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Old 03-03-2014, 11:15 AM
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Sister A O Holmes

Some of you may know Sister Holmes. I grew up listening to her sing and preach along with Brother AO Holmes...This is copied from a a sermon she preached at my pastor's church.



Traveling With The Missionaries
(Excerpts taken from a tape of Sister A.O. Holmes at Brother Bryan Taylor's Church)

Brother and Sister Alvear met Sister George and I at the Airport at Sao Paulo, we drove about eighty-five miles to where live. That night we went to church. "They've got such a burden for souls, you don't get many rest nights with them." This was Saturday night. Sunday morning we went to church, Sunday night we went to another church.
Monday morning they said, "Everybody pack up your clothes, we are going to service across town tonight, then after service we will leave for Bahia in a little Volkswagen bus twelve years old. A little minivan. They had the motor over-hauled to take this trip. It was so rusted under the bottom that they had to take some steel and reinforce it, because the bottom was falling out. I thought, I don't have much confidence in these Brazilian body men. Because I hadn't tried them, and I thought, I hoped the fixed that good under there, because we would be going through some high mountains, and twelve of us got in that mini-van!
We went to this little church and two received the Holy Ghost that night. Monday, I was more tired than I was when I got there on Saturday. So, on the way to church Monday night, I said to Sister Alvear, "Looks like it would be better for us to come home after church and sleep then leave in the morning. Sister Alvear said, "Sister Holmes, there is no way we could make it there on time."
I don't know why, but from the time Brother Jose had gone to Bahia, I had it in my mind that it was only about four hundred miles. I don't know where I go that idea, but I thought, my it isn't going to take so long to go four hundred miles, but I didn't say anything else. So after church that night, we started out for Bahia.
Before we went to church that evening, Sister Alvear went to the grocery store, and bought some of that bread. (They don't wrap the bread up, I've seen truck loads pulled up to the stores to deliver, not a wrapper on it, just in a truck.) So, they bought some of this bread, some sardines, potted meat, crackers and things.
Anyway, we traveled that night until the driver got sleepy, and we stopped in front of a big old bus station. (The bus business is great in Brazil, because so many people don't have cars. Out of the bus station in one city, five thousand buses leave everyday. So, when you get down there, you are going to meet a lot of buses, and they are going as fast as they can around them curves. Some of them don't make it , and you see them keeled over!)
When we stopped they got out and laid down on the benches and tables out there. I thought, It won't be long until the morning and we'll get there. So, I didn't get out, I just sat in the van. The rest of them got out and laid down. So, in a little while, we were started on again. We traveled the rest of the night.
About 10:30 or 11:00 the next day, they stopped in front of a little bus station, and it had a little table out in front, and they spread the lunch. They put the potted meat on that bread, took crackers and put those sardines in them, with the tail of the sardine hanging out of the crackers! We, Americans are so spoiled! I looked at that and thought, My stomach feels so good, I think it would feel better not to put that in it. I got a burden to fast! They said, "You're not going to eat, Sister Holmes." I said, "Don't seem like I'm too hungry."

So I didn't eat. I thought, We'll be there after awhile. We traveled all day, then after it got in the evening they stopped at these bus places. They don't know what a screen is over there, I do not care how nice the house is. I don't guess they even got any screens, and some of those places, to tell the truth, it doesn't look clean. When the others would buy their food, I thought, My stomach feels so good, and I don't believe I'll put that in it." So then it got night and we were still going. Now this is Tuesday night, and I got so hungry, oh I got so hungry.

Sister Alvear was driving now, and she looked at me and said, "Sister Holmes, you must be getting hungry." I said, "Well a little while ago, I was sitting here thinking about some people I heard about years ago, when I was just a girl. People that would tramp through the country, and I heard about this tramp, this hobo, he walked up to a door late in the evening and said, "Lady, I am so hungry, I don't know where I'm going to sleep tonight." And I said, "I was just riding around here thinking about what the hobo said." Sister Alvear said, "I don't know what you are going to eat, but I know where you are going to sleep tonight, you are going to sleep in this van.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:16 AM
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Re: Sister A O Holmes

We hadn't gone far until Sister Alvear said, "That looks like a good place to eat." We stopped and it was a real clean place, and I just filled up! So, we rode the rest of that night, and Wednesday until three o'clock Wednesday evening. We hadn't had a bath since Monday. They had sent Brother Jose a telegram to meet us at this little town park between 3 and 4 o'clock on Wednesday, and that is why we couldn't stop to sleep.

He came just a smiling, even though he lived sixty miles from there, and his family was at home, he had come to meet us there, and he had a house meeting out in the country announced for us that night.


Well, they rented us some rooms in what they call a hotel. Of course, the bathroom was outside, and the showers were outside. It had a little cot which looked mighty good to me. We got refreshed, a shower and some clean clothes.
Brother Jose got in the van (that made thirteen of us). When we started I said, "How far is it?" They said, "It's about twenty miles, that is all." They don't have to have roads just trails. So we got going a little before dark, we went as far as we could go, and ran into water. (It had been raining, which is very unusual. Sometimes, they nearly starve to death for water up there, because it goes for months without rain.) But it had been raining, and the roads were flooded. We stopped, and Brother Alvear said, "That’s too deep, that would drown out the van, so we can't cross that."
Brother Jose rolled trousers leg up, got out and ran across that water, and was out of sight. I said, "I wonder where he is going?" Sister Alvear said, "Brother Alvear, I won't be afraid to wade it, and Sister George said she wouldn't either." About that time a man passed by and Brother Alvear called him and said, "Is there any snakes in that water?" that man said, "Well, I'll just tell you the truth, it's full of poisonous snakes." I said, "I'm staying on this side of Jordan."

Sister Alvear said, (you know she has been a missionary for a long time, and Sister George had her mind made up before she left home that she was to be one) They said, "Let us go, let us wade it, and go on across." Brother Alvear said, "Nobody's getting into the water." And I thought, I am so glad that you are the head of this house! That sounded so good when he said, 'Nobody's getting into the water.'

We thought that Brother Jose was going over there to tell the people we couldn't come. But, we sat there and we waited and waited. In a little while he came back, and he brought a donkey hooked to a little cart. It wasn't very big. Some little boards to build the floor, and some switches to build the sides. This man that was with him that had the mule and cart, and he had got a sinner man to bring a pickup truck on the other side of the deep water to pick us up, and they let the mule take us across.
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  #3  
Old 03-03-2014, 11:18 AM
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Re: Sister A O Holmes

I had a camera around my neck, and Sister George had a camera around her neck, and about the time she was getting ready to get into the buggy, she snapped a picture. It was dark out there, you couldn't see a thing, and I thought, I'll take Sister Alvear and Sister George's picture. They had already got up in there, and they told me to get in, and they would take us three across first. We filled up the buggy! I flashed my camera, and when I did, this man that owned the mule said, "Tell them not to take a picture, or the mule will run away." I thought, Had I known that I would have been taking that mule's picture.
We got in, and it wasn't like getting into a limousine, either. We had a little hill to go down right before you got into the water. We made it down the hill, but we were too heavy for the mule to pull. The man that owned the truck brought a little light to see how to get across the water, and the man that owned the mule had a stick in his hand, and he had the reins in his hand, and they were talking, "Jiby, Jiby, Jiby." I couldn't understand a word that they were saying; He started beating that mule to try to make him pull us. It wasn't the mule's fault. We were too heavy! The mule was doing everything he could.

The man said, "Somebody will have to get out." By this time we were in the edge of the water, Sister Alvear and Sister George left me in there, but I wanted to get out. And I said, "Looks like it is too late to have church anyhow." Those men couldn't understand a word I said. Even the mule couldn't understand English. All he understood was Portuguese, so I couldn't even say whoa or stop.

I thought, They are taking me across this water and it's dark over there, and there are snakes in the water, and there are snakes on the ground, and I was just saying, "Let me out, let me out!" But those two Brazilian men were going right on, just a jabbering. Well, when I got across the water, this time the sinner man was so kind, he helped me get up into the truck before he left.

By the time the men got back to the other side, Brother Alvear decided that by the time they got all of them across, it would be too late, so he would just keep some of them on that side, there was a house there, and those people had been coming to church, and they hadn't got the Holy Ghost yet. The water was too deep for that family to wade that night, so he just stayed at their house.

They brought Sister Alvear, Sister George and a couple more on across, and they got on the back of the pickup truck and he started on down the road. It was really not a road, just a trail. He took us down to his house and that was as far as the trail went. Well the little shack that they were going to have service in was farther on; we could only see the light a little bit. So, this little lady, just a sinner woman, said, "You all could have church at my house." I thought, Oh yes, and you would probably get the Holy Ghost." I was wishing we would.
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  #4  
Old 03-03-2014, 11:19 AM
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Sister Alvear Sister Alvear is offline
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Re: Sister A O Holmes

Brother Jose talked some of that Brazilian talk to Sister Alvear and then he took off running. I thought, Where is he going? He was going to tell the people we were on our way, because they had been waiting, and by now it was nine o'clock. He talked to Sister and she started laughing. I said, "Why are you laughing?" She said, "He said we wouldn't mind wading in a little bit of water, would we?"
Well, this little sinner lady had a little boy about eight years old, and she lit a brass light as a candle would make. We didn't even have a flashlight. She told Sister Alvear that he could go with us, and take the light. We went out in a field where the burrs were high and scratching us. All of us couldn't stay near the light, he was the head. I said to Sister Alvear, "Where is the house?" She said, "It's on over there, Sister Holmes." You see she had been there before.
They will walk you to death saying, 'It's on over there.' And I thought, On a dark night like this you could see a little light a long ways, and here we are out in this field and the sage burrs and grass were waist high. It was desperate for me, and we were going to wade more water!

I stopped and this is what I did; I said, "Help, God!" in a loud voice. Then I gave another yell to God, "Help God!" And they were laughing, but it wasn't funny to me. More water to wade, and it dark and all. I'll never forget what God did.

We hadn't gone over three steps until a little old Brazilian man, seventy-five or eighty ears old, run right up to where we were from that direction, and he told Sister Alvear, "I've been running out in this field all night to see if I could see you all coming." He said, "Why don't you all go back to that house, and let me go get the people and bring them there, because that water is knee deep, you all would have to wade through." We went back and Sister Alvear told the lady, "We're going to have church service in front of your house."

Well her husband took their two little benches that they had sitting by their table outside, and he got a little light and hung it out there. They put a little table out there for a pulpit. In a little while, here came the people, and it was tem o'clock, and we hadn't laid down since Sunday night and this was Wednesday night.

Brother Jose said, "Missionary, don't expect me to cut this service short, because these people need to hear from God. So, we just had service like you start at regular time. Then we got back across the water, and we went back to our room, it was now Thursday morning and we lay down.
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  #5  
Old 03-03-2014, 11:20 AM
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Sister Alvear Sister Alvear is offline
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Re: Sister A O Holmes

Sometimes there are sixty to a hundred people out there at a house-meeting, standing outside in front of a house, and don't have a chair to sit down on. Americans with padded pews in our churches and we find the least excuse so we can stay out of church. Saints, we had better be careful, we are going to have to stand in judgment with these people. The next night, we had church in the little town where they have rented a building. Then on Friday, we went to Brother Jose's town. He has a church there and they live in part of the church.
While we were going over there that day the Holy Ghost began to talk to me. The Lord said to me, "Endure hardness as a good soldier." Brother Joel had preached a sermon at home about Crucify the Flesh, bring that old man down, and crucify him. The Lord brought that to my mind. In other words, he was saying, "You can sleep where they sleep, and eat what they eat. I brought you here to sit where they sit." I said, "Oh God, help me to crucify the flesh."

And then the next thing the Lord gave me, "Eat your fat, drink your sweets, send a portion to whom noting has been provided for." I've read the scripture where Paul talked about the poor saints in Jerusalem. I was ignorant I had thought, Well that scripture doesn't mean anything to us; we have no poor saints in Jerusalem, like Paul had. That day in the van when the Lord said to me, "Send portions for whom nothing is prepared for." He said, "There are still some poor saints in Jerusalem." I thought, "Oh God, help me Lord," and the Holy Ghost would say, "nothing, for whom nothing is prepared." And he would say, "Nothing."
Even though we were all on the bus, it just seemed like it was just me and the Lord in that bus. And I said, "God, nothing? When you say nothing, it must not mean nothing!" The Spirit of the Lord would say, "NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING!"

Well, I didn't know until later what the Lord was talking about, but He showed me. We got there that Friday night. Saturday night we had church. Our Sunday morning service was eighteen miles away. They walk with five or so little children, and one they carried in their arms. They get up at 4 o'clock in the morning to walk to the first service. How many of you would miss Sunday School if you had to walk eighteen miles?

We rented a pickup truck to take me those eighteen miles. They thought I was too old to walk that far. I thought, "One time in my life, it is nice to be old." They got this man to take us those eighteen miles until we got to a little church. It was just packed, with people standing at the door. We had a beautiful service, with three people receiving the Holy Ghost.
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  #6  
Old 03-03-2014, 11:21 AM
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Sister Alvear Sister Alvear is offline
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Re: Sister A O Holmes

When we drove up to the church, there was an ox cart and two big old oxen with horns. I thought, These people are two hundred years behind us; nobody comes to church in an ox cart. I found out that one family did. They brought it for Sister George and I to ride in. Sister George chose to walk, and there was another lady who was about my age, and she rode, because it was seven miles to where we were going to have service Sunday night.

There was a little women that had started for God some time before, and she received the Holy Ghost that morning. When she became a believer, the priest had her beaten because she quit the Catholic Church. They wash their clothes in a pond, cook from water in that pond, the animals walk in that pond, and they water the animals in that pond. I didn't see any clean water there, all dirty black.


After the service we got back into the oxcart. The oxcart just had sides made out of switches and nothing in the front or the back. They had put a piece of cowhide in the floor. It was slick and high too. I thought, If I slip out of the back, that will be bad and if I slip out of the front, I'll go under the oxen. We started out in that oxen cart. It had enormous home-made wheels. We had large rocks and ditches to go over. It was the roughest ride I have ever rode, and the temperature was over one hundred degrees.
That little woman that the Catholic priest had beaten lived seven miles on the other side of where the night service would be. She had already walked fourteen miles that morning to get to the church. She walked the seven miles to the house where we were having the meeting that night. She was getting ready to leave, and Sister Alvear said, "Sister Holmes, she has got as far to walk as we have come from the church." I said, "Why don't she just stay here with us?" I felt so sorry for her. She said, "Her husband is an unbeliever, and she must go home and cook a meal for him." I thought, Looks like he could heat some cold rice and beans to save her from walking fourteen miles. It made me think of my mother. She used to get aggravated at men. She used to say, "There won't be enough men in heaven to sing bass!" Anyway this little sister humble as a dog struck out for home in temperatures over one hundred degrees to cook some dinner, and get back to service that night.

I was sitting at this little house and I looked out and I could see the pond that was their drinking water, and the animals were drinking water also. We got to the ice box and get a cold drink or water; we just take it for granted. The little woman who lived where we were to have the house meeting that night didn't come to the service at the church that morning.

When I was riding the oxcart it got so rough that I decided to walk a while. I asked where the man's wife was. He said, "She stayed home to work on the stove." I thought, Um, work on the stove, it must be tore up. I didn't know she had stayed home to cook dinner for us. She had to use the water out of that pond. Then, I understood why the Lord had said, "Get your flesh and bring it down." I understood because the town where Brother Jose lives they have a big open market every Saturday morning. Sister Alvear told us, "I want you all to see the market."


Before we went to see the market, I stepped outside and Brother Jose was coming with a big roast in his hand, unwrapped. He was just smiling, he was so tickled. He had cut hair and made enough to buy a piece of meat for us. He was just smiling because he was bringing it for us. The weather was about one hundred and ten degrees. We went down to the market, and there was oxen laying by their carts. They had traveled all night. They had hung it up, laid it on tables, or whatever. Chicken, pork, beef, beans, etc. They don't have much money, but they trade meat for beans and beans for meat. Then they go back home.
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  #7  
Old 03-03-2014, 11:23 AM
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Re: Sister A O Holmes

Well, the little man where we were going to have the house meeting on Sunday went to that market on Saturday and got some of the meat, because they were planning to fix dinner for us, and they were so happy that they could do it. They had cooked some of that meat and I sat down there and said, "Oh flesh, you're going to eat it."

We had a wonderful service; the power of God was so strong. Sister Alvear's little boy counted, one hundred and seventy-six people in that front yard, for that service. And that little lady was there for service. When she got back home after service that night, she would have walked a total of about forty-two miles that day, and she didn't even have a seat that night.
No seat was provided for her, and that Lord brought out that scripture to me again. He said, "I have not asked anyone to send all that they have. They can eat their meat and dessert but send a portion for those whom nothing has been prepared. When the missionary plate is passed our way, we better feel our obligation. We had better feel, I had better send a little portion of what I have been blessed with to someone who has not had a seat provided for them.
When the service was over, it started raining, and those poor people had to walk in the rain. They didn't even have a flashlight. They had to walk home in the dark.
We went to another place in Brazil. We stayed in the pastor's home. He had six children. Two girls were married, and the four boys were home. All of the man's married life, he had worked for $12.50 a week and supported his family. He would catch a truck on Monday morning, go into an Indian reservation, (He is a carpenter) and stay until Friday. He had to feed himself, and support his family on twelve dollars and fifty cents a week.
This pastor was starting a work fifty miles away, so we hired a man with a van to take us to his work. There was a little old woman and her husband. They had taken some sticks, pieces of lumbar, and stuck them up to make a frame for a house. They had taken some black plastic and made the top and the walls.
The people in that area are so ragged. I had never seen such big patches on britches, as I saw on her husband. They didn't know we were coming, the appointment was for next Sunday, for the pastor to go, but because we came, he wanted us to go up there to meet these people.
As soon as we got there, this brother (looked like he weighted one hundred pounds) ran and put on a dingy white shirt with those patched pants, and put him on a necktie, and ran to invite the people. He was telling them to come on; we are going to have service. The people gathered there in front of the little plastic shack.
After the service the woman wanted to show us her house. She was so proud because it was the first house she had ever owned. It was only two little tiny rooms. I looked at her feet, and at all of their feet. I've never seen human feet look like their feet. Their feet looked like animal's feet, because they have to go barefoot. How man y pairs of shoes could you buy out of $12.50 a week and feed a family?
This is a place where it gets cold in winter, and Sister Alvear said they suffer when winter comes. (It is in the opposite part from Bahia) They are humble, kind, thankful and happy. You will never find a more appreciative people than the Brazilian people.

While I was at the Alvear's house, I picked up a book and began to read. I thought, This explains them so much. I told about the first hospital that was built in Brazil by a doctor who came from London. It told about this lady who was taken on an oxcart to this hospital. She was there several days before the baby was born, and she was so thankful for how sweet the nurses treated her. She had never been treated so kind in her life, and when the little baby was born (it was a girl) she named her "Hospital."
Just before I left Bahia, Brother Jose cried and said to me, "Sister Holmes, stay and help us." In addition, I thought, how could I help you? I can't understand what you say; you can't understand what I say. I was speaking this through Sister Alvear. I thought, "Sister Alvear and them have to go back to Campinas where they live, and the people couldn't understand what I say, I don't know how I could help you.
But, I thought, I can help you. It's like Brother Joel told the church when I got home. After they heard the story, he said, Folks, we can't feed the whole world, but we can help feed God's people who are hungry.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:31 PM
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of 8!! :)


 
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Re: Sister A O Holmes

Oh my. Tears running down my face.
The hunger and desire to know God.
Are any that desperate in America?
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:46 PM
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Re: Sister A O Holmes

Sister Holmes is such a unique person that God has used for many years...love you my friend
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:03 PM
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MawMaw MawMaw is offline
of 8!! :)


 
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Re: Sister A O Holmes

Love you and your family also Sis Alvear!
The people of Brazil are so blessed to have
y'all there trying to reach them and help them
be saved.

Time is running out so quickly!
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