Tag Archives: Preaching

Men’s Retreat in Porto Velho

The past week was an interesting week. I left last Saturday for a trip to Porto Velho, the capital of our state of Rondônia. It is quite a drive from our house considering the road conditions. The trip was about 450 miles one way. It took me around 10 hours to drive it.

On the way up, I stopped in Ouro Preto do Oeste the town in which we were previously working. It was about half way up and I was able to stay for the Sunday morning service and preach to the church people. Not only did Julie Kokenzie provide some great meals while I was there, but John also let me preach on Sunday morning. It was a huge blessing to see the church growing and to see the faithfulness of the people. We still have many friends there and enjoy every chance we get to see them.


Preaching in Ouro Preto
Church in Ouro Preto

Bro. Brian Lawson met me in Ouro Preto and kept me company for the remainder of my trip. We had a good time of fellowship riding together, and he had a chance to visit a few churches and meet many people.

Shortly after lunch on Sunday Bro. Brian and I headed out to Porto Velho. We arrived in time to freshen up before the service. Pastor Adonias invited me to preach on Sunday evening in church and also at the retreat they were having on Monday. We had about 50 men at the camp retreat. The morning service was great, but it was worth the drive just to sit and talk to some of the men from the church for a good part of the day. There were different activities during the day including a soccer tournament. By the end of the day we were very tired, yet refreshed by the fellowship.

By late in the afternoon, most of the men were heading home. One particular man, who is in politics, drove us around the neighborhood of the camp and told us the story of how God supplied the money for the church to have the camp. He was able to help make the access to the camp a bit easier and also helped get electricity out to the camp. This has raised the value of the property. Some neighbors who were selling their property for 20,000-30,000 are now trying to sell for 250,000. Though it might not quite be worth all of that, the church has a great camp and the property is worth much more than when they bought it less than two years ago.

We stayed out at the camp until Tuesday morning, then made our trip back home. I dropped Bro. Brian off in Ji-Paraná and arrived at home at nearly 9pm. It was a tiresome trip, but worth every bit of it to spend time with God’s people around the state. God is doing a great work here in the state of Rondônia. There is much going on for His glory. Please pray that more laborers would join the work force and more churches would be started throughout the state.

Preaching Conference

This past weekend we were invited to visit a church in Porto Velho, the capital of our state. The pastor, Pr. Adonias, invited me almost a year ago to preach a conference for them. The invitation was set for when the remodeling was finished. They were putting a new roof on the church building and he wanted to hold a conference shortly after they finished.

Our time there was very enjoyable. It is always a pleasure to have fellowship with Brazilian pastors. We stayed with him and his wife. They have three grown children all of which are very active in the church. They were very kind to us and to our children. Praise the Lord for faithful preachers like Pr. Adonias. He has been the pastor of this church for nearly 30 years.

Preaching Conference

I had the opportunity to preach on Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday morning, and Sunday evening. Saturday night was the night more people showed up. I was told there were around 300 people in the service that evening. There were chairs in all the aisles and the pews were very full. We put so many people in our own pew that we had to kick 4-5 people out.

A couple of the people that have attended our Bible studies in Ouro Preto moved to Porto Velho in the last 6 months. It was a great joy to see them come on Saturday night also and listen to the preaching of the Word of God. We continue to pray for them and communicate with them even though they are living nearly 200 miles away now. God is still at work in their lives.

One of the exciting things about this church was the effort they put into the music. Many churches have special music and presentations, but few put much work into it. These people are working hard to honor the Lord with their music. The pastor’s son is the one who leads the choir, plays the piano, and orchestrates all the special music in the church. He has little formal training, but enjoys serving the Lord in this way.

You can find more pictures of our trip by clicking HERE.

While we were in Porto Velho we had the opportunity to meet Bro. Henry Mantonya and his wife. We also met his daughter and son-in-law, Steve and Robin Campbell. They are missionaries to an Indian tribe here in Brazil. We were able to spend a few hours talking to them and learning what God is doing in their lives and in the lives of those in the tribe they are working with.

On the physical side of things, we are thankful to be home safely. The trip was somewhat exhausting. Though the roads are much better now than the last time we drove them, it is still a dangerous drive. Jonathan and Judson were a little sick during the trip, but seem to be doing a bit better now. We were also glad to arrive home this time and find things just as we left them. Due to a recent break-in, and non-functional electric fence, we had home on the back of our minds during the entire trip.

Thank you for always praying for us!

— Jeremy

Cujubim – Rondônia – Brazil

I just returned from a weekend holiday trip to the city of Cujubim where I participated in a type of youth congress teaching young people about music. The Lord blessed in a great way during the trip!

There were representatives from about five or six different churches present at the meeting. The fellowship was wonderful and the Lord was working in the hearts of the young people as well as the adults.

Bro. Adelmo is working in the church there. The Lord put him in Cujubim about eight months ago to help the church. He will soon be ordained and become the pastor of the church. Please pray for him as he works for the Lord in Cujubim.

During my three day stay, he took all the teenagers out several times to hand out tracts and do some soul-winning. Though no one trusted the Lord as their Savior during these times of outreach, I was glad to see some young people out talking to people about the Lord and inviting them to the meetings.

From my point of view, the leaders benefited more from the lessons than did the young people. They were quick to admit their need to change the music in their churches. Some, I believe will take steps of improvement, while others will continue doing what they have always done because it is the “easy way”. Many times we have the opportunity to hear good preaching and teaching on certain subjects, but how often do we actually act on those things and change something in our lives because of it?

The challenge many times is not only to present truth, but to encourage people to act on it. A quote, I believe to be by Mark Twain, gives us the truth… “It’s not the parts of the Bible that I don’t understand that Give me fits, it’s the parts that I do understand that trouble me the most.” We have the Bible and truth at our fingertips, but yet we are many times unchanged and unaffected by it.

Please pray for our churches here in Brazil. Many stories could be told of the churches that have strayed into Pentecostalism because of music. Though I am certain that music was not the only factor, it is one of the signs that will most certainly pop up before the church heads that way.

The churches in this particular area of Brazil are very needy. This is not only in the area of music, but in every area. There is very little teaching on doctrine and few qualified teachers or pastors. Out of the eight closest churches to us, four of them are without a pastor and being monitored by the same missionary. Each of these churches has a male leader, but many of these have little if any training and some do not even understand the basic fundamental doctrines that we teach, yet they are in leadership in that church for lack of others who will take on the role.

People are begging us for a Bible institute, music training, pastoral leadership, and much more. Where do we begin? Should we just neglect what God has put in our hearts to help these people with their needs? By no means! Yet at the same time we must pray to our all-knowing God who said that He would send laborers at our request. Let us not be guilty of “doing everything we can” without doing what God has already asked us to do.

A Great Start to September

This past Saturday, September 1st, was a good beginning to the month. Pastor Marcelo from Machadinho, mentioned just a few posts ago, invited me to go with him to conduct a service at his uncle’s house. His uncle lives in a small town called Alvorada do Oeste, about 60 miles from our city of Ouro Preto. It is definitely a smaller city and is not even labled on Google Maps.

Our entire family was planning on going, but because of all the circumstances of the past few days and upcoming days, we decided it would be best for them to stay at home. I drove down to Alvorada, then out of town a few miles into the country to get to my destination.

The service was conducted at a house on the farm. The purpose for the service was for Bro. Apolinário to give testimony of what God had done in his life. He wanted all his neighbors and relatives to know that he was now a Christian. Through the past three years he had undergone many cancer treatments and had come near death several times. In fact, he said his heart quit beating for about 25 minutes. Yet, one of the nurses did not give up on him and was able to help him come back to.

We had an absolutely wonderful time down there. There were several relatives there that did not know the Lord as Savior and we were able to present the Gospel to them in a very clear way. Pastor Marcelo did a great job preaching to his own family and pointing them to Jesus. Altogether, there were about 28 people in the service.

The Lord blessed and also gave us safety traveling back and forth. I did see a bunch of goats, a very large cow, an opossum, and a huge pig on the highway, but thankfully the Lord protected me from hitting them. Though this is considered a main highway connecting several cities, there were probably 30 speed bumps I had to cross going and coming back. There was a total of about five miles of highway that was still dirt. They have been working on paving the road for several years, but it is not finished yet.

Please keep praying as we make more contacts in this part of the country and seek to follow the Lord’s will here.

Below is a picture of our service at the farm. There is also a link to the pictures page where you will find a few more pictures of this trip.

— Jeremy


Machadinho do Oeste

Last weekend, our family was invited to visit a church in Machadinho do Oeste. It is about three hours from where we live right now. The church was started by fellow missionary Tom Brewer.

Pastor Marcelo invited our family to come spend the weekend with them. I preached on Saturday evening and on Sunday morning and evening. Amanda also spoke at a ladies meeting on Friday evening.

It was a great blessing to see the Lord working in so many lives up there. We had a great time of fellowship with Pastor Marcelo and his family. Pastor Marcelo has a great heart to serve the Lord and has taken a stand which has set him apart from so many pastors. We wish to encourage him in the work the Lord has placed him in there in the city of Machadinho do Oeste.

Many Brazilians have been so influenced by the pentecostal movement and the gospel of prosperity that they are always looking for a “blessing”. This has so dominated the country that people have sold their houses and lands and separated large amounts of money to give to their churches expecting to receive double in return from God. Because of this I preached on “Destroyed by a Miracle”. I related many examples how victory, blessing, and miracles lead to spiritual or physical destruction. Gideon, Simon in Acts 8, and many other examples could be given. I showed them that many people are looking for the Miracle and missing God altogether.

Sunday evening, after a message on the Potter and the Clay, a lady trusted the Lord as her Savior!!!

Altogether, we were refreshed by the fellowship and enjoyed the time away from home. We even were able to spend just a little time out by the river with Pastor Marcelo and his family. The boys really enjoyed climbing around on the rocks.


— Jeremy

Igreja Batista Bíblica – Paraisópolis

My wife did an excellent job blogging about our visit to Paraisópolis, so I asked her if I could post her comments on here also. If you would like to look at her blog, you can visit TylerFamilyTales.blogspot.com.
Jeremy had the opportunity to preach for a Brazilian pastor who has a church in an area of the city called Paraisópolis (translated Paradise City).
It is actually the second largest favela (slum, shanty town) in São Paulo, and far from what I would call paradise. Jeremy preached here once before in 2004 when the church was just beginning. It was exciting to see how they have grown and expanded since that time.
Click on the picture above to explore the area using Google Maps Street View

Judson enjoyed his class and was proud of the picture he colored.
The neighborhood of Paraisópolis has about 100,000 people living in it. According to the stats that I have found, there are 1000 persons per hectare. For those of you who (like me) who have no idea what a hectare is, it is 10,000 sq. meters, or 100m x 100m. Only 25% of this population live in houses supplied with sewage system, half of the streets are not paved and 60% use irregular means to obtain power. These “irregular means” are usually hooking into wires themselves and not paying for electricity.

São Paulo is a city of extremely rich and extremely poor, and many times these two are located right beside each other. This is the case with this neighborhood as well. These apartments that you see in the background sell for over $1 million.

Please pray for Pastor Washington and this work in such a needy area.

One more member in the Family of God

This past Sunday we were in Limeira. We had a wonderful time with the people and were excited about what God has done in their lives. The work there needs much prayer as people halt between two opinions. Yet, the Lord is working in the hearts of many people there.

We arrived on Friday evening just before the women met at one of the members houses to discuss modesty in dress. Meanwhile, the men gathered at another house for a good time of fellowship and eating (those may be considered synonyms).

On Saturday a few people stopped by to spend just a bit of time with us. It was a great joy to see some of my friends from my days as a child. Though many of them have strayed from the Lord, He is still doing a great work in their lives and drawing them to His side.

Saturday evening I was asked to speak to the young people about music. We had a good time with them in the service. Several seemed sensitive to what God was doing in their lives. I tried to bring them to the place where they would desire to do the correct thing. Many times we beat people over the head with right and wrongs, and they never understand why things are wrong. I used the passage in Matthew which speaks of the Pharisees and their “whited sepulchres” hoping they would see the importance of being clean in their innermost being.

On Sunday morning, I preached about knowing the Scriptures and how a lack of knowing the Scriptures caused doubt and even discouragement. This I got from several passages after the resurrection where Jesus opened their understanding because they knew not the Scriptures.


During the invitation several people came to the front. Also, one young boy raised his hand acknowledging the fact that he had never been saved. After the service I spoke to his father, who was a very close friend of mine years ago. He said that his son, Ramon, was coming close to salvation, but was not sure how much he understood.

In the evening service I preached on the passage in I Kings 18 where Elijah prayed and fire came down from Heaven. Especially here in Brazil people tend to abuse this passage. The influence from the Pentecostal churches has changed the way many people look at the Bible. This lead me to preach on this passage. Everyone wants the power of God, but few people want the power of God for the right reason.

At the end of the message once again I extended an invitation for people to come forward. Several people came forward again in the evening service. I also asked again about salvation. Once again, Ramon raised his hand and said he was not saved. As the invitation progressed, he walked back to his dad, whispered something to him, then returned to his seat.

A few seconds later he walked right up to the front and said, “I want to trust Jesus as my Savior.” I called one of the men near the front to help and asked him to take him back with his father. Shortly afterward, his father lead him to the Lord in a back room. After the service ended I had an opportunity to pray with him, ask him some questions, and find out what had happened. Ramon told me he was sure he was saved. Jesus had forgiven his sin and he was going to Heaven. AMEN!

This was very exciting. Nothing is more exciting than to see the Lord work in the lives of sinners to bring them to repentance and salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.


Praise the Lord for a wonderful weekend with people who are growing in the Lord and seeking His guidance in the establishment of this new church. Please pray for the people of the Igreja Batista Emanuel in Limeira.

— Jeremy