Wednesday, September 18, 2013

IMB Journeyman Jessica Bolton joins Missions Ministry

From small-town Alabama, Jessica is the middle child in between two boys. Her mom refers to her as "the calm between two storms." She grew up knowing and learning about God. And as a sixth grader, she gave her life to Jesus.

"Looking back, I would've never guessed what that decision would mean for my life. What a mighty and compassionate God we serve to make Himself known to the heart and mind of a young child. I'll be forever thankful I came to know Him at an early age."

She attended Auburn University and majored in International Business. During that time, God opened her eyes and heart to the nations. She felt called to serve Him wherever He told her to go.

After college, God sent her to the Philippines with the International Mission Board (IMB) as a Journeyman. Due to the widespread no-ID no entry policy on college campuses, she attended an all-girl non-air conditioned school in Manila where she had to wear a uniform.

While there, she made friends with her classmates, became a member of the Foreign Student's Club, and ate rice in the cafeteria. She spent countless hours meeting with students from three universities in the area to study God's Word.

"We had plenty of girl's nights and did more crafts than anyone could imagine," she said. "I also had the privilege of discipling young ladies and being part of a 30-member church that met outside."

She spent her summers in the province sharing with unreached people who live in tribes. She said, "Just imagine a tall ginger tromping through rice fields, sharing a snack and conversation in Tagalog with a tribal chief, and wearing out my chaco's in the jungle."

Because of her surrender to God's call, she's gone to places she never thought possible. 

"I know how to hunt down beavers in the pasture behind my rural Alabama home, as well as maneuver my way through an Asian mega-city of 17 million people," she said. "I wouldn't have it any other way. The Lord has surely taken me on the adventure of a lifetime."

For her third year as a Journeyman in the program, IMB and Brentwood Baptist are partnering to place her on staff at Brentwood Baptist. Here, she'll mobilize young people and students into local and global missions, serving as the liaison between Kairos and the Missions Ministry.

"I'll help connect interested students to IMB or Brentwood Baptist missions," she said. "Anywhere someone wants to go, we want to find a way to get them there."

If you're a student who's interested in missions, e-mail Jessica.

Leia Mais…

Monday, August 19, 2013

Taylors spend six months serving in South Africa

By Dawn Freeman, Volunteer Writer

The Call to Go
It was a late life dream for Rodney and Patty Taylor, and it had been two years in the making. However, they got back last month from what would be a memorable short-term mission journey to Cape Town, South Africa.

In 2008, Rodney went on a mission trip to Cape Town. As he got to know John Thomas, founder of Living Hope, pastor of King of Kings Baptist Church, and board member at Cape Town Baptist Seminary (CTBS), he learned that one of the professors at the school was scheduled for furlough in the states. Because he taught Greek he'd only be gone a couple of months.

"John told the seminary about me, and we began discussions about my replacing him for a semester because I had the skills and background to teach Greek," Rodney said. "So this tour to Cape Town was to allow me to join the faculty of CTBS and teach Greek, both elementary and advanced. As a part of my responsibilities, I also taught a course on Ephesians."

Rodney said he and his wife, Patty, left Nashville on January 11, had a 26-hour flight, and arrived late in Cape Town on January 12. They were there six months and two days. They left to return home on July 14. During that time, they experienced a lot.

Cape Town Baptist Seminary
Rodney talked about one of his memories from the trip. It was during Mission Week at the seminary when students went into the townships to do various kinds of ministry. Both Rodney and Patty joined with the students a couple of days to observe and participate in the activities.

"I watched in amazement as one of my students, Mzamo Stuurman, went through a township, stopping everyone he met on the street, and asking them if they knew Jesus," he said. "If not, he would take time to stop and share the gospel and witness to them. I personally observed him lead three or four people to the Lord in the matter of a morning."

According to Rodney, that experience made him long for the same kind of excitement and dedication among our church family.

Living Hope
Patty also spoke of a memorable time for her. It happened during the senior adult club for men and women that she worked with. Each week, they met for Bible study, support, and craft time.

She took dish towels, trim, embroidery thread—all donated by her Bible study and LIFE Group. She taught them how to simply thread a needle and embroider. Each person completed a dish towel and decorated washcloths with buttons and trim. In addition, she taught them how to make greeting cards, name bracelets, and cross necklaces.

"I was intrigued by the fact that they wanted to do their best, wanted me to approve," she said. "And [they] acted like little children when they had accomplished their project. The group leader told me that many of them probably had never had anything with their names on it or made anything like we had done."

According to Patty, the group planned a lunch and invited the Taylors to join them to say goodbye when their time had come to leave. She said, "They fed us, thanked us, hugged us, and gave us a card they all had signed.”

Ministry Impact
Patty said, "Most everyone whom we encountered impacted us. The humbleness of the people in the townships is hard to ignore. They so greatly appreciate whatever you do for them. The people generally are friendly and want to know about America."

Rodney spoke of his time and impact among the seminary students. He said, “I considered it a privilege to teach students who will be going out and impacting many others. It was a way that I could multiply my contribution to the kingdom of God many times over and over multiple generations.”

He also talked about the people who impacted him—his students. He said, “They are all so dedicated to their purpose in the kingdom and to leading the African continent to the Lord.  To them, one’s relationship with God is utmost, and they have dedicated themselves to preparing their heads, their hearts, and their hands to do the work to which God has called them."

Rodney said he was impressed by their willingness to lay it all out on the line for Jesus. Most attend seminary under extreme financial conditions. Some come from the townships where poverty is a way of life. But they do whatever it takes to break that cycle and get an education. 

He said, "They recognize that education is their ticket out of poverty, and they acknowledge that God has provided."

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Medical Dental Unit sets sail on maiden voyage

By Kaylan Christopher, Staff Writer

On Friday, August 9, the new Medical Dental Unit left the church parking lot at 6:00 a.m. for the first national mission journey to East Tennessee, making stops in two of the area's poorest communities.

A team of 31 Kairos and Brentwood Baptist medical volunteers, including doctors, dentists, nurses, and hygienists, went to partner with Of One Accord Ministry. Together, they hosted two half-day clinics including dental services, health screenings, and activities for kids.

On Friday, they made their first stop in Sneedville, hosting a clinic from 2:00-7:00 p.m. 

Sharon Fairchild, Mission Journeys Minister, said, "When we got there, a man man drove up on his riding lawn mower and asked if we were pulling teeth. We told him to see if he could get on the list. … Later in the day, we had space, so he came back and we pulled seven teeth. He went home and came back again later on his mower to tell us 'thank you.'"

At dinner that night, the team talked with their waitress at a local diner, explaining to her why they were there. 

Amy Fairchild, Medical Dental Unit Coordinator, said, "She had some dental issues but didn't have insurance, so we invited her to the clinic the next morning. She was there at 8:00 a.m. and we were able to take care of her."

On Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., they set up shop in Of One Accord's parking lot in Rogersville.

There they provided scheduled dental services and health screenings, which consisted of a general health questionnaire plus glucose and blood pressure checks. Most of the patients didn't have access to a doctor or dentist, or didn't have funds for one.

Michael Vaughan, a Nashville-based dentist on the team, said, "The MDU let us minister to their spiritual and physical needs. We saw people in desperate conditions—experiencing pain, embarrassment, inability to chew their food. We were able to give each person a diagnosis and ideas for treatment. And we did as much dental work as possible."

For a pre-determined 150 kids in need, volunteers donated backpacks filled with school supplies, set up games and crafts, offered fluoride treatments, and handed out food boxes. And to all, they served up a free lunch.

One 6-year-old girl, Lilly, got her backpack then went to pick up her box of food from Tabitha Taylor, a Kairos volunteer, and asked if it was all for her. When Tabitha confirmed it was, Lilly said, "You mean I get to eat today?"

Tabitha said, "Ministry is awesome, and it's fun to be involved around the world, but there are people struggling in our own backyard. Sometimes we don't even know it, and sometimes we just ignore it. It's really humbling to be a part of something like this."

At the end of the weekend, the team saw 24 medical patients, gave 40 fluoride applications, cared for 27 dental patients, pulled 87 teeth, and shared the gospel 34 times. One young man gave his life to Christ and every patient that came through the clinic was prayed over.

Sheldon Livesay, Of One Accord's Founder and Director, said, "Our number one goal is create events and activities like this, bringing people together. There's a church on every corner, but nobody is coming. We have to get outside the church walls, meet people's needs, then present the gospel."

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Volunteers take VBS to inner-city kids in Nashville

Story by Kaylan Christopher, Staff Writer

From July 17-19, just after offering Vacation Bible School to more than 1,000 kids on Brentwood Baptist's campus, a group of volunteers traveled a short 13.5 miles to offer it to the kids in one of Nashville's poorest, inner-city communities. 

Partnering with Set Free Church in Nashville for the second year, and sticking with this year's Colossal Coaster theme, they set up in a field across from the church. Every evening, they welcomed in kids from the surrounding neighborhoods and bussed in children from outer areas.

During VBS, the kids played games, participated in arts and crafts, worshiped, and more. Those who attended heard the gospel and life change stories from believers, and volunteers prayed over each one of them.

Mignon Camp, who led the crew, said, “We loved on more than 100 children, served close to 400 meals, gave out more than 150 snow cones (thanks to the Deaf Church), and popped and served 6 pounds of popcorn. And the children iced and ate 200 cookies!”

On the last night, the team gave out backpacks filled with school supplies. And by the end of the week, three children had made the decision to give their lives to Jesus and follow Him.

Thirty volunteers served, representing Kairos, Brentwood Young Children's School, Summer Play Days, Brentwood Baptist Deaf Church, and Brentwood Baptist's Preschool, Children's, and Student Ministries—along with the Set Free residents, homeless men who live at the church. 

Bob Carlton, Church Multiplication Minister at Brentwood Baptist, said, “Mignon and the Set Free VBS crew once again knocked it out of the park. They made a huge impact in the lives of our city's kids with the gospel. The ride is more fun because we're on it together.”

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Leaves In Your Mouth

by Brandon Abbott

I remember as a fifth grader traveling to Montgomery, Alabama for the annual Royal Ambassador conference. Well, I say I remember it. I remember a van ride, a trip to Shoney’s breakfast bar, and taking a picture by a large rock.  (We didn't get out much).

One other thing I remember about the conference is meeting a missionary.  She was serving in some country, the name of which apparently got trumped in my memory by the trip to Shoney's.  She was dressed in authentic native clothing from that area, and she also had this ornamental  jar with a lid and a metal straw.

“Would you like to taste?” she asked.  You have to understand that outside of pizza and cheeseburgers, my diet was limited to Coke and oxygen. So I was understandably skeptical.

“What is it?”

“It’s tea from [insert country name here]. It’s green, but it’s good. You just have to drink it through this special straw so you don’t get any of the leaves in your mouth.”

The phrase “leaves in your mouth” left me with absolute certainty that I would in no way be tasting the tea from the country we speak not of.  But as passionate as I was about my diet, I was even more passionate about pleasing others, especially those kind men who drove four hours in a church van with a group of unruly eleven year olds.

“Come on, Brandon. It won't hurt you,” they encouraged me.  Eventually I relented and sipped the tea.  It was bitter, and strong. And the special straw failed, because I ended up with a slimy leaf snaking across my tongue.  I was mortified. I choked and spit in a very dramatic display of disgust.  To top it off, I ended up with a massive headache and laying down in the back of the van all the way home.

Since that day, I think I built a kind of wall in my mind between missionaries and the rest of us.  I mean, on one hand you have normal people, and on the other hand you have oddly dressed purveyors of poison leaf juice waiting to infect unsuspecting Royal Ambassadors. 

This week, the wall came down.

First things first . . . I have not been offered, nor have I consumed any kind of tea.  Mostly just sparkling mineral water. (It’s a pretty big deal out here in Oberwiesenthal, Germany). And I have seen no one in any kind of authentic native garb.  What I have seen are real people. Parents with real children.  Normal, everyday Christians with real smiles, real tears, and real problems.

Like me, they deal with issues like where their kids go to school, what to make for dinner, and how to fit 25 hours into a 24 hour day.  What’s different is that they happen to deal with these issues in a foreign country among people who are ignorant, indifferent, and even hostile to their God and his mission for them.

As we have worshipped and prayed together this week, I have watched these people, many of whom are lonely and tired and misunderstood, as they thanked God for how He had blessed them.  I watched people who experienced cancer, theft, danger, and isolation, praise God for his healing and provision, his protection and constant presence.

I have listened to them sing as they raised their hands, closed their eyes, and poured out to Heaven . . .

Never once did we ever walk alone.
Never once did you leave us on our own.
You are faithful, Lord you are faithful.

This week, I came to serve missionaries.  And in the process, a wall came down.  I no longer saw these people as strangers in strange clothes dispensing strange beverages. I saw them as people just like me.  I saw people serving God by living out the great commission, no matter the cost.  Then I looked in the mirror and realized that this week, I was their mission field.  Though I came to serve the missionaries, they have served me. 

Leia Mais…


by Grace Taylor

“It is grace, nothing but grace that we are allowed to live in community with Christian brethren…in Jesus Christ we have been chosen from eternity, accepted in time, and united for eternity.”
—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Community is a loaded word—one that has proven itself instrumental to me and completely invaluable to my walk with Christ thus far, and the relationship I am able to have with other believers. But the way I have seen community modeled out this week among the pioneers and laborers for Christ among the European nations rivals anywhere I have ever seen it demonstrated.  This week, we are honored to serve those who toil shamelessly for the Gospel. While I get to congregate weekly and worship with Brentwood Baptist, the missionaries here often do not have a church family, making experiences like this, of communal worship and prayer, few and far between.

As I stand in the back, listening to the crowded room swell in praise, the words of Psalm 133:1 come to life: “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” In fact, it is amazing how much Scripture comes alive when one is involved in ministry. I am struck by the beauty of my surroundings—families who have taken literally the command to “be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)” It is a striking setting, and a small picture of what Heaven will look like.

And the community extends through all age groups. This week, I’m a part of a group of eleven who are loving specifically on students (ages 12-college). There are about 40 students here, who live all over Europe, from Iceland to Austria. My small group consists of 14-15 year olds, which has meant a lot of laughing and stories, even on the first day! As one who is passionate about people, I spent a lot of time today having one-on-one conversations, attempting to hear their stories and gain a glimpse of who they are. How can a room full of what seems like perfectly American teenagers have seen and felt and experienced so much in their lives? They see each other only once or twice a year, but this is definitely a family.  It is so unique compared to any group of students I have ever seen. I have been processing this a lot today, and I covet your prayers for our time with these missionary kids (MK’s). Pray for the ways our team will continue to encounter the MK’s and the future conversations to be had and seeds that will be planted. I already know many friendships will grow from this week. J

And pray for the people of Europe. That they will come to salvation, and that God will send pioneers to labor on the frontier of what He is doing in those nations—to plant and sow seeds for the harvest that will soon be ready. It is with great URGENCY that we must seek to advance the Kingdom.

Two verses that have been on my heart…

“The harvest are plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” –Matthew 9:37

“Be courageous! We must fight bravely for the people and the cities of our God. May the Lord’s will be done.” –2 Samuel 10:12

Loving this sweet time with fellow believers and the ways I am seeing God move around the world!

For His glory among the nations,
Grace Taylor

“Heil und Rettung kommen allein von unserem Gott, der alle Macht in seinen Händen halt, und von Christus, dem Lamm.” –Offenbarung 7:10
“Salvations belongs to our God, who sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” –Relevation 7:10

Leia Mais…

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Not So Far From Home

Written by Darlene Abbott

Best Quote So Far
Okay, best quote of the trip so far is from Station Hill's Carl Wayne Meekins.  He and some others were taking a walk yesterday through a nearby village when they spotted a dog.  Carl Wayne shouted, “Man, I am actually seeing a German Shepherd IN GERMANY! That is soooo cool!” (Smile and chuckle). 

Children and Students
Yesterday (Saturday), all the teams finally arrived by about 4 PM. After a great dinner, we met and were naturally given lots of instructions. Today we decorated the rooms for VBS. They look fabulous! Even the bed babies room is decorated.  So far, the Lord has blessed, and as far as I know we have everything we need (except perhaps enough sleep).  

We're turning in soon so we can be raring and ready to go in the morning with worship and VBS.  I am impressed with the number of youth Station Hill's Student Minister, Brother Yancey, is going to have. I’m so excited about the Bible studies that he has planned for them.  After talking to some parents tonight, so are they.  I think it will be exactly what God wants to say to them. Everyone, please pray against spiritual warfare and for hearts and minds to be opened.

The children’s team got to spend about 45 minutes with the kids tonight, so we went ahead and taught portions of a couple of the songs.  The kids not only sounded great, but they picked up the music and motions quickly. (This is in part a testament to the writer, Jeremy Johnson, who is also with us.) I’m looking forward to watching them the rest of the week.

The Missionaries
The missionaries came in today, and we worshipped with them tonight. It is wonderful to see Christians so hungry for fellowship, for the Word, and for worship. For many of the M’s this is a rare opportunity to worship in their native tongue. In West Germany many of the locals speak English.  Here in Oberwiesenthal, a part of  former East Germany, it is different. This area was once behind the Berlin Wall before it fell.  So it isn't quite as developed commercially, and English is rarely spoken.  It is, however, absolutely BEAUTIFUL.  The village is picturesque – a town square, little shops, and cobblestone streets.

I was privileged to spend time with a couple of M’s this evening, listening to how God brought them to a foreign land. These families are in places so different than life in the states. The culture is raw to Christianity. One M shared they are considered a cult where they live.  As they talked about their challenges, I was so convicted about how little I have prayed for them. I was challenged to get from the M’s specific prayer requests of their needs and situations.  They really are on the front lines. 

Not So Far From Home
I was also dumbstruck at how similar some of our situations are.  In southern Williamson County we know that 85% of the people are not even looking for a church.  One M shared that in their area 85% of the people claim other religions or are not looking for a God at all. They are too occupied or content with their wealth. Sound familiar?  Another M shared about their work with the poor. Jesus said, “The poor will be with you always.” That is true all over the world.

There are real needs in the hearts and lives of these M’s. Please be praying that God will speak and that we will listen as we minister to them this week.  Many of them won’t return to a place where they can just go to church on Sunday to receive more encouragement after a rough week. Many of them won’t have neighbors or friends to hug their necks and tell them they will continue to pray for them when they get home.  Our prayers for them are serious business.  

More to Come
Brentwood Baptist Missions Minister, Scott Harris, will speak tomorrow, with Station Hill Pastor Jay Strother already having delivered two devotionals plus sermons to come.  Last night, in the second of these devotions, Jay flat out gave a mini sermon.  It was great! God wants to love on his missionaries this week, and he has chosen us. After meeting the M’s, I am completely humbled by this realization. And to think I honestly wasn't very excited about this trip when my husband first mentioned it to me.  I’m so glad God turned my heart around. I can’t wait for you to hear what happens after the first day tomorrow.  Someone else will be blogging tomorrow, so stay tuned.

In His Hands,

Darlene Abbott

Leia Mais…

Friday, July 19, 2013

Medical mission journey to Brazil results in 151 decisions for Christ

By Kaylan Christopher, Staff Writer

Our Partnership

Quintanilha Baptist Church – New Building
"Four years ago, Pastor Jonanias—a Brazilian Pastor—took me to look at a piece of property in the City of God in Rio de Janeiro. His desire was to plant a church and he needed help," said Sharon Fairchild, Mission Journey Minister.

Brentwood Baptist responded and entered into a 3-year partnership with his new church plant, Quintanilha Baptist Church.

In June 2011, a medical team traveled to the slum and joined a small group of dedicated church members to host a four-day clinic on their property. At that point, their worship center was merely a pavilion and the crowd waiting to get in lined the streets every morning.

"That year, we saw so many people come to know the Lord using Brentwood Baptist members to minister to physical and spiritual needs," Sharon said.

Members of Brentwood Baptist & Quintanilha Baptist
After the team left, the congregation grew rapidly, leaving them with an immediate need for a new building to house them all. Before we could send a team to help the next year, they'd already begun constructing one by themselves.

This once-small church now continues to bloom and grow in a drug-fueled, poverty-stricken area.

This Year’s Journey
From June 6-15, another medical team was sent for our last year of the partnership. Sixteen people were on the team, and they were the ones who got to see the culmination of what God has done through this church plant over the last three years.

Eye Glasses Team
"The Sunday morning service is the light service in Brazil," Sharon said. "It's the Sunday night service that's packed out. When we were there, there was no room to sit. People were standing in the doorways and at the back windows. It filled our hearts."

In four days of clinic, the team saw 319 medical patients, filled 791 prescriptions, gave 311 people reading glasses, and cleaned the teeth of 128 children. But the best part of all was those who decided to give their lives to Christ.

"There were 151 decisions to follow Christ, including our bus driver!" Sharon said. "This is what it's all about when it's all said and done—lives that are forever transformed. As one team member said, ‘It’s not bad people becoming good. It’s dead people coming alive.’”

Katie – First-Time Mission Journeyer
Answered Prayers
It’s well known that no one was to leave the clinic without being prayed over. Following protocol, one Brentwood Baptist team member, Rachel, working in eye glasses, sat across from her female patient and asked, “Is there anything I can pray with you about?”

The woman launched into the story of how her husband had left home about 10 months ago. She didn’t know where he was. Their family loved and missed him. And their teenage daughter wanted her dad to come home.

Using an interpreter, Rachel prayed with her, asking God to intervene and bring her husband home.

The next morning, that same woman was waiting to talk to Rachel. She’d brought a gift—a pillow that was stamped with “I Love You” in Portuguese. God had answered their prayers.

Evangelism Team with Brazilian locals
The night before, her husband had finally returned home. He asked his family to forgive him and asked the pastor of Quintanilha to pray for him that Sunday.

Sharon said, “You cannot be involved in kingdom work and it not blow you away. That prayer, sent through an interpreter, was heard and answered. He longs to show us great and mighty things just like that.”

A First-Time Experience
Elizabeth Cantrell is a nursing student at the University of Tennessee. Through one of her best friends, who’d gone on the medical trip to Brazil in 2011, she heard story after story of how people’s lives were changed. So she had to go and see for herself.

Elizabeth & Gilmar
“When I saw I could use both my passion for people and my passion for healing people physically, I knew He’d called me to this,” she said.

But it wasn’t the medical team she served on. She was a part of the evangelism team, those whose roles were to share the Good News of the gospel with every patient who came through the clinic.

One day at clinic, Elizabeth met a man named Gilmar. After sharing the gospel with him, he started weeping, quickly speaking Portuguese to her translator. She was sure she’d offended him.

But it was just the opposite. The translator explained Gilmar was touched by the way she spoke, which reminded him of the daughter he hadn’t seen or heard from in 10 years. And he was moved by the gospel, in awe of what Jesus had done, unable to believe someone would do something like that for him.

“There were many other stories of people who heard the gospel and came to know Jesus one day, then returned to clinic the next day bringing gifts to show how grateful they were that someone told them about Jesus,” she said. “It makes me wonder who else is waiting for us to tell them about Jesus—not just in Brazil, but all around the world.”

Leia Mais…

Saturday, June 15, 2013

God Encounters from Clinic

What an amazing week we've had in Rio.  Here are a couple more stories of God Encounters from the week:

One of my patients yesterday shared with me this heart breaking story of how her daughter had been missing and she hadn't heard from her for 4 years. Her daughter  had gotten involved with drugs and she had tried to help her, but her daughter had run away from that. She was worried about her. I prayed with this mother to have peace and hope. She left saying she felt better. The next day she came back and came running up to me with such joy on her face. There was a light of hope that wasn't there the day before. She showed me a picture of her daughter and her together. She kept pointing heavenward and saying she had a peace she hadn't had in a long time. Even though her daughter was still missing she was putting her trust in God to take care of everything. 

Antonio came in to have his blood pressure checked. After checking it and treating him we started asking questions about his faith, because he put that he was away from God. He said that his heart was closed to God. We started talking to him more and telling him that he didn't come here by chance and how God was running after him.  We prayed with him and shared Jeremiah 29:11-14. After talking with him more, he said that his heart was open now and he was ready to come back to God.. He said that as we were praying and talking with him, it was like a worship service. He was like a lost sheep that had come home.

Another man came in with his son. This man, I could tell before he sat down that he was suffering with Parkinson's. He came in for some allergy medications and to get some medications for his Parkinson's. I let them know that this isn't something we have. I then asked if I could pray for them and he asked prayer for his health. After praying with them I looked up and he and his son were crying. Tears streaming down there face. It broke my heart and I started crying. I gave the man a big hug and felt led to pray for him with no interpretation. Afterwards he said that no one had ever prayed for him like that before.
I later learned that this was a big deal, my interpreter stated that this was a miracle, because Brazil men don't cry, and for both of them to be crying was a big deal. It was really hard for me to watch them leave. I will forever remember there faces. For the impact they had on me. I know that I leave them in God's hands.   

These are just a couple stories of the lives that were changed this week.  We praise God for the 758 people that came through clinic this week, for the 150 people that made a decision to accept Christ and for the countless others who were encouraged, prayed for and challenged.  We thank you for your prayers and for being a part of this journey with us!

Leia Mais…

Friday, June 14, 2013

Thursday Night God Moment

Twelve of our team walked to the Hippie Feita on Thursday night, our last night in Rio, to buy last minute gifts for friends (& maybe ourselves, too!!).

Our 3 Portuguese speaking team members went to a different shopping area, so we had no interpreting help.  We were on our own with our limited Portuguese vocabulary.  We did, however, have a secret weapon.  Raja O'Brien, speaks her own Raja Dialect of Portuguese!!

We shopped happily for two hours or so, then headed back to the hotel.  As we walked past a hair salon, we saw several women inside sitting around talking.  Someone noticed they had books in their laps & asked if they were Bibles.  We all stopped & looked & realized they were having a Bible Study!!  We waved at them, they saw & waved back.  We walked on a few steps, & Raja said, " let's go back & tell them why we're here !"

We turned back & walked up to their door!  We must have looked friendly, because one woman came to the door & cautiously opened it a little.  We said, " estamos aqui porque Jesus te ama!"  (Translation:  we are here because Jesus loves you!...we've said that all week to the people coming to clinic!)

Between that lady's limited English, our limited Portuguese, and Raja's special Dialect, we communicated!!  She came to understand that we came to Rio to work at a Baptist church!  She said they were Baptists!!

She asked if we would like to come inside & pray!!
We all piled inside the tiny salon, & we circled up to pray!  Al Alwahab was selected to pray in English & one of their ladies prayed in Portuguese at the same time.

Al finished in a few minutes, but their lady kept right on praying!  We decided that she was a Charismatic Baptist!!  She was filled with the Holy Spirit, & she prayed fervently.  The longer she prayed, the hotter that little salon got!

When we end prayers at our clinic, we say "in nome de Jesus, Amen."    She must have said "em nome de Jesus" a hundred times... But not "amen."   As we started to wonder about heat stroke, she said, "Em nome de Jesus, Amen!!"

Kevin & Al opened the door to escape the heat, as all the ladies began to hug each other.  There were lots of tears & laughter.

We left that salon with surety that we had just experienced a wonderful God moment.   There was no language barrier even though we didn't understand the Portugese.  We all understood the presence of God

Leia Mais…

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Wonderful Wednesday - Clinic Day 3

Today was filled with many "God Encounters".  Here are just a couple of the stories...

From the dental clinic:
         My God encounter has been with my interpreter, Roberta.  Before I came to Rio I asked God to show me how to be a better witness for Him in the little time I had with each child. She came to the clinic on Monday, not hired to translate but to volunteer, as she recently lost her job. She stepped in as my interpreter in the dental clinic and the blessing began.  She loves children, never left my side for a minute and anticipated what I needed even before I asked for it. I was blessed not only with a translator but a wonderful assistant and friend!  To God be the glory!

From the eye clinic: 
       Today my interpreter could not come, so we decided I would use the time taking pictures.  Just as we were starting, someone brought Sintique, an interpreter, to me & said she was available only for the morning.  Turns out Sintique is the daughter of my Monday interpreter!  We got along great & the morning flew by.  Our last patient was a young, handsome Brazilian named Bruno.  He was a Christian, & we quickly fitted him with glasses.  I then asked how I could pray for him.  He quickly responded that he needed a job.  He is married & has 2 young sons.  I then asked him what kind of job he was looking for.  He replied, "Security."  Sintique & Bruno had a short, lively conversation.  She told me that the company she works for has two positions open in Security!!  I prayed for him with a sense of amazement & awe at God's timing.  She gave him her contact information.  God knew that Bruno needed help with finding a job more than he needed glasses.  God knew Sintique was only coming on Wednesday morning & he directed Bruno to come on Wednesday morning!  Bruno could have been directed to one of four eye stations, but God directed him to my station with Sintique!
When Bruno left, I looked at Sintique with a look of astonishment, & I said, "we just witnessed a miracle!"  She told me over lunch that she had to get up at 4:30am & ride for 2 hours to get to our hotel  leaving immediately to go to her regular job from 2:30-10:30 pm.  She had pondered whether she should come or why she should today for just a short time.  NOW we know why she was supposed to come!!!!  She & I got to watch God in unbelievable action as He worked His miracle.  It wasn't what we thought might happen...a conversion experience or an eyesight was a job possibility for a young husband & father!!

God is moving here and we are blessed to be a part of it!!

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Terrific Tuesday - Clinic Day 2

A great second day of clinic! We thank you for all your prayers and we want you to know that God is working here in Rio de Janeiro.  Here are just two stories of the almost 200 people that came through clinic today...

Today one of the people from yesterday that was prayed over at the eye
clinic returned to let her team member that prayed over her know that
her prayer was answered. Yesterday she said her daughter had left her
and leaving her to take care of the grandchildren. She was staying
with her boyfriend who was very bad to her, mean and abusive. So we
prayed over her that the daughter would be safe and return home. Today
the daughter returned home to the mother!! What a true answered prayer
from God!

Today a man around the age of 40 came to the eye clinic. He was a
believer but he had strayed from God. His wife had left him because he
was doing drugs and drinking. He said he didn't think God could
forgive him. I told him that Jesus loved him and he died on the cross
for all his sins. Then I went on to say that there is nothing you can
do for God to stop loving you. I prayed with him and told him that God
loved him and that he will never forsake him. Tears were falling down
his face as we were praying. It is truly amazing that such simple
words can bring so much comfort to a person in need.

Numbers aren't what are important, but the people they represent are important indeed.  Our team worked hard today!  We praise God for all that He did! Eyes-82, Clinic - 76, Pharmacy - 167 prescriptions, Fluoride - 36, Decisions - 35.  

Leia Mais…

Monday, June 10, 2013

Clinic Day 1

The Lord was so good to us on our first day of clinic. We started the
day off early on the bus at 7 am.  We sang songs of praise and
worship on our way! As soon as we arrived we set up the different
stations: the pharmacy, eye station, dental, medical, and evangelism.
We had a prayer and devotional with the Quintanilha church members,
interpreters, and BBC team members. Then it was time to head to our
areas to get ready to share the love of Jesus with the people of

We met with so many special people today at the clinic, one was a 77
year old man who asked Jesus to be his personal savior for the first
time today. Another man was so touched  from the gospel shared by one
of the "newbie" teammates and how she resembled his daughter. He also
made the life changing decision to ask Jesus into his heart. There
were also 25 other Brazilians that accepted Christ. Many already had a 

relationship with him, and were able to share their prayer requests with 
the other team members.

Here are the number of people we ministered to today:
Medical clinic-65
Pharmacy-150 prescriptions
Evangelism-27 decisions for Christ

Thank you so much for your continued prayers! Looking forward to what
God will continue to do in the hearts of the Brazillian people these
next few days at clinic. Keep praying!!

Leia Mais…

Sunday worship

What a wonderful morning of worship at Quintanilha Baptist Church!  There is something special about being a part of a Brazilian church service!  This morning we went to the church where we will be working this week.  Even though it was all in Portuguese, they translated some of it... But even when we couldn't understand the words, we could tell they were praising God by their faces! The pastor preached a powerful message about discipleship - we are the salt of the earth and we are here to make a difference.  The church's motto is "To be, to do, to say - the Gospel beyond words" and they are grateful that we would come spend a week with them to help reach their community.  It's going to be a great week!! We know that God is going to do awesome things in this community and we thank you for your prayers!

Leia Mais…

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Saturday June 8th: A Taste of Brazil

After the team was able to get a good long nights sleep it was so nice
waking up to a delicious breakfast at the hotel. The continental
breakfasts in the US are no comparison to what kind of breakfast they
have here! Fresh cut mango, watermelon, pineapple, and other fresh
fruits, and so many different pastries, slices of meats and cheeses.
All so delicious. Fresh squeezed orange juice and coffee that will
definitely keep you on your feet.
After meeting around noon we then started our day driving along the
numerous Brazilian beaches Copacabana, Ipanema, Barra to the next stop
which was lunch- at this amazing buffet Resaturante Lokau. This place
is unbelievable. You go fill your plate up with food then they come
around with more food, sushi, grilled pineapple, pizzas, pastas, and
there so much more. Just when we thought our stomachs couldn't hold
any more they started bringing around dessert pizzas! Who can say no
to those. Well we found room that's for sure.
After getting a couple minutes to walk on the beautiful sand at the Recreio
beach and later seeing the incredible artwork at the hippi feira, we
made one more stop to grab a bite to eat. It was at a walk up bakery
where many local Brazilians stop by to grab ham and cheese sandwiches,
fried chicken pastries, and fresh juices.

Brazil has a lot of wonderful things that we are enjoying! After this full day of eating we were able to go back to the hotel and get a good night's rest in preparation for our day of worship with the church tomorrow.  

Leia Mais…

Estamos aqui porque Jesus te ama

Hello from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!!!  There are 16 of us spending a week in this beautiful city.  Beginning on Monday we will be holding a medical clinic in the Cidade de Deus favela, ministering to physical needs and sharing Jesus with people who don't know him.  "Estamos aqui porque Jesus te ama" - we are here because Jesus loves you - and even though this may be said with a Southern accent that half of the Brazilians may not understand :) we pray that through our smiles, our actions and our translated words this week that people may come to know our Lord as Savior.  Thank you for your prayers!  We are so excited to see what God is going to do this week here in Rio de Janeiro.

Leia Mais…

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Back from South Africa

After another long trip we are back home from Cape Town.  We made it back safely with all our bags! We are tired and jet-lagged and spent from giving of ourselves this week but what an awesome journey!!  What a beautiful city Cape Town truly is!  On the last afternoon we were able to do a little sightseeing and were all blown away at the beauty and magnificence of the mountains and the oceans.  It is definitely a city to put at the top of your list to visit!  Amidst all this beauty lies so much poverty and suffering.  One minute our heart is in awe at the beauty that God created and the next our heart is breaking for someone who has HIV and no food to eat.  Living Hope is a great ministry God is really using to help so many hurting people in Cape Town. We were blessed to meet the many people that are a part of that ministry and to work alongside them this past week.  We are thankful to God for this experience.  And now as we are returning home, we know that our journey is not over.  Our week in Cape Town was one chapter in the book of our lives and it was one amazing chapter.  But come Monday morning we are still on mission with God.  We may not be giving out eye glasses or washing feet but we know God has a plan for us right here and wants to use us for His glory.  We greatly appreciate all the prayers this week and we ask for continued prayers for each of us as we continue to follow God on this next chapter of our journey!

Leia Mais…

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Experiencing God's Love

Today was another great day!   On Valentine's Day we were not just able to share about God's Love but were able to experience it with some special people. This morning we had clinic at Living Grace, the substance abuse rehab and counseling program of Living Hope. God is at work in that place!  It was amazing!  We arrived in time to share in their devotion time.  The joy and passion as they worshiped and prayed to the Lord touched all of us.  Then as we began to talk with patients that came through clinic, we heard some of the stories of redemption - lives that were transformed by the power of God.  Many of them had only know Christ for a month or two and we were able to encourage them and pray with them.  Our hearts are full today! I wish that I was able to describe to you what we felt in that place or recount all the amazing stories.  You just had to be there!  Tomorrow is our last day of clinic and we can't believe how fast that it has flown by!  We appreciate all of you that are praying for us us during this week.  Your prayers are making a difference!

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Another Great Day in Cape Town

We are so grateful for all that God has allowed us to experience this week!  We have seen Him at work in so many ways, both in the lives of the people we are ministering to as well in our own lives.  It was a great day! God in His wisdom allowed us to go to a new site today.  There were many needs, both physical and spiritual.  Seeds were planted, people were loved and lives were changed.  When asked if she believed in Jesus, one patient answered, "He's the only reason I'm still here today!" This week we have also been able to rejoice with South African Christians, whose joy and love for the Lord is so encouraging!  We are worn out at the end of each day but God just keeps filling us up each night.  Tomorrow is another day and we are excited to see what amazing things God is going to do!  We are so looking forward to sharing Valentine's Day and celebrating God's Love with the people of Living Grace.

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Abundantly More Than We Could Ask

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us." Ephesians 3:20

This verse has become our theme verse for the week!  We want you to know how much we appreciate your prayers!  We also appreciate all the notes from our prayer partners.  Three different notes team members received today included Ephesians 3:20.  What a God thing!  Because today we saw God do abundantly more than we could even ask or imagine! Today was the day of salvation for one of our team members!  God has brought Nathan on an amazing journey thus far and it has been amazing to watch as God has used this trip to draw Nathan into a relationship with Him.  He prayed to receive Christ as his Savior to a South African sunrise this morning and was baptized this afternoon in the Indian Ocean!!  We are all in awe and praising God for His work in Nathan's life!  Please pray for Nathan and his walk with God... We know God has special plans for his life!

We had a busy and hot day but a great one!  In our eye clinic we saw 133 patients (yesterday we saw 50) at two different sites.  This morning we ended up having to set up outside. It was HOT and there were SO many people to be seen, but the team had such a cheerful and serving spirit.  Thank you for your continued prayers!

Leia Mais…