Dear Friends of Zion:
Linda and I are deeply grateful for your faithful prayers and offerings. This month’s letter certainly reveals the importance of praying for protection for missionaries everywhere, especially in Brazil. Our prayer letters cover the previous month only. This one includes June 1 to avoid leaving you in suspense for 30 days!
On Saturday afternoon, May 30, I spoke at a church in Vila Natal to about 200 young people from various churches with whom we cooperate. They were going out to distribute Gospel tracts. When I arrived at home about 8:15 PM, Linda heard me yelling outside! That meant only one thing: A holdup!! She rushed to the window, peeped through the curtain and saw three hooded thieves surrounding the open driver’s door. With phone in hand and dialing the police, she opened the front door just in time to see the thugs step on the gas and take off, floor boarding it up the street! She had no idea where I was, if I was kidnapped, or what!
Linda opened the garage gate and found me where the thieves had thrown me: In the street in front of a car parked under the tree in front of our house. I was stunned and trying to get up by myself.. The police came in high velocity. They registered the theft and assured us the car would probably be found nearby, because without the electronic key it would not restart —and the key was in my pocket! A neighbor witnessed the incident and came to offer his help. This gave us an opportunity share the Gospel with him. His wife had a similar occurrence as she was leaving for work at 6:00 AM one morning.
Monday, June 1, was our 53rd wedding anniversary. I had received an Outback gift card for my birthday last year but hadn’t had time to use it! While we were having lunch there when a call came from the police saying our car had been found just blocks from our house. We hurried to the police station, and an investigator took us to the location to claim our car.
Several parts were broken or stolen, but the car could be driven. We are now trying to find parts to replace those that were destroyed. A box of Bibles furnished by BEAMS and other boxes of Bibles that we had purchased were also stolen, along with two boxes of Jewish evangelism literature and follow-up publications. So now we are praising the Lord and praying the Bibles will fall into good hands and souls will be saved as a result of this terrible experience!
My reaction has always been to resist when facing thieves. By God’s grace the assailants did not fire their gun in my face, as they would normally do. I promised the Lord, my wife, and our first church to try to live by Matthew 5:40 the next time robbers attack.
Four houses have been broken into and four cars have been stolen in our neighborhood at varying hours, night and day, recently. We have considered moving, but there is NO, NOT ONE safe neighborhood in São Paulo! Almost 60,000 people are assassinated in Brazil every year—as many as or more than die in war torn countries! I am visiting all our neighbors to try to organize ourselves to make our street more secure. I did this many years ago when we lived in a different community, and it helped.
Through this, the Lord is giving a great opportunity for witness! But our security is of the Lord. Without His intervention, all is in vain. Thank you for praying!
Yours for the Messiah,
Tom and Linda Gilmer
- Professions of faith: 21.
- Sarah Hammond, granddaughter, summer missions internship, art for printing projects – 2 for salvation.
- Jewish young man – better.
- Tragedy turns to triumph.
- Salvation of Jews and Gentiles.
- Bible study helps.
- New churches, growth of existing ones.
- APPs, CD, MP3, and AUDIO BIBLE, problems, opportunities, slow progress.
- Possible Israel Appreciation Night in October.