We had a small sampling of that great day last Sunday. It was the Day of the Family of God assembly.
This is an annual event where all the congregations in Greater Recife come together for celebration, commemoration and fellowship. We sing praises to God in a mighty chorus; we break bread together as one Body of Christ. We pray together, we are challenged in our mission as God’s army on earth.
These special assemblies began two decades ago when the downtown congregation starting giving birth to congregations in the suburbs. Spreading out into various suburbs where the members already live, would help spread the Gospel to these communities. With these new churches located in the communities they want to reach with the Gospel, they can be more effective in their mission then they could from a central point downtown. Today there are two dozen congregations ranging in size from a dozen members to two hundred.
However, while meeting in congregations spread out across the metropolis has advantages, it also comes at a cost – brothers and sisters wouldn’t be able to see each other on a regular basis as they did before.
This godly longing led to the idea of these special assemblies.
There were 620 at Sunday’s assembly. It was held at a central location offering the best accessibility possible. The event was organized this year by the Boa Viagem congregation, which did an excellent job.
Brethren from many congregations led in the different aspects of the worship assembly.
David McKinney was the speaker of the hour. He is the son of Joe and Linda who were a part of the original mission team to Recife. They have since moved back to Tennessee but David and his Brazilian wife Adriana have stayed here to carry on the work his parents started. They are church planting in the capitol city of Joao Pessoa, 80 miles north of Recife.
David spoke of the necessity to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of the Gospel message. He reminded us of the example of Jesus and his apostles. And he told of remembering seeing his parents’ sacrifice, especially his mother, as he grew up on the mission field. But now looking out over this multitude of saved souls assembled – there can only be joy.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”