Easter! The season that puts all the other liturgical seasons in order. Just think, no Easter, no Christmas! No going back to hear His stories and lessons that He taught. When someone says “The Reason for the Season,” it really is more than the birth of Jesus (though that is what they mean), the real reason is in the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead! As we continue to observe this Easter Season, be sure and give thanks to our Lord for not giving up on the world!
The Bible only makes sense when we understand that God had a plan all along for the salvation of those who would believe in His son, Jesus. When we make that connection, we begin to live a life that is different from the rest of the world. For we know that we worship a God who desires to be intimate with us.
Reading the Bible is like reading a love letter left behind from the Lover to the Beloved. As we read the Bible, we get in touch with the one who made us; who desires to be with us in all aspects of our life. The good, the bad, and the ugly! So often we forget.
Just as the disciples forgot what Jesus told them about him being crucified and then in three days would rise, we too, forget; oh so often, that He is alive and desires us to be with Him.
So remember! He’s Alive!
by former SAMS Missionary, Joe Rhodes
Ron and Valdomiro during their weekly Discipleship meeting.
Making Disciples who Make Disciples:
This is the theme in the book by Francis Chan “Multiply” published by David C. Cook. In Brazil we use the version published by Editora Mundo Cristao and translated into Portuguese by Daniel Faria. I have been meeting with Valdomiro on a weekly basis for one hour for most of the past year. This relationship is directly inspired by Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV), “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
We recently finished reading together in Portuguese the book Multiply; Valdomiro does not speak English, and then we began reading Alister McGrath’s Mere Apologetics. In Portuguese the title is Apologetica pura & simples. Simply put by McGrath, “Apologetics is about persuading people there is a door to another world – a door that perhaps they never realized existed. Evangelism is about helping people to open that door and enter into the world that lies beyond.”
When Valdomiro and I meet for discipleship we spend time discussing the implications of what we are reading for God’s purpose for our lives through the lens of Scripture. We also spend time discussing how our week is going and the thanksgivings, challenges, and opportunities for growth into the likeness of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior, and Friend. We also catch up on the thanksgivings, challenges, and opportunities Valdomiro is experiencing in his discipleship of other men in our parish.
This is my thanksgiving for discipleship in Brazil; I consider myself to be a novice with the Portuguese language and Valdomiro does not speak English. Our conversation in Portuguese at times can be both intense and full of emotion, and sometimes Valdomiro needs to restate his thought for me using simpler words. Valdomiro also is patient with me and calmly corrects my numerous grammatical and pronunciation errors especially if I rush my delivery and, for example, I’m talking in the future tense when I should be talking in the past.
Last week Valdomiro asked me if we could increase our discipleship time from one hour per week to two hours per week due to the intensity of the content of Alister McGrath’s book so we do not miss out on the other aspects of our time together. Of course, I said yes, and praising the Lord, almost fell off my chair! I took this as a testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of two people who not too long ago could not understand a word the other was saying. Now we are both Making Disciples Who Make Disciples only for the Glory of God’s purposes for His Creation.
Ron and Debby Mckeon serve in the Anglican Diocese of Recife in Brazil. They are dedicated to helping the Anglican churches in Joao Pessoa grow spiritually, numerically and missionally. Please prayerfully consider giving to support their mission here.
Have you ever heard your grandparents tell you, “Back in my day, we used to walk to school five miles each way in the dead of winter with no shoes?” Of course, the exaggerated story was to inspire you to count your blessings. Allow us to inspire you with a non-embellished tale of our refugees from Afghanistan. Desperate to find a church where they can freely worship, this ever resilient group, travels by car from the mountains outside of Jakarta to Providence Anglican Church every Sunday. The trip takes almost three hours each way! Can you imagine how hungry for the Word and Christian fellowship they must be to go that distance? Can you imagine how physically hungry they must get during the long day away from home? We strive each week to make sure that we fill them with good food to eat and a meal to take for the road, but more importantly, God is sustaining them with his Word and satisfying them spiritually around the table of Holy Communion. God’s family from many countries at the banqueting table. His banner over us is love!