This month, Dawn and I, along with Karlene and Zachary, are celebrating 19 years of serving the PEOPLE of Brazil! Daily, we get to see God working in and through our family and our people. “. . . stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.” (Job 37:14) While preparing this letter, I’ve been thinking on the hymn, “I Love to Tell the Story,” written by Kate Hankey and William Fischer. Dawn and I and our children “love to tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.”
Trying to share what God is doing through these letters is one of the most challenging tasks as a missionary. Every week I could write at least a chapter about the ways He continues to save and transform lives through His Word! Would you prayerfully consider taking a firsthand look at the work here in Taubaté?
With the starting of the GANHAR (Soul-Winning) Ministry in January 2022, God continues to open doors to serve the pastors and churches throughout Brazil. From December 29, 2022 – January 16, 2023, Zachary and I traveled 15 hours on 2 different buses to Catalão, Goiás, where I preached in 2 different churches and preached 15 days straight during 2 weeks of camp. Besides preaching every night, the Holy Spirit caused more than 40 people to seek counsel about problems and sins in their lives. Praise the LORD that I was prepared to give them direction from the Word of God on how to be forgiven and enjoy Biblical freedom.
Here in Taubaté, I continue sharing the Gospel, discipling, counseling, getting into the homes of some of the visitors, scheduling times to go soul winning with other churches, along with other responsibilities. One of the joys of the ministry is getting to go soul winning with our men in our area and occasionally in other cities.
Last July, God brought our daughter Karlene back to Brazil to prepare to marry Jonata Oliveira, a young man in our church who completed the church seminary in December 2021 and who is preparing to serve with our family in the GANHAR Ministry in the near future. In April of last year, Jonata started working full-time with fellow missionary, Keith Putnam, in the preparations for the starting of Victory Baptist Church in the neighboring town of Pindamonhangaba. Since the start of VBC in August, Karlene has been serving there with Jonata and is also discipling two young ladies here in Taubate. Pray for Jonata and Karlene, as they were engaged on January 24 and are preparing to marry in November of this year.
Dawn has had the honor of accompanying Karlene and Jonata in their service with the new church and is playing the piano, going soul winning, helping disciple people, and helping in the children’s ministry with the new church. During one of the discipling sessions with Libia, Libia became convicted that she had not trusted Jesus as her Saviour. Dawn was able to guide her to put her trust in Jesus as her only hope for forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Libia will be one of the first people baptized in the near future. My wife also continues to help at New Life Baptist Church when possible.
During our time in Catalão, Zachary celebrated his twelfth birthday during the week of counselor training and thoroughly enjoyed the second week, which was Teen Camp. This month he is finishing the 15-week discipleship program with one of our faithful men. Now that he is in the teen class, he is singing in the church choir and helping in the four- to six-year old children’s church on Sunday nights. On Saturdays, he participates in soul winning and the teen meeting.
Thank you for praying for our family to continue allowing the sweet Holy Spirit to work in and through us!
Dave + Dawn, Karlene, and Zachary Whitmore