The first remote meeting among our congregations in Brazil was held on Sunday afternoon, November 20. Local attendees gathered at our church in Jurema, which is a suburb of Fortaleza. They were joined virtually by brethren from our Sao Paulo church, other locations within Brazil, and the United States.
The service began with a prelude and greeting followed by enthusiastic congregational singing led by Nivaldo Peixoto, the Jurema pastor. Although the service was in the Portuguese language, some of the classic hymns were recognizable to all, such as “The Old Rugged Cross” and “Standing on the Promises.” The singing concluded with prayer led by Josias Luiz do Carmo, the Sao Paulo pastor. Then Sam Ajayi, Director of South America Work, welcomed everyone. He also expressed gratitude to the Lord for preserving the brethren and the people of Brazil during the pandemic, which impacted them greatly.
As the service continued, Bernardino Caluaco sang an inspiring “I Can Almost Hear the Sound of the Trumpet,” written by Brother Ted Friesen . Then Bobbi Downey, attending remotely from Portland, Oregon, gave her testimony. She told how the Lord saved her and has helped and guided her in the many decisions of life. Following this, Brother Nivaldo read the Scripture reading from Mark 10:46-52, and before the sermon, Iracir Moura sang the last special.
Taking his text from Mark 10:51-52, Brother Sam spoke of various needs people have today. He used Bartimaeus, who was blind, as an example of one who cried out to Jesus for help. He said Jesus asked Bartimaeus what he wanted, and Jesus asks individuals that same question today. Brother Sam encouraged those listening to be wise with what they ask for, requesting things of eternal value. He said that in doing so, the Lord will not only answer the request for the precious things of the Spirit, but also provide for other petitions as well.
The meeting ended with everyone spending time in prayer before being dismissed in prayer by Brother Nivaldo. For those in Jurema, there was also a time of refreshments afterwards. Everyone enjoyed the gathering, were encouraged by it, and are looking forward to the next, which is scheduled for February 25, 2023.
Many signs of the times abound everywhere, the coming of my Lord is so near
When I read God’s Word then look at this world, I can almost hear that sound fill the air
Well I can almost hear the sound of the trumpet, what a day, there is glory, we’ll be home
We’ve got a hope that reaches far beyond this world below; it can’t be long till we meet up there . . .