Harold and Lílian Gilmer : June 2024 Prayer Letter

Harold and Lilian Gilmer – South America Director, Church Planter and Bible Translation in São Paulo, Brazi

Dear Brethren:
“If you ever forget why you do what you do, simply look in the mirror,” I recently told Moacir, one of our most dedicated staff members at the Trinitarian Bible Society of Brazil, of which I am the executive vice-president. You must read his story to understand why I said that.

While still in his mother’s womb, Moacir was given away. Tragedy struck his life at five years of age when his adoptive father was murdered. At nine years of age, while visiting the prison with a priest, he met the man who killed his father. “I am going to kill you when I grow up,” he swore to that man that day. Then things got worse—his adoptive mother died that same year.

Unwanted by his siblings, he lived in several homes before seeking out his biological mother at age seventeen. She had moved from Recife, in the northeast of Brazil, to São Paulo, in the southeast, where we are located. To say that he was unwelcome is an understatement. He basically worked for a place to sleep—vengeance was his food.

Fifteen years later, we met for the first time through his mother-in-law, who began attending our Church, New Life Baptist. Now a grown man, a wife and daughter had not deterred his focus. He was about to fulfill his promise to slay the man who killed his father. That was his only purpose in life. He mentioned his plan to one of our fellow missionaries, David Whitmore, who, by God´s grace, dissuaded Moacir from his plan and presented to him the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Miraculously, Moacir called on the Lord, and his life was turned right side up. Moacir accepted the forgiveness of the Lord Jesus Christ and forgave the man who killed his father!

I had the privilege of discipling Moacir and watching him grow in the Lord. When a position became available at the Trinitarian Bible Society of Brazil, he was invited to work with us. Two years later, we needed someone to represent us in Moacir´s hometown of Recife, for a Conference. Moacir was chosen. For the first time since leaving Recife, he returned home, not bearing a gun, but carrying a Bible to give to the man who had killed his father!

“Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19). Moacir did not meet the man who killed his father— fate had already taken his life—but he gave the Bible to that man´s sister. Two years later, he returned to Recife for yet another Conference, once again, on the behalf of the Bible Society. Those where the only two times he had ever returned to his hometown.

Moacir found a new purpose in life. He loves sowing the Word of God, and he loves serving the bus kids at our first Church, New Life Baptist, in Jardim Ingá. Recently, a mother came to him and said: “Moacir, you need to talk to my son. His father was murdered, and he wants to kill the man who killed his father.” Moacir lovingly told his story to that boy, and said: “God has greater things in store for you than vengeance.” Moacir is a living testimony of why we do what we do. We are investing our lives and resources in the only two things that will last for eternity: the Word of God and the souls of men. We invite you to invest your lives and resources in eternity, as well. Brethren, pray for us.

Yours fellow servants in Brazil,
Harold, Lílian, Raphael and Danielle