November 28, 2008

November Results

November was a busy month for us, and we saw God do many wonderful things in peoples' lives here in Sao Paulo. We spoke in 5 schools, including the special CIEJA school for adults in the Sao Mateus area of Sao Paulo. I also spoke at the One Way English school in the city of Sao Bernardo. God continues to touch and open many hearts here, and 1044 students (including over 300 adults) and 20 teachers responded to the Gospel and accepted Christ. We praise God for the privilege of allowing us to join Him in His work here.

November 26, 2008

2008 Ministry Video

Here is a video of our evangelism ministry in the Sao Paulo area of Brazil, showing events in 2008. We help churches share the Good News of Jesus Christ in schools, hospitals, health centers, and wherever else we can.

November 25, 2008

Our Last School For The Year

Today we spoke in our last school for this year, which was the 26th school we spoke in . We are grateful to God for giving us so many opportunities to share Christ. We spoke in the CC Rafa school/ day care, which is located in the Areiao favela (slum) in the city of Sao Bernardo. The Areiao favela is a very poor and dangerous area in the southern-most part of Sao Bernardo. The school/ day care is owned and managed by Rosangela, who is a member of Primeira Igreja Batista Central in Sao Bernardo. The students were wonderful, and we had a very nice time at the school. We spoke to 2 classes in the morning period, then had a nice lunch at the school, and then spoke to 2 more classes in the afternoon. 53 students and 1 teacher accepted Christ.

Interpretor Anderson & John with some students

Nancy and interpretor Regis with one of the classes

Nancy and I, Rosangela, a teacher, and a group of students

November 22, 2008

Speaking In An English School

This morning I had the opportunity and privilege of speaking at the One Way English school in the city of Sao Bernardo. This school is part of the ETE Lauro Gomes technical school, which is run by the state of Sao Paulo. The director of the English classes was expecting about 20-25 people to come for the speech, but we ended up having 54 poeple. We had a great time with the students, most of whom were college age. I spoke our Quality Of Life speech that we normally use in the public schools, but since we had more time I added more details and information. In the final part about our spiritual life and how to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus, 40 of the 54 people accepted Christ. God is so good. Afterwards many of the students had great questions about the U.S., the differences in living here versus there, about our work here, and about many other things (global warming, government, God's plan for our lives,..)

November 21, 2008

Brazil Photo

Below is a picture of the beautiful city of Rio De Janeiro at night. The mountain in the top center of the picture is Sugar Loaf (Pão de Açúcar in Portuguese). Other famous tourist attractions include Copacabana beach, Maracana soccer stadium, and the large Christ The Redeemer statue, which was recently named one of the Seven Wonders Of The World. Rio was Brazil's capital city until 1960. Although Rio is a beautiful city and a world famous tourist spot, it is also a very violent and dangerous city. Much of the violence occurs in the "favelas" (slums), and there are many favelas in and around the city.

November 17, 2008

Passion Fruit & Flower

Below is a picture of the beautiful passion fruit flower. Passion fruit in Brazil is called "maracuja", and is used to make a great tasting fruit juice. Passion fruit juice is available with our without milk (we prefer with milk), and with milk it is like a fruit juice milkshake. The juice and the passion flower have medicinal properties, including lowering blood pressure and uses as a mild sedative to improve sleep. The yellow form of passion fruit is found in Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru.

The passion flower got it's name from missionaries in South America, and represents Christ's passion and love for a lost world in need to have a reconciled relationship with God. The corona threads on the flower represent Jesus' crown of thorns, the 5 stamens represent Christ's wounds, and the 3 stigmas represent the nails used to crucify Him.

November 14, 2008

God Is Opening Many Doors

Nancy and I had a meeting at a school on Wednesday in the Vila Formosa area of Sao Paulo, in the East Zone of the city. We met Bernadete the vice-principal and Luciana the coordenator, and we talked about our project in the schools and our speech for the students & teachers to help them to have a high quality of life and a good future. They really liked our project, and we scheduled dates in May 2009 to speak in the school. Then Bernadete took us on a tour of the school, and when we returned we learned that the coordenator Luciana had called 4 other schools to tell them about our project while we were gone, and all 4 are interested in having us speak in their schools. God is good. He is opening many doors for us to share the Good News of His son Jesus in the Sao Paulo area.

November 11, 2008

CIEJA School For Adults

This week we are speaking in a special school for adults in the Sao Mateus area of Sao Paulo, which is in the East Zone of the city. The CIEJA school is run by the Sao Paulo city government, and was started to help adults finish their high school education. We are working in the school with Pastor Haroldo and Igreja Batista IV Centenario. We spoke to 6 classes on Monday morning, to 6 more this afternoon, and we will speak to 6 more next Wednesday night the 19th. So far in 2 days, 274 adult students and 5 teachers have accepted Christ.

Interpretor Eduardo and I sharing Christ

A group of adult students and teachers

Interpretor Alessandro, me, and the group from the church

One of the classes that we spoke in

November 9, 2008

Chico Mendes Park

One of the places we like to go in Sao Caetano is Parque Chico Mendes. It is a beautiful park with several ponds and waterfalls, lots of trees, and alot of room to walk and excercise. It is a great place to go when you want to feel like you are out of the big city for awhile. Here are some pics of Chico Mendes:

November 4, 2008

School Visit In Campinas

Today we travelled to Campinas to speak in a school. The school is located in the Jd. Sao Marcos neighborhood, which is a poor area in the northern end of Campinas. Campinas is approx. 90 km (55 miles) north of Sao Paulo. It took us 2 hours each way - 1 hour to cross Sao Paulo because of traffic, and then 1 hour from Sao Paulo to Campinas. We spoke in 12 classes from 5th grade to 8th grade, and we praise God that 271 students and 8 teachers accepted Christ.

A photo of Campinas

John, interpretor Elaine, Nancy, and the church group we worked with

November 2, 2008

Driving In Sao Paulo

After living here for 2 years, there are only a couple of things that I do not like about living here. My least favorite thing here is to drive in the city of Sao Paulo. I used to travel and drive alot for business (New York, Chicago, Boston, LA,...), and Sao Paulo is the worst place to drive that I have seen. There are various reasons for this:

Crazy drivers - I don't know what happens to these wonderful Brazilian people, but when they get into their cars they become crazy and rude drivers. Some of the craziest drivers are the "motoboys" (on motorcycles) and bus drivers. I thought when we lived in Atlanta they had alot of bad drivers, but they have way more crazy drivers here.

Bad and complicated roads - Sao Paulo has many 1 way streets and no left turns. Sometimes you will see a street that is 1 way, then it becomes 1 way going the other way and you cannot use it any more. Many of the roads are bad, and have many bumps and holes,... and are very rough on a car.

Traffic - because there are over 6,000,000 vehicles in Sao Paulo, there are obviously problems with traffic. We know many good routes now to avoid some of the traffic, but there are places and times when it is impossible to avoid it.

Some people have told us there are worse places to drive than Sao Paulo, like Rio de Janeiro, the country of Bolivia, and some other countries, but it is hard to imagine worse places to drive.