June 28, 2011

Visiting With Family & Friends In Atlanta

We have had a very busy but great time in Atlanta so far. We arrived on Friday afternoon after a long trip from Sao Paulo to Mexico City and then to Atlanta. Our luggage got lost in Mexico City and didn't get to us until Sunday afternoon, so we needed to buy some clothes for Saturday and Sunday. On Friday night we went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant with our sons John and Dan, and we had a great time. We have not had Mexican food since we were in the US 2 years ago. On Monday morning we went to the Georgia Aquarium with John and Dan, and we also met Nancy's sister and brother-in-law from New Orleans there (we have not seen them for 5 years).

Visiting 2nd Baptist Church Cedartown GA

On Sunday morning we visited our old church Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta GA, and it was great seeing old friends. On Sunday night we visited 2nd Baptist Church in Cedartown GA, which is about 1 1/2 hours west of Atlanta. We are friends with the pastor Patrick Latham and his wife Laura, and they are sending 6 people down to Brazil in October to help us to share Jesus. We are excited about them coming down, and it will help us to be able to do about 2 months of work in 1 week ... we will be speaking and sharing Jesus in 5 schools that week, as well as working with and helping 3 churches.

Nancy had the opportunity to sing on Sunday night, and I shared our ministry video and spoke about the great things God is doing in our part of Brazil. We love sharing with others about the things God is doing to reach people for Jesus and to help them to have peace with Him and a restored relationship with Him. After the service we had dinner with the 3 couples who are coming to Brazil and with Pr. Patrick. We had a great time getting to know everyone.

June 23, 2011

Heading To The US

Tonight we are flying out of Sao Paulo and heading to the US for 3 weeks. This will be only our 2nd time in 5 years to visit our families and friends. We will be in Atlanta for 5 days to see 2 of our sons, then on to Youngstown Ohio for 5 days to see my Mom and family, then to Rochester NY to see Nancy's family, then back to Ohio for 2 days and then back to Atlanta for 2 days before we come back home to Brazil. We are looking forward to seeing our sons, families, and friends. We are also looking forward to getting some down time to relax and recharge.

June 22, 2011

Final Outreach Event Before Winter Break

We held our final school outreach project for the 1st semester this week in Santos. We spoke at the EM Pedro II municipal school in Santos on Monday morning, Tuesday night, and Wednesday afternoon. We worked with Igreja Batista Ponta da Praia, which is located very close to the school. The participation of the church was very good, and most of our interpreters were from their church. The school has students in the 1st through 8th grades, as well as some night classes for adults. We spoke in 32 classes in 3 days, and we had a great time in the school. The school leaders told us that the teachers and students really loved our project, and they were very appreciative for the help. They recommended us to 3 more schools in the Santos municipal school system. God touched and prepared many hearts, and 645 students (including over 100 adults studying at night) and 15 teachers accepted Christ and committed their lives to Him. What a great way to finish the first half of the year.

June 20, 2011

Things We Love About Brazil

Here are a few of the things that we love about living and serving in Brazil:

* The people ... Brazilians are generally very warm and friendly people; typically more so than many Americans. The vast majority are also more humble and genuine. The people are Brazil's greatest asset.

* Open to the Gospel ... people here are far more open to hearing about God and the Gospel than in the US and other places such as Europe. Because there are many poor and needy people, they know they need God and His help in their lives. Many people are genuinely grateful when you share about God and His love for them.

* Brazilians treat foreigners very well, and are very accepting of people from other countries. There are large numbers of Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Arab, Korean, and people from many other ethnic groups as well.

* The Culture ... family and God are very important parts of life here. Families often live close to each other, and they get together often to eat, to talk, and to have fun.

* The food ... Brazilian food is very good. Our favorite is "churrasco", which is Brazilian steak. When you go to a "churrascaria" (Brazilian steak house) they serve a large variety of steak and meats. Some of the best food is the homemade Brazilian meals. You find a large variety of food here in Brazil, since there are many people from other countries living here.

* The beaches ... Brazil has literally thousands of beaches on it's coastline, which is close to 7500 km or 4500 miles long.

* The scenery ... Brazil is a beautiful place with mountains, tropical forests, beaches, palm trees, tropical plants,...

* Simpler lifestyle ... the Brazilian lifestyle is a simpler one. The exception would be in the large cities such as Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, where life happens at a much faster pace.

One of the things that I personally do not like about Brazil is the driving. It is better in Santos than when we lived in Sao Paulo, but still driving here is difficult. There are so many bad drivers here, and many people do not respect the laws or other drivers. Besides that there are not many things that we do not like here.

June 17, 2011

School Event In Sao Vicente

This week we had our outreach project Qualidade De Vida in a state school in Sao Vicente, EE Oswaldo Santos Soares. We worked with Primeira Igreja Batista Sao Vicente in the school, which is for students in 6th grade through high school. We spoke in all of the classes on Monday morning, Tuesday night, and Wednesday afternoon. Since I was sick the week before and in the beginning of the week, I was really concerned that I was going to lose my voice. Thankfully it held out, barely.

The project went very well, and the school leaders liked it alot and recommended us to some other schools in Sao Vicente. Many of the students and teachers gladly listened to and received the message. God moved in a great way, and we praise Him that 606 students and 9 teachers accepted Christ and committed their lives to Him.

June 13, 2011

Under The Weather

I have been sick with some type of virus for the last 8 days, and I am finally turning the corner on getting better (after 3 trips to the doctor and a couple of different types of medicines). Fortunately we did not have many things scheduled during this time, because for several days I had no voice. The last 2 Sundays we led a People Sharing Jesus seminar at Capela Calvario church in Sao Vicente. Yesterday morning was the final training, and I was still feeling fairly sick and barely had a voice. Fortunately I was able to use a microphone to speak into, and everything turned out ok. Capela Calvario has been a good church to work with, and their participation in one of our school outreach projects last month was great. This morning we started a 3 day project in a school in Sao Vicente, and I was really concerned about my voice because it is still not full strength yet. Nancy spoke 6 times and I spoke 5 times this morning in the school, and praise God that my voice held out, and especially because we had a great first day at the school.

 Kevin & interpreter Kaka at the Capela Calvario seminar

June 3, 2011

God At Work In Guarujá

We worked with Igreja Peniel in a large municipal school in the Vicente de Carvalho area of the city of Guarujá this week, and God did some amazing and wonderful things. The school is EM 1 de Maio, and is for students in 6th through 9th grades. Vicente de Carvalho is a very heavily populated area of the city, and is made up of a mix of middle class to poor people. Igreja Peniel is led by Pastor Nzuzi, who is an African pastor ministering in Brazil. The church participation in the school project was great, and they had up to 8 people helping us each day, most of which were from the youth group. It is great to see the youth in the church serving the Lord and helping to reach others for Jesus.

We spoke in the school last November for their special program "Mais Educacao", which is a special program for about 100 of the students. The school coordinator accepted Christ that day, and they liked the project and speech so much they invited us to come back this year to speak in all of the classes in the school. We spoke 2 days this week in the morning period, and 2 more days in the afternoon period. God prepared a great harvest in the school, and many students and teachers were open to hearing the Good News of Jesus. Incredibly 1085 students and 8 teachers accepted Christ and committed their lives to Him. Although we are not able to speak about a specific church in the classrooms, some of the people from the church were able to talk to some of the students during break time and invite them to small groups in homes that the church has. Please pray that God will continue to work in the new believers' hearts and help them to find a good church home, and to grow closer to Him and grow spiritually.