Thursday, July 31, 2008

Catching Up

Do you ever have so much time pass that you don't know where to begin?

For almost 4 weeks, I have been fighting one sickness after another. It was never anything serious but just enough to slow me down, and annoy my family with a horribly loud cough! Usually I would slow down for a few days and try to recuperate. But in the midst of all this, we have been so busy!

We started out attending a music conference here at our seminary. This is the main speaker and his family. They were such a huge blessing and encouragement
to both James and me.

I was most excited about a seminar on starting a children's choir. We have a big problem with people not knowing how to sing on key. If we get them while they're young and train them, they will be able to sing on key as young people and adults!



The week following the conference, our church did a 5 day club. We met at our pastor's house and it was neat to see two women at our church really reach out. Each day between the two of them, they brought from 8-13 kids. They live more than 11 blocks from the pastor's house and if we didn't get them picked up, they were walking with all those kids in tow!

It was a blessing to see Rachel teach the missionary story at the 5 day club each day. It is so neat that she can be here and have such an effective ministry with the people. It is not just that she speaks the language; she has such a heart to love people and is always willing to serve in any way the Lord leads.

We had one of our church members get married this month. I was so excited to attend my first Brazilian wedding. It was a 5 hour trip north to Sao Paulo. Unfortunately, I got very sick right before the trip and was unable to go. James and his parents went and took lots of pictures for me. The husband, Eder, works with us in the youth group so we are excited to work with his wife Jessica as well.







The next day we celebrated Gran's 25th birthday with some yummy cake!



We finally ended the month with a city wide evangelistic outreach. Lyn Croxton came again this year and preached. He does an excellent job in choosing passages that are exciting as well as presenting the gospel so clearly.

It was a busy month but full of blessings.

Pray for me as I finish up my Portuguese this month. On the 16th I will be giving a devotional at a wedding shower for Jessica and Eder. I have taught 2 & 3 year olds but this will be the biggest challenge for me yet!

Saturday was a big blessing, I was able to share the gospel with a visitor at our youth meeting. This was my first time to do it by myself and completely in Portuguese!

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Gospel in Brazil

It seems that this week James and I have come to a greater understanding of how Brazilians view the Gospel.

Today James went to pass out fliers for our 5 day club that we are having next week.

At one house James met Roberto. James started off by asking him what is the gospel. The man shared all the facts, that Christ died on the cross and rose again to save us. James asked him repeatedly why Christ die and Roberto answered, "because it was God's plan." Although this is true, he struggled to state why Christ had to die. He finally admitted, with a little help, that Christ died to pay the penalty for our sins.

This man loves to listen to famous preachers, one of whom was Benny Hinn. James asked Roberto if Benny Hinn preaches the true gospel and he answered YES! James disagreed and stated that this man preaches a gospel of physical healing and speaking in tongues, which has nothing to do with the true gospel and why Christ suffered and died. To Roberto, Christ came and died to save us from physical problems, to save us to prosperity, peace, and joy. He seems to completely miss the fact that he needs a SAVIOR from sin.

This man also mixed up sanctification and justification completely. He couldn't understand how James could have been saved as a child and still sin today. He kept asking James, Aren't you a good person today? James shared with him that before we can live a life that pleases God, we have to be made just before Him, then Christ helps us live a right life. How God sees us is of foremost importance. Does He see you through the righteousness of Christ? So it seems he was adding good works as necessary to maintain your salvation.

It is said that 14% of Brazil is Evangelical. 10% of those believe in a prosperity and health gospel. Their "salvation" has nothing to do with sin and their need for a Savior.

Sometimes it is tempting to look around Curitiba and see so many "evangelical churches" and missionaries that I wonder why we are here. Yet, the more we learn what they are teaching, the more we realize that through these movements Satan is continuing to lead people further away from the TRUTH.

Roberto gave James this video of his seven year old son preaching. This boy has spoken in tongues and is apparently a "great preacher." James watched it and there was not a hint of the gospel mentioned in this 60-minute video. The reality of our world is so sad.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

THE WORD OF GOD


It is inspired. It was breathed out by the Holy Spirit. It is living. It is powerful. It sharper than any two-edged sword!

Is there any other book so amazing? Can you imagine opening your Bible and not understanding what it is saying. Guessing your way through, making horrible wrong assumptions as you try and figure out what God is trying to say.

I have felt like this so many times this year, using my Portuguese Bible so I will become familiar with it, so I can use it to share the Gospel with Brazilians. Yet, I cannot tell you how many messages I heard but did not hear, how many verses I read, but did not read. There were simply words on a page. Sometimes I would know the passage well enough in English that I would rely on my mind but it isn't the same.

Mary Ruth gave me a New Testament that is a simple translation. Published to be given to high school students. Last night, I read an entire chapter in Mark and understood every word! Not translating as I read but really understanding. God's Word is available here! The power, the wisdom. I got to read and understand that.

Thank you God, for giving me hope. Help me to grow to know you more in Portuguese.