Gordon and Dorothy Gartrell - February 2019 Update
Greetings from Brazil in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The church here had a difficult fall. Several members of the church have people in their families who are seriously ill. I thought I would be officiating funerals any day but am glad to report that I was wrong. One of the men has recuperated nicely. He has home care around the clock but is doing very well. Another gentleman has had a brain tumor for many years. This past year, he has been in the hospital numerous times. He also has home care 24 hours a day and continues to be in very fragile health. His 25-year-old nephew, Valter, is responsible for taking care of him. Valter does not receive much family support, so church folks are giving him extra tender loving care and encouragement.
Before Christmas we had a special celebration during the Sunday School hour. Elizeu and Dona Vane, a very active couple in the church, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Their family wanted to celebrate with a service at church and then a luncheon at their home. I thought a sister-in-law was organizing the whole thing and that I would just offer a prayer. I was wrong. They wanted me to conduct their whole wedding ceremony all over again. Fortunately, the pastor’s manual had everything I needed to know, so the ceremony went off nicely. The couple has eight children, 16 grandchildren and one great granddaughter.
Our small church put a choir together for Christmas a year ago. This year we put on a cantata with a lot of help from our music director. We had about 16 people in the choral group. We shared the Christmas story in song.
One of the goals of our church is to meet in homes on Tuesday nights for Bible study or prayer. We had a Thanksgiving service in the home of a lady whose daughter completed the school year satisfactorily. We had another Culto de Ações de Graças (Thanksgiving service) for Dona Maria Gálio’s 80th birthday. We met in the afternoon because her neighborhood is dangerous at night due to drug trafficking. She lives in a tiny house with family nearby. For the party, they set up a couple of tents to protect folks from the scorching heat. A police car that was driving by stopped, and a young policeman got out with a machine gun strapped to his shoulder. He is Dona Maria’s adopted son. He came to congratulate her, get a hug, and receive her blessing. As he left, he gave her a kiss on the forehead. It was an impromptu, sweet moment. He then got back in the vehicle with his buddies and continued patrolling the area.
I have a “new member’s class” underway. I started it in November during the Sunday School hour since most folks are free at that time and plan to be in church. But I don’t have the same students in class each Sunday. Maybe by March or certainly by Easter we will be receiving some new members by baptism and profession of faith. Just because somebody takes the class does not necessarily mean they must join the church. They can decide if they are ready to join the church or not.
Yours in Christian ministry,
Gordon and Dorothy Gartrell
Read more about the Gartrell’s ministry HERE.
The Outreach Foundation is seeking $25,000 for support funds for Gordon and Dorothy Gartrell.