My family and I are so thankful for each and every one of you. Your prayers are so important to us, and your financial support allows us to take the Gospel to this needy part of the world. Here is a brief update of what is going on here in Taubaté.
In March, amidst a new lockdown from the state government, New Life Baptist Church was able to move to a larger facility. We are so very thankful for our new location. We have double the auditorium space and double the number of classrooms, all in a better location. What He has provided for us is truly a miracle of the Lord, and we are rejoicing in Him. This gift from Him has made us want to work even harder for Him. Because of the pandemic restrictions here in our area, we still haven´t been able to “go all out,” but in spite of this, we continue to grow.
Shortly after our move, we held our annual Missions Conference in April. We weren’t able to have it last year because of COVID. Even this year, there were restrictions, but we were so excited to be able to have the conference. The theme was “Light in the Midst of Darkness.” Our people responded well to the missionaries’ challenges from the Word of God, and we were almost able to double our missions giving! Praise the Lord!
The church’s theme this year is “Striving for Excellence.” One area we wanted to grow in was in our music department, so we decided to have a music conference, themed “A New Song,” in order to teach what the Bible says about music and also to motivate God’s people to use their gifts for the Lord, especially in this area. Many parents and children have made decisions regarding the type of music they listen to but also to learn an instrument and start using their talents for the Lord.
The move has proved to be a very positive thing for our church in spite of the challenging times. We have had visitors almost every service and have a few new families who are getting to know us. One of those families is Gabriel, Poliana, João, and Rafael. Gabriel is a police officer who went to a Baptist church when he was young but got away from church and from God as an adolescent. His brother remained faithful in church, however, and in February, Gabriel accepted Christ as his Saviour through his brother’s influence. He started looking for a church to attend, and through his brother’s recommendation, he visited our church (his brother is a friend of our ministry but not a member). I was able to visit him and his family. His wife Poliana, who was Catholic, and their teenage son João both heard the Gospel for the first time and accepted Christ as Saviour. They have since been to almost every service—Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night! They are so excited about their new life in Christ and have since brought several of their family members to visit as well.
Bible Institute and New Church Plant
In our last prayer letter, I mentioned Jonata, who will be graduating from our Bible institute, Lord willing, in January. The Lord seems to be opening up an opportunity for our church to be involved with a new church plant in a neighboring city, and Jonata will be directly involved with this. The Lord is still moving and plans are still not formalized, so I can’t go into the details about this endeavor yet, but please pray for us in this regard. We are so very thankful for what the Lord is doing here in the Paraiba Valley.
• Nehemiah Project: If you’d like to participate in the fundraising for our property, your donation can be sent to BIMI.
• Anniversary Conference: In September, we will celebrate our 6th Anniversary Conference. My brother, Allen Johnson, along with his ministry, Wings Bearing Precious Seed, will be coming down with a group of 25 on the Bibles for Brazil trip to help distribute Gospel literature, promote the conference, and preach the conference.
• Short Furlough: My family and I are in the States for a very short two-month furlough to help my mother-in-law with some needs she has at this moment. We are staying basically in the Colorado region.
Thank you for your prayers, love, and support. It is our honor to partner with you and do our part in order to reach our Jerusalem here in Brazil while you endeavor to reach your own Jerusalem. We love you. May the Lord richly bless you and yours.
In the service of the King,
The Ed Johnson Family
Church-Planting Missionaries to Brazil Since 2008