Beatrice a long time believer has been grinning ear to ear these last few weeks. But it wasn’t always that way.
We first got to know Beatrice 26 years ago deep in the jungle. She had 3 kids and would go on to have 7. She was Denise’s language helper as Denise learned Guanano in the early days. She seemed like a nice woman but her marriage was troubled and we came to find out that her life was a mess. In 1995-96 after she attended the second round of evangelistic Bible teaching sessions 3 times a week for 9 months she understood the gospel and placed her trust in Christ as her sin-bearer, life giver and rescuer. Her husband and children all rejected the gospel and put her all alone in that family as a believer.
Shortly after her salvation we missionaries needed to leave the village where she lived, permanently, due to danger to our lives.We tried to find creative ways to get teaching to Beatrice and the small church in the jungle but it was very meager at best. This reflected itself in immaturity in the spiritual lives of all of them as they went without consistent teaching. Eight years later we found out that Beatrize remarried and about 4-5 years ago she arrived in Brazil with her new husband Vicente and her children. During these last years it has been weighing heavily on her that neither her husband and only one of the 5 kids at home with her was a believer. She shared many times and asked for prayer for the salvation of her husband and kids. She wanted them to have the same saving relationship with Christ that was slowly showing itself in her own changed life. She is still rough around the edges but as she hears the Word and obeys she is finding God’s changing power in her life. Well, about 14 months ago the Guanano church in Brazil began to teach the evangelistic Bible lessons this time without any missionary teaching (We ended up helping teach when 2 of the teachers weren’t able, but still it was mostly them.) Beatrice’s husband Vicente, her adult daughter Florianna came often to the twice a week lessons.
Three weeks ago Herman presented the final lesson in the evangelistic Bible series while Barry and Denise were being dorm parents in Manaus and Lindy and Mario were away at a Scripture-in-Use seminar in another city.
Then later that week Herman called me, Barry, a few days after he taught the last lesson to share that no one of the unsaved at the meeting wanted to publicly share that they were trusting Christ to pay for their sin. So he encouraged them that if they wanted to share with him one-on-one that he would be available after the lesson. He was excited as Vicente and 5 others shared with him that they were trusting Christ as their rescuer and life giver.
I was all excited and right away called my co-worker Lindy at his seminar to tell him the great news of the 6 that had professed their faith in Christ. Mario was with Lindy when I called. The two of them were thrilled at the news since only a few weeks earlier it seemed there was no conviction of sin, no reaching out to Christ to save them!
During the first Sunday morning service after their return, Lindy and Carol encouraged those that professed salvation to share their faith in Christ publicly.
Lindy shared “A lot of people were too shy to talk in front of everyone. But Vicente, Beatrice’s husband, courageously expressed his need for salvation from sin, that he could do nothing to rid himself of his sin, and his confidence that Jesus was the only solution. He shared that when Jesus died on the cross, He died for him. There is no other path back to God. He also expressed his desire to continue to study God’s Word with us.”
This week Lindy wrote “Beatrice keeps grinning from ear to ear!” I think Father and the angels are probably doing the same!!
Lindy then encouraged the others to come to him with their testimonies. As he left the meeting four Guananos followed and along the path each gave a testimony that they were trusting in Christ for salvation.
Lindy, along with the Guanano church leaders Moises, Herman and Mario will be inviting the different ones that have professed to come and be interviewed so they can express their trust in Christ privately. Beatrice’s daughter Florianna will be one of those. We wait on the edge of our seat to hear her testimony!
Thank God along with us for the new Guanano believers. Pray also for Lindy, Moises (he ministers in Spanish) and the Guanano believers in the church as they teach and disciple these new believers in the weeks and months ahead!
Luke 15:8-10 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” NLT