July has been a very encouraging month for us in the work here in Guarulhos. At the end of the month, our church celebrated three years of existence. We had a great crowd, two ladies baptized, many first-time visitors, and a great time of thanking God for what He has done these last few years.
You never know how people will respond to sad news (our preparing to turn this church over and go start a new work in the northeast of Brazil); but God was VERY gracious, and our people responded with spiritual maturity beyond their years. During this past month, Cynthia and I went to each family individually and explained what the Lord was doing in our lives and ministry.
Understandably, there were some tears and sadness—on our part as well as theirs, yet all of them assured us that they were ready to take up the slack here and that the church would continue to work and grow, Lord willing. Many thanked us for sharing the Gospel with them, which totally changed their life’s trajectory. Several said things like, “If all you did during your time here was reach our family with the Gospel, then it’s ‘mission accomplished.’ ”
I am encouraged that in spite of the news of our departure, everyone continues to work as they always have—serving in the church, going out evangelizing, helping each other. Truly, I am the most blessed missionary in the world to pastor such people. It’s really going to hurt to leave our place here. However, the need where we are heading is even greater from a human perspective. Please pray for God to begin to prepare hearts for our arrival.
Here in Guarulhos, we have seen folks saved every week this month, and we have had five people baptized over the last three weeks. Praise the Lord! Please pray that God will protect and provide for the church here in the next phase of their life with a new pastor.
As some may have noticed in our last two prayer letters, we will be back in the States for a furlough to update all of our supporting churches of the next phase of ministry in reaching Brazil. There are a handful of dates that we still have available if you would like for us to give an update.
Thank you so much for your prayers for us and for the church here. It has been a great honor and blessing to see God work here in an amazing way for the last three years. Thank you for faithfully praying and giving. We have an exemplary group of partnering churches. May God be glorified in all that we do, both in Brazil and in the U.S.
Declaring His glory,