The mission of preaching the good news was burning in our hearts. We moved into an apartment on Pereira da Silva Street in the Laranjeiras neighborhood. The street is only few blocks long, and we used to walk it everyday, praying and reaching out to our neighbors. During one of those walks, I reached out to Ana Maria Ribeiro, a young and vibrant woman. We became great friends and studied the Bible together. A few years later, she and her husband Marco became Christians. Since then, five people in their family have been baptized into Christ, and many other friends have also become Christians - more than twenty people in all!
My firstborn, Johnny, with whom I was pregnant with when I reached out to Ana Maria Ribeiro, is now a twenty-year-old disciple who has a dream to see Brazil evangelized as well.
It is hard to express the overwhelming joy that my husband and I felt when he went on a mission team of campus students to Rio de Janeiro this past summer to restart a campus ministry. He went as part of the GO Program (Graduates Overseas) started by the South Florida church under the leadership of John and Barbara Porter. Amazingly, Johnny spent his time in Rio with the Ribeiros - the same couple we reached out to twenty years ago - and their teenage sons (one of whom is a disciple)! Not only that, but he also stayed in the same apartment building we had lived in when we first got there twenty years ago! He was able to walk and pray on the very same streets where we walked and prayed when I was pregnant with him!
My husband and I began praying for my son as soon as I learned I was having a baby, but I don’t think I could have ever imagined what God would do with his life. My baby has now become a man and a disciple of Jesus, who carries the same dream and mission we carried twenty years ago. He walks the same streets, has the same desire burning in his heart, and shares the same prayers to reach out to young people like him.
We have all heard many sermons and lessons, both challenging and inspiring, about our second generation of disciples, namely our children. Many of us who were either baptized on the mission field or sent out to the mission field now have children in their teens and twenties, and many of these “kingdom kids” are now forming their own kingdom dreams. When our children’s dreams intersect with our own, something really special happens!
The Lord has been kind to us and his faithfulness truly continues on through all generations. I have seen this happen before my eyes. . As I watch my son, I see God working powerfully. I pray that God will use all our children and all their children’s children to bring salvation to the lost world!
“Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.”
To read more about the church in Rio click here >>>