Dear Friends of Zion:
Happy Chanukah (December 17-24), Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year once again! Thank you for your participation in our ministries throughout this past year. We are thrilled to end the year with a new addition to our family! Harold Ralph and Lílian presented us with our ninth granddaughter and fourteenth grandchild, Danielle, born on November 5. Three-year-old Raphael is a proud, protective little brother! Praise God for His blessings!
CHURCH PLANTING: God has taught us that “delays” are not “defeats,” but time out for better preparation. A new team for Guacuri is being formed. Meanwhile, a new congregation will be inaugurated in São Miguel Paulista on the northeast edge of São Paulo in January, God willing. Even before Jorge Oliveira’s father was saved several months ago, when he heard his son preach for the first time, Jorge had dreamed of starting a church there. No good church exists in that neighborhood. Jorge plans to begin with services on Saturdays in his parents’ home. Our first church, Templo Batista de Indianópolis (T.B.I.), will be the mother church, where Jorge will continue working as full-time secretary and administrator as he completes his Bible Institute training.
FRIENDS OF ZION GROUPS: Pastor Alexandre has been accepted to work on a Master’s Degree at the University of São Paulo (USP). Several who attend our Friday night Friends of Zion group study there. Plans are being formulated to begin a Friends of Zion group on the USP campus next semester (February 2015), with a goal to start groups at major universities in other Brazilian states as well.
BRAZIL-ISRAEL CONNECTION: Pastor José Nogueira, who started the Fortaleza Friends of Zion group, did a Spanish modular course in archaeology in partnership with the Hebrew University in Jerusalem several months ago. He publicly contested liberal professors who questioned, and even denied, the veracity of the Holy Scriptures. The solidly based facts he presented, countering their allegations, amazed them. In private they told him there are Hebrew Christian academics at the university who believe the Bible as he does. They promised to provide Bible-believing professors to teach the archaeological study tour for Brazilians next June, and even allow Pastor Nogueira himself to give a lecture. Twenty-one have registered for the course so far. Participants in the tour will receive a certificate from the Hebrew University. This tour will prepare leaders to have valid, solid answers for skeptics. Our Friends of Zion group in São Paulo raised an offering to help promote and generate interest in this project.
May God richly bless you in the New Year.
Yours for the Messiah,
Tom and Linda Gilmer
- Professions of faith: 2.
- Evangelism notes nearing completion.
- New congregation scheduled to begin in São Miguel Paulista in January.
- Plans for university-level outreach.
- Some rain has fallen, but much more is needed.
- Two men were ordained as pastors in December: Washington, who was saved at T.B.I. and ministers in Paraisópolis, and Elias, a former student of mine who ministers on the coast.
- Salvation of Jews and Gentiles.
- Bible study helps, especially Expanded Edition of Evangelism Notes for secular publisher.
- New churches, growth of existing ones, reformulating team for Guacuri,
- APPS, CD, MP3 AND Audio Bible problems and opportunities in slow progress.
- Rain for São Paulo and other areas of Brazil, severe drought. Keep praying.