?"

With that, he squatted down onto his knees, head to the ground, held one shoe in his hand and waited for me to pray.

It had all happened so quickly, I was a little confused.
"You want me to pray for you?"
"Yes," he answered.

I started praying and as I prayed, I shared the Gospel.  I  thanked God for His work on the Cross, making forgivness available to those who believe.

When I finished praying I quickly asked, "Do you have peace with God?  Have you been forgiven of your sins?"

As he started to walk away, he answered, "I am on my second mission for God, so that I can be at peace with Him."

As quickly as he appeared, he was gone.

His name was Israel.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Gospel Moments

In our recent Prayer Letter we shared a couple of examples of how God is opening doors to share the Gospel and it is through the every day lives of every day people.  I wanted to post some pictures of  what happened. 
 One of our young men (15 yrs. old)  Ricardo, has been burdened for his friends to hear the true Gospel.  He invited a group of classmates to meet at a soccer field to play soccer but told them there would be a short devotional before the game.  About 6 guys came.  James shared the Gospel using a Gospel bracelet, Ricardo prayed (which required a lot of courage!) and then they headed to the field. 
 I have been praying for Daniel, Ricardo, and Rafael, who all study with these guys, that they would live out the Gospel like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  I am sure you all remember the temptations of youth and the fear of man that can so easily keep us quiet about our God.  Please pray that God would work in these young men to KNOW what really matters in this life. 
 Edinelson just celebrated his birthday and decided to have a cook-out to celebrate.  He invited both saved and unsaved friends, hoping to open doors for the Gospel.  The men stayed close to the fire, and ALL the meat! 
 The women keep the house filled up!  It was a great night of fellowship and meeting new friends.
At the end of the night one of the ladies invited James and I to come to her house next time.  I am excited to see how God is opening doors and hearts.  All it takes is a willing servant, who's eyes are opened to the needs of the  people around them. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Night at IBR

I wanted to give you a glimpse into a Sunday Evening at Redemption Baptist Church...

This month we have had a new members class at 5:30 each Sunday night.
We have 7 people who are participating in the class.  We have looked through our doctrinal statement, church covenant, why membership is biblical, and next week we will look at life in the body.  It has been a blessing seeing the group bond and begin to understand who and what is Igreja Batista Redenção.  
At 7:00 our evening service begins.  Here in Brazil the evening service is the "main" service. (It would be like the morning service in America.)   Last Sunday night we almost packed out our church with 51 people!  We are praising the Lord for the group He continues to bring to hear the Word week after week. 
 It was an exciting night as our land committee showed a piece of property and some building  plans for the people to see.  I think everyone was excited to see how God is leading and directing the future of our church.

After our singing and Scripture reading the children are dismissed for Children's Church.  This month has been really neat to see God working in the hearts of two of the children softening them to the truths of the Gospel.  

We ended the evening celebrating the March birthdays.  
Everyone enjoyed the extra fellowship over cake, juice, and CÁFE!

We are amazed to see how God is continuing to build HIS church here in São José. 

One of the men in this picture is from North East Brazil and is working down here to support his family.    He is hungry for the Word and asked James last night if he would help him learn to study the Word on his own. 

Two of the ladies in this picture were celebrating their birthdays this very day, and as a gift to them, their unsaved family members came to church with them. 
 What a birthday gift!  
Please pray for the salvation of these dear family members.  

Thanks for visiting!
Thanks for praying!
We are so glad YOU are a part of this ministry!

Sunday, March 09, 2014

American Cook-out in Brazil

Recently  a friend from church brought us a giant bag of Brazilian Marshmallows!  
(They know how much we love to eat smores)
We decided that we had to have them over when we made smores so we turned it into an american cook-out!
We built a little fire pit and got out the hot-dogs! 
It is not Brazilian to grill hot dogs and so we all had fun cooking them the American way and then eating them the Brazilian way...
Covered in fresh chopped tomatoes, onions, corn, mayo, crushed potatoes chips and more!

A fun time had by all! 
We are so thankful for our family in Christ.  This family in particular is not only a part of our church family, they are our neighbors and have been there for us on MANY occasions.  When our car rolled out of the driveway and down into the ravine in front of our house, it was this man who ran over to help and loaned us the cash to pay the tow truck.  When our alarm goes off day or night and we are not home, they respond as if it were their house being broken into.  When strange men jump over our wall  and into our yard, they come running with a group of neighbors.  When our world was shaken on it's axis, he said, "Pastor, I am standing behind you, you can count on me." 

This is the family of God, this is the Church of Jesus Christ.  
We pray that we would grow, more and more in this type of sacrificial love,
 because we have been loved RADICALLY by Christ!