New Church Development in Central Brazil
Dear Mission Partners,
The grace and peace of our Lord be with you all. After having no rain for four months, rain has come and Brasilia is now green again. As a matter of fact, rain has caused the temperature to drop into the low 40s during the night. We had already stored our portable heater because the weather is usually warmer close to the end of October. We are looking forward to our summer soon.
In September, I participated in the celebration of chartering Second Independent Presbyterian Church (IPIB) in Teixeira de Freitas, Bahia. This church has about 50 members and has also established another congregation on the other side of town.
First Independent Presbyterian Church (IPIB), a church we planted in 1989, has grown to about 300 active members and over 400 students in Sunday School. When we left in 1995, it had about 65 members and 120 students in Sunday School. It was great to visit and to renew friendships with many members in the towns of Teixeira de Freitas, Itamarajú, and Guarani. We thank God for his continued blessings upon the planted seeds. Further, we are happy to report that three of our former students are now serving as ordained pastors in these three fields. They are leaders of the youngest presbytery, organized last May, of the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil.
At the congregation in Samambaia, a Wednesday night family prayer program was introduced by the women’s group in September. We are meeting in different homes to do Bible studies. Members bring visitors and their families to pray together. The program also has several activities to motivate folks to pray and visit each other. There are approximately 30 people in attendance each Wednesday night.
In October, our men’s group at the Samambaia congregation organized a “Corn Festival,” where they raised $400 for our building fund. They also organized a special gathering with a devotional program on the Christian family, which included an all-day picnic and fishing trip to a farm outside Brasilia. We all enjoyed the program and had a nice, relaxing time on the farm.
The Christian Education Department of the Samambaia congregation planned a “Children’s Day.” We started during the Sunday School hour at 9:00 a.m. After Sunday School, the teachers took their students to visit children in the community. The children shared Bible stories and games, and there was a fellowship time with hot dogs and soft drinks.
The children then led the evening worship service, where they did the liturgy and performed drama and songs. It was truly a blessing to see them participating in public prayers and scripture reading. They did an excellent job, and all were blessed by their message.
The children also brought their little church banks to the service, which they had filled with coins as a token of their offerings to God. They gave a total of $30 toward our building fund.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support.
Blessings to all,
Irene and Michael Sivalee