Dr. Thomas and Mrs. Linda Gilmer – Church Planter, Bible Translation in São Paulo, Brazil
Dear Friends of Zion:
We are grateful for your continued prayers and offerings for us and our ministries. January was a whirlwind month.
You probably have heard of Pelé, the world famous Brazilian “King of Soccer,” who died on December 30 and was buried on January 2. Harold Ralph and I met Pelé personally in his home almost thirty years ago at the invitation of his wife, Assiria, a Christian of Sephardic Jewish background. Assiria is the cousin of the wife of a Brazilian Baptist missionary who put us in contact with her. I presented the plan of salvation and invited Pelé to call on the LORD. He prayed with me, holding his little twins on his knees. Assíria and her mother were present that evening, making coffee. She gave me permission to write this story.
A couple of days after Pelé’s funeral, I met one of the twins, Joshua, for a meal where we sat and talked. Joshua said, “My mother and grandmother tell me I prayed and accepted CHRIST when I was four years old. When I was 16, I was away from the LORD. I think I was saved then, when I returned to the LORD. I know I am saved now and am living for Him.” He is contemplating a change in his career and perhaps work in Europe. I put him in contact with a Brazilian missionary in Portugal who has contacts in the area of his interest. May the LORD bless and guide.
Joshua’s older sister visited Pelé in the hospital a few days before he died. She says Pelé called on the LORD as she presented the plan of salvation again, and she felt he was truly saved. When? Over thirty years ago praying with his wife Assíria, or with me, or with his daughter? Thank God there is hope of seeing him in heaven.
An interesting sideline: A bond was quickly formed with Assíria when she related that she had studied with Dr. Mark Cambron, a Bible professor and radio minister of the Seaside Mission, at a school he founded in Florida. Dr. Cambron invited Linda and me to become missionaries with the Seaside Mission when we were preparing for our ministry, but the LORD led us to accept the invitation of Dr. Jacob Gartenhaus instead.
Pastor Alexandre Dutra, the President of our Jewish Ministries, writes a column for an electronic, online news journal. A book compiling his most impacting articles of recent years has just been published and was released in January. It is entitled: ISRAEL, A IGREJA E O MUNDO (ISRAEL, THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD).
May God richly bless you all.
Yours for the Messiah,
Tom and Linda Gilmer
- Professions of faith: 7.
- Pelé, “King of Soccer,” called on the LORD.
- New book published (see last paragraph).
- Several unexpected but needed special offerings.
- Progress with our churches and pastors in transition.
- Salvation decisions: Jews and Gentiles.
- Electronic media – preparation and publication of Bibles and study helps.
- Jewess, 100 years old, healing and salvation.
- Educators Conference at Templo Batista de Indianópolis (TBI) in March with Miss Bethany Thompson and ABEKA.
- Transitions in three of our Brazilian churches