During this time of transition between ministries, we have been privileged to sit under the ministries God has entrusted to both Sharon and my families. Last week I heard my brother preach the word faithfully in the morning service and then had the same treat in the evening, this time by my father. My mind takes me back to a recent service in Joao Pessoa where we were pastoring. I asked the congregation to raise their hands if the majority of their close family was unregenerate. At least 90% raised their hands and my heart sunk. I have so much to be grateful for! The greatest of all treasures has changed the lives of the ones we love the most!
Last evening I was deeply affected once again by the gospel. We attended New Life Baptist Congregation, a congregation I had a part in helping get started with dad back in 2002. My brother and family have been helping there in the past year. The choir (a dozen out of 35 who attend) brought a series of 8 songs reflecting on the blood shed by Christ for our sins. After the music, my brother brought our attention to Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. He focused his brief thoughts on the last three words of this verse. Ransom - price paid for our rescue, For - not so much "in benefit of" but rather "in the place of", Many - those who will repent and believe! The exposition combined with James passion and zeal for the lost impacted me greatly. I am so glad that we are moving south with such a strong message, as well as a brother and family who are committed to a God-centered proclomation of the gospel. May God glorify himself through His message and our faithfulness to proclaim it in São José.