Monday, September 25, 2006

Spotlight: Lagoa de Itaenga

Wow, it has been 13 days since our last post! Please forgive us in our tardiness in delivering ministry news. Time seems to pass at least twice as quickly around here and before we know it we need to update again. The ministry remains as busy as ever! There is a constant stream of new things to do and areas to serve.

Spotlight: Lagoa de Itaenga

Three years ago a group of youth from the Community Church of Guadalajara came to their pastor wanting a place to serve. At the time Guadalajara had an outreach two hours away in the town of Amexias. Every other week, five people piled into Pastor Ricardo’s car and headed for that community. The young people, unable to go to Amexeias, requested permission from Ricardo to work in another community where they saw a need. Three years later Pastor Ricardo and three other volunteers are still traveling 30 minutes away to Lagoa de Itaenga for a street-side Bible study and program for children. Presently they have 30 children and 14 adults attending.

This widely Catholic community has not been easy to reach. This community’s perversion of the Gospel through Mary worship is a chief example of the atmosphere found in many Catholic towns across Brazil. There is profound oppression of the Christian church in this community. Last year Community Church held a special outreach in Lagoa; as soon as the Catholic Church got wind of the event they hired a loud-speaker truck to spread propaganda against the Community Church. They claimed that the church was a cult that preached lies. Ironically this brought more attention and a bigger crowd to the outreach! This past summer the ministry invited healthcare personal from the US to hold medical clinics in the community. This has given a lot of credibility to the ministry there and opened up new doors to serve. Community church has shown that they care about the people in this community and want to invest in their lives.

Pastor Ricardo’s heart is undeniably in Lagoa de Itaenga. He is currently in the process of training up leadership to take over at the Community Church of Guadalajara. He and his wife hope to transition out of Guadalajara slowly so that they can serve full time in Lagoa de Itaenga.

Prayer Requests for Lagoa:

Please pray for a woman in one of the small groups there. Her husband is abusive and has frequently put his family in financial and physical danger. He called to tell her that he will be returning from São Paulo this month. Please pray for her family’s safety and for God to work in this situation.

Emme, the musical group from Word of Life, presented a Gospel message program in Lagoa recently. Please pray for those who made a decision for Christ that they seek discipleship.

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