Farmer Hildo arrived in the sleepy town in central Brazil and thanked the man who had given him a ride. He lifted his small bag of clothes and box of herbal medicines from the cargo area of the truck and stepped to the side of the dirt road. Hildo lived far from town and came a few times a year to sell his herbal medicines door-to-door and to share his faith with those who’d listen.
Farmer Hildo had become an Adventist several years earlier; and although there was no church nearby, he faithfully kept the Sabbath and saved his tithe and offerings until he could attend a church.
During his visits to town, Hildo had met 10 people who either were Adventists or who knew something about Adventists. He invited them to meet with him whenever he was in town. One couple owned a cyber café and offered to meet there to watch Sabbath School and church programs on the Internet. Hildo urged everyone he knew to come.
The small group asked the mission office for a pastor to help them organize and grow into a congregation. The closest pastor already had one church and13 companies, but he met with the believers. He helped them organize evangelistic meetings and taught them how to visit people and share God’s Word with them. The little congregation spent two weeks visiting homes and inviting people to attend the meetings.
Farmer Hildo was thrilled when 150 people attended the evangelistic series and 33 were baptized. The pastor trained the members to follow up on interests, and soon the group of believers could no longer fit in a home. With the help of the mission they rented a hall in which to meet.
The new family of believers was a dream come true for Farmer Hildo, who had worked and prayed and longed for a church for so long. When the church became a reality, he said, “I’ve been praying for the church for 16 years.”
Farmer Hildo didn’t live to see the little congregation worship in its own church, but the believers are working hard to make his dream—and theirs—a reality. Part of a recent Thirteenth Sabbath Offering is helping this congregation purchase or build a simple worship center of their own so they won’t have to move whenever the rent goes up. Thank you for helping Farmer Hildo’s dream of a church in this once-dark area a reality.