It is hard to believe—2014 is here. Another year with its opportunities, trials and blessings is opened before us. It is as if a new page is opened before us—what it holds, we know not, but what we can know is a determination to have the page written with the favor of heaven. “Another year, with its burden of record, has passed into eternity. We know not what that record is, and cannot know till the judgment. But a new year has commenced, and I feel like dedicating myself anew to God, soul, body, heart, and strength. A new page is turned. What shall be the record of this new year? What shall be its revelations in the history of the world? What shall be its revelation in our individual history?” Manuscript Releases, vol. 12, 44. As we think about that new page, we should contemplate what we intend to have written there. Will there be souls won for the Master written there this year? Will we have victories recorded there? What will be the burden of that page? While we know not what the future holds, we know the One who is writing the future! As this new year dawns, may our goal be to know even more the One who holds the future in His hands and to lead others to Him.
I am thankful for the opportunity to have just returned from Brazil where the new year promises even greater opportunities for the advancement of our Master’s work. I began the trip outside of Manaus where the De Senna family are serving as missionaries in rain forest. I was able to visit the Noah’s Ark Christian School, which last year had over ninety students from ages three to eight learning not only academically but especially spiritually. While they learn academically, even more importantly they learn of Jesus and His Word—Bible stories and memorization are a regular part of the curriculum. The school has also introduced healthy living as they are now able to offer healthy snacks and meals to enjoy instead of the junk food prevalent everywhere else. Families are being touched through these junior members of the Lord’s household. Many parents have testified to the amazing changes that have taken place in their children—attributed to their learning of Jesus and receiving more nourishing food. While there, we were also able to have weekend revival meetings at the De Senna’s home where many fellow believers and community contacts came as we studied the Word of God together. Aluisio stays busy giving Bible studies to those who are eager to know more of the precious truths of Scripture. Fellow believers have had their zeal inspired and lives changed through digging deeper into the Word of God, but they are not the only ones blessed. Through his many contacts in the small town close to their home, he has been able to have many Bible studies with prominent members of the community as well as the common people desiring to know Jesus more. The Lord has crowned his efforts with many who have given their lives to Jesus through baptism. One lady shared that she did not know why she ended up in Rio Preta. She bought a bus ticket not even knowing where it led. She wondered why she came to this little town, but the Lord worked and now she rejoices in the truth looking forward to her Savior’s soon return and eagerly sharing with others. That ticket to nowhere resulted in a ticket to eternity—certainly the Lord was leading! If you would like to help the mission work that the De Senna family is doing of leading children and adults to a knowledge of our Savior, prayerfully consider marking your donation for Brazil School. May the Lord bless us each as we grow in Him this new year!