“So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy.” (I Thessalonians 2:8, 19-20)
Praise the LORD for His goodness in allowing Dawn, Zachary, and me to continue serving Him here in Brazil! Unless you have visited Brazil or had time to get to know someone from Brazil, you cannot fully understand our joy in serving the PEOPLE of Brazil for nearly 18 years! I’m often asked if we enjoy serving our Saviour here. My answer is always the same: It is like reaching your hand into the cookie jar and grabbing a handful of homemade cookies—you cannot stop with just one handful! You want more and MORE and MORE!
In the four different cities where the Holy Spirit has led our family to serve Him, the Brazilians marvel at how quickly we make lasting friendships. To be honest, I personally do not understand how it happens. During the past six years here in Taubaté, God has used many of those friendships to help men and their families see their need of a living Saviour!
In July, we had our first weeklong Teen Revival. Beside our group of 20 teens (plus or minus a few), we had 62 visitors (49 young people), and 13 young people trusted Jesus as their personal Saviour. One of them, Joáo, along with his parents, was obedient in baptism this past Sunday. Pray with us that more young people with not only trust Christ as their only hope for Heaven but will also surrender their minds, wills, emotions, and bodies to do His will today and every day!
For Father’s Day here, which is the first Sunday in August, we had Missionary Evangelist Jim Belisle, the FBMI Field Services Coordinator for the Americas, with us for a special Saturday night meeting and all day on Sunday. That Sunday morning, we had 25 fathers present. Bro. Belisle’s practical sermons and testimony of how he trusted Christ were a help and blessing to our people.
Jonata, one of the two seminary students who will be graduating from our four-year Bible program in December, went with Bro. Belisle and me to visit another missionary in Cotia, São Paulo. From there, Jonata and I traveled to Cajuru, where our family served seven years ago for one year with a national pastor. The Holy Spirit prepared more divine appointments during the six days in that city of 20,000 people than we may ever know this side of Heaven. Sunday afternoon, we spent some time with Rafael, his wife Ana Paula, and her 13-year-old daughter Ana Julia. I could write a chapter of a book about how God worked in their lives and ours during that two-hour visit. Pray for them to truly understand what we shared with them about salvation and forgiveness for their past, present, and future sins.
Here in Taubaté, I am also blessed to invest in the men and teens of our church through soul-winning visits. If you want to see men who are hungry to see our Saviour use them and their families, you will need to prayerfully plan to visit with us! There is just no way to describe the need of the other Baptist churches in our city and throughout Brazil to be teaching their people to “. . . be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” (I Peter 3:15) We covet your prayers as we continue to teach and preach “. . . the unsearchable riches of Christ.” (Ephesians 3:8)
Dave + Dawn, and Zachary