I had the privilege of visiting the Amazon a few weeks ago during a missions trip to Brazil. The missions trip took our small team of three to Santarem, a large city of approximately 250,000 people located in the Amazon region of Brazil. A few hours after arriving, I met with Rhonaltt Araujo – the pastor of AD Santarem.
Pastor Rhonaltt is an awesome man of God! He is the sort of man you would never know was the pastor of a church unless he declared it to you. I mean this in the most positive of ways in that he is a very humble and unassuming man. He has a gentle spirit and a heart of gold! I sense that he is a father and friend to many in his congregation. Indeed, I am glad to call him friend as well!
You can see the influence of his servant style leadership on the church. The atmosphere of love and togetherness pervaded the church. I felt so comfortable at the church that I instantly adopted them into my heart. In truth, there was an instant love connection between the heart of the church, the pastor, and my heart because love (God) was at the center of it all.
So here is my tribute to AD Santarem: I came to be a blessing to you but you were a much bigger blessing to me. You say I added much to you but I get the sense I took more than I gave! Your family is filled with people who are destined for greatness. The zeal that you have within you will cover you as a cloak (Isaiah 59:17) so that your enemy (Satan) will not even be able to recognize you. May the love of God continue to be your driving force! May your heart continue to reflect the heart of God! May your family members become mighty. Never look to the right or to the left. In times of confusion, choose love! In times of uncertainty, choose destiny! I would say that I miss you but how can I miss what is so close to my heart? You are surrendered to purpose, so you are destined for greatness!
Submit your life to love, and love will take you to places that you have not dreamed about!
I will be sharing a little bit more my experience in the Amazon with you in the common weeks. Hope you enjoy!
Food for Thought: God loves me because of who He is; not because of what I have done, can do, or ever do!