Hello Friends -
Thank you for partnering with us last year by following our 2012 Brazil Mission Trip blog. With a new Brazil Mission Trip approaching in October 2013, we have launched our new Mission Trip Website. The address is http://riomission2013.wordpress.com/. Please go here and click “Follow This Blog,” and enter your e-mail address, to receive e-mail updates as our Mission Trip approaches and takes place this year. You will receive daily devotionals, trip updates, and photos from our team.
God Bless You!
Praise God for what He has done!
Our final Clinic Totals…
Prescriptions filled 1496
Eyes saw 400 people
Dentist 117 patients and 291 extractions
Dental cleanings 118
Home Visits 27
(32 of those were at the public school)
More posts and photos will be coming soon! Thank you for all your prayers and support.
Our mission team has landed safely in Atlanta and Charlotte. Thank you for your prayers!
Please read Psalm 144
It is hard to believe we have come to the end of an awesome week of ministering. I hope you have developed a love for the people of Brasil and that they will forever be a part of your prayer list.
Today we will depart just a bit from our usual format and ask you to provide the story and thoughts.
I will start you with a few questions that hopefully will prompt your creative juices, but please be prepared to share your story with your small group and later to write it on another piece of paper for us to use in a devotion guide next year.
How have you seen God work this week?
How will what you have experienced make a difference when you return home?
What story will you share as people ask you about your trip to Brasil?
Pray for the following:
Church Discipleship Program
Blessings on the Work That Was Started
Fun on Sightseeing/Traveling concerns
(There is so much more to share, but this blog is already long enough. I will be writing a final blog sometime over the weekend, including many more photos and final numbers from the clinics and the evangelistic team.)
We were all a bit weary as we headed for the mission field today, however our spirits were high. The sun was shining, the sky was several shades of blue, the waves were crashing white against the sand, and our voices were blending together to praise God as we rode together through the streets of Rio.
Although we weren’t speaking of it, on everyone’s mind was the fact that this was our last day with the Church at Costa Barros, our last day to share God’s Word with the neighborhood, and our last day to be with the people we had come to love over the past week.
However, the moment we rounded the curve, before the church came in sight, we saw the line of people waiting for medical attention, the longest line of the week. With not a moment to spare, we all headed in, and went straight to work; we were going to see as many people as possible.
Thursday held its share of surprises. Pastor Douglas, of the Costa Barros Church asked Jerry Pullum to go with him to the public school, and I was able to go along as the photographer. We were not sure what we were going to do, or see, but we were up for the adventure!
As we pulled up to the concrete building, with gates, bars, and a guard at the door, we hoped for the best. However Pastor Douglas strode to the gate with confidence. We were granted entrance, met with the assistant director, and were allowed to go into the classrooms and share the Gospel openly and freely. (Can you see this happening in the USA?)
The high school students were attentive and respectful. Jerry explained why we were in Brasil, and then shared the complete Gospel using the Evangecube. When he asked if anyone wanted to accept Christ into their hearts, 5 students raised their hands. One of the boys, who had looked heart-hardened, now had tears in his eyes. This scene repeated itself in the next few rooms, with one teacher also being convicted, and accepting Jesus! In one of the classrooms none of the students raised their hand that they wanted to repent. Jerry then explained if they felt the Holy Spirit knocking on their heart, they needed to make a public decision. He told them if they were not ashamed of Jesus, then Jesus would not be ashamed of them to His Father! Slowly one hand, then another, then altogether five students responded!
We then went to the school office to tell them we were leaving. The director was in, and pleaded with us to see another class. We were short on time, but did as she requested. This was the “un-disciplined, trouble making” group, according to the director.
As we entered the room, the students were not as respectful, and did not seem pleased to see us, or hear our message. However, the spirit of the room quickly changed, and 9 students responded to the Gospel.
All together there were 32 decisions made at this public school. God is so good!
Back at the Church, there were more decisions for Christ and rededications. One woman came with a friend to see a doctor. Jeff Miller had shared the gospel with her twice already during the week. Jeff said she didn’t have to listen again, (she was already a Christian). But, she said, “No, no. I love to hear it again and again.” When Jeff was finished, she had tears in her eyes. Jeff talked with her and discovered she had lost her 27 year old son. He had been murdered, and it took her seven months to get his body from the police for burial. Her son was not a Christian, and her heart was broken. Jeff prayed with her, and he said he will not forget her.
Another story came from our own group. Debbie shared that she had seen Jason blossom into a bold person for Christ. Jason was not on the evangelistic team, officially. But not one person passed his station in the eye clinic without being prayed for and encouraged.
Our own Kent was able to help in many areas this week. He was on the evangelism team until he lost his voice, then he worked on the sterilizer helping the dental team, he worked as a dentist pulling teeth, dispensed eye glasses and helped in the medical clinic. Kent says that if he could just spend the night in the Holiday Inn Express, he could perform surgery!
On the bus ride we were all tired, and Carol asked Cheryl to count some of our dental supplies. Carol said not to worry if she was off the count by a few. Then she added to try to get as close as 20-30. She then finished with, “Oh, just let me know if we are with-in 100”. Sometimes our standards for perfection change with our level of exhaustion!
We had one family who came in covered with scabies. There were 12 people in the home, so there was much medicine to organize for them. Our Brasilian friend, Sylvia, was explaining to the mother how to use the medicine, and the anti-itch cream. Then, when I, not thinking, asked to take her picture with the mother. Sylvia smiled, as the mother put her arms around her. I owe Sylvia, big time.
When we had seen the last patient, we started the packing process. With accuracy that would make an accountant proud, our rooms were emptied. The basement, which had housed two dental chairs, and all the cleaning equipment necessary for the hygienists, and the room which held three translators, three dental assistants, and three extracting teeth, were now an empty hallway and a classroom.
The church balcony, where almost 500 people had received glasses while 19 team members and volunteers had labored unceasingly, was now only two rows of seats, and a sound board.
On the third story, where the medical, pediatric, triage and pharmacy had been, the area was also transformed, once again, to Sunday school classrooms. The waiting room, which had held up to 50 people, had returned to its original dark narrow hallway.
The sanctuary, which all week long had been home to the evangelistic team sharing the gospel, was now humming with tearful goodbyes. Camera flashes from last minute photos with new friends filled the air, and then it was time to go.
As a child looks forward to their birthday, and as quickly as their birthday passes, so had been our time in Costa Barros.
But, it was amazing, wonderful, heart stirring, and memorable.
Lord, let us keep this willingness and eagerness to share your Word every day, no matter where we are. Thank you, Lord for this experience.
Please read Psalm 143:4-11
How have you seen God strengthen you this week when you felt weak?
João (John) was an 11-year-old Brasilian boy who many saw all over the medical clinic. He won a special place in the hearts of a majority of the team members. His mother said that the church asked for volunteers to sign up to help. John signed up because many of his friends did. He knew very little of what would be expected of him. After he found out he had to get up so early for clinic, his mother said that he resented signing up. But that is not the attitude we all saw in John. John was from one end of the clinic to the other. He served coffee, water, and cocoa. He also ran errands. His mother said that even though he initially regretted signing up now he couldn’t wait to show up early for clinic to start.
For some reason John was attracted to me. I was on the evangelism team. Every time I had a free moment, there he was. Over the week I built a relationship with the bright eyed 11-year-old. He tried to communicate through the language barrier. Eventually he ran all the way back home to bring a Portuguese/English dictionary. I discovered John was the product of a broken home who longed for a relationship with his father. “My dad really works a lot.” He said.
I really like talking and relating with the other adult translators, but this week the Lord had put John on my heart and I gave him my undivided attention. Every spare moment I had away from evangelizing, I spent with him. His mother told me that we had really impacted this young boy’s life. He told her, “When I grow up I want to be like them.”
Yes we came to Brasil to win souls, but sometimes the greatest fruit may come 20 years down the road when a young man like John grows up. Who knows how God will use this young servant one day.
Pray for the church workers we have worked with this week. We are leaving them a huge job as they follow up on each decision that was made and they work to disciple new believers. Ask God to show His faithful love to them, reveal to them the way they should go, rescue them from their enemy and any friction that may try to find its way into the walls of this community of faith. Pray that God would make His will clear to them and that they will walk on level paths. Pray that the name of the Lord will be honored and glorified through them as they continue to work in this field. Pray that those who made decisions will want to be discipled and have a heart to follow the Father.
Share with your small group about someone who has been special to you this week and why. Record their name here.
Pray for the following team members:
Can it really be Wednesday?
The time is flying by, and our work at the church is almost complete. Only one more day with the wonderful people of Costa Barros, then the re-packing begins.
Today was another amazing day, Praise God! The line waiting for us outside the church was the longest of the week. The first person in line had been there since 2am. I cannot imagine sitting on that hard concrete, a few feet away from the street for over 7 hours, but she did not mind. She was grateful for the medical help. I wonder how many of us in the US could be that cheerful after a night like that? We complain when we have to wait for fast food longer than a few seconds.
There were wonderful moments all though the day, the Holy Spirit was at work all over the church.
The street level is actually the basement of the church, and that is where the Dental Clinic was housed. The next floor up was the sanctuary, which every person was first seen by the evangelistic team. Above, in the balcony, was the eye clinic, and the sauna, (more about that later). To get to the medical area, the triage, and the pharmacy, it was back downstairs, through the sanctuary then up three sets of stairs to the very top of the church. There was lots of walking, lots of climbing stairs, and let’ s just say we did not need any heaters up in the medical area either!
Mike Drummond, shared a beautiful story from one of his patients, Seo, who explained to Mike that his grandson had been murdered just last week. To make the situation even more unbearable, he was murdered by the boyfriend of his granddaughter, who is also the father of his great-grandson.
This man was in such pain, and had so much to bear. The wonderful news of this entire story was that Seo accepted Christ today, as his Lord and Savior! He was able to read our scripture from this morning’s bible devotion, Psalm 140. He read it in Portuguese out of a duel language Bible Mike had on hand.
Please read this Psalm, and you will see, as Mike, Seo and all of us did, that God knew every moment of today before we lived one moment of this time! Thank you Lord for your love and Wisdom!
Mike has agreed to pray for Seo and his family everyday for an entire year. Please consider this request for your prayer time as well.
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers;
protect me from the violent,
2 who devise evil plans in their hearts
and stir up war every day.
3 They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s;
the poison of vipers is on their lips.[b]
4 Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
protect me from the violent,
who devise ways to trip my feet.
5 The arrogant have hidden a snare for me;
they have spread out the cords of their net
and have set traps for me along my path.
6 I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”
Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy.
7 Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer,
you shield my head in the day of battle.
8 Do not grant the wicked their desires, Lord;
do not let their plans succeed.
9 Those who surround me proudly rear their heads;
may the mischief of their lips engulf them.
10 May burning coals fall on them;
may they be thrown into the fire,
into miry pits, never to rise.
11 May slanderers not be established in the land;
may disaster hunt down the violent.
12 I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor
and upholds the cause of the needy.
13 Surely the righteous will praise your name,
and the upright will live in your presence
Now for the Baptist numbers!
- Pediatrics saw more children than the ark was cubits wide!
- The pharmacy filled almost as many prescriptions as Job had yokes of oxen! WOW!
- The eye clinic saw almost as many people as Sarah was old when she died.
There were as many decisions made for Christ as Moses’ age when he spoke to Pharaoh There is so much more to share, but for now, thank you for holding us up in prayer, and Goodnight.