September 29, 2009

Brazil Photos

Below are photos of Fernando de Noronho, which is a group of small islands about 220 miles east of Brazil's northeastern coast. The northeast of Brazil is a beautiful area with many wonderful beaches. You can only get to Fernando de Noronho by plane or by a cruise ship. It is considered to be a part of the state of Pernambuco. We have never been there, but some friends have told us it is absolutely beautiful.

September 25, 2009

Missions / Evangelism Quotes

"Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." - Jesus (Matthew 4:19)

"Failure in witnessing is failure to witness." - Bill Bright

"The only way you can fail in witnessing is to not witness."
- My paraphrase of the above quote

"We are responsible only for our part in evangelism (to share the Gospel); God is responsible for his part (to regenerate). We must do our part and trust God to do His ! - Alistar Begg

"But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the Gospel of God's grace." - Paul (Acts 20:24)

"Where passion for God is weak, zeal for missions will be weak." - John Piper

"The mark of a great church is not it's seating capacity, but it's sending capacity." - Mike Stachura

"The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become." - Henry Martyn

September 23, 2009

A Busy Week So Far

This has been a busy week so far. We have had several showings of our house, and we are hoping to sell it soon. On Sunday night I preached at Primeira Igreja Batista Sao Joao Climaco in the South Zone of Sao Paulo. We have worked with Pastor Carlos and the church in a couple of schools in their area already, and he asked me to preach in his church. It is a small church, but the members are a committed group of followers of Christ. I preached to encourage and challenge the members of the church to fully surrender themselves to the Lord and His work, and to commit to join Him in reaching out to people in His love with the Gospel, and then to continue to help them to be true disciples of Jesus. In the end I shared the Gospel and we praise God that 7 people accepted Christ, including some of the church members.

Then on Tuesday afternoon and this morning Nancy and I spoke at EMEF Francisco Bueno school in the Vila Industrial area of Sao Paulo. This is a poor and dangerous area, and they have many problems with drugs, crime, violence,... We spoke to 5th to 8th grade classes on Tuesday and to 1st to 4th grade classes this morning. The reception of the students and teachers was great, and we praise God that 395 students and 13 teachers accepted Christ. We worked with Igreja Batista Projeto Familia, which is located close to the school. We are very happy that the school has already asked the church if they can continue to do things with the school to help the students and their families. This is what we are always hoping and praying for.

Pastor Carlos and I and interpreter Pamella
Preaching with interpreter PamellaPraying at the end of the service.Interpreter Regis and I speaking in a class at the schoolNancy and interpreter Gabriela sharing Christ in a classUs, interpreters Eduardo & Victor, and the church teamNancy with some of the studentsInterpreter Eduardo and I sharing Christ
Nancy and interpreter Victor praying with a class

September 19, 2009

Our Move To Santos

This past Thursday we signed the documents for our apartment in Santos, and now we need to wait about 2 more weeks for 1 more document to sign. So it looks like we will be moving to Santos at the end of October. After our move we will need to return to Sao Paulo to speak in 2 more schools in the last 2 weeks of November. Santos is only a little over an hour from Sao Paulo, so we will occasionally continue to help churches in the Sao Paulo area to share Christ, but the bulk of our work starting next year will be in the cities of Santos, Guaruja, Sao Vicente, and Praia Grande. We will start having meetings at schools in Santos and surrounding cities at the beginning of October, to start scheduling speaking events in the schools from April 2010 and beyond. Also, we had a couple visit our house yesterday and then again this morning, and we are hoping to sell our house soon. Please continue to pray for the house sale.

this is our apartment building; our apt. is on the 8th floor

the beach and beach park is 1/2 block from our apartment

September 17, 2009

Many Accept Christ In A School

This week we spoke in the school EMEF Flores da Cunha, located in the Jd. Grimaldi area of Sao Paulo. This is a poor area in the East Zone of the city. We worked with Pastor Enio and his church Igreja Batista Vila Primavera, and they will try to continue to work with the school to help the students and their families, and to try to help the new believers to grow in their new relationship with the Lord. This week was a tiring week, as we spoke in 18 classes on Monday morning, in 16 more on Tuesday afternoon, and in 5 classes for adults last night. We and our team saw God move in a mighty way this week, and almost 1000 people accepted Christ, including 21 of the teachers. The students and teachers gladly recieved the Good News of God's love for them and salvation, and they very much appreciated our being there to help them. Please pray that they will continue to seek to grow closer to the Lord.

Some of the students in one of the classes

Nancy and interpreter Juninho sharing Christ in a class

Interpreter Eduardo and I sharing Christ in a class

Pr. Enio (3rd from left), interpreters Juninho & Andre, and our team

We had a great time with the students in the school

Nancy and interprter Alessandro speaking in a night class for adults

September 13, 2009

A Friend's Wedding

We got to go to our 3rd Brazilian wedding last night. Davi and Itiany got married last night, and we are friends of theirs and with Davi's family. Like the other weddings we've been to here, it started about 40 minutes late. The first one we went to last year was over an hour late. Brazilians are well known for being late, which is sometimes frustrating for me in our ministry work. Congratulations Davi and Itiany.

September 9, 2009

Photos Of Santos

Tomorrow we are going back to Santos to see an apartment that we like for the 2nd time. If we like it after seeing it again we are going to make an offer for it. We are looking at moving to Santos in mid or late October, depending on how the purchase of an apartment goes. We still need to sell our house in Sao Caetano, so please pray for us for this. Here are some more pics of Santos.

September 7, 2009

Independence Day In Brazil

As Americans celebrate Labor Day today in the US, here in Brazil September 7 is Independence Day. Brazilians are celebrating their independence from Portugal, and Sept. 7, 1822 is regarded as the official day. On this day in 1822 Dom Pedro I made the famous statement "Independence or Death", and below is a famous painting in Brazil depicting Dom Pedro 's act of declaring Brazil's independence from Portugal, whose king was Dom Pedro's father.

September 3, 2009

A Long & Good Week

We spoke in the EMEF Roquete Pinto school this week, which is located in a poor area in the East Zone of Sao Paulo. We spoke 39 times in 3 days and now we are very tired. In the past 3 weeks we have spoken in 97 classes in 3 different schools. As usual we had various complications during this week - near accidents (see my previous post), interpreters arriving 45 minutes late 2 different times,...). We worked with Igreja Batista Vila Antonieta, and the school wants the church to continue to work with them to help the students and their families. That is our hope, that the churches we work with will be able to continue to help the students & teachers & families, and that they will be able to help the new believers to grow spiritually. The reception at the school for our Quality Of Life speech was very good, and we really enjoyed being around the students. We praise God that 947 students and 23 teachers accepted Christ.

Nancy & interpreter Alessandro speaking in a class
Some of the students at the schoolNancy and interpreter Paulo and some studentsInterpreter Adriana and I sharing ChristPastor Marcos, us, and the rest of the church teamNancy, Alessandro, and Jose handing out "Livro Da Vida"Principal Valeria & school leaders, Pr. Renato, and our team

September 2, 2009

A Terrible Place To Drive

Many times the hardest part of our work here is getting to and from the places we are speaking at. This week we have been speaking in a school in the East Zone of Sao Paulo, in an area called Jardim Grinaldi. It is about 25 to 40 minutes from our house, depending on traffic. On Monday alone we had 3 near accidents, 2 going to the school and 1 on the way home. All 3 of the close calls were because someone turned onto the street we were on and cut right in front of us. If we hadn't hit the brakes hard we would definitely have had an accident each time. We love the people here, but they are absolutely the worst drivers. I am not exaggerating when I say that we see something really bad or dumb every time we go somewhere. The drivers have absolutely no respect for the other drivers or for the rules. Plus there are no police that are out enforcing the rules of the road. The only thing they have here is radar at some intersections to catch someone speeding or running a red light. They have alot of traffic laws and regulations, but the problem is that no one follows them and no one is there to enforce them. I will certainly not miss driving in Sao Paulo when we move to Santos. It is much easier and better to drive there, and it is nothing like the "white knuckle" driving experience we get to enjoy in Sao Paulo.