I hope this brief update finds you growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, “who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10).
I am on the road again in Brazil, the country where my grandparents were missionaries in the 1930s. As you read this I am participating in the “Old School” Bible conference in the city of Franca. When the conference was first organized a few months ago, an auditorium was contracted that seated 500 people. However, as time drew near for the conference, it became obvious that a larger facility would be needed. At present, there are over 2000 believers gathered together from Brazil, Africa, the United States, and Latin America.
I am sharing these statistics with you to show that God is working in many churches and individuals here in Brazil. For several decades there have been many faithful evangelical missionaries working here and their labor has born much fruit. Nevertheless, this beautiful country has also suffered greatly under the false teaching of Roman Catholicism, and most recently, under the heresies of countless ultra-prosperity cults. In spite of this, in the last several years there has been a new awakening to the foundational doctrines of biblical Christianity—Scripture alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone, and Glory to God alone.
We live in a day when large numbers seem to flock to conferences on health, wealth, and prosperity with little concern for the person of God, His redemptive work in Christ, or eternal realities. Therefore, it is truly encouraging when over 2000 people travel great distances to attend a conference with the following themes: The attributes of God, the depravity of man, the Cross, justification by grace through faith, the work of the Spirit, and the role of the Law in the Covenant of Grace.
In the few days before the conference, I was asked to do several interviews for a YouTube channel that has over a million followers in Brazil and around the world! The primary topics that we discussed were the importance of doctrine, the dangers of academic pride, the necessity of prayer and communion with God, personal holiness, church planting, the training of elders, instruction for young ministers, etc. That same evening, I met with several young men who have aspirations to either enter into the ministry or to serve the Lord in a greater capacity as laymen. It was a real encouragement for me to see that God’s work will continue with a new generation of sincere and godly men.
The night before the conference, I also had the privilege of preaching in a new church plant in a rural area just outside the city of Franca. What a privilege to see the new believers gathered to hear the word of God and to worship the One who redeemed them. We must always remember that the true test of a work of God is not how many people raise their hands or pray a prayer in an evangelistic meeting, but how many people persevere in their profession and gather together in a biblical church. Yes, the planting of biblically mature churches is not only the goal but also the litmus test of mission work!
During my stay here in Brazil, I have spent a great deal of time with HeartCry missionary David Romer—a Brazilian church planter in Paris, France. I asked David to join us at this conference in Brazil so that the sound Brazilian churches might become involved in church planting efforts in France. France was home to some of the greatest reformers, and faithful missionaries still labor there today. Nevertheless, it is a very hard soil and many more biblically mature laborers are needed in the sowing and cultivating of a harvest. It is not an exaggeration to say that there is more gospel light in the jungles of South America than on the streets of Paris!
At this conference, I am not only preaching and meeting with leaders, but it is here that my first three workbooks—Knowing the Living God, Discerning the Plight of Man, Discovering the Glorious Gospel—are being distributed in Portuguese. There are also plans to translate and publish three more workbooks that will soon be published in English—Studying the Scriptures, Biblical Fasting, and Christ’s Church, Christ’s Way.
In closing, I want to thank personally all the churches and individuals who partner with the HeartCry Missionary Society. Not only are you helping to support and train over 200 missionary families in 39 countries, but you are also enabling me to preach the Scriptures and write theological works that we hope will aid in the advancement of Christ’s kingdom and the edification of His people throughout the world.
Paul is the founder of HeartCry Missionary Society and currently serves as its missions director. He also ministered as a missionary in Peru for ten years. He has preached hundreds of sermons and has authored a dozen published works. Paul lives in Radford, Virginia, with his wife Charo and their four children: Ian, Evan, Rowan, and Bronwyn.More By Paul David Washer