Spring Synod has wrapped up in Brazil for the twenty-eighth time! As mentioned on Facebook, each time Synod meets it is more autonomous and more Brazilian. As small as the federation in Brazil is, it is wonderful to see the growth and maturity in these brothers and sisters.
At the next synod, two more students will present sermons for review, and, the Lord willing, start their internships. The final year of a seminary student's training in Brazil is an internship with an experienced pastor, with some additional studies. We have seen this arrangement bear fruit with Pastor Lucio da Silva's internship in Maceio, leading to his ordination and installation as evangelist, also in Maceio. One of the contacts made during Pastor Lucio's internship with Rev. De Graaf was with a church in the interior of the province of Alagoas, in Olho d'Agua das Flores (check them out on Facebook – Igreja Crista Defesa de Fe). This church has been yearning for a more reformed influence, and just finished a “Reformed Protestant Week,” filled with lectures, discussions, and worship services. Rev. De Graaf spoke in a number of these presentations, explaining what the reformed tradition is really about to a whole new audience! We pray that this contact bears much fruit. Rev. De Graaf will take a much-deserved rest in December when he and his family travel to southern Ontario for a furlough. He will be speaking and preaching, but the focus will be on recharging his batteries and spending some relaxation time with the family. Please pray for the churches in Brazil as a federation, that leadership continues to flourish. Pray for the church in Olho d'Agua das Flores, as they increasingly discover what it means to be reformed; and that they could eventually join the Reformed Churches in Brazil. Also pray for Rev. De Graaf and his family as they finish up a school year and prepare to travel.