Pirassununga, a town with approximately 70,000 inhabitants, is situated in the state of São Paulo, the richest and most densely populated state in Brazil. It is a state that is larger than the whole of the UK, and has a population of over 40 million. My parents (Ronald and Janeta Watterson) first moved to this region approximately forty years ago to preach the gospel. The Lord blessed their efforts and the seed sown, and today there are six assemblies in this immediate region.
The assembly in Pirassununga
The assembly in Pirassununga has twenty-five believers in fellowship, having recently received the addition of a godly family who moved from another part of Brazil. Being a small assembly, most of the saints feel the need to help in the daily activities of the assembly, from which the gospel is preached every Friday night. Please pray for the assemblies in this region, and for the gospel preached every week in the towns of Aguaí, Porto Ferreira, and Araras.
Literature work - first steps
We began working with literature in a very small way, but the work has since grown at a rate we could never have imagined. About eighteen years ago, while working with my brother-in-law in a little book-shop which we both owned, we started printing small articles (written by my father, or translated from English) and distributing them among the believers in our immediate region. Shortly after that, we were encouraged when the brethren from John Ritchie Ltd approached my parents to ask if we had any interest in translating into Portuguese their excellent series of commentaries on the New Testament, What The Bible Teaches. It was a wonderful opportunity to have more sound teaching in Portuguese, and we were eager to start. For a project of this magnitude a lot of people had to be involved. My parents, Mr Sam Davidson, Mr Jim Jardine, and various brothers and sisters here in Brazil helped in translating, correcting, editing and printing these books. In 1993 we had the first volume, I & II Thessalonians, available in Portuguese. It took us fifteen years to complete this project (Revelation, the last of the series, is currently with the printer).
Literature work - growing
In parallel with the translation and printing of these commentaries, we were also publishing various other books and booklets, some translated from English, others written in Portuguese. Our main emphasis has always been on literature that will help to strengthen and establish Gods assemblies. Many assemblies in Brazil have left "the simplicity which is in Christ", so literature dealing with assembly principles is a priority for us.
We also began printing a quarterly magazine with articles exalting Christ and presenting assembly principles. We still print over 2,000 copies of each issue of this magazine, which has been available for 13 years. It is sent, free of charge, to assemblies all over Brazil (and, beginning next issue, Angola). Gospel tracts were also in great demand - we have printed and distributed hundreds of thousands of gospel tracts during these years.
By 1999, the amount of time involved in this work had grown to such a point that my wife and I decided, after seeking the Lords guidance, to leave the shop to the care of my brother-in-law, and devote all our time to the Lords work, especially in the area of literature. In the intervening years we made two extensions to our house, both of them to provide more space for the machines and stock of books that never stopped growing. When we had no more room to expand our house, the Lord enabled us, through the kindness of His people in the UK, to purchase another house 100 yards from our own. As I write this article, we are in the process of moving to the new building, where we will have plenty of room to work (and grow).
Literature work - results
We are very glad to be able to say that God has used the books, booklets, and articles to help recover forgotten truths in many of His assemblies. Amidst the doctrinal confusion which exists in most of Brazil, some assemblies have understood that Gods blueprint for His assemblies, presented in the New Testament, has not changed, and that our blessed Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified when we meet in simplicity, gathered unto His name alone. Some twenty assemblies (ranging from 150 to 700 miles from Pirassununga) have undergone a very real change in recent years, and we now have the pleasure of visiting these assemblies and having happy fellowship with them.
We are currently working on A G Clarkes New Testament Church Principles, and some new titles for a little series of booklets that deal with assembly principles. We value your prayers for the Lords guidance and help.