March 10, 2014
Dear Friends and Family,
Well, with our church only a little over one year old, we have had our 1st revival. It was lead by Pastor Mike Dorough from 2nd Baptist Church in Warner Robbins, Georgia. Even being a young mission, we had many re-dedications and commitments. While he was here, we had a baptism, the second of the year, and now we are planning another on the 16th of March. How AWESOME is the Lord we serve.
While Pr. Mike was here, his church sponsored many food baskets. First, we were able to minister to the people in our church and then to the Indians in Parati. Many of our church family have physical needs, needs for food and clothing, and also spiritual needs. We are located in a very populated area. The city government has constructed many houses and are planning more. These are for the families that couldn’t afford to buy a home for themselves. They, the government, are planning more, and this is good for the residents as this is one of their greatest needs. This reminds me of the 70’s and 80’s there in the States when the government built the 235 homes. We are hoping that many of our members will be selected to receive one of these homes. But we are also looking forward to being able to evangelize in these new neighborhoods.
Now for an update on the Indians in Parati – we don’t realize what poverty really is until we make a visit to these Indians. There we see profound poverty. After a visit to these people, we, as a Church, realize that we can and are making a difference in the lives of these people. We always take something when we visit. Sometimes it is food, clothing, and other times we take Bibles and Bible studies. But as you have heard me say many times, we can’t help with their spiritual need until we help with their physical need. This month we took some of our youth and they came home with a different outlook. They realized that they are truly blessed. And they were encouraged to do more for the Lord.
Now for the rest of the story about this particular visit. On the way to visit these Indians, Barbara was sitting with one of the youth and was witnessing to her about our Lord and Savior, and this young lady accepted Christ as her personal savior. AWESOME!!! How great is our Lord!!! And just to think that this happened when we were going to visit with a people group that serve many gods. Our God is alive!! So, as you pray for our work here in Caraguatatuba, don’t forget to pray for these people. And pray for the missionaries that work with them. Their labor is hard as they have seen maybe only 6 come to know the Lord.
These Indians are not the only group here who need our prayers. We work and minister with a group that are in recuperation from drugs and alcohol. They are really special for me as they are wanting to change their lives. And in this group, the only medicine they receive is Jesus Christ. We pick some of them up on Wednesday night and take them to Church. This is the ones that want to go, and there are about 15 to 23. When they go, they are our responsibility. There in the recuperation center, they live under a very strict routine. While at Church, we have to monitor them so that they don’t leave the building. But all that is worth it when you hear them praising the Lord in song.
This week we had a going home party for one of men. We served cake and ice cream, and we presented him with a study Bible. This was a gift from our Church as he has been one of the faithful ones. He broke down and cried. He also gave his testimony and it was AWESOME.
We have been doing lots of work on the Vocational School this month also. The dorm house and the shop where lots of training will happen. The group in rehab are anxious to start classes here. This week they volunteered to clean and maintain this property.
We have been working on the papers to make our school and our church legal in the eyes of the government. We are jumping through many hoops. Pray as we are submitting our paperwork this week. We know that God is in control, but He loves to hear from His servants, so PRAY.
It would take lots of paper to tell you everything that God is doing here in Caragua. So it would be a good idea to come on down and experience the many blessings and miracles we get to experience on a daily basis. We are not saying we do not cry sometimes or that we do not experience problems–that is just a part of life–but seeing lives changed–that is what it is all about.
Find out where God is working and get involved.
Keep us and our work in your prayers.
In His service,
Aj and Barbara Hensley