News from Porto Alegre!!
Hi Dear Friends,
Jeff and I just realized that many of you are not yet aware that we DID finally get a flight into Porto Alegre. We got here late in the afternoon on Saturday (6/11). Forgive us for not emailing sooner, but from the moment the wheels of our plane touched the ground, we have been on the run.
I spoke at Mont Serrat Baptist church the night we arrived and it was AMAZING! Jeff and I were invited to speak as part of their Family and Marriage Series. It was a great service. I shared my testimony first and then Jeff came up and we talked about our marriage and answered questions from the congregation. It was a very intimate yet powerful time. Even the pastor felt that God was speaking to his heart and was moved to tears. We had no idea that we were being streamed live on the web until a lady rushed to the church after the service just to hug me and to thank me for coming to Brazil. She had been going through a difficult time and was feeling hopeless... God restored her hope and renewed her faith that night. How GREAT is our God!!!
On Sunday, we drove 2 1/2 hrs to the mountain city of Caxias do Sul to speak at Igreja Batista Comunhao. After getting lost and getting out at the wrong church where the deacons didn't look like they were expecting us - we finally made it just as the service was starting. This congregation did such a great job at promoting our visit and inviting unbelievers that they had the highest attendance that night in their 17 year history. MANY came to the Lord, recommitted their lives and joined the church after I spoke that night. We didn't get back until after 1 am but it was well worth the journey.
To say the least, I was exhausted beyond measure on Monday morning but I knew that kids were anticipating my visit to their school. I had an incredibly GREAT talk with the students ... more than 13 gave their lives to Christ … including one teenage boy who said that before that day, he was agnostic... but my testimony and life proved to him the existence of a living God. WOW!!
Last night, we did an inner city outreach at a school in Cachoeirinha and I had to speak outside in 48° F. Jeff bundled me the best he could but I wish I would have had my hat and gloves (I was freezing!). It was a very tough crowd in a very rough area…felt like I could be shot at any moment. One young man was burning himself with a lighter the entire time I spoke. But in the midst of the darkness that surrounded me, I could see that people were listening and people were crying. God was there penetrating hearts. In the end, 23 people gave their hearts to Jesus (including the boy who was burning himself)! Decision cards were collected and it brings tears to my eyes as I read things like, "Eu decidi dexiar Jesus entrar na minha vida" (I decided to let Jesus enter my life) written over and over again. How exciting to know that a pastor will be following up on these people and small groups will now begin in this area!
Do you ever have those moments where you are beyond overwhelmed at the goodness, faithfulness, love, grace and mercy of God? That's how I feel as I type this. THANK YOU so much for sending us. None of this would be possible without your prayers and financial support. I hope you feel the same joy that we feel about each decision made so far because you are a vital part of it.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers. We will be working in the teen prison for the next two days, speaking 3 times each day.
With love from Brazil,
Posted by Bernadette at June 14, 2011 10:59 AM