Dear Friends of Zion:
Linda and I are grateful for your partnership in prayers and offerings so we can “go on going on.”
Recently I became consternated, because I could not get in touch with Ariel, the young Hebrew Christian from the church in Jardim Ingá. I wanted to introduce him to a couple of new Jewish contacts. Messages left on his cell phones and emails were unanswered for days. Finally Ariel sent an email saying he was sorry for the delay, because he is in Israel and has not had access to his phones and computer. Think about it! This openly Christian, Jewish young man is paid by the Jewish community to encourage young Jews in Brazil to visit Israel and even make aliyah (immigration) to Israel. What an opportunity!
On another occasion some time ago, I was also consternated. Someone left a car parked right in the entrance to the small parking area beside Templo Batista de Indianópolis. I was in a hurry, as usual, and could not get my car out! Finally the culprit, a young lady, was located at the university. I expressed my frustration in the presence of others! Later I called her and apologized for rebuking her before other people, hoping to redeem myself and witness to her. I discovered she was already a Christian, active in church. Impressed by my apology, she forgave me. Recently she came to the Friends of Zion meeting on a Friday evening and brought Benjamin, a young Hebrew Christian I had never met. Benjamin now attends Friends of Zion and other services at Templo Batista de Indianópolis and gave his testimony publicly. A simple hot dog vendor who perceived he was Jewish, lost and looking for answers to life, led him to the Lord and introduced him to the church nearest his hot dog stand: an Arab Christian church!
Our prayer request of the last three months for wisdom concerning the time-frame for starting the Guacuri church has been answered. The pastor of the deaf church resigned and moved to another city for health reasons and the well-being of his family. Everyone involved feels he made the right decision. Missionary Dan Bennett, a church planter with BIMI who is adept in sign language, has just returned to Brazil and, having worked with the deaf church already, was elected as pastor. Another missionary family is arriving this month and will work with him while in language school. Our son, Missionary Harold Ralph, and his wife will participate by bringing in helpers from the New Life Baptist Church in Jardim Ingá, which he helped start and establish. I will rally help from our first church, Templo Batista de Indianópolis, and other churches we helped to start.
The Mega Voice Audio Bible, powered by solar or electric energy, is being used by a Brazilian missionary to reach villages along the Amazon River with the Gospel. A Brazilian church bought eight of these Bibles, even though the price is high (US$140) due to taxes. The missionary placed these units in villages along tributaries of the Amazon, where people have no Bibles and could not read them if they did. A Christian in the village invites friends to join around the audio Bible to listen to the reading by Pastor Paulo Castelan. The missionary returns regularly to teach and preach in each of these villages.
The Brazilian government is under strong internal pressure to reduce unreasonable taxes. When obvious, hidden taxes, corruption and thievery enter into the equation, Brazil has the highest taxes in the world. In Brazilian economic publications, this is referred to as “The Brazil Factor!” A mega investment to produce 1,000 units of the audio Bible at one time could bring down the price to approximately US$100 each. May God bless that this becomes a reality.
Yours for the Messiah,
Tom and Linda Gilmer
1. Professions of faith: 2,
2. Nothing outstanding, many areas of ministry progressing well.
3. Guacuri church team restructured.
1. Salvation of Jews and Gentiles.
2. Bible study helps preparation.
3. New churches.
4. Brazil – political and educational situation.