I just returned from Aguascalientes, Mexico where I teamed up once again with Peter Sholl of MOCLAM (Moore College Latin America) to teach an intensive course on the Pentateuch (pictured). The class was well attended with 7 students. I was expecting leaders from 2 of the area churches but was pleasantly surprised to have 5 leaders representing all 3 of the churches in the area.
The best thing to happen was when I was teaching on the 10 commandments. When we got to commandment number 4 – remember the Sabbath – I asked the leaders about their Sabbath, if and how they took time for rest and refreshment. The discussion went on for 10 to 15 minutes. At lunch I asked if they ever took time to get together for fellowship, sharing and to pray for each other. No, they said, this was the first time they had ever taken time to talk and share with each other. Then I made a suggestion, “while we’re all here together, why don’t we take some time to pray for each other?” Also, “Can I encourage you guys to do this on a regular basis? It is so important.” Immediately they began making plans as to how and when they could get together next.
It was a totally unexpected opportunity to speak into the lives of these hard-working ministers. I love it when God surprises me like this and orchestrates one of His divine appointments.
Enjoy the brief video of our worship time as Pastor Miguel Merino leads us – Praise and Prayer
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 Disciplesonly 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.