On Tuesday God gave Jeremy the wonderful opportunity to lead a man to Christ! I thought I would post the email update that he sent out earlier this evening to our friends and supporting churches.
Dear Friends and Family,
Thank you all for your continued prayers for our family! God has definitely heard them and has been at work in our lives here in Brazil. Esther has continued to improve and is merging back into language school. She had class three days this week and so far is doing fine with the extra load. She will continue school for three days each week until she has the strength to handle going every day again. Please pray that God would give her continued strength and healing!
God has also been at work in hearts here and even used Jeremy's broken Portuguese to help lead a man to Christ! What a blessing it was to see our first Brazilian come to Christ!! In our last update we told about a man named Juarez with whom Jeremy has made friends. Juarez is a civil police officer and also owns a meat store several blocks from our house. About a month ago Jeremy was invited to go to the work place of this police officer and be introduced to many of his co-workers. One of the other officers, named Renato, took down our phone number and said he was interested in talking more to us about why our family had moved to Brazil. Well, about a month passed by, and Renato called to invite Jeremy and Jedediah (the son of the Duarte's with who we work) over for lunch. On Tuesday of this week Jeremy left out with Jedediah, a bi-lingual Bible, and much prayer for this man to be saved. During lunch, the Lord opened the door for Jeremy to open his Bible and read and explain several verses to Renato. Here is the rest of the story from Jeremy:
"Renato is a former lawyer from Rio de Janeiro, and I was asking him several questions about his past experiences. He was telling me of the extreme corruptness of Brazilian judges and politics. I told Renato that I knew the best lawyer that has ever lived and then took him to 1 John 2:1 and explained how Jesus is our Advocate. He proceeded to tell me that he wasn't that bad of a person and that he was a Catholic. He said that he only "practiced" his Catholicism a little bit. The Portuguese word that he used for "practice" just so happened to be the exact same word used in Romans 4:5 which I had just finished memorizing in Portuguese. I explained in my broken Portuguese that no matter how much he "practiced" his Catholicism it would do him no good, for no sin can enter into heaven. God only imputes righteousness to those who believe, NOT to those who "practice." After a couple other verses to explain this further he interrupted and said, "Can I be saved right now?" Before I could answer, the other police officer at the table interrupted and managed to change the subject. Meanwhile I was praying that God would give me the right verse with which to reclaim the conversation. After a couple minutes I held up my hand and asked if I could read another verse. There was dead silence, and I was able to read again. After about five more minutes of explaining the Gospel Renato interrupted again and said he would like to be saved right now! After making sure he understood that not a prayer, but only his faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross would save him, he bowed his head and Jedediah led him in a sinner's prayer. Right in front of us all, out loud, Renato confessed to God that he was a miserable sinner in need of God's mercy and put his trust in Jesus as his Savior. In a few short minutes the Holy Spirit convinced Renato of his sinful condition before God and of his need of the righteousness of Jesus Christ to be imputed to his account! Truly blessed is the man to whom God imputes righteousness without works! I came to Renato's house calling him "sir" and left calling him "brother." Please pray for Renato that he will grow and be strengthened in the Word of God."
Please pray for us tomorrow as Renato, along with his wife and son, comes to our home for lunch. We are praying that God would save his wife tomorrow! Would you pray that God would remove any distractions and that the Holy Spirit would convict her heart of sinfulness and the need of Jesus to be her Savior!? This family lives about a 35 minute drive from our home in a part of the city that has no good Gospel preaching church. Would you also pray that God would use Renato and his wife to reach others with the Gospel in this part of our city? We have been encouraged this week to see some fruit even though the majority of our time has been spent learning the language and trying to adapt to our new culture!
Renato, Jeremy, and Jedidiah at Renato's house for lunch.