February 28, 2010

International Triathlon In Santos

The 19th International Triathlon was held in Santos this morning, and the start & finish lines for the event were in our neighborhood. The bike staging area was on our street, so we had a close-up look, which was very interesting. It was the 1st triathlon we had ever seen. Here are some photos.

the swimming starting line for one of the groupsbeginning the swimming phasethe bike staging area was on our streetin between the swimming & bike phases of the raceone of the competitors preparing for the bike phasethe guy in black w/ red cap only had 1 leg - very inspiring !start of the 40 km bike legthe finish line near our apartment

February 25, 2010

Igreja Batista Marape

Igreja Batista Marape is one of the churches that we have begun to work with in Santos. It is led by Pastor Sidney, and it is a good church. There are many young people in the church, and it is a church on mission with God to reach as many people without Christ as possible and then to help them to grow in their relationship with God. We will be working in 2 schools with the church, one in April and one in May, as well as doing other things with them to help them share Christ. This past Sunday night I had to privilege to speak in the church and to share the Good News of Jesus in the final part. I can speak Portuguese well, but I still speak in English and have an interpreter because it works very well, especially when we speak in the schools. People have alot of interest and curiosity to hear something different, a foreigner & American speaking in English. Elisa, a member of the church, was my interpreter on Sunday night and she did a great job. We are pleased that the people of the church seemed to respond to God's voice that night, and also that 6 people accepted Christ and committed their lives to Him.

February 20, 2010

God's Vision For Our Ministry (2010)

God initially called us to join Him in His kingdom work of helping & training churches to reach others for Christ in the greater Sao Paulo area. In 3 years (2007-2009) we worked with 40 churches in the Sao Paulo area to share Christ in their communities. In early 2009 God started speaking to us about moving to Santos, a coastal city an hour south of Sao Paulo, to help churches to share Christ in the area known as the "Baixada Santista", which includes the cities of Santos, Guaruja, Cubatao, Sao Vicente, Praia Grande, and others. We moved to Santos in November 2009, and we are beginning our ministry in the Baixada Santista in 2010. God is doing great things here, touching and saving tens of thousands of people for His glory, and it is a great privilege for us to be a part of God's work. God gave us a vision and a plan, where He will show His glory, that includes the following four things:

1. Preach in Churches: we preach to the members of the church, to encourage and challenge them to be the "fishers of men" that Jesus wants all of us to be. We also preach the Gospel at the end of each message to the lost that are visiting or that are members of the church. Interestingly, about 1/2 of the people that have accepted Christ in the churches are members.

2. Train Pastors, Leaders, & Members: we lead People Sharing Jesus seminars in churches to train people how to effectively & powerfully share Christ with others. Written by Dr. Darrell Robinson, founder of Total Church Life Ministry, People Sharing Jesus is an excellent tool to encourage and teach people how to be powerful and confident witnesses for Christ.

3. Make Visits With Churches To Share Christ: we make visits with members of the churches to help them share Christ with others. We have helped churches to share Christ in many homes, in a health center, a hospital, a Vacation Bible school, a Rotary Club meeting, a ministry for business people,... God is opening many doors. This picture shows a visit to Sao Mateus Hospital in Sao Paulo.

4. Share Christ In Schools: this part of our ministry has grown alot. We always work with a church in the area of the school, so they can try to do follow-up work with the students & teachers that accept Christ. We have 2 teams, and Kevin speaks in one class while Nancy speaks in another class at the same time. Our project is called Quality Of Life, and we speak about how to have a good future and a good quality of life. We speak about 3 parts of our life: the body, the soul, and the spiritual life. We are not allowed to speak about religion, or a specific church or denomination, but we are allowed to share the Gospel clearly and directly. After the speech we have a prayer where the students & teachers can receive Jesus as Lord & Savior and to commit their lives to Him. Afterwards we pass out an excellent tool called "Livro Da Vida", to start teaching & discipling the new believers. In our first 3 years in Brazil (2007-2009) we spoke in 60 schools and have seen tens of thousands of students, over 820 teachers, 3 principals, 3 vice principals, and 10 school coordenators accept Christ. We also try to facilitate a relationship between the school and a nearby church, so that the church can continue to try to help the students, teachers, and families.

Please pray that God's hand would continue to be upon us as we join Him in His wonderful work of reaching out in love to those without Christ in Santos and the surrounding area, and that He will be glorified by all that we do. We very much need and appreciate your prayers.

February 19, 2010

Brazil Plants

Here are some photos of plants or flowers that we have seen recently here in Brazil. The first two are on our terrace.

February 14, 2010

Santos: South America's Largest Port

Santos is the largest port in South America. The port is an important part of the city and of Brazil as well. The majority of Brazilian exports are sent through the port in Santos, including coffee, steel, oil, bananas, cars, oranges, soybeans, cotton,... Santos is also one of the key locations for the cruise industry in Brazil, with ships leaving almost daily for Brazilian resort locations such as Ilha Bela, Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza,... and international destinations as well. The port side of the city is also where the largest concentration of the city's problems with crime and drugs is.

February 11, 2010

High Heat & Floods

While parts of the US are experiencing record snow storms, Brazil has had problems with floods and high heat. This past Monday and Tuesday 32 elderly people died here in Santos because of the heat. On Monday it was 39 Deg. C (102 Deg. F), which is well above normal. Here is a link to a news story: The Statesman. It is supposed to be very hot again this coming weekend., with temps of up to 98 Deg. F forecast. Saturday is the beginning of Carnaval in Brazil, which lasts through Tuesday.

February 6, 2010

When God Paints The Sky

Last night we saw one of the most beautiful skies and sunsets we have ever seen. God is amazing !

February 5, 2010

44 Days In A Row Of Rain

Sao Paulo continues to have problems with heavy rain and flooding. Yesterday was the 44th straight day that it rained in the greater Sao Paulo area, and there are many areas that are having problems with flooding. One "bairro" in the east zone of Sao Paulo has been flooded since December.

February 3, 2010

Pernambuco Beach - Guaruja

Since this is still vacation time in Brazil, and because schools are still out for summer break, we have more free time now than normal. Today we went to explore Pernambuco beach in the city of Guaruja. It is a very nice beach with beautiful scenery.

February 1, 2010

PIB Santos

Yesterday we had the privilege to serve at Primeira Igreja Batista Santos, led by Pastor Paulo Faustino. It is one of the churches we are going to be working with and helping to share Christ in Santos and surrounding areas. We will be working with the church in one of the municipal schools of Santos in June, as well as doing other things with them.

Yesterday Nancy sang a solo ("Because He Lives"), and I had the privilege of preaching in the church, which is located in downtown Santos. My interpretor was Elisa, who is a member of another church in Santos, Igreja Batista Marape. At the end I shared the Good News of peace with God and eternal life through Jesus, and 1 man accepted Christ and committed his life to Jesus. It is always a pleasure and privilege to join God in His work.