* In February the Austral Union held a Ministerial Council for pastoral families. Seminars were given by Pastor Ruy H. Nagel, SAD president; Pastor Raul Gomez; Drs. John and Millie Youngberg; Pastor Roberto Bullon, SAD Ministerial Secretary; Dr. George Reid; and Pastor Jonas Arrais, SAD Associate Ministerial Secretary.
Special activities were planned for the children, and the pastoral wives had two days of meetings. Pastoral wives from the various conferences gave their testimonies.
* Two Shepherdess Coordinators retired: Manly de Ciufardy from the South Argentina Mission and Mrs. Liliana de Pinto from the Austral Union. The work of these ladies has been appreciated, and we pray they enjoy this new phase of their lives.
* In August 2004 SAD and the North Brazil Union held a Shepherdess Retreat in Belem. Pictures highlighting this event are below and on the following page:
* Mrs. Evelyn Nagel, AFAM division coordinator, repor.ts the pastor's wife, Mrs. Sonia Filiu Albuquerque Lima, from the Penfigo Adventist Church in Campo Grande, Brazil, organized with the church for the women to carry out their first public evangelism.
They chose to hold the evangelism in a community center located in front of the hospital church. This institution is maintained by the Municipal Secretariat of Social Assistance and renders educational and recreational assistance to children and teens in the region.
The team began planning and prayer meetings 30 days prior to the conferences. The participation and suggestions of the group demonstrated that our ladies were committed to the work. Several volunteers carried out a brief survey and handed out invitations.
The social topics on health and relationships were presented by local Seventh-day Adventist physicians and professionals. The meetings began with the Bible studies in small groups. After each program, the team met for evaluation, gratitude, and prayer. On Good Friday, they had 100 individuals in attendance.
A closing ceremony was held to give each participant who completed the studies a Bible and certificate. In gratitude, the students surprised everyone by taking a basket of flowers to the front and distributing roses to the presenters.
One of the participants stated that the program was the best thing that had happened in her life. She had previously been a church member and was rebaptized as a result of the meetings. Another student stated that the studies helped to free her of substance abuse. A participant who had decided to keep the Sabbath was going to tell his employer of his decision. Before he told his employer, he was given a promotion, salary increase, and Saturday as his day off.
During the meetings, at the same time the program was held for the adults, a special evangelism program was held for children. A total attendance for children averaged between 40 and 50 each night.
The husbands supported the meetings by helping with the sound equipment, audio visuals, purchasing prizes, giving Bible studies, and carrying equipment.
36 students were enrolled, not including children.
26 students received a certificate of course completion.
4 participants are preparing for baptism.
2 small groups were formed in the home of individuals who completed the course.
More than half of the students were teens, and several indicated their desire to be baptized later. Participating in this first public evangelism was a marvelous experience for the women. They received many blessings and had a glimpse of what they can accomplish for God.