December 12, 2015
How awesome to be involved in the Lord’s work here in Caragua, SP (Brasil, SA). The month of November has been great!! We have had our Pastors’ Conference and it was a huge success. Thanks to all who were involved.
This year’s conference was made possible by these pastors and churches:
Dr. Jim Perdue, Second Baptist Church, Warner Robbins, GA
Dr. David Grantham, Pinecrest Baptist Church, Cordele, GA
Pr. Mike Durough, Riverbend Baptist Church, Gainesville, GA
Pr. Tim Price, Pinehurst Baptist Church, Pinehurst, GA
Pr. Jason Hamlin, First Baptist Church, Centerville, GA
Dr. Luann Purcell. Member of Second Baptist Church, Warner Robbins , GA
The weeks leading up to the conference were somewhat difficult, to say the least. Satan was working to his fullest to impede our conference planning efforts. Just to mention a few, Pr. Mike Durough had many last minute issues so he was unable to leave Georgia. Dr. David Grantham made it to Brasil and as we were traveling to Caragua, he received a phone call advising him a member of his church had gone home to be with the Lord. Dr. David was able to preach for us Sunday evening at Igreja Batista Caragua before he returned early to the US. So, even with problems, God is blessing. We temporarily moved our church, chairs, sound system and the lot, in order for Dr. David to preach in the new building—the first message. We were able to use and be blessed by Dr. David in a very special way. AWESOME! So this obstacle became a blessing, our first Sunday in the new building and it was full. The space in our new church building will be double our present rental building. All we can say is GOD IS AWESOME!!
Now don’t think we don’t use these pastors and helpers when they are not otherwise occupied teaching and preaching. As conference began Tuesday night, Monday morning Dr. Luann and Pr. Jason helped the church members go through old vegetables and fruits a local supermarket had designated as past their time to sell. Many of these vegetables and fruits are just bruised and soft and are still good enough to be eaten. So they helped sort this food to be given away to church members in need and the poor people in our church’s neighborhood. Also, we had enough to help a recuperation center (drug and alcohol abuse center) who were very grateful for the supplement to their needs.
It always amazes me how here (USA) we have so much in abundance and here (Brasil) many have so little. This food supply, after we had sorted, cleaned, divided sacked and thrown away the undesirable in our eyes, some others went through that “undesirable” or “bad” portion and saw it as good. Sometimes even at home we see people going through our trash to get the “leftovers”. So please pray for our church and the outreaches we have in the communities of Caragua.
Now to the conference—Tuesday night through Friday noon. It was held at a local hotel and we had approximately 180 in attendance. We had approximately 86 churches represented which included church plants. We were expecting more, but God had there those He wanted. There were over 50 ladies present and they were blessed by Dr. Luann Purcell daily. Our daughter Mary interpreted for her and with Mrs. Barbara did a wonderful job encouraging these ladies to follow God and to support their husbands in the ministry.
So, now you may say, why a pastors’ conference—I think it is an excellent way to further reach Brasil for Christ. So from all these present, we estimate the outreach of this conference to touch over 10,000 lives. So this is an AWESOME number, but what excites us is the pastors are rejuvenated and will go back to their communities more excited about reaching people for Christ!
Pray for all as they return to their respective regions and us as we continue our ministries here—reaching more people for Christ!
God is AWESOME!
AJ and Barb
P.S. More about our new church building next letter.
P.S.S. Everyone have an AWESOME Christmas!!