August 30, 2011

Sharing Jesus In A School In Sao Vicente

We originally had a school in Santos scheduled to do our Quality Of Life project this week, but they recently cancelled. We had to scramble to find another school to speak in the week before the event, and God answered our prayers for another opportunity. Our friend Patricia, who is a member of Capela Calvario in Sao Vicente and has helped us as an interpreter in other schools, helped us to get in to speak in her school. She is a teacher at EM Antonio Pacifico school in Sao Vicente, which is the oldest city in Brazil. The school is for students in 1st through 9th grades, and is located in a poor area in the city. There are many problems in this area of the city with drugs, crime,... Several people from Capela Calvario church helped as interpreters - Kaka, Brunna, and Patricia. God did a great work in the hearts of the students and teachers in the school, and many gladly received the Good News of Jesus ... 916 students and 18 teachers accepted Christ and committed their lives to Him, and several inquired about the church afterwards. Please pray that they will have a heart to know God more and grow closer to Him, and that they will get involved in a good church.

 Patricia passing out a discipleship tool in a class
 Interpreter Kaka and I sharing Jesus
 some of the students during break time
 Nancy and I with interpreters Patricia and Kaka
 Nancy in one of the classes
 Interpreter Brunna handing out a discipleship booklet
 a group of students
 Kaka and I speaking in a class
some of the students and I after one of the classes

August 24, 2011

Great Blessings In Our Ministry

God has blessed us in many ways, and we praise Him every day for giving us the privilege and honor of joining Him in His mission here in Brazil. One of the great blessings He has given us is many wonderful people that we work with to share the Good News of Jesus, especially our interpreters. We work with some very sweet people who are genuinely excited to serve our Lord, and this post is to honor them and to say thank you for your faithfulness in serving our Lord, and for your enthusiasm. It is a joy to work with people who serve the Lord with all of their heart, and who do so enthusiastically. Here are some photos of some of the wonderful people we get to work with:

August 22, 2011

Igreja Batista Jd.Casqueiro

Last night I had the privilege of preaching in Igreja Batista Jd. Casqueiro, which is located in the city of Cubatao. The church has been led by Pastor Alberto for the last year. Previously the church was without a full time pastor for 2 years and a good number of people left and went to other churches. Pr. Alberto is working on building up the church once again. We have begun to work with them to help them share Christ in their community. We will be working with them in a nearby school in the future, and we will perhaps do some other evangelistic services and events with them in the future. The message was about how God wants all members of the church to participate in His work and join Him in His mission to "seek and save the lost". At the end of the service I shared the Good News of Jesus and 4 people accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior and committed their lives to Him.

August 20, 2011

Victory After The Adversity

Despite a rough start to our week long outreach event at a school in Guaruja (see my previous post), God empowered us to overcome the adversities, and in the end He produced much fruit and He gave us many victories. It was a long, tiring, and difficult week, but we praise God for how He led us victoriously. After having had to rearrange the schedule and reorganize our interpreters for the week, we ended up speaking in the school on Monday & Tuesday mornings, Tuesday afternoon, Thursday night, and Friday afternoon. The school is for students in 4th grade through high school, and many of the students and teachers eagerly listened to our message. God prepared many hearts before this week, and 851 students and 8 teachers accepted Christ and committed their lives to Him. The school leaders were very pleased with our project and message, and they recommended us to 6 more schools in Guaruja. God is mightily at work, and all of the glory and praise goes to Him.

August 18, 2011

A Difficult Week

For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight against your enemies to give you victory."       - Deuteronomy 20:4

But thanks be to God, who always leads us victoriously in Christ, and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere."              - 2 Corinthians 2:14

We have been having a very difficult week so far. We are speaking and sharing Christ in a large school in Guaruja all this week, and it is one of those weeks where everything seems to be going wrong. On Monday morning we had a near accident on the way to the school. Then when we arrive the school informed us that we had to rearrange all of the schedule this week due to other things going on at the school, so we had to scramble around to reorganize all of our interpreters that are helping us. Then one of the interpreters didn't show up, and neither did the church that was supposed to help us.

The pastor of the church later told me that he decided not to participate and help us this time, because the last time we had an outreach with them in a school in late May, only 1 of the people from the school visited his church after that. We had hundreds and hundreds that accepted Christ that week in May, but only 1 came to visit his church. The problem was that the pastor did not call us to inform us of his decision, he just left us hanging.

Also, in this week and last week, 2 of the schools we were scheduled to speak in cancelled, so now we are scrambling around trying to get 2 more school events scheduled. As they say, when it rains it pours.

We finally got another interpreter to come and help us on Monday morning, and we ended up having a great time speaking in the classes. We also spoke on Tuesday afternoon in some classes, and now we will be finishing there tonight and on Friday afternoon. We praise God, that despite all of the problems, so far more than 400 students and teachers have accepted Christ and committed their lives to Him.

Even with all of the confusion and problems and stress, God is always faithful and He will do what He has promised ... to always get us through difficulties and empower us to overcome them. God will always do what He has said and promised. In our ministry of reaching out to others for Jesus, God has promised to always lead us victoriously in Christ. If you read the verses around 2 Corinthians 2:14, Paul is specifically speaking about missions and reaching lost people for Jesus. Praise God that He always does what He says and promises - He is perfectly faithfully.

August 14, 2011

God Must Be The Source Of Our Vision

"There is a significant difference between revelation and vision. Vision is something people produce; revelation is something people receive... Leaders can dream up a vision, but they cannot discover God's will. God must reveal it... The visions that drive spiritual leaders must be derived from God... It is critical for leaders to walk closely with the Father, so they are keenly aware of his revelation and are ready to respond in obedience." 
- Henry Blackaby / Spiritual Leadership

If we are to be fruitful for God's Kingdom, we must be faithful servants of His. Many Christian leaders make the mistake of not continually working on their personal relationship with the Lord, and to seeking His will and His vision of what He wants to do in the world. It is human nature to want to go out and do things for God, and to come up with our own plans and visions. But God's ways and thoughts are not our own. God is on mission in the world, working to redeem humanity, and only He knows how to do this. We must continually humble ourselves before Him (see I Peter 5:6), and seek His face and His will & vision.

The only way we will be successful and fruitful for the Lord is to join Him in what He is doing. In this way we will be instruments and servants that He can fill and empower to do His work. We will never be what God wants us to be, and we will never accomplish what God wants to do by dreaming up our own plans and visions, and then praying for Him to come to join and bless us. We must humble ourselves, work on our relationship with Him, seek His face, and then follow and obey Him wherever and however He leads us, no matter the cost. Then in God's timing He will reveal how we can join Him in His work. It is not us trying to do great things for God, it is God doing His great work through us, His servants and instruments.

August 12, 2011

A Beautiful Winter Day

Today was a beautiful winter day here in the south central part of Brazil. It was 26°C for the high in Santos today, which is 78°F... a perfect day for a long walk on the beach. Here is a picture we took.

August 10, 2011

Pursuing Intimacy With God

Pursuing Intimacy With God is a website and 2 part Bible study designed to help Christians to grow in their walk with the Lord, to have a powerful prayer life, and to learn to hear God's voice and discern His will. Besides the Bible study, there are many more pages and articles on the website.

Here is a link:  Pursuing Intimacy With God

I am grateful that God is using this site and the Bible study to help many people grow in their walk with God, for His glory.