The multi-generational legacy of Free Will Baptist Missions
five generations and more
By Geneva Poole
The telephone rang. This time it was the church’s big talker—Rachel. She wants to help others so much she often spoils everything by being too helpful. “No” is never an answer to what she wants.
Rachel suggested the church pay the rent for a young couple she had just met. She also thought it would be good to buy them groceries to tide them through until she could find them a job. At that moment, things were rather dismal for the couple. Bare cupboards wouldn’t matter if they lost the apartment they had rented.
My husband Bobby told Rachel he did not think it a good idea for the church to start paying rent for needy people, but he would gladly give personally to the cause and perhaps others in the church might do the same. Immediately, Rachel began to raise the needed funds. Within a few hours she had the money in hand to help this couple who, just after being married, had moved into town in search of a brighter future.
The names “Hemmer and Yeda” had no magic when the young couple hung out their sign as tailors of ladies apparel. Oh, yes, they had had a few customers, but not enough to get along. What were they going to do!
Then Rachel burst into their lives. Not only did she helped them financially by gathering money for rent and food, she also found Hemmer a job and told the couple about the Free Will Baptist church.
Rachel called Bobby and gave him all the details about Hemmer and Yeda. She asked us to visit them. She also involved our church people, and they began to pray that God would be glorified through this couple.
The night came for our first visit. We were impressed by Hemmer and Yeda’s cordial welcome, intelligent conversation, and gentle manners. They certainly were not the type of people who typically ask for handouts. We easily turned the conversation to spiritual things. That night proved the turning point of their lives, for they both accepted Christ as their Savior. After they both prayed, they became radiant with joy because of their newfound faith.
On Sunday they attended the First Free Will Baptist Church in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil. Before long their shared joy of learning led them to enter the Bible college hosted by the church. As they dug deeper and deeper into the Word, the Holy Spirit began to impress upon Antonio (Hemmer is his professional name) the need for pastors. He yielded himself, responding to the need.
Love for people and a desire to help them spiritually is Antonio and Yeda’s heartbeat. Their passion led them to ride the bus for an hour and a half to the city of Franca to meet in Antonio’s mother’s home with family and friends they desired to win to Christ.
Antonio and Yeda had many friends in Franca with whom they wanted to share the good news of salvation. They talked with Rubens, a physics teacher, and his wife Angelica about opening their home for a regular service in Franca. Rubens and Angelica agreed, so Bobby, Antonio, and Yeda, made the hour and a half drive to Franca once a month for many months. Many of Antonio and Yeda’s friends and family members, including Rubens and Angelica, accepted the Lord.
Shortly after their conversions, a new teaching position moved the couple to a town about 20 minutes out of Ribeirão Preto. They began to attend First FWB Church where Bobby and I were working. They have been a marvelous blessing to the work of the Lord—participating in as many of the church activities as possible, serving as Sunday school teachers and Sunday school superintendent, and taking part in dramas and children’s activities. They are examples to be observed and followed.
This family has also been used of God in two of the new works started in Ribeirão Preto: the Second Church and the Marincek work. It is a blessing to have people willing to leave the comfort and familiarity of one church family to help begin a new work.
Their children have grown up, and two of the three are very active in the work of the Lord. Andraus uses his musical ability in the First Free Will Baptist Church in Ribeirão Preto. Ariádine is active in the Marincek Church, currently teaching a Sunday school class, serving as program chairman for the Women Active for Christ, acting as Church treasurer, and directing Friends Club, the children’s outreach program. Through her work at an auditing firm, she invited a co-worker, Luciano, to Sunday school and worship service. He accepted the invitation and was saved and baptized shortly afterward. Luciano is a good student of the Word and now serves as Sunday school teacher of the young people’s class.
Five generations of spiritual children—Rachel, Antonio and Yeda, Rubins and Angelica, Andraus and his sister Ariádine, and Ariádine’s co-worker Luciano. Praise God for those who receive the gospel and share it with others.
About the Writer: Geneva Poole and her husband Bobby have served the people of Brazil for almost 50 years. Read more about their ministry at www.fwbgo.com.