New Here

New Here

New Here

Head First

1
Jesus knew why he was in the world. He lived his life in submission to his Father. His time on earth was purposeful and he lived his life on mission. He knew exactly what he was here to do and when to do it. Jesus went head-first into his ministry and made "no bones" about why he was doing what he was doing. In Fagundes, Brazil, we are on mission. Although we don't know exactly what to expect, we do know precisely why we are here. It's all about Jesus. We are in Brazil doing exactly the same thing Jesus did - preach the good news of the Gospel, meet with the people where they are, and love them. Day 2 brought many opportunities to remove ourselves from our comfort zone, and it was fun to go head-first into our mission. We broke up into two teams and walked the town of Fagundes, stopping at homes and inviting people to come to church that night. Instead of door bells, people clap. The people are very welcoming and invite you into their home. I knew we weren't in Kansas anymore! Along the way, we came across a soccer facility in which there was a kids soccer camp going on. We asked the coaches if we could talk to the kids. The soccer game shut down for us! I invited about 30 kids to church that night. I then was encouraged to play with them. I set up as the goalie, and all of the kids got in a line and took turns trying to score on me. Needless to say they weren't very successful! Scott and Tom went back to Pastor Humberto's house to get the golf club and golf balls I brought with us. I began juggling the golf ball and entertaining the kids with tricks. The kids then put on a juggling show of their own with a soccer ball - amazing! Again, I knew we weren't in Kanas anymore. Can you imagine interrupting a soccer game at a middle school in America to invite them to church? If I understand America correctly, I have a hunch that the coaches would call the police on us and have us removed from the property! The people are very welcoming and open to listening! After the soccer facility, on a side road, we came across a handful of kids playing a version of Cricket. I introduced them to golf and began juggling again. I then started hitting some trick shots off a nearby wall. We had two golf balls with us, so I hit one far and high into a lake nearby - the kids were excited! I then tried again, with little success, I duffed the shot into a nearby fenced-in pasture. As we continued on our way, we turn around and the kids were bolting through the fence at full speed, racing to find the golf ball in the pasture - a souvenir for the kids! Finally, after some rest, it was time for our first service on the trip and for me to preach. Definitely out of my comfort zone, I felt I could do nothing but dive in head-first. I preached on Matthew 1:1-16, the genealogy of Jesus. I was happy to see three generations of people in the congregation - children, parents, and grandparents. Maybe one day, I will be able to preach the sermon at Riverside! Preaching with a translator was an different and interesting experience, however it was very enjoyable for me and I hope impactful for the congregation. It also helped seeing the team in the front row supportive and giving me comfort. Pastor Humberto and his family are extremely graceful in their hospitality, we thank them, and a whole other post could be written about this! On to Day 3...head-first...on mission.

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Awesome! Keep up the great work and know that we're all back here praying you on! God is going to do big things!! Glad to hear you are having fun and being challenged!

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