Dear praying friends,
Young people are a tough group to work with in the church. The temptations of this world and the desire to fit in at school constantly bombard the youth here in the Jacumã congregation. These truths are universal at home and on the mission field. Out of the 45 or so teens that come faithfully to our teen program every Saturday night, only about 15 know the Lord as their Savior and about a third of this latter group are on fire for the Lord.
That is what makes the youth program so important here in Jacumã. “A great door and effectual is opened” to us as every week we have the opportunity to share Christ with so many young people. It is not, however, without its times of discouragement as weekly we preach Christ and see that the world holds incredible sway over many of these lives. However, we are not here to break hearts, only to share the Gospel and pray that the Holy Spirit will do the convicting.
Yet, our hearts rejoice with the handful of teens that are on fire and serving in the church. Anatoly leads services. Gabriel, his brother, plays the guitar. Jessica and Israeli sing backup for our song leaders and watch over toddlers in the nursery. Carol and Clara are two sisters that run audio and video for the services. David helps out around the church wherever needed and soon Juliana will join Gabriel playing a second guitar. She can also play the keyboard which will free up my Ivana to serve in other areas during services. But wait, there’s more… Ryan, Herbert, Rafael, Julio, Luiza, Jaine and Brenda sing in the choir. I may be forgetting some.
So these bring joy and remind us that the Lord is blessing the youth here and the Lord is bringing up a new generation of servants in His church. We remain, however, burdened for the larger part that still does not know the Lord. Pray that we will see more teens coming to the Lord.
Pastoring the Jacumã church has been a blessing for me (Jeff). I have seen growth in so many lives and I am praying that the church will be able to soon stand on it’s own. This would mean that the church can support it’s own Brazilian pastor and handle all of it’s ministry expenses. This also would mean that the church has doctrinal maturity to withstand “every wind” of false doctrine.
Out at camp the crew continues to put the final touches on our three big buildings (see the pictures on our blog reiners2brazil.wordpress.com). We have had some limited events out there and we see the potential of the new camp. Soon we will be ready to house and feed roughly 100 campers. It is an intimidating project, but God continues to provide and He will see us through. After the three buildings are complete we will take a breather from large projects at the camp and wait for the camp investments to yield funds for our next big project… the swimming pool!
As for our family, we are well. Thank you so much for your prayers for us. Thank you for giving in order to keep us out in the field. God bless each one of you.
Jeff and Ivana Reiner (Nicole and Emilie too)
Jacumã, very hot Northeast Brazil