(In photo: James & Soraia Allen, Débora, Monica and Pr Ricardo Hogrefe) Congratulations to a precious young lady from our church here in Joinville that just successfully finished a four year course and received an associate’s degree in Biblical education from the Seminário Batista Regular do Sul in Pinhais Santa Catarina, Brazil. Her name is Debora de Albuquerque Teixeira, and we are proud of her and happy for her. The graduation happened on November 30, 2012.
Monday, October 1, 2012. The first day after the missions conference at our church, Igreja Batista Vitória in Joinville, Brazil. We had a wonderful time in the Lord starting Saturday night. There was special music by several members of our church and by some special guest also. The preaching by Brother Joel was blessed by the Lord and truly touched our hearts. The diferent soups served on Saturday were so delicious and the fellowship through Sunday night was so very uplifting and encouraging. On Sunday night, we took up the faith promise cards and our church has promised to triple their giving for the next year! Praise the Lord. (I know, the "amount" may be less than some, but it sounds so awesome when I say it like that; "our faith promise tripled!" Remember, "Little is much, when God is in it!" I'm just going to praise the Lord anyway!) And now, it's Monday. Have you ever heard the saying, "after the blessings come the testing?" or is it, "after the testing comes the blessing?" In my case, both apply for today. The testings after the blessings of this weekend weigh heavy on my heart as I look over the many problems, the many needs, the many bills and situations I am facing right now. One small situation involves my car. So I took it to the shop for repairs and since it's not too far from our house I walked back. One of our neighbors, for whom we have prayed much to be saved, was sitting on a chair just inside his doorway, and seeing me he said; "taking a walk I see." So I went past our gate and walked over to talk with him. He and his wife welcomed me and we sat at the door inside their wood plank house and talked about several things until coming to the news of the death on Saturday, of a very famous Brazilian TV personality named Hebe Camargo. I said to them; "When I read the news of Hebe's death, I read, 'Hebe Camargo died Saturday in her mansion in São Paulo.' and I proceeded to point out that after she was buried on Sunday afternoon, her mansion was still in the same place, she did not take it with her. I sited Mark 8:36-37, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" This is where the "blessings after the testing’s" part of my day comes in. At this point, the Holy Spirit was evidently working in our hearts and Gods Word was alive as we read from their own Bible about Gods plan of salvation and the New Birth. I want to glorify my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ right now because after hearing the Gospel one more time this morning, Mr. Moacir and his wife Zué bowed their heads and trusted in Christ as their personal Savior! What a joy it is to see someone understanding the message and speak out saying, "Yes, I want Jesus as my Savior!" Now, Moacir and Zué have agreed to allow us to come to their home and have Bible study with them. I ask you to pray for their growth and for the salvation of their many family members. Thank you so much for your prayers for us, and may God be glorified in our lives.
Mr. Moacir and his wife, Zué. Isn’t it wonderful how God knows just what to do to help us stay focused on what's truly important?
This is a special “Thank You” post to a very special group of people.
A heartfelt and truly genuine thank you goes to the Brazil Missions Team from Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Fountain Inn, South Carolina, for spending the days of July 14th through 22nd here with us in Joinville.
So, to Chip, Pastor Anthony, Ed, Keenan, Stephanie, Kim, Brook, Marina, Mrs. Betty, Mrs. Karen, Susan, Stephanie Soria and Megan, we say;
Thank you for coming.
Thank you for painting our buildings, they truly look great now. Thank you for the “Wall Words” applied to our sanctuary. Thank you for the efficient clean-up of our walls and grounds too. Thank you for the repairs made to different things and thank you for the games, air mattresses, sleeping bags, clothes and shoes among other things that were donated to the church.
Thank you for the Oreo cookies and Red Hots. We have thoroughly enjoyed them!
Thank you so much for the marvelous job done on the Vacation Bible School. All of the activities, crafts, songs, snacks and stories were great. Most especially, we praise the Lord together with you for the 17 children who trusted Christ Jesus as their personal Savior!
Through your willing service and kindheartedness toward our church and my family, you have made a profound and lasting impression in our lives. And we are all so very thankful to you.
We also thank Pastor Phil Whitt and the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Family for the generous love offering of $1,700.00 that has been applied to the Victory Land Fund that will be used to purchase property for the Igreja Batista Vitória in Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil.
May God bless you all abundantly above and beyond for this your gift to us.
The James Allen Family and
The Igreja Batista Vitória Family,
Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil
These days we hear and see much about missions work going on in remote parts of the African content, or in “forgotten corners” of the world inside of a latitude / longitudinal window, and most assuredly, the need is great, and yes, much, much more must be done. I believe in this need 100%.
But I beg you to please “hear” and “see” and be moved to the reality that your next door neighbor, in the beautifully landscaped subdivision or across the hall in a futuristic apartment building need to hear the precious gospel just as lovingly and truthfully, and desperately as those living in a mud hut on a dry stretch of land in Africa, or a stone house hidden high up in the Himalayas.
My mission field is Joinville, the largest city of the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. It is a modern city filled with high rise buildings, shopping centers, asphalted streets full of cars, motorcycles, buses, and even electric bicycles. But when you look past the comforts and conveniences of modern life, you see faces of precious people, people for whom the Lord Jesus Christ died, people that will one day die and spend eternity in hell if we do not see these souls as ones in need of salvation.
Yes, but what about that saying; “No one has the right to hear the Gospel twice while there remains someone who has not heard it once.” (Oswald J. Smith). Make sense? at first, maybe. Is it Scriptural? No. I am so glad that I heard the gospel more than once, because I did not get saved the first time I heard it. And by the way, there are still people in this world that have not heard the gospel once. So were would that put me, or you in the order of “importance” according to that saying?
Let us reach the people of all the world with the precious gospel message, leaving no one out, even those who have already heard once, or twice.
I am reminded of the little song;
Jesus loves the little children all the children of the world red and yellow, black and white they are precious in His sight Jesus loves the little children of the world
He loves the young people and adults too. So let us not lose sight of any “center” or “side” or “outback” or “hole” or “hill” or “corner” of the world.
Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20, Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
No, this is not Burundi. Yes, this is my mission field.
GRAND FORKS, Mich. — Unbeknownst to her husband or congregation, Trudy Smith has been avoiding church for two years, sending a look-alike in her place.
“I’m saddened to announce that the woman you’ve seen here is not my wife,” pastor Nevin Smith said to a hushed congregation at Belfrey Presbyterian church.
His wife Trudy began staying home after running into a woman at Kohl’s who looked very much like her.
“I asked what she did on Sunday mornings, and would she like to make a hundred bucks a week?” Trudy says. “She said yes and suddenly I was free.”
The impostor played the role successfully, greeting people, hugging her husband, listening to the sermon, taking copious notes. But she was found out when Nevin invited her up one Sunday for a spontaneous reprisal of an old hymn they sang early in their ministry.
“I knew the kids’ names, anniversaries and birthdays, but I didn’t know that song,” said the fake Trudy, who asked not to be identified. She made roughly $10,000 over two years.
“Worth every penny,” says the real Trudy, who’s back on the front pew. “You know, mannequins are getting more realistic …” •