Tag Archives: Church
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Sunday morning the Kokenzies were with us for their first service since returning from furlough. We had a good group. Other than the Kokenzies, we had a normal Sunday morning crowd and a visitor.
Sunday evening, however, was a different story. We arrived early as usual and were preparing things for the service. We planned a little fellowship after church, so we had a little more to set up than normal. Amanda left to pick up someone, and by the time she returned we still did not have anyone show up other than the Kokenzies and the lady we picked up.
Just about five minutes before starting, a few young men drove up and parked across the street. They said the were invited to the services and we welcomed them. Just after that another young man drove up on a motorcycle. Since nothing else was open around us, we assumed that he was coming to church also. As we entered the building to get the service going, two more people walked in. We prayed and a few more walked in. Then we sang a song and more people walked in. This kept on going until I was ready to preach. I announced the text and the last two couples walked in.
The building was packed! We had 30 chairs and 40 people. Amanda took a few of the younger kids to the back and others sat on their parent’s lap. There was not one empty seat. I was still expecting a few more of our regulars to be there, but they did not show up. God knew exactly what we could handle and sent them all our way.
With 23 first time visitors, we did not even have enough visitor’s cards to get everyone’s information. We did take a picture though and did get their names so we can probably locate them all and make contact in the near future.
Our fellowship after church was very good. I tried to get around and speak to everyone before they left. It was not an easy task, but I think I almost made it. One couple was sitting in the very back and stayed there for a while without getting up. When I spoke to them, she was in tears. Her husband said, “We are not sitting here waiting for cake. We just enjoyed the service so much that we wanted to savor the moment.” He went on to say that his wife had dreamed the night before that the Lord would speak to them through the service that night.
The young man who invited most of our visitors was surprised himself to see some of them come. As a matter of fact, a few of his relatives came to the service (including his sister). He told me he had not even invited her, but someone else asked her to come.
It is easy to get excited about an event like that. Yet, it has caused me to reflect on what really happened. God brought a good number of people to us so that we could share with them the good news of salvation. Others also were there to hear the preaching and be encouraged to follow the Lord. I am confident that God met with some of them and spoke to their hearts. Please help us pray as we follow up and try to help these people wherever they are spiritually.
Back in October of 2014 we rented a building in which to hold services. The Lord has blessed, but we have really not seen as many people come as we would have liked. We have invited hundreds of people, visited prospects, and prayed. However, the increase was very small compared to what we were expecting. We had one family visit in two months. Health issues, vacations, and even some academic tests have kept our regulars from attending during the past few months.
The past two weeks have been drastically different. Most of our regulars have still not been able to attend for various reasons, but the Lord has blessed the services by sending us visitors. We had eight visitors within the first two Sundays of the year! That is a great way to start out the new year. It was a joy to preach and give the Gospel to these people. Though we previously knew most of these people, only three out of the eight have attended one of our Bible studies.
This past Sunday evening, Tiago, one of the young men that visited, told me that he enjoyed the service and was going to invite a friend of his that he thought would enjoy it also. Another one of our visitors, Nicholas, said he really enjoyed the service and that he would definitely return and invite some of his friends. His sister and her husband are one of our regular families. When we spoke with them about Nicholas coming, they said he seemed to be very excited and enjoyed a service that was not extremely loud. (That should give you some insight on the average church in our area.)
We are excited to see what God will do in the lives of each visitor that has been with us. There is no doubt in my mind that God is working, but sometimes we are impatient and fail to see His hand in the circumstances around us.
This next week we will probably have the largest crowd since the inauguration of the building because the Kokenzies have returned. Some of our regulars will also be back that were not able to attend these past two weeks. Please pray that the Lord will continue to work in hearts and that these people will be truly saved and follow the Lord!
First of all I would like to thank everyone who sent a note telling us specifically that you or your church were praying for us this past weekend. Thank you for participating in prayer and also for letting us know that you were praying. It was a great encouragement to us.
SATURDAY EVENING we had a special prayer meeting at the church. It was an encouraging time to listen to people talk about what they believed God would do. We spent some time reading a passage of Scripture together. Then we talked about sinners coming to know the Lord as Savior and the goals of acquiring this rented facility. We finished the time together with prayer. It was sweet to hear the prayers of the people as they asked the Lord to bless the work and especially bless the inaugural service the following evening.
After a little time of fellowship we set up for Sunday and headed home thanking the Lord for the response of the people.
Front of the Building – Sunday Morning
SUNDAY MORNING began well. Everyone we expected showed up. All of our faithful people were there! A family from a church about three hours away also came to participate in the day’s events. It was a blessing to have them in the service because they are familiar with most of the hymns we sing. They also helped clean chairs and get the details taken care of.
In the morning service, we talked about the preaching of Paul and related it to what we were doing. Several people asked questions or made comments which always helps us know better where people stand.
Sunday Morning Service
God gave us a building with a small room in the back. This allows us to continue the Sunday school class we had for the smaller children. This week we had four children in the class! Most of these children have little practice sitting still in a class. For some, their parents are still learning about discipline and are struggling to teach their children. So, needless to say, Amanda had a challenging time with the children this week!
After the service a few of us men went out inviting people to the evening meeting. Including the flyers passed out earlier in the week, we were able to hand out over 800 invitations to the inaugural service.
SUNDAY EVENING we arrived at the church about 30 minutes before the service began. It was an exciting time as we waited to see who would come. We had 40 chairs, but only about 30 fit in the building comfortably.
Beginning of the Service – Sunday Evening
When we began the service we had a few visitors. By preaching time, we had 27 people in the building! With around 30 chairs set up, there were only a few empty chairs left.
It was thrilling to see who the Lord brought to us. Nine were from a like-minded church several hours away. Another man came from out of town. He was invited by one of the ladies whose house we hold a Bible study in weekly. Two were our neighbors! We did not expect them to come, so it was great to see them drive up. The rest were all people who had participated in our Bible studies in the past. We had personally visited them in the past week. What a blessing!!!
Entire Group – Sunday Evening
I preached a Gospel message asking two questions. 1- Do you know God? 2- Does God know you? All were attentive and listened very well.
Though we did not have any salvation decisions, it was wonderful to hear what the people had to say. One of the ladies spoke to me specifically about her daughter. She said she was going to do her best to bring her daughter to the next service. One of the men present said, “We will come many times from here on out!” That was exciting. We did not have the opportunity to talk to everyone individually before they left, but it was evident that God was working.
PLEASE KEEP PRAYING! This is just the beginning of the story. We will be meeting every Sunday morning and evening from now on out. Though we will need to make some adjustments as time goes on, we are happy to have a place to meet now. The people prayed that this would be a place where God would work to change lives! That is what we expect and what we are looking for God to do.
We will soon start a mid-week Bible study also. We hope to continue the Bible studies we have and get more people involved by meeting in a better location.
Once again, thank you for your prayers!
Have you stopped to listen recently? Have you heard the cries? Have you stopped your ears and avoided the outside world so as to not hear the cries of people who are in desperate need of help? Please take the time to hear this cry and spend time praying that the Lord of the harvest might send forth more laborers.
Below is a link to a letter I received from a good friend. Yes, we would love to help and will do what we can. However, it is impossible for us to attend to all these needs. After being in Brazil for two years now, this has become a weekly activity, listening to the cry of the harvest.
Please follow the link to read this letter…