Church Plant

Ebenezer Update: Praises and Prayer Requests

It has been almost five months since we began our second ministry at Ebenezer Baptist Church. Since then we have seen God work in many ways, and at the same time have become more aware of the tremendous amount of work still to be done. What follows is a quick summary of what has been going on, and ways you can be in prayer for our church.

What God Has Done

When we came on board, we found a church that was struggling to maintain the basic activities of a local church. Many faithful people from the time of our first ministry there had one foot out the door. So the first order of business was to sit down with each member and hear what they had to say. After that, we began to slowly rebuild the areas that had fallen into neglect.

One of the first priorities, indeed the very first thing that needed to be done, was to reignite the children’s ministry. By God’s grace that ministry is now going strong, with several enthusiastic neighborhood children attending each week and bringing visitors.

Together with the kids ministry we re-started our recorder ensemble, and that is also yielding good fruit.

Not only did the church have no appreciable ministry to children, there was also no teen group to speak of. Several of the older teens – adolescents back when we were first at Ebenezer – were completely absent, or very infrequent in attendance. Since January I have made it a point to meet individually with some of the key young man, and am rejoicing to see them return to involvement in the Local Church.

Four young people are currently in baptismal class (taught by Itacyara). Their baptism is currently scheduled for August.

God also opened up the door for us to resume a ministry with a local soccer team, begun by Pastor Francivaldo. I’ve been meeting with them once a week, and sometimes twice a week, and sharing a brief devotional during their practice sessions. Most of these guys have no Bible knowledge whatsoever, so we are laying a lot of foundation now.

By God’s providence, our adult Sunday School teacher was working through the book Nine Marks of a Healthy Church. At the same time, I began a series of messages on Nehemiah, with the theme Rebuilding our Jerusalem, and making direct applications to the Ebenezer church. These complementary teaching efforts have resulted in our people being challenged in many ways regarding their relationship to the local church.

As announced in an earlier post, God has provided us with the funds to purchase a better piece of property in a more visible place. Since we made that announcement I have been busy moving the donations from the US to Brazil…a process that can take some time.

Prayer Requests

Like I mentioned at the beginning, there is much ground still to cover. Here are some things you can pray for with regard to Ebenezer.

Pray that God would impress on our people the need for faithfulness in services and church events. There has been some improvement in this area, but there is still plenty of room for growth.

Pray that God would open the way for some of our people to be more involved. This is related to the above request, but not the same. We have several people who would be more involved but for legitimate work/health/family issues.

Pray for the salvation of four spouses of people from our church.

Pray that an opportunity for Itacyara to have a Bible study with one of the above spouses will work out.

Pray for events we have scheduled for June targeting teens. We have an American Bible college student coming to spend a month with us, and with his help we have planned several activities seeking to involve our own teens, and bring teens from the soccer ministry to the church.

Pray that our folks would feel the need for a deeper knowledge of the Word. We can organize all the events in the world, but if there is no sense of urgency on the part of the people, it makes no difference. I would especially like to see some of our young people attending the Bible Institute this coming semester.

Pray that God would open the way for the purchase of the new property and construction of the new church building.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and for investing time in prayer for Ebenezer.


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And be sure to read the action-packed adventures of Missionary Max: Missionary Max and the Jungle Princess and Missionary Max and the Lost City.

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