The Igreja Reformada at Esperança, Paraíba (4 hours drive from Recife) is building a new church! They have acquired property and are working on finalizing the building engineering. They have received funding from this project, so we’re looking forward to some updates!
The congregation of the Esperança church initially met at the house of one of the elders until they found a place to use for their church services.
I drove the 4 hour drive to Esperança with Pastor Alexandrino from the Church at São José. On Saturday night we met with the Council of the Church at Esperança for a Church visitation. I love doing the work of Church visitor. It is so beautiful to spend an evening speaking with the pastors that God has charged with caring for the sheep for whom Christ has shed His blood. It was beautiful to see their humility, their faithfulness, their commitment, and to hear from them how the Lord is caring for His church.
In Brazil, getting a government job is like winning the lottery. It is almost impossible to be fired, and you are set for life (at least that’s what people think). The local pastor, Pr. Laylton, had been working a government job and trying to pastor part time. It was difficult and frustrating. A while back, he got a call from another Church and was on the point of accepting it. He longed to be able to dedicate himself full time to ministry, but Esperança didn’t have the money to support him full time. When they found out he would be leaving, the entire congregation showed up at his doorstep and begged him to stay. They gave up the building they were renting, and to save money they began to meet in the garage and veranda of one of the elders. They managed to set aside some money to build him a proper study in his humble little house. With the help of the federation of Brazilian churches, they managed to pay him a full time salary. Pr. Laylton is now able to dedicate himself full time to the work of ministry. How beautiful to see the Lord providing for His Church!
What is especially striking is that Rev. Laylton gave up his government job in order to dedicate himself to the ministry. In Brazilian terms, this is a significant sacrifice. Thank the Lord for godly, faithful believers who are willing to sacrifice much in order to follow the Way!