Dear Praying and Supporting Friends,
Our theme for the year 2011 is “Transformation.” We have started the year by introducing a daily Bible reading schedule and a weekly Bible memorization schedule. We are having a contest for the entire church ages 7 and up. Our 7-9 year olds are reading through Psalms and Proverbs. The 10-12 year olds are reading Psalms, Proverbs and the New Testament. The rest of the church is reading through the entire Bible. The Bible reading and memorization has already started to change and transform the lives of many of our members. God’s Word truly does change lives. For example, Lucas is a 16 year old legally blind, young man from a drunkards home. When we arrived he was a wild, long haired, extremely disturbed and unsaved young man. Since our return he has accepted Christ. Last week he showed up at our door at 8:00 in the morning asking for his hair to be cut just like our sons. While Lucas has many obstacles to overcome he is making a slow transformation.
Julie is another one of our teens who has really taken a stand for Christ. In her public school she has taken a stand for Christ and has witnessed to many of her classmates. She has received rejection from teachers and classmates but Julie has remained faithful. She was finally able to lead two of her classmates to the Lord and is now trying to get them faithfully in church. She is one of our most faithful soul winners. When we first arrived at the church she had no idea how to win a soul to Christ. She and her family were even confused about whether you could maintain your salvation. Because of your prayers and support we have been able to not only help Julia and her family but Julia has gone on to help even more souls we would probably never be able to reach.
We are excited to announce that the training of Sunday School teachers is well underway. We have already turned the children’s class over to their new teacher and it is going well. The teen teacher is currently in training and we are planning on turning over the responsibility to him within the next two months. Our adult teacher has done a wonderful job and is in fact Julia’s father, Dilson. Julia’s mother is one of our faithful nursery workers. We are also pleased to have a new couple who has started attending church. Please pray for Bruno and Adrielle to get saved and become more faithful. The last few weeks has also seen the return of a couple reached while we were away. We are praying that they will remain faithful and will grow spiritually.
January also brought our church a new life in the form of a new baby boy , Felipe to one of our faithful young couples. His birth went well but he had complications afterward and was in NICU for 2 weeks. We praise the Lord that he is home now.
You may have heard about the terrible flooding here in Brazil. Praise the Lord we were not affected as far as our home but the church has suffered because of the rains. The roof on the church is in desperate need of repair. As the rains come on the outside they come on the inside as well. Usually there are puddles all over the auditorium after the rains. We have even had to move benches so that people do not get wet during the service. We had a transformation Conference in January and it looked like a dripping waterfall in front of the pulpit. Praise the Lord, decisions were made despite the raining conditions in the auditorium. We are doing all we can to make the needed repairs in between the downpours. We really need to lay cement now but we need a dry day so the cement will dry before the next storm. The men of the church and myself are doing all of the repairs ourselves. We have already wasted so much money on unqualified labor that we decided it was safer and better for the church to do the work.
The storms have also affected our members who live in Vila Prudente and are bused in. We were unable to pick them up the entire month of January due to the floods and unpassable roads. We have been able to get them for the last several services but everyone is on pins and needles over there when it rains. The flash floods are terrible and have destroyed many homes.
Our family is doing well and we want to thank each and every one of you that sent a card or package for Christmas. We truly feel loved and cared for. We could not be here without you.
In His Service,
Bryan & Rebekah Johnson
Jeff, David, & Lee