I remember going to the downtown congregation many years ago. It was right after we bought the Boa Vista church building. I often noticed a boy looking over the next-door fence at us as we gathered for church. He wanted to discover what was happening with his new neighbors.
I later learned his name was Bio (pronounced ‘Bill’). He lived with his mother and the five elderly brothers and sisters she cared for. At first, she would not allow him to come because of her long-held family tradition. Many years later, she too would come around and be buried with Christ.
As time passed and she got to know us, his mother finally allowed him to come, and at sixteen, he put on Christ in baptism. Right away, he began studying at the School of the Bible (which offers Bible courses to the public). His thirst for knowledge led him to take as many classes as possible. He became a diligent worker for the Lord. God granted him support to help mature the congregation in São Lourenço, a western suburb of Recife.
A decade later, he married a dedicated disciple named Dayse. They met at church, and today is their 28th anniversary. God has blessed them with three godly daughters.
After twenty years, the São Lourenço church installed its first elders, and Bio felt he could move on. When Joshua moved to the States at the end of last year, we asked Bio if he would consider serving as the School’s new director. After much prayer and reflection, he accepted.
In the months since he assumed leadership of the School, it has continued to thrive. Last year, it had 344 students in 21 courses. We now have a curriculum of 35 courses (I just finished a course on 1st and 2nd Corinthians, which had 20 students). In the first half of 2023, we had 26 courses with 208 students.
What a blessing it is to be his co-worker, and what an encouragement to witness God’s work in a person’s life.
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)”