In spite of all of our flaws, family get-togethers can be very rewarding. Especially when it’s the Family of God. The 27th annual Congresso (lectureship) was held in Recife last month. This event brings together brethren from congregations all across Northeast Brazil. It’s held in a different city each year but Recife has hosted it several times over the years because it’s the geographical center of the region.
The theme this year was “The armor of God” from Ephesians 6:10-18. I taught a lesson on Eph. 6:12 “Our fight isn’t against people”. We are at war, in hand-to-hand combat, with Satan and his minions. We’re not at war with people (who God made in His image and loves beyond words), who the enemy may be using as he did Peter in Matthew 16:23.
The event fills four days and three nights and was held at the same, nice site, just outside Recife, as it was the last time it was here. I slept in a large room with thirty other men, some of whom don’t breathe very well when they are sleeping (I spent long hours in the dead of night contemplating this problem).
This year’s event brought 340 brethren together representing two dozen congregations from six Brazilian States. The lessons and classes on the theme of spiritual warfare were good, but the fellowship was great. On Sunday (the last day) many came to the assembly there instead of their regular places of worship. The number swelled to 500.
Despite the minor difficulties, this Family get-together was well worth all the effort and sacrifice that went into it. In this time of spiritual warfare, God wants us to come together and help one another to don His full armor.