Dear Churches and Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The month of September has flown by. One of the highlights was when Maria Jose, a lady who was saved a few months ago after receiving one of our gospel tracts, and has been coming to church regularly, followed the Lord in believer's baptism. It was quite a night--I had to make two trips in my van to help some of the other church members arrive at the ocean where we were going to hold the baptism, and as it usually goes when I went to pick everyone up, not all were ready, setting me behind by an hour. When we got to the beach where there is easy access to the ocean pools where we usually baptize, the city had roped off the shoreline due to renovations, so we had to walk several blocks down to a new spot where we could get to the water. It was starting to get near dusk, and I knew our time was running short if we wanted to baptize in what was left of the daylight. Pedro had prepared a short message, we sang a hymn, and we proceeded toward the Atlantic ocean. This part of the shore was filled with rocks, not sand, so walking was treacherous. As we neared the water, the rocks were covered with a slimy algae, making walking without slipping nearly impossible. It was one of the most difficult baptisms I have ever had--but praise the Lord we made it out alive! We celebrated afterwards with some tortilla wraps Carolee had made for the event, and it was an evening we will always remember!
We are continuing our Friday night Bible study on the south side of the island with Caesar, Marisa, and their two daughters. They both would like to be baptized as well, so we are planning another baptism this month near their home. I am also planning on doing some door to door visitation in the area where they live to see if there is any interest in possibly starting a new church plant in their town. According to Caesar, there are no good Bible preaching churches near their home. Please pray that the Lord will open doors if it is His will.
I have been doing some door to door evangelizing in an area called Anaza, and have had some very fruitful visits. It seems that the people there are fairly receptive, or at least a little friendlier to the gospel. I consider it a success here when people will give me a chance to explain the gospel--so many times people won't even let you get a few words in, so in this aspect I have had some good witnesses. Please pray for the people in this city and that our efforts would bear fruit.
This reminds me to be patient--over a year and a half ago a hotel gardener gave me a small bird of paradise plant--I had expressed to him how much I love these colorful, exquisite flowers. He told me to be patient because it would take a long time until it bloomed. Every month I would check to see if any blooms had sprouted, and every month there was nothing, but lo and behold, this month it finally bloomed. It is a gorgeous gift from our Great God, Designer and Creator of the Universe! Sometimes we have to be patient in the ministry as well, as we don't always see fruit as quickly or as often as we would like, but each soul is worth it.
Our son Nathan and his family have recently returned to Mozambique for their second term. Please pray that all would go smoothly with his visa/residence papers and that they would find a suitable house to rent at an affordable price. In His Service,Doug and Carolee Schwaderer, and family