Tuesday, August 01, 2006

ANSWERED PRAYER

A big THANK YOU goes out to everyone who prayed for my conversation with the mother church pastor of our church plant in São Leopoldo and for the first Bible study with the voodoo witchdoctor.

Things went well with Pr. Heleno. He had gotten some incorrect information on what we were doing and how we were doing it and was trying to figure out what was going on. We had a good, friendly conversation, and are planning on getting together for lunch next week to talk some more. He is still committed to the church plant and wants to be even more supportive of it than he has been to this point (which has basically to give us free reign, which is what I wanted). The root problem of all of this was that at least one of the couples on my team has been exagerating, and some of the people in his church appear to have been misrepresenting themselves. Now we have to deal with all of this! However, he and I are in agreement and at peace - which was what I was praying for.

I left my conversation with Pastor Heleno, and went straight to the Bible study with the voodoo witchdoctor (Mãe de Santo). We had a very long, open conversation, with no punches pulled. I discovered that God is REALLY working on her, and has been for a good long time. She told me that she was brought up in witchcraft and has known nothing else. The african spirit "gods" have been her point of reference for everything, but when she encountered a crisis, they were not there to help her, she began to cry out to God, and she feels that He did help her. She said that she wants to change and stop doing her black magic, but that there are things that are pulling her back. Please pray that God would bind the evil spirits that have possessed her for so long and that she would have the strength and conviction to make a radical commitment to Christ. Pray that Dona Nice and her two children that were there with her would be the firstfruits (actually second, as her daughter made a decision last week) of a great harvest in this huge clan. I'm looking forward to having a bonfire with all of her witchraft paraphanalia! We are planning to continue our time together next Monday night at 6:00 EST.

Thanks for your partnership in prayer.

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