June 17, 2012

Orchidario In Santos

On Friday we went to the Orchidario in Santos, which had been closed for 3 years for renovations. Things move slowly in Brazil, and this project was a good example. The Orchidario is a small park in Santos, and it has a large variety of orchids on display, as well as many other species of plants and animals. We enjoyed the Orchidario very much.

June 14, 2012

A Difficult School

This week we spoke in the state school EE Marlene Leite, located in the Jardim Quietude part of Praia Grande, which is a  poor area of the city. The school is for students in 5th grade through high school. The principal told us that they have many problems with the students, including drugs, fights, vandalism... We had a few more problems than normal during the week with some students acting out while we were speaking in the classes, but all in all we had a great week. Also, during the break time one day some students threw some fireworks in the school that sounded like a small bomb.

We worked with Igreja Batista Cidade Ocian, and their participation in the project was very good. It was a challenging week, but God did a mighty work in the hearts of many of the students & teachers. Many responded to the Gospel message, and 554 students and 13 teachers accepted Christ and committed their lives to Him. We also had several opportunities to talk to students about the church, and many are interested in a ministry at the church that teaches English as a free ministry. We praise God for what He did this week, and for the privilege of being able to participate in His mission to seek and save lost people. 

June 6, 2012

Passion For The Lord

"Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold"
Matthew 24:12

"This waning of love refers to the dying out of the fire of a holy passion for the Lord Himself and for those for whom He gave His life, the loss of holy enthusiasm in His service and devotion. It refers not to that fleshly enthusiasm in His service and devotion that shouts and rejoices when the crowd is coming, or works zealously when the brass band is playing and the grandstand is filled with admirers. No! No! It is that enthusiasm that works with a quiet, untiring, unassuming earnestness and steadiness when it must plod on alone unheard and unnoticed except by the Lord- that enthusiasm that is born not of outward encouragement, nor the applause of men, nor by what men call success, nor by the unholy desire for praise, but that which is born of an inward urge implanted by the Holy Ghost, the overflow of the passion of Christ. The waning of this love, said Jesus, will be one of the earmarks of the end-times". 
- E. S. Gerig

Serving the Lord and seeing Him at work can be very exciting and very rewarding, knowing that He has given you the privilege of joining Him in touching and transforming other lives. But being a servant of the Lord can also be very difficult at times, and it can be exhausting. The spiritual warfare you experience can be overwhelming. And there are times in your walk with the Lord and in your service for Him where you are in the wilderness, and you do not experience any fruitfulness or victories. This wilderness time could last for a long period of time, even years.

There is only one thing that can keep you going through it all , through good times or bad, through successes or failures - having a passion for the Lord Jesus. Not a passion for ministry or for doing things for the Lord, but a real heart-felt passion for Jesus himself. This type of fiery passion for the Lord is not in us naturally ; our natural love or devotion or passion will fail and will deny the Lord, like when Peter denied Jesus 3 times. It is very obvious that there is a real lack of passion for the Lord in the church today, especially in the church in the US. Other things have taken first place in the lives of many believers, and many people are going through the motions - "playing church".

God needs to touch our hearts and fill us with the love and passion that was in Jesus, through the Holy Spirit. Then we will be truly faithful to the Lord and we will have a great passion for Him. This is the type of person God is looking for, the type of person that He can use in great ways.

"The men and women our Lord sends out on His endeavors are ordinary human people, but people who are controlled by their devotion to Him, which has been brought about through the work of the Holy Spirit".   - Oswald Chambers

" The grace of the Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus." - Paul (I Timothy 1:14)

"I will give them a heart to know me." - Jeremiah 24:7

"Give me an undivided heart." - Psalm 86:11

June 2, 2012

Sharing Jesus In Praia Grande

This week we spoke in the state school EE Abrahao Jacob, which is for students in 5th grade through high school. We worked with Igreja Batista Central, which is located near the school. It was the first time we worked with them in a school outreach project. The participation of the church was very good, and we had interpreters from the church and from several others to help us. 

Once again God worked in a powerful way, and many were prepared by the Holy Spirit to hear the Gospel message. We praise God that 621 students, 8 teachers, and the school coordinator accepted Christ and committed their lives to Him. We also had various opportunities to speak outside of the classes to students & teachers about the church, which is what we always hope and pray for. We are not permitted to speak about a specific church or denomination in the classes, but we can give a clear and direct presentation of the Gospel. One other interesting thing that happened at the school was that we met a Christian teacher who was healed from leprosy. She was very happy that we were sharing Jesus in her class.