Saturday, October 02, 2010

"I Care" Evangelism Impact in Barra do Ribeiro

A few weeks ago, we held another "I Care" Evangelism impact, this time in the city of Barra do Ribeiro. Barra is a small town with a rural feel about two hours away from Porto Alegre.

I got up early, met the Associational President and his daughter at the Highway Patrol station along the road, and we headed off to a gas station to meet the rest of our team that would be riding with us from the city of Guaíba. As we were waiting, the rain rolled in and it started to pour - not a good sign on a day when we're going to hit the streets to do home visits! We drove out to Barra, and then had some trouble finding the church - we ended up going across two different rickety one-lane wood bridges to get there.

When we found the church, I spent the morning leading an evangelism training for the members of the various churches in the association that had come to participate in the evangelism impact. They had been doing impacts for a year now, but had never had any training in how to present the gospel in a comprehensive and contextual way.

After the training, we then had lunch, and then split up into teams to go out and do pre-scheduled home visits. Despite the rain which poured off and on all day, we were determined to go out. I got paired with the pastor of the church's pre-teen daughter, the associational president's teenage daughter, and an extremely elderly gentleman. My goal is to always have them do the evangelism after they've spent hours being trained, but they were all jittery, so I said that I would do ehte gospel presentation in the first visit.

It turned out that the first visit was in the home of a man who had just gotten home from the hospital with severe pain in his kidney and obviously needed to go back - he was groaning in pain the whole time. I gave a quick testimony, then we prayed over him and left. Our second visit was at a house where nobody was home.

Our third visit turned out to be the house next door to the pastor's house. The pastor's daughter was all fired up and said that she was going to do all the talking. We walked in the (back) door and interupted the mother cooking supper. She called her husband and we all sat down, and I was waiting for the pastor's daughter to start giving her testimony. Instead, she and the associational president's daughter dissapeared into the rest of the house to go witness to the 3 boys of the house and left me with the couple! I was able to have an excellent conversation with them, and they both made decisions to follow Christ as their Savior. The girls ended having a good witnessing experience with the boys as well. Please pray that this family will stick with their decision and grow rapidly in their faith in Christ.

We headed back to the church building after our visit for a snack and the closing worship service, where people shared their testimonies from the day, we worshipped the Lord, and were inspired from His Word.

A middle-aged lady who participated in the training and who had never before shared her faith was deeply impacted by the training and her first evangelism experience. She wrote me a note and said "Dear Pastor Jeffry, I'll never forget this day - thank you!"

Please pray that the people who made decisions for Christ will be integrated into the life of the churches in Barra do Ribeiro and grow into strong, mature disciples.

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