Tim and Martia Franklin
ABWE - Natal, Brazil

email timnmartia@yahoo.com
web timandmartia.com

July 22, 2020

This e-mail update is the testimony of Ludmila, one of our Bible college students. We pray that you would be encouraged to hear again of God’s grace in her life, and be reminded to continue to pray for the work of the Lord here in Brazil.

Testimony of conversion and calling
Ludmila Fernanda

Psalm 37: 4-5 “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”

Hello dear brothers and sisters in America. It is with great happiness that I share with you the way in which our Good God led my life to the feet of His Son and made me see the excellent work.

I was not born into a Christian home, but was taught some “moral” catholic teachings, and with military influence, because my parents are military, I learned early on things like obedience to authority and discipline. For these things, I look back and thank the Lord, because through my parents the Lord protected me from participating in much of what the world offers young people. They, by the grace of God, knew enough to protect me from many evils, yet they didn’t teach me about Christ since they didn’t have Him. The first contact that I had with something called “evangelical” was the occasion of my mom’s conversion in a Pentecostal church. At that time my mom was in her second marriage, and neither my stepfather, my brother, nor I liked to go to that church. She therefore went alone. At that time I was 7 years old.

During my elementary years, I studied at a Catholic school in which there were set times for chapel and for praying, but because of finances, my brother and I had to change to studying in a public school in a nearby city. At this new school I got to know a girl named Andrezza who introduced me to the Gospel. We studied together for three years of high school together. She also lived in São José de Mipibu(my city) and attended the Regular Baptist church of São José with her family, yet It was only in the second year of our friendship that I accepted an invitation to visit her church.

This visit happened in January of 2011, but few know that in December of 2010 I was reading the book of Revelation. People say that Catholics have a fear of Revelation or Apocalypse, and so I read to try to understand the reason of this fear. I remember well that I didn’t get scared, but I was amazed at the New Jerusalem. I didn’t even know that if I had died then, I wouldn’t have gone there. I made my first visit one day to a young people’s meeting, and I returned that Sunday, and on that Sunday everything changed. I remember how the church was, the color of the curtains, and even the clothes I was wearing. I remember the sermon about Jonah and the moment that Pastor Paulo gave an invitation for salvation.

I didn’t understand everything in the message, but I knew that that invitation was for me. I wanted so badly to profess my faith at that moment, but I was embarrassed so I bowed my head and asked God for someone to raise their hand before me so I wouldn’t have to go by myself. I opened my eyes and waited, but no one raised their hand. I closed my eyes again and said to God that I would be first, but that night I was the only one. They prayed with me and received me into the family of faith. I don’t know how to describe the immense happiness I felt. It was January 9, 2011. During that year I received much teaching and I learned early on the importance of reading and studying the Scriptures.

In the next year 2012, there was a young people’s retreat at our church camp with the theme of “Look! The fields are white!” The main speaker Pastor Benjamin Peterson with his wife Pauline came for this retreat that was commemorating the 20th year since the beginning of the retreat for the Regular Baptist church young people for the interior of the state. We had the elections of officers and evangelistic workshops. I remember that it was at this retreat that I first thought about dedicating my life in service to the Lord, that seemed so precious, but so far from me.

In 2013 I started serving in my church as a Sunday school helper, and I started to be interested even more in serving. At the end of 2013 I already was in “conflict”. My parents wanted me to study for a life profession, yet I already had a desire to study at Bible college, at Seminário e Instituto Batista Bereiano (SIBB) so I prayed. I remember praying a lot asking God that he would let me go to SIBB, but December passed, January came, and I didn’t see anything happening and working towards this. The results of the tests came out and I was approved to go to public college. I confess that I was sad at that moment, but I understand that God had His time for me, and so I began my course studying to be a teacher with the opportunity to learn to serve better. I went to public college in 2014.

I had three fears when I started which were these: turning away from the faith, losing desire to serve, and losing the desire to go to Bible college. I decided that I wouldn’t study anything for my classes without first studying my Bible. I decided to not give excuses for not serving more at church, and I decided that what I would study hard to do my best. This was how that God in His grace made me be able to count each semester that passed as “one less” to arrive to SIBB.

During the four years of my teaching course, God also worked in the hearts of my pastors who already knew of my desire to study at Bible college. They along with my church knew and approved, although my parents were unaware of this. The end of the teaching course came, and also the time came to talk to my parents. I was unable to talk to them about this subject for 20 days, which during this time I prayed much to God asking for courage. God gave courage and I went to talk to my mom. She didn’t agree, and she said to me that it was a bad decision and that I was “throwing away” these years of studies and that I would be dependent on people’s charity. That night I could only respond, “I won’t lack anything”, and I cried in my room. Fine, yet still remained talking to my dad.

My mom called my dad and told what I had decided. He was against this and repeated the same words as my mom. I stopped, breathed deeply, and prayed. I really thought that the time had arrived, and for me it was important to get my parents approval. I prayed to God asking that He work in their hearts because I didn’t want to go without their approval. But I also told God that if it has to be this way, that’s fine. God did work. The Conversation with my parents was on a Sunday in January (I don’t remember the date), but that same week, on Wednesday, my mom and my dad all of a sudden showed a change, even to the extent that my mom was preparing to buy some things for me to move. My dad talked to my pastors, and although he didn’t understand everything, he accepted. God, in one week changed the heart of my parents. One Sunday I was crying and the next Sunday I was immensely happy because I had my parents approval! From thereon it was to prepare, to wait, and to have the church approval in a business meeting. My mom still attends Pentecostal churches, and my dad hasn’t converted yet. Pray for my mom (Liane) to find a church that has firm teaching and pray for my dad (Lucas).

I arrived at SIBB in 2018. It was one of the best (and very much awaited) years of my life. It was full of lots of excitement, lots of studying, lots of laughs in the ladies’ dorm, and many good friendships. In that very year, at the end, I was also praying for a young man that I got to know at SIBB. This young man, Danrley, was dedicated in the service of the Lord and was in the same course that I was studying (Bachelor’s degree in missions). I prayed, and we prayed together. In 2019, after having gotten approval from my parents and spiritual leaders, we began to date. God, again in His grace, after several months not only confirmed, but also helped us.

Up to this point we have 2 Bible college students without money to plan a wedding and marriage. But God helped us. In an AWANA camp in which Danrley and I helped with at the end of the first semester of 2019, he received an invitation to pastor a congregation in the town of Poço Branco (white well) which is in the interior of the state. The missionary that took care of that congregation had to move closer to the capital city because of health issues and because he was taking charge of another congregation closer to his home. We prayed, Danrley talked it over with his pastor, and we prayed more. After praying and getting counsel, we decided that it would be very good. After we said “yes”, the notice came that he would be received as pastor. It was there that we saw that opportunity as a blessing from God to be able to save money necessary to be able to get married. In 9 months, we saved all that we could, and we had some help from our families. On the first day of February of 2020 we said, “I Do”, before our families, our beloved churches, our friends, brothers and sisters of SIBB, and before our Good God.

At present we live on campus at SIBB, now married, while Danrley finishes his last year in his bachelor’s degree in missions and I finish my classes for my Bible certificate. Our plans are to finish our studies, go to live in Poço Branco, and continue the work of the Lord in that place. There already exists a congregation with a couple of families and 2 young ladies. We pray that the Lord would give genuine growth to his people.

We discovered after being married just 2 months that we were expecting our first gift from God. And we were confident that the Lord would take care of him or her as he has taken care of us. (In July they suffered a miscarriage.)

We thank you for your precious prayers for us and for all here at SIBB. Keep praying that the Lord who made the heaven and the earth, would call men and women, and equip them for the Excellent Work, because we need and will need His help.