The last couple of weeks have been amazing. We have seen God do some incredible things. I had the opportunity to preach at Bola de Neve Church (the Snowball Church) recently. This is one of the fastest growing movements of churches in Brazil. I preached at one of their new plants about forty-five minutes outside of Curitiba. We had an amazing service and saw seven people come to Christ. Pastor Syrio has me scheduled to come once more before we have to return to America. Notice that the pulpit is fashioned out of a surfboard!
We just finished the five week First Steps Class for C3 Curitiba. This was the first new believers/new members class that they have conducted. Fifteen people went through the course. There were also two leaders who assisted Annie and I put the course on. These leaders will be leading the next First Steps Class.
One of the biggest highlights over the last few weeks, though, was that our friend Joe Primm was able to visit us from Atlanta. He had to come down for business and scheduled his trip to spend a few days with us. Joe and his wife Laura are a part of the pastoral team of C3 Church in Atlanta. We loved getting to hang out with him but he also came bearing gifts. He brought us some money that many of you have contributed to. Thank you for that! He also brought us some crunchy peanut butter and some other gifts from home. We feel incredibly blessed!
Since Joe was here, we went ahead and put him to work. Pastor Ronald set up an interview for church with Joe, me, and one of the foremost evangelists in Germany, Walter Heidenreich. He preaches all over the world and is the founder of HELP for all Nations.Walter has been doing some ministry in Paraguay and Brazil and we were thrilled to have him at C3 Curitiba. Ronald likes to shake things up at church and does not have preaching in every service. He sees the value of conducting interviews with interesting people and asking them questions about their lives. These interviews seem to strike a chord with people, and are a great opportunity to bring their unchurched friends to.
Walter, Joe, Pastor Werner of C3 Curitiba, and I were the interviewees. Ronald asked each of us some probing and personal questions. Ronald asked Joe, "Why did you kill your neighbor's dog?" That is a crazy story that can be found in his book, Love Is. He asked me to describe the most difficult time of my life and how I got through it. Ronald got Walter to talk about what it was like to lead a large, international ministry while living by faith. How did he deal with the pressure of not knowing how he was going to pay the bills? Ronald asked Werner what parents could do to raise kids that loved God, loved their families and loved the Church.
Each of these questions were very different and had very personal answers. At the same time, however, the common denominaters were the facts that God was good, He had a plan for our lives, and we could trust Him, even if we had no idea what the outcomes were going to be. You might be going through a difficult time in your life. Don't think for a second that God has abandoned you or does not know what is going on. He is as close as your next breath! If there is anything that we can pray with you about, please let us know.
Would you like to help Annie and I have an impact in Brazil? Here is the link. Obrigado! (Thank you!)