Monday, July 31, 2006


Tonight I had a very disturbing meeting with our leadership team for the church plant in São Leopoldo. Three weeks ago, the pastor of the mother church spoke with one of the members of our leadership team and said that he thought that it was time for the members of the mother church to dedicate themselves completely to the church plant, tithe to the church plant, and start having worship services on Sundays. This seemed wonderful, but almost too good to be true.

Last week, the same pastor spoke with the wife of the man he had talked to and accused them of fomenting a rebellion against him by abandoning the mother church, talking about removing their tithe from the mother church, and looking to have services on Sunday – all of which were subjects that HE had raised in a positive light with her husband. He made the same accusations to another member of the church planting team this week.

The pastor and I will be meeting tomorrow at 5:30 (4:30 EST), and he sounded none to happy with me on the phone tonight. I find it no coincidence that I’ll be leaving from my meeting with him to go straight to our first evangelistic Bible study with a spiritist witchdoctor down the street from the house where we are meeting. The bizarre nature of all of this strongly points to spiritual warfare.

Please pray for all misconceptions, lies, and confusion to be exposed for what they are during our meeting tomorrow. Pray that God’s Holy Spirit would guide us both, and that I will have a spirit of humility. Pray that God would fix this situation in His way, for His glory. Pray that His work through this church plant would not be hindered, and that the gates of Hell will not be able to stand against it.

Thank you for standing with us in prayer.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

I'm back!!

Hello everybody! (If there are any of you left reading my blog after my long hiatus - I promise to do better). Here's an update on our church plant in Vila Baum.

I'd like to ask you to PRAISE GOD with us. We have finished the first round of Bible studies and have seen fruit from all of the studies that were completed. Lina accepted Christ after 3 weeks of study, SueLee accepted Christ after 6 weeks of study, Junior rededicated his life and his girlfriend Vivianne accepted Christ after 6 weeks of study, and Iara, André and Lina's teenage daughter Juliana accepted Christ last weekend after 8 weeks of Bible study. This means that because of God's grace, 7 new souls are in God's Kingdom. THANK YOU LORD JESUS!!!

I would also like to ask you to PRAY TO GOD for us. We are currently doing discipleship studies with the new believers, as well as preparing to start a new round of evangelistic studies this week. Iara's mother, whose name is Nice (knee-c) is a spiritist witchdoctor (Mother of the Saint). Nice has been increasingly open to hearing about Christ, and has scheduled to start an evangelistic Bible study with us on Tuesday. Please pray hard about this. She is engaged in hard-core black magic and we know that Satan will not willingly give up his possession. She has a son who is telling his mother that if she stops practicing magic, that he will die. We can already see the battle in this family, but we can also see how God is working. Please pray that she will do the studies, that God would touch her heart, and that she will completely abandon her evil practices once and for all and replace them with a new life in Christ. I would love to have a big bonfire in a few weeks and see all of the witchcraft paraphernalia pubically burned (just like in the book of Acts).

Also pray for the more mundane aspects of the church plant. In our leadership team, we currently have one member who is working first shift, another working second shift, and a third working third shift. It has been almost impossible to get everybody together to do anything, and as a result, we have had a series of miscommunications. Please pray that God will work everybody's schedules out so that we can meet, plan, and most importantly PRAY together. Also pray that God would show us how HE wants us to move forward with studies and services and that He would give us wisdom on where He would have us to meet. Also, one of the members of our core team had a fight with his wife and left her for two weeks. They are back together, but this creates a series of complications for how we address this situation.

Thank you all for your prayers - we can see God working in Vila Baum, but Satan is working hard to complicate matters. However, we are confident that God WILL build His church there, and that the gates of Hell will not be able to stand against it - please pray to this effect!

Monday, July 03, 2006

God's miracle!

As you probably remember, the husband in the home where the church plant is meeting in Vila Baum had a ladder slide out from under him a few weeks ago and broke his back. The doctors told him he very nearly was paralyzed, and that he would have to spend at least a month and a half in bed to allow it to heal.
I am pleased to report that just 15 days after he fell, Simão returned to work. While he is still limping and in some pain he is able to get around and do his job as a security guard. I arrived the other day to find him painting the house again (although he admitted with a laugh that he was not "approved" to use a ladder yet).

When he returned to the doctor for follow-up x-rays after two weeks, she was amazed and said that she did not see how it was possible for anyone to heal that fast - it was a true miracle!

Thank you all for your prayers! Once again, we see that God answers the prayers of His people!

Please continue to pray that God will complete the healing of Simão's back, and will also heal his legs and feet. He has fairly severe arthrosis, and several weeks off of his feet, combined with the cold weather have made his feet swell and make it very painful for him to walk.

So, PRAISE GOD WITH US, and keep on praying - prayer works (actually, God works in response to prayer, but we won't get into that :)