“It was really rewarding! Pastors Bruce and Ana … were greatly used by God to bless and challenge us to participate in the whole mission of God,” remarked Pr. Manoel Lino, the organizer of the holistic evangelism training we led for church planters in the semi-arid sertão region in northeastern Brazil. This was the first of many events during our recent 2-week trip in the states of Pernambuco and Bahia.
One day, we visited Trindade, a center for gypsum mining - the material used to make wallboard, ceiling tiles, etc. Because of the huge number of truck drivers that pass through, it also has a reputation for drug trafficking and child prostitution. Its a pretty grim place. We had the opportunity to spend the day with a young couple who is pastoring a small church there. We praised them for their faithfulness and encouraged them to look for practical ways to make a difference in their community.
Pr. Cláudio and Vanda are delighted that their church in Orocó has recently started to grow dramatically. We visited two of their daughter churches and brainstormed with the pastor ways to mobilize all those new members to be a force for positive change in the town.
The last stop on our trip was in Paulo Afonso, Bahia, where we were invited to co-lead a marriage retreat with another couple. After our session on family financial stewardship, one woman remarked: ”I have never heard anyone speak in a church about the Biblical principles that can guide how we use and relate to money. This was really helpful!”
Now back home, we are looking forward to having our son Asa with us this Christmas. Our anticipation and excitement about his arrival reminds us of the joyful expectation of the birth of the Messiah and the promise of Christ’s return.
We wish you a blessed time with family and friends as you celebrate the birth of our Savior.