Dear Family and Friends 6 October 2014
We have enjoyed being able to spend a few days here in Brazil with our daughter Beth who came to help in a medical mission in the far north. Those moments are special.
We’re also pleased to tell you our other daughter, Heather, is due to marry Rob in March in London. This ties in with us returning during the students’ long holiday from Christmas to the beginning of March. Our provisional dates are: arrival on 15 January and a return on 3 April.
In August, during the student holidays, we benefitted from a time away: for 3 weeks in the cities of Curitiba, Foz de Iguaçu and Franca, visiting other workers and giving Bible teaching. We also met up with students from Curitiba University.
This term started with a day’s retreat – times of prayer and Bible study when we encouraged the students to decide before God their own personal mission for the term.
Judy continues with her weekly Monday English Conversation Class at the University. It’s good to have Sueli back. She has various degrees, recently also gained a doctorate in Religious Science and seems open to the Gospel. At the end of the class Judy gives a thought from the Bible linked with the subject of conversation: last week it was euthanasia. It was interesting to hear 1) how individualistic the students’ views were and 2) that none of them had heard of hospice type care.
On Tuesday evenings Simon has started his 12 week evangelistic course with a group of 4 students. Igor and Lucas are already Christians but Heider seems quite confused with lots of religious ideas. Lu has some background but seems unsure of where she is. On Friday afternoons Simon does the studies with an economics student, Jailson. He has been surprised by God’s holiness. He is due for a minor op so there will be a 2 weeks gap in the middle of the month.
We have formed a new group of 7 students from the CU who have started the 3 month Bible Interpretation course each Saturday afternoon. This can be lively as we use a seminar format and often challenge the students’ existing understanding. They have the chance to do exercises to help them think clearly within the Scriptures: it is a great privilege for us.
We are concerned about Yara who continues to meet with Simon on the campus each Wednesday afternoon but now has a non-Christian boyfriend; she is sharing the Gospel with him but Simon has discussed with her the dangers of this situation.
Salvation and Discipleship
Marco, Fabricia & Vinicius
Last week Marco and Fabricia told Simon that they had both trusted in the Lord after doing the 12 week evangelistic course. They spoke about how their marriage is better with less arguments and a new atmosphere in the home. Their oldest son, Vinicius, 16 years, did the course as well. Perhaps he will come to the Lord when he sees salvation being worked out in his parents’ lives. Now the hard job of helping them grow in grace!
It’s great to see Rosangela’s enthusiasm to follow the Lord after turning to Him in January. She is now talking of baptism. Adriana still remains on the outside although she is studying Mark’s Gospel with us and Roseangela each Wednesday evening.
Judy visits Eliangela (the single mum with 9 children) on Tuesdays to help see what it means to walk with the Lord; we realised why this is a real battle for her when she recently told us that she was previously involved in ‘Macumba’: a term used for an African version of spiritism.
Simon and a medical student, Leandra, have started to engage students in conversation about the Gospel on the campus on Thursday afternoons. They usually have some meaningful conversations. It’s not an easy thing to do but they want to continue. Please pray for them as these are one off contacts and the conversation can go anywhere. For Simon this pushes his Portuguese to the limit.
Starting next Sunday (for four weeks) Simon has been asked to give his talks on “How to interpret the Bible better” to a Church in Tres Rios, about an hour’s journey from here. He will also be doing the same with some Christians near Rio in December.
Thanks for reading to the end and thank you to those who have joined with us in prayer. As we learn to rely more on God we are even more conscious of how we depend on your prayers.
May you know more of that grace that both saves and teaches us.
Simon and Ju