I want to share with you some things that have been taking place this year in Argentina and Brazil. First, we were able to begin construction on the church building that is at our home base here in Argentina. On January 20th–25th, we held our first School of Christ Convention in Viamao, RS-Brazil. We had some powerful services with the preaching of God’s Word followed by fervent prayer. It was on the heart of Pastor David Baptista Mattos to have a Convention instead of a full-time, three-week School of Christ like we’ve had the past eight years. It was a time where all of the full-time ministers of the Church were required to attend as well as being opened to the local congregations. January is a very busy time in Brazil and we were surprised to find out that when we started prayer on Monday, at the location of the past SOC classes, the church was completely full. Pastor David, his father Pastor Juvenal Bautista Mattos Fihlo, and myself ministered the Word of God in the morning and night services. Many young people in the Church sacrificed their vacation time to be a part of these meetings. Jesus said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). He truly kept His Word by doing just that! Praise God! Below is a testimony from a Brazilian Brother that is an attorney. He assisted me with some legal aspects concerning my Brazilian residency. We had the privilege to be with him during our time in Brazil and he shared this testimony with me. It is a definite demonstration of the GREATNESS OF ALMIGHTY GOD!
Brother Alvino Marcos, an attorney who offered his services free of charge for the processing of my religious permanent resident visa for the country of Brazil, shared this testimony with me, Biddy, and B.J. on Saturday, January 26, 2014.
Pastor David Baptista Mattos, Pastor President of the Assemblies of God in the city of Viamao, RS-Brazil gave Brother Alvino a DVD video set of the School of Christ videos. Brother Alvino took them home and started watching the lessons. He said that he was greatly impacted by the Almighty Blood series. He went sometime last year to a city by the name of Independencia to do missions work. It was there where Brother Alvino was preaching and teaching using lessons of the Almighty Blood series of the School of Christ. In one of the services there was a lady present who was a devout Roman Catholic diagnosed with terminal throat cancer condemned by the doctors to death. It was in this meeting that Brother Alvino shared the lesson on the Accomplishments of the Blood. As a result of the message presented concerning the Blood of Jesus Christ and what it can accomplish in those who believe. This woman immediately went to her priest and said to him “This is the Jesus that I want.” She began to question her priest if Jesus could truly heal her. He responded to her by saying, “No, it wasn’t true and there was no cure.” Brother Alvino was there with them and he told the priest that it is possible for Jesus to heal her. The priest said to Brother Alvino, “No, it is impossible, but if He does heal her, then I want that same Jesus.” The Lord not only healed the woman, but also saved her. Brother Alvino said that she was baptized in water in June of last year. The priest who was known in the city as Father John is now known today as Pastor John because, he came to know through this miraculous healing touch, the power of the Precious Blood of Jesus, and received salvation. Not long after, he was baptized in water, publically confessing his faith in Jesus. Pastor John is now working with Brother Alvino preaching the wonderful message of Jesus Christ. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
I was in Lima, Peru for the second part of the School of Christ, being organized by Pastor Valdecir, his wife, Cristina Quevedo, and their family. It was once again exciting to see the brothers and sisters that anxiously participated in these classes. Many of them had to travel two hours by bus to come and then two hours to go home. The church building was filled. What a wonderful opportunity to invest in the leadership of this mission work. We believe that these brothers and sisters will grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ so that they will be a faithful witness for Him in the neighborhoods and cities where they minister. One of the students (Bro. Carlos) is the overseer for the work in Hiroshima. I went a few days early to Lima and was able to minister in one of their services. The ministry in that city is a large work with the children, which opens the doors to reach the parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. The building they were renting prior to where they are now was broken into and most everything taken. After renting this new place, which was only a piece of land, they built a very humble, but neat church building. Pastor Carlos and his family lived in another part of town but, unbeknown to Pastor Valdecir, Bro. Carlos had built a lean-to on the back of the church building for his family to live. He felt they could better protect the things of the Lord and be available to minister to the people. When Pastor Valdecir asked the brother’s wife how the family was doing, she responded with a smile, “We are fine, this is the work of the Lord.” We were blessed to be able to give so that the prefabricated walls and the materials for an aluminum roof could be bought. I am anxious to return and see all that God is doing in Hiroshima. Pray with us for this brother, his family and this town. I am humbled that God would open this door. Lima is a huge city and has many mission works, but I believe God has allowed us to work with choice servants. I know heaven will speak of the fruits of this labor.
In May, 2013, we graduated a School of Christ in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Out of this school we are going to run seven new schools in different regions of the city (Quillacollo, Vinto, Tarata, the south, and villages beyond these provinces, and two prisons). A flame has been kindled and it will begin a fire that will spread everywhere. Other students will be teaching the School of Christ in their churches, home services, and universities.
A pastor that went through this school went home and preached from his personal notes of the school. He said, “When the message was over and I gave the altar call, all the church came to the front and was on their knees asking forgiveness. It’s been years since something like that has happened.” A brother in his sixties, a teacher in the university, had just finished building a building, and furnished it with forty chairs. He did not know what he was going to use it for. After attending the school he knew why he had built it. He said, “God was keeping that room for the School of Christ. It is never to late to serve the Lord.”
After preaching the graduation service I had a chance to meet personally with the students that are going to open up new schools. They will provide the facilities for the classes to be held in their area. These pastors are on fire and excited about the School of Christ coming to their churches.