Monday, August 30, 2010

Final Week at Igreja da Cidade

Last week, we spent our final moments in Sítio talking about the gospel and celebrating all that God has done during our time here. We have really fell in love with the people there and our heart is to see a strong, gospel-proclaiming, Biblical church take root and transform the community.

Christy and I spend most of the previous Wednesday getting to know one woman in the community named Jaqueline. Her husband is an alcoholic, drug abusing non-Christian. Christy encouraged her that the church (people) are there to walk together with her through these trials. She has two children that attend the church regularly, and one baby who often accompanies her 9 year-old son (pic at right).On Friday we visited the community as usual, but this time we had a little surprise. The kids were enthused to receive tiny presents that our small group mailed to us in a giant box a little while ago. They loved all of them (see video at right) and even some of the moms asked for a sticker! Meanwhile, Pastor Sergio and Ana distributed what seemed to be a million donated diapers to a throng of needy mothers at the church building.

On Saturday, the church threw a going-away party for us as well as Josh and Ana since they are returning to the States as well on the 31st. The church was packed, in our entire time here we've never seen so many people in that room! It was amazing to see around 40 adults in the church service and Lord knows how many children. Ana's home church in Niteroi sent a team, which included a Gospel-sharing clown, to carry out all the festivities. Plus, Pastor Sergio got to talk with a lot of the people who were interested in either joining the church or getting baptized. Saying good-bye was quite difficult, but we all addressed the congregation, encouraging them to look to Jesus, then they closed by praying over us.

Even though we were only there for about five months, it is so difficult leaving this new church when we still have the churned soil underneath our fingernails. We can not help but relate to Paul as he often wept when God called him to leave the newly planted churches he was committed to. We are praying for the same strong faith that he had in the fact that God is in control of the future of all churches and that Jesus is building his church, not us.

Tchau Igreja da Cidade- Sítio da Amizade!

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