July 30, 2014
Praise God for all His wonderful blessings. We are half way through this year; and, God has been so marvelous in providing each need. First, He has given us hope of eternal life by His side, and even now, the presence of His indwelling spirit. He also provides the very smallest needs of each day as well as the monumental ones. God is awesome – always good, just, and true.
At the beginning of the month, I was in Brazil for ten days meeting with pastors and staff concerning the planning and follow-up of projects underway. One of the special moments was Tabernacle Baptist Church’s celebration of our 66th homecoming. The church was organized July 4, 1948, under the leadership of Pastor Francisco Santiago (who also performed my baptism when I was a child). The church beginnings were very simple, in a small rented house, with backless, board benches, in a short alley called Beco Vila Mamão. The mother church was First Baptist Church of Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, that had been started by BFM’s first missionary to the Amazon, Joe Brandon. Pastor Santiago had been the first convert and baptized believer under Bro. Brandon’s ministry in Cruzeiro do Sul. By the way, Francisco Santiago’s intent when he went to Bro. Brandon’s street meeting was to interrupt and run him out of town. Upon hearing the word, he became motionless in his hiding place behind a bush and commented to a friend who had come along to help him, “This is not of the devil.” The next night they came back to hear more and were saved! A few months later, a statue in the local catholic church fell and broke and the believers were blamed for it; an intense persecution began. Francisco Santiago, along with his family, fled for his life. That’s how he wound up in Manaus, almost a thousand miles down river. Praise God; how marvelous indeed is our God. Sixty-six years later, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren churches have spread in more than half of the states of Brazil. Aren’t you glad to be a part of the great things God is doing through your giving and prayers? God is awesome!
God bless each of you. Thanks for your prayer and faithful support to the work of missions; may God be your great reward. We pray for you that your remembrance and knowledge of our Lord, the only true God, may abundantly increase, that your trust and faith in him may be steadfast in all things, and that the love of the Spirit may fill and overflow in your every word and action, with thanksgiving to God though Jesus Christ our only Lord and Life.
Paul and Wanda