June 29, 2010

Igreja Batista Centenario

Igreja Batista Centenario is a small church in Santos, and is led by Pastor Luis. We have recently started working with the church to help them share Christ with others in their community, and to encourage & challenge all the members to participate in the work of God of reaching out to people without Christ, and to then love them and help them to grow in their relationship with Him. Our first opportunity to help them will be in late August when we speak in a municipal school near the church. On Sunday night we had a meeting with some of the leaders of the church, to share God's vision and details of our ministry to help churches, and to talk about the project in the schools. Then I had the privilege to preach in the worship service after the meeting. Although the church is fairly small it is growing, and there seems to be a good spirit and a willingness to do whatever is necessary to join God in His work. At the end of the message I share the Gospel and 1 woman received Christ and committed her life to Him. Afterwards we enjoyed getting to know some of the people better and we enjoyed a good Brazilian snack with them.

the church choir singing at the beginning of the service

Interpreter Ludimila, me, and Pastor Luis

some of the people during the worship service

Speaking with interpreter Ludimila

June 26, 2010

A Little Too World Cup Crazy

From my previous posts you can see that Brazil is "louco for futebol". Futebol is by far the most popular sport here, as it is in many parts of the world. We are enjoying living here during the World Cup and cheering for Brasil. With that said, I would have to say that the people who own the house below are a little too World Cup crazy ... they actually painted their whole house green & yellow and with Brazil flags on it. Now that is commitment to the Brazilian team.

June 24, 2010

A School Outreach In Santos

This week we were at the state school EE Luiza Macuco in the bairro of Ponta da Praia in Santos, which has students in the 5th grade to high school, plus some adults studying at night. We worked with Pastor Ezequias and Igreja Batista Ponta da Praia, which is located a couple of blocks from the school. We spoke to all of the students in their classes on Monday morning, Tueday afternoon, and Wednesday night. We had our normal difficulties and complications when we share the Good News of Jesus, especially when we share with alot of people such as in a school ... one of our interpreters cancelled out on Mon. morning at the last minute, another was very late on Tuesday because of car troubles on the way to the school, another on Wed. night had a slight wreck on the way to the school. It almost never fails; almost always something or somethings go wrong. This work is a spiritual battle, and that is why we need many people to pray for us, as well as for the people we are sharing with. As is always the case though, God helped us to overcome all of the difficulties and obstacles, and He did some great things this week in the hearts and lives of students and teachers. God moved in a great way in the school and in people's hearts, and 742 students and 18 teachers received Christ as their Lord and Savior, and committed their lives to Him. We praise God for the great things He is doing. He is mightily at work here and in all parts of the world.

Nancy and interpreter Heloisa speaking in a high school class

some high school students in class

some of the students hamming it up before the camera

Interpreter Leticia and I sharing Christ

Nancy and I with a group of students

praying with one of the classes

Nancy and interpreter Nayara speaking in a class

part of our team on Wed. night (w/ interpreters Alyne & Arlete)

June 21, 2010

World Cup From Brazil

Yesterday was Brazil's second game in the World Cup, against Ivory Coast. Since "futebol" and the World Cup are huge here in Brazil, we are posting many pictures of what it is like during the "Copa do Mundo". Living in Brazil during the World Cup is almost like being at the game. It is a fun and festive atmosphere, with many vuvuzelas, horns, fireworks, Brazil jerseys, costumes, and alot of cheering and shouting. After a Brazil win, the party and all of the various noises continue for many hours afterwards.

even our dog Sampson is into cheering for Brasil

June 17, 2010

Working With Primeira Igreja Batista Santos In A School

On Monday morning and Wednesday afternoon this week we spoke in a municipal school in Santos. There was no school on Tuesday because of Brazil's World Cup game. We worked with Primeira Igreja Batista Santos in EMEF Florestan Fernandes municipal school, which is located in the bairro of Embare in Santos. The participation of the church was good, and we had a great 2 days in the school. The school leaders were very grateful for us coming to help their students and teachers in their lives, and everyone seemed to enjoy the event. The students were great, and they really enjoyed having some "gringo" Americans in their classes. God moved in a great way in many hearts & lives, and 565 students and 5 teachers received Christ and committed their lives to Him.

Speaking in a class with interpreter Rebeca

Nancy and interpreter Rebeca praying with students & a teacher

Nancy & Rebeca passing out "Livro Da Vida" ("Book Of Life")

some of the students reading their Livro Da Vida

students indicating their decision to receive Jesus

Interpreters Ricardo & Rebeca, us, part of the church team, and 2 students

June 15, 2010

More World Cup Pictures From Brasil

Today was Brasil's first game in the World Cup, against North Korea. Brasil had a hard match but won 2-1. It is now 4 hours after the end of the game and people are still celebrating, although the sounds of horns blowing and loud fireworks is diminishing now. We were invited by our interpreter friend Rebeca to watch the game at one of the churches we work with, Igreja Batista Nova Jerusalem in Santos, and we had a great time cheering for Brasil. Brasil is a fun place to be during the World Cup.

even this dog is into the World Cup, with his Brazil hat

June 14, 2010

God At Work

Last night I had the privilege of speaking at Primeria Igreja Batista Sao Vicente. I spoke there on Mothers Day, and Pastor Gilberto invited me back to speak again, which is always a privilege. Last night I spoke on God's Word and how He reveals His plans through His word and the Holy Spirit, and also that God will always do what He plans, says, and promises. The church responded very well to God's message, and in the end of the service I shared the Gospel and God moved in many hearts, and 9 people received Jesus as their Lord & Savior and committed their lives to Him.

One young man named Fernando was one of these that received Christ. After the service he told us the incredible story of how he came to be there at the church. He lives in a city called Guaruja, and on Sunday afternoon he was visiting a girl he knows in the city of Mongagua, which is about an hour from Guaruja and about 30-40 minutes from the church in Sao Vicente. He said he has a Catholic background, and that he has been seeking God alot lately. He was talking to the girl in Mongagua about God and religion and church, and how he felt there must be more to knowing God than church or religion. They also talked about evangelical churches. While on his way back to Guaruja he had to go through Sao Vicente, and while he was driving he was praying and calling out to God, asking Him to reveal who He is and to show him more about Himself, and that he wasn't going to go home until God answered his prayer.

The next part of the story is a bit strange. He said when he arrived in Sao Vicente he felt God wanted him to go buy a container of milk from a store, so he went and did that. Next he felt God was telling him to go knock on a door of a house near the store, so he did. He heard a man's voice and the man seemed angry, so he started to leave. The man opened the door and asked him what he wanted. He told the man he was there to give them some milk. The man went and got his wife, and the lady said that her husband was angry because he did not have enough money to buy their child some milk, and that she was on her knees praying to God to help them and then he showed up.

After leaving the family Fernando felt that he needed to find an evangelical chuch, and he was going to go into the first one he saw. At that point he saw Primeira Igreja Batista Sao Vicente, and he went in. He had never been to the church before. He said that he heard me say many things which were exactly what he had been asking God to show him, such as that church or religion will not save us from our sins and will not give us a restored relationship with God, and peace with Him and eternal life. And other things such as if we seek God with all of our hearts we will find Him, and others. He said it was as if God was speaking directly into his heart through my words, which of course is exactly what happened. We always pray that God will send people who are without Christ to the churches we speak in, and God clearly led Fernando to the church last night. God has some special plans for this young man who is earnestly seeking God, and we are thrilled that we could be a part of God's work in his life.

part of the worship team of the church
Pastor Gilberto, interpreter Leticia, and I
Speaking with interpreter Leticia
sharing the Good News of Jesus at the end of the service

June 12, 2010

Random Pictures

Here are some random pictures we took while walking around Santos and the beach.

June 8, 2010

Brazil During The World Cup

Even though the World Cup has not started (it does not begin until Friday), here in Brazil you can easily tell it is Word Cup time. To say that Brazilians are passionate about their "futebol" is an understatement. They are fanatical about the sport, especially when it comes time to cheer for the national team - Brasil. Stores are full of products displaying the Brazilian flag or colors. Streets are decorated with hanging flags and banners, and even Brazilian flags painted in them. Many people are wearing the familiar jersey of the Brazilian team, or shirts and sometimes even complete outfits with the national team colors. And you can see many Brazil flags or banners hanging on houses and apartment buildings.

When the Brazilian team takes the field ( first round games are on Tue. June 15 vs North Korea, Sun. June 20 vs Ivory Coast, and Fri. June 25 vs Portugal), everything in Brazil will stop and almost everyone will be watching the games in their homes, in restaurants, bars,... Businesses will close, schools will close, and even most of the government will stop to watch the games. Brazil is one of the favorites to win the World Cup (which would be their 6th title). Since we moved to Brazil a couple of months after the World Cup in 2006, this will be our first living in Brazil. It is going to be alot of fun to be here in Brazil and experience it.