Ten years ago our God allowed me to spend 10 days in Ghana, West Africa, working with and observing Team Ghana. From that point on, Dawn and I prayed about the day we could serve our Saviour together with other families with the same vision and plan of action. Six years ago Ed Johnson shared his burden of reaching the Paraiba Valley and asked if we would serve with him and his wife. To the glory of God, over the last nearly three years, we are seeing the results of working together with Ed and Maribel and his parents, Dan and Gerri, here in Taubaté, Säo Paulo.
In Proverbs 14:4 we read, “Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.” From before our three families moved here, we have been working and praying for these four goals:
1. Winning Souls 2. Planting Churches 3. Training Nationals 4. Sending Missionaries
Through (1) our weekly soul-winning time with 20 to 30 people on Saturday afternoons, (2) a special all-day evangelistic outreach on Thursday, November 2, 2017 (day of the dead), here in our Jerusalem, (3) a one-day missions trip on February 17, 2018, to Natividade, a town 50 minutes away, to impact part of our Judea, (4) during the invitations of our Sunday morning and evening services, (5) the many visits made by the pastors and families of our church every week, (6) and trips out of town to help other churches with soul winning, we are seeing many trust Christ as their only hope for forgiveness of their sins. New Christians are encouraged to make public their faith by being obedient in believer’s baptism. We also teach eight lessons to those interested in joining our church. Presently we have 38 adult members, with another 20-30 taking the classes. Each member is being offered a 15-week, one-on-one discipleship course; 17 adults and teens have completed the course, and 16 are now investing time in doing the course with other members or others who will soon be members. On January 29, 2018, our church started the New Life Baptist Theological Seminary with 15 students: 6 full-time and 9 part-time.
In February while Dawn and I were at camp in Formiga, Minas Gerais, with 11 young people from our church, we received word that a three-month-old baby girl of some dear neighbors suddenly passed away. As soon as we returned from camp, I went to the home of Alexandre and Camila and their other three children—Yasmin, Felipe, and Charlles—to cry and pray with them! A year ago I had the joy of sharing Jesus with Alexandre, but during that Wednesday morning visit with the family, Camila prayed to trust Christ. To the glory of God, their family has come to church five times since then! This past Sunday morning, Camila’s sister Elisangela and her niece Rafaela met her at church, and during the invitation Dawn was able to witness to Yasmin and Rafaela! An extra-super blessing was that Rafael, her sister’s husband, came to church on Sunday night with his family.
In the brochure that we shared with everyone in the U.S. in 2012-2013, there is a paragraph which reads as follows:
While in Taubaté, a Christian businessman told us that he did not know of one Bible-believing Baptist church where the people could hear the Gospel preached. In this entire region, there is a famine, not of bread and water, “. . . but of hearing the words of the LORD.” (Amos 8:11) Please join us in humility and prayer according to II Chronicles 7:14.
On February 12, our family celebrated 14 years of serving our Saviour among the PEOPLE of Brazil! PLEASE know that our God is continuing to hear your prayers and use your money on behalf of reaching lives and strengthening families with the unchanging Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Dave + Dawn and Children