The state of Bahia in northeastern Brazil has a population of 15.2 million and covers an area larger than France. The capital of the state, Salvador, which means Savior, is the third-largest city in Brazil, with a population of three million. Salvador is the capital of spiritism in Brazil. There are 365 Catholic churches in the city, and the streets are full of every type of religion imaginable. The biggest enemies of the truth are the false evangelicals, who preach “another gospel” (2Cor 11:4, KJV) and “with feigned words make merchandise” (2Peter 2:3, KJV) deceiving millions of gullible souls. We count it a tremendous honor to be called to this area to uplift the banner of the cross and tell perishing souls who have never heard before of God’s most gracious offer and of the Savior’s priceless worth.
As far as we know, there was never any assembly missionary activity in the state until we moved there just over a year ago. For some time before moving, we had been in contact with a group of believers in the north of the city of Salvador who left the denominations a few years ago, and were keen to learn about New Testament assembly principles. It was refreshing to see their consistent willingness to humbly bow to the authority of Scripture and, at great cost, to put into practice what they learned. Since the beginning of December of 2016, we have had the privilege of meeting with them to remember the Lord according to His own request. Against such a dark background of religious confusion and Satanic activities, we are convinced that it is an amazing story of Divine grace, and is no doubt a work of God. There are 13 believers in fellowship, and they would very much appreciate your prayers for divine preservation. We trust they will grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The next nearest assembly is 675 kms (420 miles) away to the south in the state of Minas Gerais.
In May of 2016, we started visiting the city of Candeias, which is about 45 minutes from where we live and has a population of 90,000. We had no contacts in the area, but started to visit door-to-door. On the first day, we found a young lady who said that she had prayed the previous night that God would show her some way to get out of the life of sin she was living. We had the privilege of explaining to her the way of salvation, and on a number of occasions, she wept about her state before God. She attended most of the meetings which were subsequently started near her home, and she recently has professed to be saved. On the second day of door-to-door visitation, I found a group of young, unemployed men, who showed an interest in the message of salvation. I began visiting them regularly to try to present the gospel to them and answer their questions. One of them later told me he had been praying for a long time for God to send someone to his home to tell him the way to heaven, and when I appeared, he was convinced I was the person God had sent. He attended all of our meetings and he professed to be saved one night in the gospel meeting. His wife and other family members have shown a good interest, so we trust that these will be the firstfruits of much blessing in that city. We carry on two weekly gospel meetings and a children’s meeting in Candeias, and have been encouraged with a good number of children willing to learn the Word of God.
We have also been carrying on two weekly gospel meetings in Vila de Abrantes, Camaçari, where there are many petrochemical-related industries as well as a large Ford plant. We contacted a young man from there who was convinced that there was something more to Christianity than all the superficiality which he could see around him. He seems to have a sincere interest in learning the truth, and has attended several meetings. We also have a few other contacts in the area.
There is another favela (shanty town) in the city of Salvador where we carry on weekly gospel meetings and children’s work. We always have a good number of children, and while it is easy to speak to people on the street, it has proven extremely difficult to get them to come into the meeting. It is a violent area, controlled by drug traffickers, and we would appreciate your prayers for physical preservation as we move about the area.
There are some contacts in the interior of another town called Cruz das Almas, about a three-hour drive from home. They have relatives in assembly fellowship in the city of São Paulo. We have visited them on a number of occasions, and some of them seem to have an interest in the gospel. Please pray that we might be guided in relation to these people. The name of the town means Cross of the Souls, so we would love to see some precious souls coming by faith to the foot of the cross to find eternal peace and salvation.
The literature work continues as time permits. Last year, we were able to distribute about 95,000 books, as well as many thousands of gospel tracts and calendars throughout Brazil, Angola, and Mozambique. In addition to a few other projects, we are finalizing In the School of Christ by David Gooding, and we have been granted permission to publish Choice Gleanings in Portuguese. The printed page has gone further than we will ever be able to go, and we trust that many will be reached by the truth of God’s Word. More than ever, we feel our weakness and our need of the prayers of the Lord’s people.