A letter from Gordon and Dorothy Gartrell in Brazil
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We recently have encountered a number of challenges, but the beauty was what the solution of those challenges brought. Before we moved here in late April a young man, Dayon, was reading the Bible in his bedroom and was greatly touched by the Lord and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior. His father is a church member. He liked the Presbyterian style of worship, so began attending our church, participates in Gordon’s Inquirer’s Class and will join the church in October. His wife was greatly distressed over all that was happening. When she saw us on the street, she switched to the other side and didn't even look our way. Dayon took pictures for us the night we were installed as missionaries here. That evening when he returned home, she removed the chip from the camera and hid it. Our church was praying for her conversion and peace with the Lord and peace with our church members. Recently the Lord opened her ears and heart to Jesus and she accepted the Lord as her Savior. The next Sunday she appeared in Sunday school and worship that evening, much to everyone’s surprise and joy. Now she attends regularly Sunday school, Worship, Prayer Meeting and Bible Study!
A second challenge arose. When they attended all these events, they brought their 3-year-old son. He’s very active, so we began a Sunday school class for him. Dorothy is teaching a children’s Sunday school class in the morning and the children leave worship during the sermon for their own Bible lesson and activities. Being a very active 3-year-old and never being in a class setting before, Davi found it very hard to sit still and be away from his parents. Then two children, Paulo Sergio and Ana Cristina, who come regularly to the Saturday children’s activities, began to attend, giving him an example of sitting still, listening to the story and doing the activities.
Dorothy began visiting Paulo Sergio and Ana Cristina’s mother. She was very interested in Jesus. Both she and her husband were full of questions about the Bible. They wanted to come to church. He works every other night in a limestone mine, so he can only come to church every other week. Another problem arose. She had surgery to resolve her problem with varicose veins, so even though they live within a few blocks of the church, walking there was difficult. She practiced walking to a nearby store and was certain she could make it to church. The first time her husband walked with her, and then Dorothy began walking with her when he couldn’t. Gordon takes them home in the car after church. It’s fun for Dorothy to visit them regularly, reading Scripture, answering questions, singing LOTS with the children and talking about everyday life.
Once again a challenge arose when the church celebrated the 57th anniversary of the church building and honored a former pastor and his wife for his 50years of ordination and their golden wedding anniversary. It was Father’s Day in Brazil. The pastor and his wife had lunch with their son before catching the bus. Then the bus broke down. They arrived 50 minutes late.
Dorothy had helped the children who attend the Saturday program to make gifts for their fathers and learn a song to sing in worship. There were seven children there and none of them had ever been in worship before—thus another challenge arose as the service was prolonged to wait for the guests to arrive. She had prepared Bible story pictures to color, but that wasn’t enough. Luckily a number of adults came to her rescue. One of the families knew one of the boys, another family had a little boy sit with them, and a woman offered to sit beside another one. The children had seen the cake and refreshments to be served after the service, so that added a bit of excitement to the evening. The seven children don’t all regularly attend the Saturday programs, but more are participating.
The church in the farming community regularly choose a family to pray for three or four times a day during the upcoming week. They are encouraged to invite family members the night they are prayed for. In early September the family in the farming community for whom we prayed had 25 members present to make their week of prayer even more special. Wonderful things have happened to the families during their week of prayer.
Please continue to pray for our work. We have seen and believe in the wonderful things prayers can produce. Please read more about our ministry by going to our website—use the "Read more" link below. Information about our ministry will appear and our previous letters. If you are interested in supporting our ministry, just select the "Give" button and follow the directions (or use the "Give" link below).
Thank you for your prayers and support!
Dorothy and Gordon Gartrell
Rua João Batista Veloso,652
35582-000 Pains, MG
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