As we write this letter, the teens and men from our Bible institute are playing soccer after our Friday night class. Last week, they said what an awesome time they’d had together. Friendships, fun, and fellowship, along with hours dedicated to learning God’s Word, are reaping the benefits of spiritual growth, as Everaldo testifies to.
Thalia invited a classmate in December. In fact, she agreed to help him with a class project if he would agree to visit her church. Adrian kept his promise and came to church, and when our teen boys answered his questions one after the other, he decided he needed to continue attending our church. He has been saved and baptized, and he is faithful to our Bible institute classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, as well as all of the church services and soul winning.
In February, we prepared for our Family Camp, while many Brazilians prepared for a wicked Carnaval. The kids spent countless hours cleaning, cutting grass, trimming trees, and sweeping leaves. I drove to Sao Paulo and brought a group from our church there to the camp. Many from our Cotia church (on the grounds) came. Both churches enjoyed the time together with fun games, soccer, a barbecue, and God-honoring music and preaching. I invited Adriana’s family to church, and Amy was overjoyed to lead her and her husband Getulho to the Saviour during the invitation.
Adriana brought her daughter to the picnic, and since she and Chloe were playing, she let her stay as she ran home to get some food. A car hit her head on and damaged her car, and she was hurt from the seat-belt strap. She gave a testimony that if her young daughter, who always delays getting her seat belt on, had been in the front seat, she would have been seriously injured. She confirmed, “If Satan is working that much to keep me from coming to this church, then I know for sure that this is the church I need to be in!” What a change from what we are used to hearing!
In March, many celebrate Women’s Month. Despite recovering from illness, Amy and Esther planned a “Cafe in France” ladies’ event at a very low cost so that everyone at our Sao Paulo and Cotia churches could attend. The ladies said that they thoroughly enjoyed their day and felt very loved. Amy brought a lesson on gratitude, and Esther gave a touching testimony. Adriana’s mother Maria gave a testimony that our family had first invited her to church five years ago, and she was intrigued by our family’s care for others and love for the Lord. Our daughter Chloe (11 years old) led her granddaughter Maria Luisa to the Lord in Junior Church recently!
Amy’s brother and sister have not been able to get together for a family reunion since their grandfather’s funeral five years ago. Micah saw his grandparents after a long six years; David and Daniel saw them after four years in March while back for their great- grandmother’s funeral. Grandma Ginny was the first to receive the Lord as her Saviour in the family. She had such a burden to share her faith; many friends and family rejected her for this. We are so grateful to her pastor for sharing a clear and powerful Gospel message for over 40 of her friends and family visiting. God was glorified not only in her life but also in her death. A friend of the family commented that this pastor truly knew her and honored her. How important our pastors are in our lives!
It has been 11 years since we have had the chance to visit our sending church in Florida. Amy and the boys had the joy of visiting our dear pastor and church family. We have been so blessed to have our sending-church pastor pray for, counsel, and guide us,
For several years, our family home has been under construction in order to accommodate the church. We recently received an unbelievable lump-sum bill for six years of property taxes. Every year, the bill stated we were exempt. Without warning, they reclassified the home and charged us for every year since construction projects began. I have spent days and weeks verifying with the city hall in their system/records. All the while, we were being fined late fees as we checked with lawyers and city councilmen. We are so very grateful for the $5,244.75 that has come in towards this $12,000 need. We pray for God to bless and provide for the needs of these dear people who have given sacrificially. Please pray for the funds to come in each month, as we only have until October to pay the remainder of this bill.
As Satan tries to attack and discourage us from reaching the lost, we praise our God for three of the men I am discipling who have come for baptism! Several visitors who trusted in the Lord for salvation are attending church faithfully! I have personally seen souls saved every week on visitation! Adriana invited her cousin, telling her that she would adore our church. Sueli said she felt like just a number and condemned in her Pentecostal church. Amy had the joy of leading Sueli and her friend to the Lord after the service.
Hector, a distinguished-looking, white-haired man received a tract from one of our young ladies. He has walked an hour to come to our church for the last three services. I have helped him with his bus fare home each time. We gave him shoes on Thursday night at our prayer meeting, as he has an ulcer on his foot!
We do covet your prayers, as we are facing a challenging situation with the third church building that we have been diligently working on resolving. God is worthy of all the praise and glory! Thank you for your part in this ministry! Thank you for your prayers and giving!
In His service,
Missionary Juan Vallejo and Family