Maria do Amparo Moraes Lemos, 68, attends the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Parque Universitário neighborhood in Rondonópolis. Earlier this year, with face-to-face services suspended in the city due to the pandemic, the church's director handed her a booklet and asked her to record videos to share with WhatsApp groups on Wednesdays.
"That little book fell like a bomb in my hands”, exclaimed Lemos as she recalled how challenging it was for her to start recording videos with biblical messages.
The booklet to which she refers is the Sermons for the Fourth of Power, a small work with 12 messages that aims to motivate praise, prayer, and gratitude to God. Wednesdays of Power is a project that aims to strengthen the prayer services on the last Wednesday of the month. On this day, the program is special and prepared exclusively by the women of the church.
“I picked up the booklet and didn't know what to say. But in my head, I just thought: how am I going to do this? It would be very shameful if I refused because I know God enables. My daughter, then, encouraged me and said accept [the challenge], mother! I'll help you!”, she recalls.
Her daughter, Sharry Lemos Novaes, believes that the leader saw potential in her mother, so she decided to challenge her. “My mother didn't think she was capable of preaching or speaking in public. But, God gave her the ability to talk about His love. So, I just help by suggesting where we can record or how to act in front of the camera, and then I do the editing”, says the daughter.
The videos are usually made in their own backyard and they are always looking for some element of nature, such as flowers or a tree, for the scenario. “We use available resources, but we don't have a microphone, for example. Also, if a dog barks or a motorcycle passes on the street, we stop and start all over again,” laughs Sharry.
Leading Souls to Heaven
Maria do Amparo says she is happy with the scope of the videos, which are shared first with the WhatsApp group at the church she attends. Afterward, she also sends it to her friends who live far away. “The first video we made was for the Wednesday of February 17th, 2021 and people really liked it. They asked us to continue forwarding it”, explains Sharry.
“I am a communicative person and I have always wanted to preach in public,” says Maria do Amparo. “But I don't think I know how to prepare a coherent message from start to finish. So, when I was given the book Sermons for Power Wednesdays, I felt like they were giving me a baked cake, that's it. Recording the videos is having the opportunity to enjoy this cake and cut it into slices to distribute to people”, she emphasizes.
Her daughter intends to continue with the project next year. “My mother has given many Bible studies and I know that God is in her. That's why, after the messages in the book Sermons for the Power Quarters are finished, I'll help prepare the messages themselves for us to continue recording.
Despite being a challenging activity, the videos help Mrs. Maria do Amparo fulfill her greatest desire: to save souls. “All I want is to lead souls to heaven! I want to contribute so that the gospel can reach more people faster”.
Adventist Women's Missionary Sabbath
On June 5th, 2021, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South America celebrated Adventist Women's Missionary Sabbath. On this special day, as well as on the Quarters of Power, the service was prepared by the women. The theme chosen for 2021 was Come and See!
The leader of the Women's Ministry of the Adventist Church for the East of Mato Grosso, Marza Abelhan Silva Bispo, emphasized that Maria do Amparo's willingness is an inspiration for everyone. “Stories like hers motivate us to keep walking! I myself was reflecting that I can do much more with the resources I have. She only needed a Bible, a book, and a cell phone to be a missionary”, emphasizes the leader.