Letter from Cody: Brazil – February 2011

For many years one of my favorite passages of Scripture has been the grand passage of Paul’s single-minded goal, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13, 14.

Preaching to the radio contacts in Sao Paulo

For the past month or two I have been meditating upon this passage and have been greatly blessed and have come upon a new favorite verse from this very passage—a verse that I see as being the central goal and prize that Paul kept indefatigably pressing toward, the central verse in the entire passage: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” Philippians 3:10. The prize that Paul was continually pressing toward was the knowledge of the One whom he had formerly despised. After Paul’s sudden conversion experience, his life motto became “that I may know Him.” Is this our life motto? Do we think that since we have given our lives to the Lord for whatever number of years that we already know Him? I am convinced that while we think that we know Him, in reality we only know about Him. As I have meditated on this verse, I realize how much more I need to know Him.

The De Senna family in Brazil

There is so much going on in the Lord’s work that I hardly know where to begin! For the past month I have been teaching a class on evangelism at Hartland College in Virginia (we also had a week of prayer in which the theme was “That I May Know Him”), and then in just a few days, I will be leaving to Peru where an evangelistic program will be beginning very soon. While there is a lot that has been and will be happening in these next few months, I have not been able to share about the work that has been going on in Brazil. In November and December of last year, I was able to leave winter behind for a few weeks and minister in the balmy Brazilian summer. First, I arrived in Rio de Janeiro and proceeded to the missionary training school located at Taquara. A week was spent there with the students and especially those who were just finishing their two year course and were now off on their exciting missionary endeavors. What a blessing to see young people trained to labor sacrificially for the Master! After that, it was north up to the Amazon. The De Senna family have left America and have been laboring for the needy souls within the Amazon jungle for several years, and they had organized a mini evangelistic series in their local town. They have started, along with others, “Noah’s Ark School.” It is geared towards preschool age and is basically a year-round vacation Bible school. The children are taught spiritual songs, memory verses, Bible stories and more. As I visited, what a joy it was to see these enthusiastic children sharing what they had learned. Not only are they learning at the school, but they are sharing with their families, too; and some are becoming interested in the Three Angels’ Message. Truly a little child shall lead them. They have also been ministering to their neighbors and contacts. Through personal ministry and Bible studies they have had good success in leading men and women to a knowledge of the truths from His Word, and some have taken a stand for Him through baptism. They have left everything behind to seek to save souls for the Kingdom. What an example for us, as well! After the evangelistic program, I traveled back south again to São Paulo where the radio ministry is still giving the message over the radio waves to the thousands who are tuning in. Praise the Lord for faithful workers in Brazil and around the world! Please pray for these workers, and if you would like to help the De Senna family or other faithful workers, just mark your donation accordingly.

Yours in His service,

The students and staff at Taquara Institute