This past Sunday night we had the blessing of a first time visitor in our service. He is Lieutenant Colonel Theodoro. He has lots of questions and needs to be saved! Antonio talked to him after the service for almost an hour. Please pray for his salvation!
Saturday, March 30, 2019
They say that things become easier the more one experiences them. I, Lawanda, have found this not to be true in one area....saying "Goodbye"! I have done it many, many time throughout my entire life...and it never gets easier. Isn't it wonderful that we will NEVER say Goodbye in Glory! Yesterday we said "Goodbye" to Alex and Jess Lima and our 3 precious grandsons as they left to go serve the Lord in Guarantã do Norte for 2 1/2 months and then on to Nova Mutum where God has called them to start a church! The wonderful thing in this is that they are doing what God has called them to do! We are so blessed to have all of our children serving the Lord!
Sunday, March 24, 2019
It is hard to believe that our first grandchild turned 9 already on the 9th of March! Where does time go? Joshua Alexandro Lima wanted his grandma to make him a cherry cheesecake instead of a regular birthday cake...and since grandmas are here on earth to make their grandkids dreams come true...
He also wanted a stuffed (with tomato, onions cilantro and garlic) Pacu fish, roasted over coals for his birthday lunch. I tell you, that boy has good taste!
Wonderful news! We made a quick trip to Campo Grande to visit Maria, Antonio's oldest sister who has been battling cancer for the past 2 years. Campo Grande is a 12 hour trip south of Cuiaba over bad roads, so we decided to take a night flight and return the next day. We are so glad we went! The last time we tried talking to Maria, (several years ago), she was a strong Catholic and told us that she had her religion and we had ours and she would appreciate it if we quit talking to her about ours! The first thing we noticed (after the initial shock of seeing how emaciated she was) was that there were no images or "saints" in the house. Antonio immediately told her that he was there on a mission....to tell her about salvation in Jesus Christ alone. She responded, "Oh, I know that now! And I have trusted Him as my only Savior and am now ready to go Home when He calls for me!" During the past year as she has been so sick, someone in the hospital told her of Jesus and she believed! It was so wonderful to hear it from her own lips and to know that we will all be together in Heaven one day!
The beginning of March marked the Carnival (Mardigras) week this year and the time of the annual Family Retreat. The theme for this year is "I AM". Antonio and I were not full time campers for the entire week, but the 3 days we did go were a huge blessing and encouragement!
We are overjoyed to tell you of the salvation of a dear lady named Getulia. She is the aunt of 3 of the men from church. She had a heart attack and was in the ICU when one of her nephews asked Antonio to go with him to visit her. This lady had been witnessed to several times throughout the years, but she is wealthy and very religious and didn't think she needed the salvation we were proclaiming. But now, in the ICU, facing the possibility of death....she gave her heart and life to Jesus! Please pray for her to grow spiritually and pray for the salvation of her husband, Geraldo. They live far from Cuiaba but because of her health will be moving back in March and hopefully we will be able to do a discipleship Bible study to help her grow.
On February 21st, Antonio's sister, Adiles, went Home to be with Jesus whom she loved and served. She was 59 years old with the mind of a 4 year old girl due to a mental handicap. She suffered for 4 months with colon cancer.
Antonio's sisters Maria (left) and Adiles (right) in healthier days.
The funeral service was a beautiful testimony of God's grace! With close to 300 people present, Antonio gave a clear presentation of salvation to the hundreds of unsaved villagers. He told how Adiles was in Heaven, not because she was handicapped, nor because she was good...but because she had accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior!
Her pastors spoke of her testimony and example for us, highlighting:
1 - her love for the Lord (she wanted to sing a special and quote Psalm 23:1 in every service);
2 -her gratefulness (she was always so thankful)
3 -her faithfulness (she never missed a service).
Again at the cemetery, Antonio gave a clear Gospel message and challenge to all present, listing 3 things a person receives when he or she accepts Jesus as Savior...
1 - Forgiveness of all his sins,
2 - A Father who loves and cares for him,
3- A Home in Heaven! For all eternity!
Once again, please pray for this Seed to grow and produce fruit. Many were visibly touched, although there were no public manifestations for salvation. Adiles' care-giver, Edina, returned to the Lord as a result of this situation. (She had been saved as a young girl in our church but was away from the Lord for over 30 years!)
In February, we were sent an anonymous gift of 400 dollars to help replace our stollen tools. As much as we need the tools, we decided to use that money to replace all the broken glass and put steel grates on the windows and doors to try to prevent a repeat break-in in the near future.
Ellen, one of the new converts, moved to a new house and wanted to use the opportunity to witness to her unsaved family, so she had a House Warming "Party" Service!
This is Ellen with her husband, 4 children and mother.
We had 60 people present! 25 from our church and 35 of her unsaved friends and relatives! All heard the clear Gospel message!
Please pray that this Seed sown will bring forth fruit!
Also, please continue to pray for Ellen's spiritual growth.