The Lord's Work in Pirassununga and Brazil


Summer 2016
Written by Bill and Elen Watterson - Brazil
wjwatterson@gmail.com


William & Elen Watterson

I would like to draw your attention to a region in the interior of the state of Sao Paulo, slightly south from the centre of Brazil, with an area of approximately 6,500 km2. The Gospel arrived here in 1968 when my parents (Ronnie and Janeta Watterson) moved to Descalvado. Since then the Lord has planted eight assemblies, and the Gospel is preached regularly in another six towns.

On the western limit of this region is Ibate (population: 30,000), where an assembly was planted in the 1970s. They have suffered pressure from some young believers who do not appreciate the simplicity of the NT pattern for an assembly, but still go on well, with around twenty-five believers in fellowship.

In Descalvado 60 km east from Ibate; population 30,000) is the oldest assembly in this region, an assembly from which the Gospel has been carried to various other towns. Today the assembly is weaker; many of the first generation are passing on, and there are not so many to take their place. Mum continues working tirelessly in the proofreading of every book we publish (more on the literature work at the end of this report).

Dad was promoted to Heaven on the 30th of May this year, after a long battle with Parkinson's. He is buried here in Descalvado, in the town and region where he spent almost 50 years serving the Lord. We miss him terribly, but we rejoice to know he is with the Lord he loved so much. His three children, two sons-in-law, one daughter-in-law and eight grandchildren are all saved and in assembly fellowship (except for the youngest grandchild, aged 13).

Another 50 km east lies S. C. das Palmeiras (population: 29,000). In the 1980s, after several series of Gospel meetings (in a tent and a rented hall), an assembly was planted. Some year later a brother from Descalvado was commended to the Lord's work there. Today they number around twenty-five in fellowship. During 2012 they had the sad experience of dealing with sin in their midst, but recently they have seen a good interest in the Gospel; the Hall is usually packed on a Lord's Day.

Casa Branca (25 km east from S. C. das Palmeiras, population: 28,000) is today the weakest assembly in our region. Some years ago there was a very active little group of fifteen believers, but various problems left them very weak. There is only one brother, his wife, and an elderly sister. The brother, even though not gifted to teach or preach the Gospel, faithfully carries on the work, helped by believers from Pirassununga, S. C. das Palmeiras and Aguai.

The assembly in Pirassununga (45 km south-east from Descalvado; population: 70,000) was planted in the 1970s - today there are over thirty in fellowship. The assembly has been growing and maturing well.

In Aguai (50 km east from Pirassununga; population: 32,000) is the youngest assembly in our region, planted just over a year ago on the 15th March 2015. Door-to-door work began in 2004, then series of Gospel meetings; then a Hall was rented. The Lord blessed the preaching of the Gospel, and today there are fourteen believers in fellowship.

Going south a further 10 km from Pirassununga lies S. C. da Conceicao (population: 4,000), where an assembly was planted about a decade ago, after my sister and her husband moved there from Pirassununga. They started with meetings in their home - today there is an assembly with over a dozen believers meeting in their own Hall.

The eighth assembly is in Leme (10 km south from S. C. da Conceicao; population: 91,000). A brother from Descalvado moved there in the late 1980s, commended to the Lord's work. He started meetings in his home, and the Lord blest in the salvation of souls and the establishing of an assembly, which today has around 25 in fellowship.

The Gospel is also preached regularly in six towns around us, usually in the homes of believers who have relocated from some town in the region where there is an assembly. These towns are:

  • The believers from Leme visit Araras (20 km south, population: 119,000), every week, preaching the Gospel in the homes of two couples who are saved and baptized. They also visit Conchal (28 km from Araras, population: 27,000) where a door has recently opened for the preaching of the Gospel.
  • Believers from Pirassununga and Descalvado visit Porto Ferreira (population: 51,000), where the Gospel has been preached since the 1970s. It has always been "hard-ground," and there is no assembly there, but souls have been saved over the years. Today there are nine believers living there (three baptized this year), meeting in their own Hall every Tuesday and Lord's day. They are seeking the Lord's guidance in relation to gathering as an assembly.
  • The saints in Aguai regularly visit the towns of S. J. da Boa Vista and Pocos de Caldas (20 km and 50 km from Aguai) and preach the Gospel in the homes of believers.
  • Finally, believers from S. C. das Palmeiras visit the town of Guaxupe (90 km from Palmeiras, population: 52,000) every Wednesday, where a brother opens his home for the preaching of the Gospel.


Christian literature Depot

In addition to the above, another aspect of the Lord's work which is being developed in Pirassununga, and which has been a blessing all over Brazil (and Angola and Portugal) is the work of publishing sound Christian literature. The complete New Testament series of Ritchie Commentaries (John Ritchie Ltd, Kilmarnock) has been translated and published. We are now working on the Old Testament commentaries of that same series: four volumes, of an expected nineteen, have been published, and we aim to publish another one or two volumes a year, as the Lord permits, until the series is complete. We have translated and published five of the Assembly Testimony "Glory" books (and a sixth volume, "The Glory of Godly Women," is ready to print). We publish a free quarterly magazine and various small booklets about assembly principles and Christian living. Literature has been very useful here in Brazil, as some believers and assemblies are hundreds of miles from any other assembly. We visit them when we can, but literature ends up being their most important source of teaching. Please pray for all those involved in this work (translating, proof-reading, editing, distributing, etc.), and that this literature might continue to be a help to the Lord's people.

 

Summer 2016
Written by Bill and Elen Watterson - Brazil
wjwatterson@gmail.com