November 9, 2017
Friends and family,
Well I am sitting here in Lexington, Ky, being somewhat cold. It’s just amazing how different the temperature is here and in Caraguatatuba.
While in Caragua we were very busy working on the Church building trying to complete many small projects that needed to be completed. As it is with all buildings, you fix one thing and there are many more that come up.
We arrived there in time to help in the Children’s Day activities. We had around 90 children on Children’s Day and it was AWESOME!!!! There were almost too many children in attendance, but that is an AWESOME problem to have. Children’s Day in Brasil is similar to Christmas Day here in the States. They don’t celebrate Christmas in Brasil like we do in the States. We had sandwiches, pop, and cake for them to eat for breakfast. Then we had games and popcorn and cotton candy. They received beanbag animals and a small bag of candy. Then we sent them home on a sugar high to their parents. These children are all underprivileged children, so whatever they receive is a blessing in their lives. But what they need more than food is love. A smile and a hug does better for them than anything else. So, we spent the day hugging them and playing with them. We are sending some photos so that you can see some of the activities.
Our bus is a very needed part of the children’s ministry there and the last few months there have been various problems with it—leaking oil and water pump problems to name a few. We were able to get the things fixed but the next problem is to pay for the work. Thank you to those who have sent money for the work on the bus—and if you would like to help financially, that would be greatly appreciated. As I said earlier, this bus is a needed part of the children’s ministry, so your precious prayers are needed. The bus is a 24-passenger bus that most of the time carries up to 50 children. And with that many on the bus, we still are making two trips to pick up and to return them home. As you can guess, that brings with it a big gas bill per month. This is also becoming a concern. Prayers please.
Well the Seminary we began in Caragua has just grown beyond belief. Just this year we have had three graduations: Caragua, Nativity da Serra, and Orlandia. All of these locations are in the state of São Paulo, but they are not close together. There are more than 7 hours travel time between them.
The last graduation class was in Orlandia and there were 24 who participated in the graduation process. It is hard to describe the appreciation these pastors and church workers have for the training and instruction the are receiving at Caragua Baptist Seminary. This year there have been 55 people graduated from the seminary.
While in the States, we are working on getting a Masters of Divinity added to our program. What this amounts to is that we are having to jump through a lot of hoops. I never realized the amount of red tape that can be involved in seminary accreditation. Now I have an even greater appreciation for Lexington Baptist College that we had here in Lexington. As
of now all things are going AWESOME!! However, when we get one requirement met there seems to one more and then one more. Please keep Caragua Baptist Seminary in your prayers as we are reaching many Brasillians through the pastors that are attending this Seminary.
Here is just one of the many stories that have come out to these classes: one of the Pastors who has attended the Seminary is also a long-haul trucker and he has begun using his trips to get to know the other drivers. When he empties the trailer, he then puts chairs and a pulpit inside and when he goes back to the truck stops, he opens the back doors of the trailer, sets up the chairs, and invites the other truckers in and preaches to them. This has been a blessing and he is reaching many that would never come to a church. Pray for God to go before him in this labor of love.
Continue to pray for my health that God can continue to use me in Brasil as we continue taking the Seminary to the Brasilian pastors all over Brasil.
In His service,
Aj and Barbara