Important Birth Announcement: IT’S A GIRL! Her name is Laura Oliveira da Silva, and although I did not get her weigh or height, she was BORN-AGAIN at 5:41pm on September 9, 2013. Her age at the time of her new birth: 78 years of age.
Mrs. Laura’s daughter, Edna, has been burdened for her mother for a long time. Edna’s father made a profession of faith just a few weeks before he passed away, eight years ago. Last week, Mrs. Laura was not doing well at all, and even spent one night in the hospital. Edna was so afraid that her mother was going to die and go to Hell. On Saturday, Edna and her husband (Sergio) were here at our house for the cookout, and Edna wept as she told us about her mother. I called Mrs. Laura on Saturday morning to set up a time when we could visit with her. Monday is usually when I TRY and take a day off, but I didn’t want Mrs. Laura to die and go to Hell, either.
Becky and I left our house at 2:00pm this afternoon, and as I normally do, I got us lost for a while in unfamiliar territory, but we finally arrived at Mrs. Laura’s house at 3:30. She was very happy to see us, and for a while we sat and talked to get better acquainted with her. We had met her before, but it was just briefly, so we were able to sit and get to know her for a while. She showed us her house, and then made some coffee and got a Coke and cake out for some refreshments. As we sat at her table, the conversation was moved toward the spiritual, and Becky went to her purse to get out the “Wordless Book.” Becky explained for a while, and then I explained for a while. I showed her some Bible verses. I gave her real examples, and some illustrations to better help her understand. We spent a good bit of time sharing the Gospel with her, stopping to make sure she understood what the Bible said. She understood that she was a sinner and that she could not save herself. She understood about the blood that Jesus shed on the cross was for her. She said that she believed in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. She understood about repentance and turning from sin. She said she understood it ALL. In the end, I asked if she wanted to receive the free gift of salvation. She asked me when she could do it. I told her she could do it at any time, and then she asked if she could do it now. Of course we said yes. Mrs. Laura prayed and asked the Lord Jesus to forgive her of her sin, and accepted Him to be her Savior. Hallelujah! We left Mrs. Laura’s house a short time later at 6:00pm, and with a bit of São Paulo rush-hour traffic, and getting lost again on the way home, we arrived at 7:40.
This is how it is so often in São Paulo: leave at 2:00 in the afternoon, make one visit, and arrive home at 7:40 in the evening. It took us 5 hours and 4o minutes to make ONE visit, but I can honestly say, “It was worth it!”
I am in NO WAY taking credit for this, because I know that she has heard the Gospel on numerous occasions. Someone else planted the first Seed of the Gospel a number of years ago, but the ground was stony, hard, and cold. Many other times someone has watered the Seed that was sown. The Lord allowed us to be there to reap the harvest. The time was right. Her heart was tender. The Holy Spirit worked, and she trusted Christ as her Savior.
Once again, thank you for your prayers for us as we serve the Lord here in São Paulo. As I was preaching yesterday, I was thinking of how blessed I am to be able to stand before a group of deaf people here and teach these people some Bible principles from the book of Joshua. I started a series on Baptist distinctives last night (during the second service), and I was thrilled as I could see the deaf just soaking it up. One young man came and told me of his desire to be baptized and become a faithful member of the church. And then today, a 78-year-old lady trusts Christ as her Savior! What an awesome God we serve, not by just having the privilege of laboring for Him in Brazil, but to receive the blessings of His goodness and His mercy and His grace!
Thank you for YOUR part in reaching these precious Brazilian souls for Jesus Christ!