Archives for November 1, 2021

Old School Conference – Day 3

We now have two days behind us and two to go of the Old School Conference being held at Calvary Covenant Church in Franca, Brazil. There are room for only about 700 attendees (photo #1) but thousands are listening online: (This growing church is hoping to build a new building that will seat about 1500 in the future.

Two of the first three addresses were preached movingly by Pastor Josafá Vasconcelos (photo #2), exposing the false evangelism and shallow views of sin that abound today. Josafá is a dear man of God whose transition decades ago from being a popular Arminian evangelist at mass evangelism gatherings to embracing the Reformed experiential faith while he was a preacher cost him considerable persecution. He has been one of our best friends in Brazil ever since we started coming here more than 25 years ago. (This is about my 20th conference/teaching trip to Brazil over the years. We love coming here to support the growing Reformed movement.)

I have also enjoyed my time with a new friend and one of the main speakers, Ronaldo Lidório, an evangelist missionary who focuses on bringing the gospel especially to unreached people in the Amazon. One can learn a great deal from him about missiology and church planting. He has also given both of his addresses already, the first addressing the believer’s identity in Christ from 2 Timothy 4:6-8 and the second on practicing one’s faith through evangelism and a godly lifestyle. Both addresses were superb.
Pastor Paulo Junior, the senior pastor of the host church, also gave a moving address last night. He is a gifted, powerful preacher and is on the front line of the growing appreciation in Brazil for the Reformation and the Puritans in particular. Hundreds of thousands often listen to his online sermons

And I gave my first of three addresses assigned to me on the Puritans: “The Puritans on Regeneration, Coming to Christ, and Conversion.” Pastor Paulo’s full-time assistant pastor, Pastor Danilo Santa Terra, is my able translator and also is helping us out above and beyond the call of duty with all the logistics of travel and the conference, etc. He is a very dear brother with a big servant heart and many gifts as well (photo #3, which includes his dear wife Soraya)

Brazilians love good food, so we are also enjoying a variety of meals in Brazilian restaurants (including an ice cream treat—photo #4) and on the Lord’s Day, in the homes of the leaders. The fellowship is of a high caliber. Please pray for God’s continued rich blessings for the second half of the Old School Conference today and tomorrow, D.V.