While I was gone and since I’ve been back, we’ve had a death and progress in the congregation.
Maria’s Mother Passes Away
Maria lives in the neighboring city of Jacareí, population 150,000. She alone of her family is a Christian. She is middle aged and single. She lived with her mother, who had been ill for some time. Early Thursday morning Maria’s mother died. We went to the funeral home that afternoon, and had plans to go back the next day for the burial at 8 a.m. (They often don’t have much if any funeral service here.)
That night we got word that the burial was put off until 10:30 a.m. Friday, because of a relative (son?) who was coming in from the northeast. Then, shortly before we were to leave Friday morning, we got a call that the burial was moved up to 10 a.m., which made it too late to get to.
I did talk to Maria on the cell phone shortly before the time to leave the funeral home. No one from her mother’s church was there to officiate. Maria asked me about prayers and Scripture readings. I gathered she herself was going to do something. Probably nobody else in her family had the religious background to be able to say a word.
Sermons and Classes at SJC
In my absence from SJC, José Roberto preached in my place and a couple of brothers taught the Sunday school class. Vicki said he did a good job, even more so than usual. The Sunday school adult class this year is a year-long survey of the Bible, with different teachers each month or two. So I’m taking it in May and June.
Tomorrow, I pick back up my sermon series in SJC on “The Pattern,” and at Taubaté on “Revisiting Well-Known Scriptures.”
Search for Meeting Place Continues
José Roberto, Jorge and I (the other men working or unavailable) met this afternoon to catch up on what options we have for the SJC church’s move from our rented facilities.
Our city is strange in that it’s spread out piecemeal, cut up by the Via Dutra highway, the military installation and airport, the huge Petrobrás refinery, the Paraíba do Sul River, etc. So it’s hard to find a place where all our people can get to by bus, especially considering we have some, like Maria, who live in Jacareí, and a large number in the eastern district of Eugênio de Melo. The Christians here are very spread out.
The ladies had their monthly meeting as usual, while the men met.