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July was a well-deserved winter break for our students. Our second semester has started with a two-week intensive class on Advanced Preaching with visiting professor, Pastor Stefano Piva, from the Grove Church in Langley, British Columbia. Once again, our classroom has traveled to close-by cities where we have clusters of students. This time has been interesting as some of our students have also traveled with us, taking advantage of being in the physical classroom instead of online. We are thankful for Pastor Stefano’s continuing partnership with us and for the members of the Grove Church who bought the textbook for all the students in the classroom!
At a prayer vigil at the beginning of this year, our church felt led to choose the theme of courage for 2023. This past July has showed us how important it has been to focus on that theme. One of the church leaders is battling cancer that has spread to several organs. Our church has come alongside her family through prayer and fasting. Also, another practical way was paying a lawyer to work with a judge to get her medication she needs for free that would usually cost 30,000 reais a month. We praise the Lord that to date she has three months of free medication!
On another sad note, July also brought a tragic suicide within another family in our church. God helped Paulo to bring words of comfort at the burial and continues to hold up the family during this difficult time.
But even during sadness, there is hope. We have had the opportunity to walk with Sirlaine, a single mom whose baby was born prematurely with serious health issues and even had to have heart surgery. We praise the Lord Luis Fernando is doing so much better! Shortly after his birth, Sirlaine accepted Christ, and her other son, Alexandro, Luis’s 15-year-old brother, has been participating in Saturday afternoon youth meetings and went to winter camp. The family has been faithfully coming to church each Sunday, and our church had the privilege of dedicating this little one to the Lord. And just a couple weeks after that, we had another baby dedication.
Our church is in the process of adopting another church plant. Once again, God has brought to us a small independent congregation who want to become Baptist. Paulo and I have been visiting them every two weeks on Saturday evenings. Most of the people in the congregation don’t know how to read and have no Bible knowledge. So, I started teaching them from the beginning in Genesis, and each time we are there, they are learning more and more. On the second Sunday evening of every month, both church plants join our church for the worship service and communion.
If you would like to help fund visiting professors and the Kairos Project in Brazil or help provide a scholarship for a seminary student, visit nabconference.org/give/special-projects and click on the appropriate links.