IN ORDER to prepare the way for our evangelistic campaign in Agua Raza, a suburb of the city of Sao Paulo, two months before the opening date we carried on an extensive promotional program using handbills and posters to advertise the Voice of Prophecy and the Faith for Today broadcasts. Our evangelistic team participated in an extensive neighborhood survey, calling attention personally to the broadcasts, with the purpose of enrolling as many as possible in the radio Bible correspondence courses. Within two months 1,200 in the immediate area were taking the Bible course. The laymen and workers personally delivered and received the lessons and gave encouragement where needed. The completed lessons were sent each week to the radio Bible correspondence school headquarters in Rio de Janeiro where they were corrected and returned.
Then ten days before the beginning of the evangelistic campaign we sent a letter and an invitation to each student inviting him to attend the meetings that were to be held in his neighborhood. Each of these letters was addressed to the Bible correspondence course student and signed personally by the evangelist.
How happy we were when we began the series of evangelistic meetings with approximately nine hundred people present. Many of them knew us because of the television program, for they were viewers of the Faith for Today broadcast.
Even in inclement weather we had seven or eight hundred people in attendance each night at the meetings. The interest kept growing as we presented our doctrinal truths, illustrated with charts and slides. Even when we presented the Sabbath, the interest continued and new believers began to make plans for obeying the message.
In our first Sabbath school more than four hundred people were present. We had only fifteen baptized members in this section of the city of Sao Paulo, where no previous evangelistic meeting had been held, and we had no organized group or church. As each week passed by it was a joy to see new people deciding to keep the Sabbath day holy.
After three months of keeping all the commandments of the Lord, including paying tithe, we had our first baptism, on June 25, in the Central church of Sao Paulo, when almost three hundred people were baptized, sealing in this manner their determination to follow God for the rest of their lives.
Enoch Oliveira, ministerial association secretary of the South American Division, was the speaker for the baptismal service. In the baptistry six pastors baptized simultaneously. They were: Durval S. de Lima, Samuel Monnier, Antonio Gimenes, Oswaldo Felix, Waldemar Rodrigues, and the writer.
Immediately after the baptismal service, S. Genske, together with Orlando Pinko, the secretary-treasurer of the conference, organized the church of Agua Raza.
By the time you read this report we will have already passed the four hundred mark in baptisms for this series of evangelistic meetings in Agua Raza and our new church will be under construction—where we, together with these new believers, may worship our God and our Creator.