31 July, 2011

Day 8 | Dia 8

Hey hey  y'all... as mr. Marino would say. The team made it very well from Paulo Afonso to Aracaju. It was a 7 hour bus ride but as most of us felt sleep turns out a short travel. haha...
SO... as traditionally we had lunch at McD's and then went to do shopping at the Open Market. Right after we headed to the hotel and then to the church around 7:30pm for a English Youth Service. It was fun.

To finish the day we went to dinner at an Italian Restaurant. Pasta! Macarroni! Spaghetti!! lol
It was really fun. The team will be leaving this afternoon. They are having a devotional around 9:30am and then leave the hotel to head to the airport around 10:45 - 11:00am.

Up till now the trip as been very  very Veeeeeeery blessed.
Talk to you all soon.

PS.: Here you are some pictures from Praticia's Facebook:
Mission Trip 2011 photo album.

Always in HIM,
:: Ermeson

29 July, 2011

Day 7 | Dia 7

Just finished our last day in Paulo Afonso.  Sad to leave our friends, but our work for this year is through.  We had an amazing "excursion" today.  Took a boat ride on the Sao Francisco River and swam.  The scenery was amazing.  Water was FREEZING, but most of the Loco Americanos jumped in.  We even got Ermeson to jump. 
We ended the day with two dramas, a testimony from Big Mike, music, and Carmen's art presentation.  I believe the holy spirit was working, but being the "venue" no one came forward.  We pray that the hearts of Paulo Afonso are opened and the truth is revealed to these people.  Big Mike, Steve, and the rest of the team did great jobs tonight.  After that we had ice cream and good conversation time.
From a personal stand point, this trip reaffirms the call on my life to be working in missions.  
Also heard a great quote today from Ashley that she heard a teen say in Santa Brigida. "I'm not the owner of the world, but I'm the son of the Owner of the world."  Pretty much sums it up.  It's through that Owner that we are able to come here and tell people about him, as we are all commanded to do.
Aracaju tomorrow.

:: Matt "Crazy Eyes" Cooper

27 July, 2011

Day 6 | Dia 6

Wow! What a day. It is hard to believe how fast the week is flying by. 
Today we continued our door-to-door visits in Santa Brigida.  We broke up into 5 groups and hit the rainy streets.  There were many amazing testimonies, but let me share one.  Pastor Osvaldo, Ashley, Larissa, and myself went to visit the home of an English speaking young man, Manuel.  Manuel introduced us to his mother, grandmother and sister.  After a brief introductory conversation, we moved the conversation to spiritual things (Kicked in our Way of the Master Training). As was the case with many visits, Manuel's mother had the head knowledge, but thought she needed to "fix" herself before coming to Faith in Christ Jesus.  I get so excited when I encounter this situation, because we have such great news - "JUST AS I AM".  After establishing a need for a Saviour through a discussion of the 10 Commandments, Ashley used the EvangeCube to clearly share the gospel.  We informed them that there was a decision to make, would they accept Christ or reject Christ?  The mother proclaimed that she wanted to receive Christ. It was such a blessing to share this harvest with my daughter. 
Back to the church for a quick lunch before a presentation before a large crowd.  Well lunch didn't make it in time so we opted for power bars and headed to the assembly.  The day before we learned of a town celebration and meet with the Secretary of Education.  We were placed on the agenda of the anniversary celebration.  Mike "MC" Marino introduced the team and turned the show over to his daughter Jennifer.  Jennifer gave an incredible testimony to the crowd of kids and adults - 100's.  We then presented the drama and I followed up with an explanation of the drama. 
Back to the church for a late lunch, but first we went to Brother Ivanildo's house to pray.  What an incredible experience that was.  Brother Ivanildo lead the church while they were without a pastor. He has been persecuted by one neighbor in particular and at one time, he was even hit in the face.  We had an incredible share time and prayer time, asking for God's protection and blessings.  Afterwards, we prayed for William - the man who is terrorizing the neighborhood. 
Tonight, we split into two groups. The guys headed to a home visit and had a wonderful worship service - Keith shared his powerful testimony and Mike shared a great message.  The ladies went to a ladies event and had a wonderful time.  Beth Smith shared God's word and Pam Piedlow shared her testimony. 
Big day in Santa Brigida tomorrow, our ladies are doing a ladies event and many ladies have been invited.  Pray that many come and their hearts are open to the gospel.  Go-Tell-Pray. God Bless!  

:: Steve Faulk   

25 July, 2011

Day 5 | Dia 5

Today we went to Santa Brigida to give away clothes, school supplies, hats, toothbrushes and toothpaste.  It was so crazy because there were so many people.  Talk about organized chaos!  Through the rain, we gave away all that we brought and continued to present the drama and share the gospel.
In the evening, we split up into two groups.  One went to a house to have a Bible study, and the second group, our group, went to a high school, which was our favorite part.  It's funny how God works things out perfectly. When we arrived we were swarmed with curious high school Brazilians.  Jennifer gave her testimony, then we did the drama called the Redeemer.  Mr. Steve explained the drama and gave a salvation message.  Three girls prayed to receive Christ and many seeds were planted.  They all wanted to take pictures with us and we got to talk to them.  It was so awesome because the teenagers were really attentive and wanted to hear what we had to say.  They were so loving and welcoming.
We FINALLY got to eat Brazilian pizza for dinner and drank lots of "Guaaaaanananananana" aka Guarana.

Funny side note:  Last night, I, Jennifer, went down stairs to give my dad his stuff back.  Ashley was in the shower and told me to lock the door on my way out.  BUT here in Brazil, when you take the key out...the power goes out....ALLLL the power! (including the bathroom).  So Ashley showered in the dark for a while and got out to find a flashlight.

The trip is great so far, each day only gets better.  Feels like we are becoming one instead of 22 separate people.
Can't wait to see what God will do tomorrow!! :)

:: Ashley and Jennifer

24 July, 2011

Day 4 | Dia 4

Today we went to Santa Brigida to watch students in a soccer tournament.  It was fun to watch their passion for the game.  We performed a drama called "The Reason" and one of our team members Mike Smith gave a description of the drama and an invitation to the students to come to Jesus.
Then we split up and some of us went to the business lunch.  First Rob Allen spoke, then Keith Dease and then me (Mike Marino) closed.  We told of our testimonies and how God has used us in our business.  My fun was starting off by teaching two english words to them to use the next time the Americans come to town...Hey Y'all.
However, my highlight of the night, was seeing the 16 year old young teenager (Renata) that we had gone to her house and shared Christ with for over 2 hours on Friday walk through the church doors for the Sunday night service at Central Baptist Church in Paulo Afonso.  I had to give my testimony after that in front of the church but I was so excited about Renata being there I forgot to be nervous.
It was a great day serving Jesus with my team today!

:: Mike Marino

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Hey this is Keith,

What an awesome day!!!
After the drama, we were surrounded by kids asking us all kinds of questions, while Steve did his juggle act, at one time picking up (2) kids, I was learning & playing a new game of Volleyball called ( 1, 2, 3 ).   The kids of Santa Brigida were full of smiles & laughter.
The Business Event went great. Very personal testimonies from all about the Christian Principles used in their everyday work life.
Back in Paulo Afonso the Central Baptist church was our next event, and what
event it was...  The sing was very moving and to our surprise, Victor (VidaNova Volunteer from Belo Horizonte) on our team plays the Saxophone. I was invited by the Welcome Team from Central Baptist to service with them tonight, so I brought it Hiberina style... I meet the people at the road and walked them right into the church, and of course I waved at anyone that drove by!!!!  
That's all for now.


23 July, 2011

Day 3 | Dia 3

What a glorious day in Paolo Alfonso today.
The Gospel was spread in many ways to many people. It was a day that saw the team triumph personal trials to bring forth powerful presentations in drama and one on one witnessing. At the English school, the "Feira" - the open market, and the 11th Anniversary Celebration we saw Christ's power shine through over and over.  It was energizing and will carry through this coming week. The team is strong and it is awesome to see God moving in His own particular way in each one's life.
I can't wait to see what else God has for us over the next few days. God bless to all and see you soon.

In Christ, Brian Owens.

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Tomorrow morning we are living the hotel a little early than today. We are heading to Santa Brigida at 07:45am. We will work on a soccer tournament with the kids, with the business people and at the church. As we get back to Paulo Afonso, we will be part of the night service doing songs, drama, and preaching the message.

See you all soon. I mean ... tomorrow, lol :-)

Always in HIM,
- Ermeson

22 July, 2011

Day 2 | Dia 2

23:48 Friday night, Paulo Afonso, Bahia, Brazil.

We just got back from a welcome ceremony (and then ice cream of course) at Central Baptist Church.  The people of Central always make us feel like we are long lost relatives. Their hospitality is wonderful and a great encouragement to our team.  Carmen made us play some silly games and then talked about the Body of Christ.  She illustrated her point by having 5 teams create different parts of Jesus' body and at the end of the competition we stuck them on a display board.  The point she was making was immediately obvious.  We must all work as a team in fulfilling our responsibilities as the hands and feet of Jesus.  Otherwise, the outcome is not pretty. She explained that we will be working in Santa Brigida and Paulo Afonso this week and that all the parts of the body must come together as one team to achieve what God has for us this week.

We have never been in Paulo Afonso on a Saturday before and we are excited about the opportunity to spend the day here tomorrow.  We will visit an English school in the morning, do street evangelism at a large street market in the afternoon and then participate in a 11 year anniversary celebration at one mission churches tomorrow night.

As always, we are greatly blessed by the members of Vida Nova who have joined us as translators and musicians.  They are an extremely talented lot and it would be very difficult to do this without them.

Your prayers are much appreciated.  Please keep praying that God keeps us healthy and that we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit as He leads us in our encounters with the people of Paulo Afonso.

:: Rob Allen