Presently I am preaching with Sr Roberto Ploia in the ninth week of gospel meetings in the town of Osorio. This is where the late Sam Curran lived and laboured. It is also where the first assembly was formed in this state in the mid fifties. This series has continued a lot longer than I had planned, as Osorio is over five hours travel from Santa Maria. Right from the first week, there was evidence that God was working and sinners were being awakened to their need of salvation. During the third week, we rejoiced in hearing of the salvation of a lady who has been long prayed for. Her brother and sister are in fellowship. Another lady whose husband we saw saved three years ago, when preaching with Sr Jose Matos, was saved during the fourth week. Both of these cases are giving joy to the saints, as there are clear signs of conversion to God. Another young man of 31 who is an outsider professed during the fourth week, and a number of others have since professed. We long that all will go on to prove to have reality. Presently the son of this first lady to be saved is deeply interested. He is on holiday from University. Her brother-in-law is also showing some concern, and we know of one or two others who appear to be seeking for salvation. Shortly the assembly in Osorio is planning to have a baptism. Five believers are possible candidates. We trust that all will be for the building up and blessing of the assembly.
During the Christmas week, we had to cancel two nights in Osorio, so as to be able to help in the annual Conference Bible Readings in Porto Alegre. Despite very high temperatures, it was encouraging to see the large number who gathered, especially on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. There were five readings in all and we felt they were very profitable. On the third week of February, similar readings are being planned by two assemblies. The most recently formed assembly in Sombrio (in Santa Catarina) is planning to study the Epistle to Titus, while the assembly in Sao Gabriel is planning both ministry and Bible Readings. These will be studying Colossians 3-4. I plan DV to be in Sao Gabriel.
Here in Santa Maria, the work continues slowly. During 2009 I had gospel meetings in three different areas of the city, but we mourn our barrenness. One lady professed in May, but has not gone on the way we would have liked. Her father is in fellowship. The childrens work on a Lords Day gives encouragement. In the recent prizegiving 70 children received prizes. All except two of these children are from ungodly homes. We pray that the Word of God that they are learning will be used to their blessing and salvation.
The new hall in Restinga Seca is in full use. Sadly I have not had the time to have a proper series there recently, but the three men who are believers carry on the work in my absence. Just a few weeks ago, a young brother from the Sao Leopoldo assembly near to Novo Hamburgo, moved to Restinga Seca to live. His unsaved aunt lives there and through her influence he has found employment. We trust Sr Julio will be a blessing to the work.
As most may know, my wife Christine has been at home in N Ireland with our family since mid October. I am planning to fly to Ireland on 19th February and to be there until mid June. May the Lord guide us in our every movement! My father-in-law very much needs our prayers. He has lung cancer which is slowly taking its toll.