God is so good!!! We have had an exciting month here. There is not enough room on this sheet to show what God is doing here. Thank you so much for your continued prayers for us here.
News from a foreign land: This month we have a very special story for you. At the beginning of the month our sister told us that our friend’s father had cancer and was in the hospital. His name is Tawn. The doctors told them the cancer was very bad. Our sister took us to visit him in the hospital. The first time we went, Tawn was receiving chemo and was sleeping. Tawn turned 67 years old while receiving chemo. Folks started praying that God would open his heart. The next Monday, we went to visit Tawn. He was awake and sitting up.
And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing...there shall be showers of blessing.”
Dear Praying Friends,
Happy New Year! It is the middle of summer here in southern Brazil which means rain – lots of it. With another year comes many new opportunities, goals and challenges. My family and I pray that the year of 2017 brings with it many showers of blessings to you, your loved ones and your ministries.
Our year here in Taubaté, Brazil has already been very busy and is yielding new fruit. A young man named Diego contacted me by phone in the month of December about our church. A few weeks later, on Christmas Day, he got into a fight with his wife and drove away from home. He hadn´t had alcohol in ten years but decided he would drink that night and sleep in his car. While driving, on his way to the bar the Holy Spirit reminded him of New Life Baptist Church. A few minutes later rather than at a bar he found himself in front of our church! Since he was dirty and not dressed appropriately he was too embarrassed to go in. He tried listening to the service from his car but couldn´t understand. He finally got out of his car. Despite his embarrassment, he stood in the back of the auditorium. That night I preached on “What Jesus Wants for Christmas”. He fell under conviction. Having already been saved he rededicated his life anew to the Lord that evening. When he went home his family and friends couldn´t help but notice his excitement. On Wednesday night, he was back again but this time with his family and three other visitors. He has been coming back every service since but every time with new visitors! His family and he as well as three other friends have already decided to join our church and are beginning our membership process. Praise the Lord!
On the first weekend of December, we held our first revival conference at the church with fellow veteran missionary and good friend, Brother Robert Smith, as our guest speaker. Our people were challenged and many decisions were made. We had several visitors throughout the conference and a couple of Salvation decisions.
On Sunday night, December 18th, the church had its second Christmas cantata. The people worked hard in preparation for the cantata and did a good job. The church was packed out and we had over twenty first-time visitors many of those family members of our church people who came for the first time. Four people made a decision for Christ.
On New Year´s we had a watch night service at the church which included a dinner. We were excited to have two of our men preach for the very first time! They did an excellent job. The church was once again at its capacity.
Please continue to pray for our ministry. As the ministry grows so does the work load and the responsibilities. Please pray that God would continue to enable us to keep reaching new people with the Gospel while we adequately nourish and nurture our church people. Please pray as we continue laying the foundation for the future leaders of the church. We have some solid families who are very involved and two of our men feel a call to the ministry. We are excited about what lies ahead for us this year!
There are plenty of fields that need to be tilled, planted and harvested. Praise the Lord for His precious Seed, which produces life and guides us. I can´t help but to think again about all the opportunities and the need for laborers here in Taubaté. There are needs in camp, music, education, translation, media, youth, children, addiction, homeless, deaf, church planting, soul winning, counseling, writing, teaching and literature ministries to name a few. We need God to raise up a generation of national laborers but we also need Him to continue calling and sending men and women to Brazil. There is a tremendous need here for many more dedicated missionaries.
We love and appreciate you greatly. I know that the Lord is blessing and working in my family´s lives and in our ministry because of your prayers! It is also your sacrificial giving which allows us to work for the Lord and we do not take that lightly. We are indebted to you.
In the service of the King,
The Ed Johnson Family
Dear Pastor, Church and Praying Friends,
What a joy it is to serve our LORD on the mission ﬁeld. Praise the Lord! Chann is able to stay in Thailand now. He and his dear wife have really grown in the Lord. I was hoping and praying he could get a little more grounded in God’s Word before launching out in Cambodia. Although he is allowed to stay longer, he only wants to stay six more months and then go. I think this will be good. Pastor Arold, of the church we were helping, is going to take over with teaching and training him and the Cambodians who are faithfully coming. As the time has come for us to step out and plant a new church in an area where there is no gospel voice. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14) Millions of people, blinded by Satan, are headed for hell, not knowing their sins have been paid for; simply because they have never been told. Let me share with you what I mean.
As we were making preparations to start a new church plant, we were seeking people to interpret for us. I went to a university that is near the place we believe God would have the new church plant. While explaining our need and purpose, one of the young men, whose nickname is “Ant”, asked “Why would you sell everything in America and move to Thailand?” I said, “Because I want to share the Gospel with your people.” He replied, “What is the Gospel; what is so special about the Gospel?” To which I replied, “Let me tell you…” After a good while, Ant hit the table where we were sitting, a big smile on his face, and said “I’ve got it! I’ve got it!” I said “What have you got?” He said, “I understand, we are all sinners and the only thing that can cleanse us is the blood of Jesus Christ. Going to the temple won’t cleanse me, praying to Buddha will not cleanse me, doing merit won’t cleanse me. The only thing that will work is the blood of Jesus Christ. How do we get His blood to cleanse us?” Don’t you wish that all went like this! Ant and two more of his friends out of the group trusted Christ as their Saviour. When we got home, Gideon was telling his mom “It looked like a light just came on in his head and it was shining all over his face!”
Thank you for all those who prayed for me as I was in the hospital. The diagnosis was that I had a tear in my esophagus and was bleeding internally. I lost a lot of blood. I had to take ﬁve units of blood to get me to the point that my body could produce the rest. Praise the Lord for a quick diagnosis and good medical care. God’s inﬁnite wisdom and perfect guiding hand in moving us to Thailand, is absolutely amazing to me. If this would have happened where we were in India, I probably wouldn’t be here today. Pray for the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of the people in this new area, and His power to be upon us as we witness for Him. Pray for the many needs to be met. Interpreters, chairs, songbooks, pulpit, piano, etc.
Yours for His Harvest,
Andrew Long Romans 10:14