Gordon and Dorothy Gartrell (PCUSA) - December 2015
Dear family, friends and supporters,
Thank you for your support of our ministry. It’s going well, and good things are happening. More people are worshiping with us each week. It’s nice to see young folks in the church, too. Without your prayers and support, these people would not be learning about the Lord.
However, we recently received a letter from World Mission of the PC(USA) informing us of the current financial situation. Giving is down, and the endowment funds have run out. In the 1960s endowments and Shared Mission Support made up 80% of co-worker support. In 2014 they paid for 16% of missionary support. We realize that many of you give to our support, and we are grateful. We were surprised to learn that only 15% of congregations give directly to mission support. Up to 40 co-workers (of 162) could be downsized next year!
About our ministry here in Brazil, we have MANY friends and are becoming known in the community. We have visited a lot of people, and church attendance has increased. For Gordon's birthday the church held a birthday worship service in our home. A little before it began Gordon said he hoped we'd have eight people. There were 30 people there. Many of them were neighbors and friends, but it was uplifting to see them participating in a worship service, celebrating the life of our church's pastor!
The Moderator and General Secretary of the National Church were recently here for Sunday School. Some of our members and regular visitors come either for Sunday School in the morning or worship at night. Before the visit, Gordon asked the members to be there in the morning, and ALL of them came. The picture shows us with the Moderator, Wertson Brazil Souza and the Secretary, Sergio Miranda before we left Sunday School. After Sunday School they met with the session, and then we had lunch with a church leader who is a very good cook. Wertson and Sergio visited another church for worship in the evening. We had a good visit.
As many of you know, the church was also a school for 31 years. It was supported by the state, our town and the church. It was closed by the local mayor in January before classes were scheduled to begin in February. Many people in the community sent their children to the highly respected school. After it was closed people began asking the church how they would use the classrooms to help the community. We have begun English and music classes. Dorothy teaches English to children twice a week, in the morning and in the afternoon. Keyboard and guitar classes are offered, too. It is the beginning of how we can reach out to the community.
Thank you for your prayers. Please continue to pray for our ministry, especially for the children's work. God bless each of you!
Gordon and Dorothy Gartrell
Amount needed in 2015
The Outreach Foundation seeks to raise a minimum of $2,100 per month for the Gartrell's support. To make a donation, click the Donate Now link in the sidebar.
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