Sunday, April 03, 2011

"I Care" Evangelism Impact in Arroio dos Ratos

On Saturday, we had our monthly "I Care" Evangelism impact in the River Baptist Association. This time, we went to the city of Arroio dos Ratos, literally translated as "Rat Stream" - catchy name, isn't it?

As you may be able to tell from the picture of the archway at the entrance to the city, apparently Rat Stream is seeking to be more known for their watermelon than their rodent namesake. I didn't get a picture, but the street signs were shaped like wedges of watermelon and the trash cans like verticle watermelons - pretty neat.
We rode on a bus that went around to all of the nearby churches and picked up those who would be participating in the impact. When we arrived in Arroio dos Ratos, we were greeted by Murilo, the Baptist missionary who is planting the church. As you can see from this photo with Association President Andre Luis (on right), Murilho has a pretty cool bike. He rides it around the city playing Christian music and preaching the gospel (the speaker on the front of the bike says "Christ is the only hope"). Everywhere we went, people knew Murilo as "the guy with the bike!"

We spent the morning spreading out through the city, distributing evangelistic tracts, looking for witnessing opportunities, spreading the word about the church, and inviting people to come to the afternoon activities.

That afternoon, there was a anti-drug talk by the local police in the church sanctuary, as well as games, activities, and snacks for kids in the neighborhood.

Three of us ended up going to visit a lady and her elderly mother, who was confined to her bed with a leg injury. It was neat to see how God used each one of us during the visit. Murilo's wife came in the room and immediately started to encourage the mother, exhorting her to not give up with tremendous energy and enthusiasm. I began to evangelize both the lady and her mother, and they both ended up receiving Christ. The third member of our team later told me that as we entered the room, she could feel the spiritual oppression in the room. As she prayed, Murilo's wife encouraged, and I evangelized, the atmosphere turned to one of hope, joy and encouragement. Thanks be to God for how he uses different gifts to build His Kingdom!

We closed out the event with a closing service, testimony time, and clothes bazaar.