We asked our Global Partner, Phil Warkentien, to share how his church in Caruaru reached out to a rural farming community to share the gospel.
“It’s an honor to share about Boa Esperança! To get there we drive 310 miles through many small towns, cross the state line from Pernambuco to Paraiba and then go inland through many other small towns before arriving in Sousa. That’s the biggest town in the region. From there we drive another hour to Boa Esperança. It takes about 8 hours over very bumpy, dangerous roads. Years ago, we learned from Dr. Linus Morris about reaching your OIKOS ‘”The greater family”. For over 25 years we took a team from our church in Pinheiropolis to reach their relatives and greater family for Christ. Boa Esperança is the birthplace of one of our Deacons Francisco Neto Abrantes (Neto) and Doctor Fatima Abrantes. We took a team to share the Gospel in three small towns with little to no Christian witness. We were well received in all three places, but in Boa Esperança we had a God Moment. As I shared from the Word of God, the patio in front of the Public School was filled with older people sitting and the youth standing in the back and children everywhere. I gave a simple Gospel presentation and almost all hands went up. I thought they did not understand, so I asked again, and the hands continued up. We counted 176 decisions for Christ! They all loved our visit and we returned our 8 hours drive home. This was in the month of September. By November the Holy Spirit continued to bother me about the Biblical principal of “Going to all the World and make Disciples” – the word Disciples was a must. But how to go and make disciples of a place so far away? Boa Esperança was known as a closed farm community for the Gospel with little interest in change.”
Phil challenged his church in Caruaru to take responsibility for planting a church in Boa Esperança. For the last 8 years, they’ve been making monthly trips to meet with families and disciple children. The children from those early years are now in college with great desires to become doctors, engineers and professionals.
In July they had a Vacation Bible School where 70 children attended! They’ve been working on building the first gospel-focused church in the history of Boa Esperança!
“We have walls for the second floor built but must put on a roof, windows, doors, and electricity. While our team is doing the work, the children come from the community to spend the day with us learning lessons about God and His love.”
Please pray for
• Safety as Phil and his team travel to and from Boa Esperança
• God to call a pastor to minister to this community – someone to live here and teach on regular basis
• The people to continue to hunger and thirst for God’s word