Grace and peace to all beloved brothers and sisters, God bless you mightily.
The Mennonite Church of Vila Virginia - Ribeirão Preto SP - Brazil is completing 56 years and seeking to serve the Lord in what we understand is the mission of the Church, PREACH THE GOSPEL. In 2019, after praying and understanding that it was the will of the Lord, we acquired land in a new neighborhood with 7,800 houses and 30,000 residents, 20 km away from the church to plant a new church, Igreja Evangélica Vida Nova. By faith we bought the land in 120 months installments.
We started the work in a collapsible tent on the sidewalk of the land, then in November 2020 we acquired a fixed tent where we had our worship until in September 2021 a gale destroyed the tent. We didn't stop the services, we reconvened in the little tent we had started.
With the money received from the Mennonite Men ($10,000 - R$50,000) we started the construction of the new church building. This week we are finishing the basics and are already using the new church building. The total cost of the work was R$120,000, we received donations, sold pizza, feijoada (delicious stew made with beans), lasagna and held two bazaars. We are closing this part of the construction with a deficit of R$12,000 reais, which we are paying in installments. We are planning to create a facade for the front of the church church, paint, put in the ceiling and build the Sunday School rooms, but this is for the future, as we are going to plan on how to raise the funds.
Regarding the work of the church, we were never paralyzed. We have Sunday morning meetings. In March we will start: 1) Meetingin the houses of the brothers and sisters in the neighborhood, 2) Wednesday night services in the church, and 3) Bible School on Sundays also. We acquired 600 "Gospel of John" Bible portions and we are going to share them in evangelism work. We will organize the neighborhood into areas and do a survey to become aware of non-believers and believers no longer living their faith, in order to start the work of visitation and Bible studies in homes.
We are very excited, and firm in the work that the Lord has given us. We believe that the Lord has something very precious to do in this place. We appreciate the donation received, which was fundamental for the construction of the church building. We have been working hard to raise funds among ourselves, but we are also open to donations that may come from other churches.
The congregation from Vida Nova, Brazil, received a grant from JoinHands, a program of Mennonite Men in 2020 that raises funds for congregations seeking their first church building. Read more about JoinHands projects at mennonitemen.org/joinhands.