I hope some of you were able to enjoy a properly white Christmas . . . or at least a cold one. It has been a few years now, but Christmas still feels “odd” to us here in the Southern Hemisphere. The days are the longest of the year, our temperatures are hot and humid, and no one can tell me where to find a long-needled Christmas tree to put in the house. There’s no such thing as dashing through the snow here—oh well. At least there is much to be jolly about in the work here in Sao Paulo.
At the beginning of the month, I was blessed to be one of the preachers at a conference in Corumbã, Brazil. The 3-day conference culminated with over 260 people in attendance the last night. In total there were several dozen saved, and over 20 baptized during those 3 days. Here at our own church, we have started soul winning in a new area about a 15-minute drive from the church. We have had several saved, and there are 3 families that have begun to attend our church from that new area. The Saturday before Christmas, we held a Bible Club in that neighborhood and had 2 of our church families help us that day. There were over 90 people in attendance, with many hands raised for salvation. The following day we had 11 people in church from that neighborhood. Praise the Lord! It has been a blessing watching our regular attenders starting to get involved in outreach opportunities, and it is encouraging to see the Lord give fruit.
Please pray that the church people will continue growing and that they will stay busy inviting their friends and loved ones. I am challenging each family in our church to be responsible for getting another family in church before our second anniversary (July 30). There are many challenges in the coming months that we need the Lord to help us with. One is our Spanish Ministry. For a couple of months now, it has been holding steady at 30-40 people in attendance each week, and we would like to see it become autonomous this year. Pray that God will raise up His man to take this work. Also, we are praying to be able to legally organize our main church within the first quarter of 2018. This will give us a greater measure of freedom in some legal aspects, but it will also allow us to be able to sponsor in missionaries. Just within the Spanish immigrant community here in Sao Paulo, we could be looking at getting multiple churches off the ground within the next several years. And that, of course, is always the goal—more fundamental Baptist churches being started all over the country of Brazil.
Thank you for partnering with us in the Lord’s work. You all are a continual blessing to my family and me. We are privileged to be representing you on this field. We are excited about the harvest that is ready and waiting to be brought in. May God give you a wonderful year in 2018, and if He sees fit to tarry His coming, may He find us all faithful and fruitful in the work. We love you.
Declaring His glory,