We hear on the news that things are starting to normalize in the USA, we only wish that were the case here in Brazil. The latest news from the USA is that the vaccine is now available for children; the biggest news here is that the vaccine now available for anyone over the age of 60. We hear that in the USA, 100% of people who want the vaccine can get it, in Brazil only 11.03% of people who want the vaccine can get it. All of that is only to say that Brazil is likely still more than a year away from anything that might resemble the normalcy that is returning to the USA.
The fresh wave of restrictions that we were hit with last month have really played havoc with any type of momentum that we were trying to build since the shutdown in March. About half of the nine that completed our last discipleship class have fallen off and many others are missing services just trying to find whatever work is available. One of our adults here in the church has a post-graduate degree and the only work that he can find is helping to move people’s furniture on the weekends. Many others are without any work at all. Yet, during this time we have seen others take great steps of faith and learn to trust God.
One of our single adults, Renan, whom God saved a few months ago, is a great example of God working even though difficult times. Some of our guys met Renan during visitation and invited him to come to church. He received Christ as Savior, started attending every service, completed discipleship, and was baptized. Because of the economic situation here he was also unemployed. He had been unable to find work for quite some time and his mother told him that he needed to move back home, several hundred miles away. After the next service, I found him weeping near the bathroom and when I asked him what was wrong, he said that he had finally found God and a church and now he had to leave. As time drew closer for him to leave, he grew more discouraged, but never gave up. One day he left me a voicemail, weeping once again, but this time it was different. He was weeping because his father had been looking for a job and just accepted a position here in Salvador. His father told him that he would be moving the family to Salvador the following week. He was crying because God had worked it out so that he would not have to leave his church! Despite the setbacks, God is still working in amazing ways.
We were also able to dedicate our new sanctuary a few weeks ago! We had over 60 in attendance and two people accepted Christ as Savior! We want to say thank you to each of you who have given to the project! It was a long road but, thank God, it was worth it. Please pray with us as we have a family conference coming up at the end of the month and we will be inviting the community to attend. Pray that God will save souls and establish families. We are looking forward to letting you know what God does.