Immediately afterwards was the first “Elder-Link” in Northeast Brazil. This four-day event saw seventy-two church leaders (most of them couples) come from twenty-two congregations. Some drove 1,400 miles (roundtrip) to participate.
The stats that were announced at the event are that there are now 135 congregations in the Northeast (this is up from zero 31 years ago), but only three of these have elderships. That works out to a disconcerting 2.2%. Surely God wants us to do better. The good news is that more and more of the congregations are becoming aware of this need and taking steps towards this goal. This goal is the purpose of the event—to help equip church leaders to train and install elders. Of the 72 present, five were elders (three from Recife, one from Fortaleza and one from the U.S.). The event was an encouragement to everyone who participated. One of Boa Vista’s elders, Antonio Neto, did a great job organizing it. We now plan to make this an annual event.