May 13, 2017
Friends and family,
This month has been one that has been somewhat trying. Our church bus has had a minor problem with the air brakes. Well, we were told that all we had to do was take off the part and replace it with a new one. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, we were told by the mechanic what part to purchase, so we call the parts store in the next city and ordered the part. We go get the part on Tuesday and bring it to the mechanic (good—this is one day before we will need the bus for Wednesday night). But they call us on Wednesday to say that the part is the wrong one. So, Thursday we make the trip up to the other city to get the new part—which they don’t have—so we order the new part. So, this is the first week that we will not have the bus to pick up the children on Sunday. When we ordered the part on Friday, we were told that there would be a delay in the order because this is a holiday and there would be no mail to get the piece to the parts store. So, we would have to wait 5 days for the part to get to the store. This takes us past Wednesday again. When it arrived and we went to get it, it was for the wrong side. So, they ordered it again.
By this time, I have to go up north for the seminary in Orlandia and the part has not come yet. I was there for a week and upon my arrival, the part had not come yet. Now we are in the third week without a bus for the kids. We were called and told that the new part was at the parts place so Barbara and Edson make a trip up the hill to get it, hoping that this Sunday we will have a bus for the kids. Guess what—this piece did not fit either. Now we discover that someone has worked on the brakes sometime in the past and none of the pieces would have fit so we tell the mechanic to cut the new piece and make it fit the bus.
The blessing in this story is that the bus company that we use when we have big groups has generously loaned us one of their buses on Sunday morning to pick up the kids, but not for the people on Sunday night nor on Wednesday night. But on the last Sunday they could not loan a bus, so we made trips with 2 cars to pick up the kids. We have around 80 to 100 kids that attend Sunday School every week–so you can imagine the amount of kids we had in each car. We were so busy getting the kids to church that no one got pictures.
The bus was functioning on Wednesday night and we are looking forward to a full house on Sunday!!! Sometimes things so simple can become so complicated. Oh well, we are still so blessed that it is unreal. And even in all this mess we have had numerous visitors in the church each week.
Now on to more blessings. At this session of the seminary we had a group of students, 26 in number, 18 of which were pastors and 8 church workers. The classes were taught by Dr. D. Colman from Gardenside Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky, and Dr. R. Edge from First Baptist Church in Bastrop, Texas. What a blessing these two men are to the seminary. The seminary now has accreditation given by the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and this has helped us to gain more students. These students are now asking if we can add a Master’s Program to our original classes. You know that with God all things are possible! We are working on this as you read this letter and by God’s grace we will have the Master’s Program included for the classes that start in 2018. How AWESOME is the God we serve.
Pray for our Seminary: Caragua Baptist Seminary as we continue to train Pastors—specifically for us to be able to reach more Pastors to train them to take to gospel to Brasil. In 2018 we will be offering the classes in São Paulo City, Orlandia, São Paulo, probably in Manaus, Amazonas, and maybe in one other location. We are taking these classes to different regions to make them more available to the areas where the pastors reside. That way more pastors can attend and then take the teaching to their areas. This will be an AWESOME blessing to them and their churches.
We always ask for prayer for the Seminary everywhere we go so we now have 70-100 pastors praying for Caragua Baptist Seminary. Won’t you join with them in praying for the seminary also? For the pastors and the workers that participate in the Seminary, for the teachers and for the translators, and the churches that these Pastors return to after they finish the classes. Please include in your prayers Barb and I, our church here in Caraguatatuba, Pastor Walmir and all the works here in Brasil.
To end the letter on a note of a blessing, this month we have had one more soul added to God’s kingdom. Praise His Name.
In His service,
Aj and Barbara