We have some beautiful stories to share with you today.
During the summer of 2012, we began a weekly summer Bible club that met in a park. The first Saturday, seven kids showed up. Paula and Patricia, the two girls in the middle of the picture, came and heard the gospel for the first time that day. The next summer, Paula raised her hand while Sarah was telling the Bible story and proclaimed to all that she had received Jesus as her Savior. The following summer (2014) Patricia believed the gospel and was saved as well.
It’s summer 2018 now, and things have changed. Instead of Sarah or me telling the story, Patricia and Paula now rotate telling the Bible story every week. Now, they are salt and light in their neighborhood and are telling their friends about Christ.
This month, we had the pleasure of bringing 16 youth to Bible camp. The theme was “More Than” as we studied being “more than” conquerors; existing by “more than” chance; etc. We took sixteen young people from our church, three of whom made professions of faith. We are once again thankful for God’s protection and how He worked in the campers’ hearts.
In our last update, we shared the good things that happened while the deaf mission team was here. The good news continues: Manuela is a deaf lady we have known since 2013. Last fall, she started doing a one-on-one Bible study with Sarah. Little by little, she has gained “head knowledge” of the Bible and Jesus, and started reading her Bible on her own, but has hesitated to trust Jesus for salvation. The week after the team came, Sarah and Manuela went over John 3:16 together, and this time Manuela was ready to receive Jesus! After 4 ½ years of watching the seed of God’s (signed) Word take root in Manuela, it was beautiful to see it blossom in salvation.Sarah cried for joy! Manuela and Sarah planned a surprise lunch to announce her salvation to our coworkers. Manuela has boldly shared her decision with many friends in person and on social media. Please pray she will continue to grow and that God will use her to reach more deaf people for Him.
Do you notice a common thread in these two stories? In both cases, years went by between when the seed was planted and when it brought forth fruit.We rejoice that Paula and Patricia are leading the Bible club this summer, but that work in their lives began six years ago. Our hearts soar with gratitude in seeing Manuela publicly profess her faith in Christ, but it took more than four years of learning the Bible and growing in her understanding of the gospel before she was saved. Furthermore, for every Patricia, Paula, and Manuela, there are many dozens of people who have rejected the gospel or have fallen away. Please pray for more Portuguese hearts to be tender to God’s truth that has been spoken or signed to them over the years.
On a personal note, we have moved . . . not far, just to a different neighborhood. Many of you are so kind to send us birthday cards and personal letters. If so, please note our new mailing address below, and we look forward to continuing to hear from you.
Grace and peace!
David and Sarah