The Puritan Project
[J. Olin Coleman, a ruling elder from Western Carolina Presbytery, was elected by the 1996 General Assembly to the Mission to the World Committee. Now retired, he was a long-time missionary to Brazil. Here he shares his vision for the Puritan Project.]
The Puritan Project in Brazil has been up and going for a little over five years now. We have been delighted as evidence of blessing in the life of the Church at large and the Brazilian Presbyterian Church increases at a fast rate. God has been adding gifted leaders to our ranks steadily in this nation of over 150 million people. Those who help include seminary professors, pastors, office workers, members of Churches who give and solicit subscriptions to our Puritan Journal, writers who contribute articles, translators who translate articles and books, and donors such as yourselves who pray and give toward this work. Ninety five percent of these helpers donate their time with a willingness that is a wonder to those of us who began the work.
Last minute gifts enabled me to attend the Reformed Conference in the south of Brazil, where many of us, from all over that large country met for our annual planning meeting. One of my former students at the Presbyterian Seminary of the North, Moises Bezerril, attended for the first time. He is now teaching at the same Seminary and is already known as one who thoroughly prepares his lessons and as a stimulating teacher. Soon after returning to the U.S., I attended the Reformation and Revival Conference in Warrenville, Illinois. The main speaker was Dr. John Armstrong, who was one of two speakers in 1995 at our Puritan Project Symposium in Recife and Rio de Janeiro. I was encouraged at the number of young people attending_whom God has awakened to the riches of our heritage in Christ and the witness of the Puritans as a model for us in these trying times. It reminded me of the many young people in the Puritan Project movement in Brazil.
Recently, we hosted two young Brazilian men, members of a Presbyterian Church in the large port city of Belem, at the mouth of the Amazon River. One of our writers for the Puritan Journal, Rev. Paulo Anglada, pastors this church. It was evident that, under his preaching, they have matured in the faith and developed an appetite for learning about our Puritan heritage. Ronaldo and Solerno took quite a few Puritan and Reformed books back with them to share with their congregation. Such fruits are an encouragement to us as we see such young men across Brazil catching a vision that has come to us across three and a half centuries.
Do be in prayer for our 1997 Puritan Project Symposium_to be held in the north (Recife) and the South (Sao Paulo). Especially pray for our speakers from the Free Church in Scotland, Rev. Maurice Roberts, the editor of the Banner of Truth Magazine, and Rev. Ian Hamilton, also a pastor. They are due to speak on The Scriptures and Worship. Our needs for this Symposium include funds for travel of about $4,000.00. We still need funds toward a tape copier ($900.00) as well as our regular needs of phone bills, books and office needs. We also still need funds for a video camera and related equipment to restart filming of preaching for use in TV stations and home viewing ($10,000.00). A few years ago, such video films touched many but the costs became prohibitive. This was doctrinal preaching_often preceded by street interviews on the subject and followed by preaching of Biblical doctrines such as sin.
Let us hear from you. We need your prayers and support and hope that you will sense something of the excitement of seeing what God is doing in alerting the Church today in Brazil, and around the world.
Mr. J. Olin Coleman
PO Box 406, Lenoir, NC 28645-0406