“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” (I Corinthians 9:24) ”…that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:27)
In the verse from Corinthians above, Paul is referring to the ancient Greek Olympic-style games, which were held over the course of hundreds of years. Brazil just hosted the modern Olympics and we can see a valuable lesson from the teams of the USA and Brazil. The US basketball team was an overwhelming favorite to win the gold medal, comprised of NBA All-Stars. The Brazil soccer team was the favorite to win gold as well, also being made up of extremely talented All-Stars. Yet both of these teams struggled through their first games and were disappointing at best. Finally, both teams “got their act together” and went on to win the gold. What was the problem at the beginning? The problem with both teams was that they were not working together as a team and were just playing as a bunch of disjointed stars, with everyone doing their own thing.
As we are trying to further God’s kingdom here on this earth with missions, we need to work together. That is why we have a mission board. As we run the Christian race to obtain the prize we need to strive together. You have a crucial part working together with our ministry through your support, prayers, and gifts.
We just finished sending out our winter edition and only yesterday received our spring edition from the press. We have also finished a series of 12 articles on “The Subtle Seduction of the Church,” which has dealt with the Pentecostal movement and some of the demonic influences we can see in it. We have started a new series on Bible versions, exposing dynamic equivalency and corrupt texts. On the back cover of the current edition we have an article on “Women in the Church.” This is always a hot subject. Even the better groups here in Brazil are seriously considering the ordination of women.
On Sundays we visit various churches, giving out “The Fundamentalist” to as many as 50 at a time. This is one of the advantages of each edition of our paper being small. It is convenient to hand out in a congregation.
USA and Cameroon Trips
We are scheduled to come to the States for a visit in September and October. We plan to go to our Presbytery meeting in Oregon, and Ken plans to go to Cameroon for one of his follow-up visits on our work there. He tries to go back to Cameroon every two or three years. It has now been almost three years as the last time was in November of 2013. Pray for a safe trip to Cameroon. One problem is that the airports and cities in Europe where we make connections are targets of terrorist attacks these days.
One-on-One Ministry in Brazil
Ira has been able to be a good witness to her family while in Brazil. Recently a great breakthrough happened in the family for which we had prayed a long time. Two of our family members had had a very bitter relationship for over 20 years. Finally the Lord worked in their hearts and they were reconciled. Ira was invited to be there when this happened.
Our next door neighbor named Bene, fell off a ladder and broke four vertebrae in his back. He had a serious operation in a hospital about 2½ hours away. We have been able to help him with rides to the hospital and doctor. The Lord has been working in his heart and he has visited church with us twice.
A friend of ours named Hélio runs an internet site publishing fundamentalist articles. He was called into court because he published articles advocating using the rod with children. Brazil has a law against corporal punishment of children. Praise the Lord nothing much came of this. We can see persecution of the church coming in Brazil and also in the USA.
CIEF held a meeting in Campinas on June 25 (see picture below). There will also be a meeting of the Latin American Alliance of Christian Churches (ALADIC) in Mexico in February.
The weather here has been dry and very cold (so much for global warming). I have enclosed below, a picture of our banana trees which were killed by frost. This is the first time we have seen this since coming to Brazil. Our well is also giving signs that it is running out of water. Praise the Lord we still have enough water. Ken has been having trouble with hot flashes and went to a couple of doctors about it. It seems now that there was something in the bath water and it has gotten better after putting bleach in our system.
Once again, thanks for all your striving together with us with your prayers and support.
In His Service,
Ken and Ira Olson