May 20, 2012


Yesterday was a beautiful day, and since I recently got a new camera we decided to go out and take come photos. First we went on the beach in Santos, and then later on we went up to a small mountain between Santos and Sao Vicente, where many people go para sailing. Hoe you enjoy the photos.

May 19, 2012

Our Comfort Zone

"Lord, if it's you, Peter replied, tell me to come to you on the water. Come, he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out Lord save me !" 
Matthew 14:28-29

The main context of this message is about faith (or lack of) in the Lord Jesus, but this event can also represent something else. Most people are creatures of habit, and most have a comfort zone that they do not like to get out of. Our comfort zone can be a real hindrance to becoming a true disciple of Jesus, and to truly following and obeying Him. Let's say the boat in these verses represents our comfort zone. If you want to go to where Jesus is and to join Him in the work He is doing you will need to leave the boat - your comfort zone. If you are not willing to do this, you will miss the opportunity to join Him in His work, and you will miss the opportunity to see the Lord do great things and show who He is. The disciples saw Jesus for who He really is - the One True God with power and authority over all, and in verse 33 it says they worshipped Him.

So what is hindering you from joining God in His work and seeing Him for who He really is ? A fear of witnessing ? A fear or an unwillingness to try new things ? Tradition ? A lack of faith ? A stubborn refusal to adjust your will to His ? An unwillingness to move away from family or friends, if the Lord so leads ? An unwillingness to move to another country, if God so leads ? Unless you are willing to get out of your "boat" you will miss the Lord and what He is doing, and you will not grow in your knowledge of Him.

May 16, 2012

Speaking To Parents At A School

Last month we scheduled our Quality Of Life project in a school in Praia Grande for October. The school is called EE Lions Clube Centro, and is located in a poor section of the city of Praia Grande called Jardim Quietude. The school also gave us a great opportunity yesterday to speak to the parents of the students in 3 different parents meetings (1 for the morning students, 1 for the afternoon students, and 1 for night students). The school is for students in 5th grade through high school. 

Yesterday we spoke in parents meetings at 10am, 4pm, and 8pm, and despite bad weather there was a good turnout for the meetings. This was a great opportunity for us to reach out to the parents, because part of our goal is to help Brazilian families and reach them for Christ. God exceeded our expectations yesterday, and He powerfully touched many hearts and lives. Incredibly, 178 parents and 11 teachers and the school coordinator accepted Christ and committed their lives to Him. The school leaders really liked the message, and they were very pleased with how the parents responded. We had several people ask us about a church nearby, and we were able to recommend one to them. My interpreter yesterday, Carla, is a member of Igreja Batista Cidade Ocian, which is close to the school, and she was able to talk to them about the church and invited them to visit. We will be working with the church when we go back to speak to the students in October.

May 12, 2012

Mt. Carmel - Final Day

Friday was the team's last full day in Brazil, and they are heading back to the US from Sao Paulo today. We left Santos in the morning and we all went to a placed called Embu, which is a small city about an hour and a half away. It is a fun place to visit, as it has many stores with a large variety of hand crafted gifts and items unique to Brazil. There are also many restaurants, hand crafted wood furniture stores, antique stores, and other places. Everyone was able to buy some gifts for friends and loved ones back home. 

After shopping we ate lunch at a buffet style Brazilian restaurant with a variety of typical Brazilian food, which is very good, and then in mid afternoon we headed to the team's hotel near the Sao Paulo airport. Everyone got to see a good portion of the mega city Sao Paulo, which has 22+ million people in it, and a taste of the traffic problems in the city. We went through the city at a good time in the afternoon and not even close to rush hour, but Sao Paulo's normal traffic is worse than many city's rush hour traffic. 

We finally got to the hotel at around 3:30 pm, and after everyone check in and got settled we had a chance to have some fellowship one last time with our sweet brothers and sisters from Georgia. Friday was Teresa's birthday, and because of our busy schedule we ended up celebrating it on Wednesday night after we were finished speaking at a school. Her husband Corley bought a nice cake from a bakery near the hotel in Santos and we ordered some pizza to eat at the hotel. At one of the schools we were at on Thursday the students sang Happy Birthday to Teresa in Portuguese, which was a lot of fun to watch.

Thanks again to Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, and to Corley & Teresa, Butch & Missy, and Johnny and Joyce for coming so far to help us to share Jesus here. We have a special place in our hearts for all of you, and we are thankful to God for this past week. The churches here and the people here were touched by your words and your acts of love & kindness, and they already miss you too.

Mt. Carmel 2nd To Last Day

We had another very long and tiring and complicated and victorious day all rolled into one on Thursday. Because of scheduling changes in the schools this week, we had to speak in all 3 periods of the day in some of the schools - morning, afternoon, and night. This is the first time we have ever had to do that, but it is all worth it to reach precious people for Jesus. 

In the morning Nancy and I and Missy & Butch from Mt. Carmel went to EM Lions Clube school in Sao Vicente to finish up speaking in the 4 remaining morning classes. We worked with Primeira Igreja Batista Sao Vicente (1st Baptist Church Sao Vicente) in the school. Then we met everyone back at the hotel and then had lunch. After lunch we split up into 2 groups and Nancy and Butch & Missy went back to EM Lions Clube school to speak in the afternoon classes there. I and the remaining 4 from Mt. Carmel went to the school EE Maria Dulce, where we worked with Capela Calvario church, led by Pastor Celso and Pastor Chris. 

We had more time to interact with the students this time, and it was alot of fun to talk to them and take pictures with them. After we finished at EE Maria Dulce school, our team was mobbed by many students and they all wanted to talk to the Americans and ask many questions, and take pictures with us. We had a great time with them.

Then after that all of us together came back to speak at night in EE Maria Dulce school. They have classes for high school students at night. Everyone got to speak in 1 night class for the last time on their trip to Brazil. Afterwards we got to spend more time with a group of the students, and we also had the opportunity to speak to some of the students about the church Capela Calvario.

This week we saw God mightily at work, and we are in awe of our great and mighty God. He went ahead of us before we ever spoke in any class to share Jesus, and He prepared and opened many hearts to hear the Good News of Jesus. We worked hard to arrange the events at the schools and visits in homes, but God is the one who opened these doors and opportunities. He also gave us more "divine appointments" in the streets, in stores, restaurants, and other places. As we stepped out in faith and obedience to share Jesus with others, the Holy Spirit convicted many and we saw various students in some classes get very emotional during the message. The Holy Spirit is the One who convicted them of their sin and separation from God, and He is the One who convinced them of their need for Jesus. We cannot do that, only the Holy Spirit can.

All in all God touched and saved 2127 people this week, including 43 teachers, 2 school coordinators, and 1 principal. The vast majority of the students were not young children, but they were mostly teenagers and even some adults studying at night. God is mightily at work in the world. We need to find out where He is at work and then do whatever it takes to go and join Him. We can say with certainty that He is mightily at work here in this part of Brazil. All glory and honor and praise and thanks go to our great and glorious God.