I’m not sure how history will record the last year-and-a-half, but it has been an exceptionally tense period. Many became ill; some died, and everyone was affected.
The church was not spared participation in this trying period. The faith of some grew cold while others were strengthened as with refinement by fire. In the end, the church was preserved, as she always has been, by her faithful Lord and Savior.
The pandemic continues to wane here. Brazil is second only to the U.S. in the number of deaths from COVID-19. The Brazilian government has released some of the restrictions imposed on us. For months now, we have been able to assemble again in our church buildings. We must use facemasks, keep a certain distance, body temperature measured at the entrance, etc.
From the long period when we couldn’t meet presentially, the church has developed her online presence. Streaming church services, Bible classes, and meetings with various ministries are the norm for all the congregations. I have the privilege to preach periodically at five area congregations and have witnessed firsthand a return to near normality.
Last month, we restarted the men’s training class, which had been suspended (except virtually online) for over a year. We meet at the church building every other Saturday afternoon. Currently, we are studying through the thirteen chapters of the “Pastoral Epistles” (1 & 2 Timothy and Titus) one chapter at a time. Twenty-four brothers are participating, with half of these already apt at preaching from the pulpit.
Undoubtedly, there will be more trying times ahead, but we can be thankful to have a faithful Lord of lords and King of kings who will always be there with us.
“These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
– John 16:33