In regular times, most members have the blessing of going to worship services with a congregation in an actual church building. But what if you didn’t have either?
This is precisely what Francisco de Lima endured for years. Francisco lives in the coastal town of Canoa Quebrada, Ceará, Brazil. When he and his wife, Silvana, first moved there nearly 30 years ago, they were the only Seventh-day Adventists in town. So, Francisco decided to open up his home for worship and invited people each Sabbath. Soon, Francisco had a solid group of 20 to 30 people attending.
Years later, someone donated a piece of land for the group to build a church. Together, the congregation managed to build a small, dark structure. It wasn’t much of a church, but it was a place to call their own.
Then, Canoa Quebrada began to change. It became a tourist destination, with restaurants and hotels sprouting up everywhere, and the humble building was at odds with the new vibe in town. One by one, members left the church, except Francisco and his wife.
“Many times, my wife, Silvana, and I, we were there, just the two of us on a Sabbath day, just the two of us, and she asked, ‘Francisco, but why just the two of us?’” he recalls. “It is because God has a plan for our life.”
Francisco and Silvana managed to grow the congregation again. Unfortunately, they still didn’t have a real place to worship. The Canoa Quebrada property had one advantage, however: it was on the way to the dunes — a major attraction in town. Francisco knew that if they could just build a proper place of worship, the potential for growth was significant. While the situation looked bleak at the time, Francisco had a feeling — he was almost certain that God would provide a church.
Eighteen years later, Francisco’s prayers were answered when Canoa Quebrada was added to Maranatha’s project list in Brazil. And in March 2020, a beautiful church building was completed and dedicated.
Adventist church members’ support of Maranatha projects in Brazil has helped to answer Francisco’s prayers and provide a beacon of hope for more people in Canoa Quebrada.
The original story was posted on the Maranatha Volunteers International news site.