Dear Friends of Zion:
Linda and I thank you for your support and trust you had a happy Chanukah and Thanksgiving! The two dates coincided for the first time in many years. May you have a merry Christmas and happy New Year as well.
A man accepted Christ at the bakery where I bought a couple of pies for our Friends of Zion meeting on the third day of Chanukah, which began at sundown on November 29. When we arrived at church that evening, we were amazed –and a bit apprehensive!–to see two apparently Muslim women with head coverings sitting in the auditorium. As we approached, we recognized one of them as a Christian from a sister church who regularly attends the Friday night Friends of Zion meetings and the Tuesday night Academy for the Study of Bible Prophets. To help her Muslim friend feel less strange in the unfamiliar church environment, the Christian lady wore a headscarf similar to hers. We sang Chanukah songs, and Pastor Alexandre gave the history of Chanukah, pointing out that Jesus celebrated it as “the feast of dedication” in Jerusalem (John 10:22). Chanukah commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrians and the rededication of the Temple in 165 B.C. Oil for the candlestick in the Temple, sufficient for just one day, miraculously burned for eight days while new oil was being prepared. Everyone who attends Friends of Zion and owns a Chanukah menorah (a candlestick with nine sockets) took it to the service. The “servant” candle was lit first and was used to light the last three candles on the right, from left to right, one for each night, according to Jewish custom. All eight are lit only on the last night. We closed with an enjoyable time of food and fellowship. The Muslim woman was so impressed, she told Linda, “Anytime my neighbor wants to bring me to this meeting, I’ll come!”
Last January I stated that I hoped we could raise $5,000 to help our Cajuru church with their project to build a larger auditorium. In August I said construction had begun. The pastor informed me that, actually, they only tore down the older, small auditorium and built a wall on the back of the property, as required by the government. This past month they had to pay a fee to release the building permit to begin the construction of the new auditorium and were praying for the Lord to provide. Without our knowing about that need, the Lord blessed so that we could give an offering of almost $1,000 just in time to pay the fee. Praise His Name!
Harold Ralph’s next prayer letter will give interesting details concerning his trip to the Trinitarian Bible Society in the USA and England, and to Korea for the beginning of a Bible printing.
We just received a report stating that over 50,000 Women’s Study Bibles have been sold so far this year by Avon Cosmetics sales ladies here in Brazil. It has been presented in beautiful one or two-page layouts in several Avon catalogs, something I have worked for and prayed about for years: the dream that we could make the Bible easily available in door to door sales.
May God bless you richly throughout the year of 2014!
Yours for the Messiah,
Tom and Linda Gilmer
1. Professions of faith: 3.
2. Almost $1,000 for final documents to begin new auditorium in Cajuru.
3. Pastor Ricardo, who works with Arabs, just returned from a tour he led to Arab countries and Israel.
4. Pastor Alexandre began a series of lectures for a group going to Israel, led by a friend of our ministries.
1. Salvation of Jews and Gentiles.
2. Bible and study helps preparation.
3. Churches: New ones and expansion of existing ones.
4. “Church Building by Soul Winning” conferences with Dr. David Teis here in Brazil in July 2014.
5. Our quick trip to the US in Dec.