Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tradition Trumps Truth

So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. Mt.15

Every Saturday - the local Catholic church offers the typical catechism classes for youth. Interestingly, several of those we have worked with closely chose to send their kids to these classes, as well as attend our sunday studies. The notion is that if the children are exposed to several religions, they will be well-rounded and balanced. I call it the fruit salad mentality - the lie that says there's a bit of good, or shall we say - a bit of truth in each one - so combined, they become the ultimate truth. Sure - their thinking might not be this calculated, but this is always how it plays out. What is missing at one church will be taught at another...

Often I question the parents about the meaning of catechism. The answer comes back empty, with something like:"well, I did it when I was a kid and I think it's important for them". Catechism (teachings of particular doctrine) is certainly important, but why is teaching more important than WHAT we are teaching? Parents don't know and the kids are clueless!!!

Jesus made it clear that tradition rooted in man made rules nulifies the Word of God. False tradition does not marry with true Christianity - it opposes the true gospel! The gospel is God-centered while false tradtions are man-centered, "but it's end is the way to death" Pv. 14:12.

Father - disillusion brazilians of their hopes in the false gospel.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Prayer Requests

Take a minute to pray over these requests as you read them.

1. Zalmo - an alcoholic with no hope. He showed up here as drunk as could be, with a flat motorcycle tire - asking if he could leave the motorcycle here. One thing led to another and I am meeting with him regularly - but it is a sad situation!

2. Adelar and Ivani - Ivani took offense to some things I said in a Bible study with her and her husband Adelar. The comments were along the lines that man's biggest problem is what comes from within (a sinful heart), and not our circumstances around us. She is so bitter about it that she had Adelar call here to cut off all ties with them. Another sad situation!

3. Saulo and Gisa - next door neighbors. Their 16 year old son, Jonathan, has been nothing but trouble. God has brought his life to a halt by means of a serious motorcycle accident. He will be in the hospital for at least a month. Pray God will give us an entrance into his life.

Pray for us - that we will believe Psalm 50:20 -"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Ask God to give us wisdom in our actions and reactions. Thanks.

Monday, August 9, 2010

July Happenings

Wow! July came and went so quickly and there's so much to write about! To sum it up, we were able to host two separate missions groups who came to help us with two kids clubs. It was hard work, but fun and God blessed our efforts in spite of the weather (it was cold and rainy during our open-air club) and our own shortcomings, and here are some of the highlights (in no particular order of importance) ...

A chance to present the gospel twice at a school nearby

Contacts made from doing a door-to-door survey -- we are starting Bible studies this week with new families as a result

Great food at our neighbor's house who cooked a great meal for us each day the second group was here. We are halfway through a six-week Bible study with this family.

Good burgers from a local restaurant -- meat pattie, ham, cheese, corn, peas, tomato, lettuce, potato chips and homemade mayo -- not of any importance, but just an interesting cultural note

Fun times with Rachel, David's sister, who spent a good part of her summer vacation here with us. She brought ingredients for smores -- how thoughtful!

Group #1 from São Paulo -- it was cold and rainy while they were here, but we were still able to enjoy an outing to a local fort during their time here

We had daily devotions with both groups. Here we're having devotions at the beach. It was a really special time. Thank you, James and David, for challenging us to have godly ambitions.

You can hardly see her, but the woman in this picture is a mom who brought her son (in the red) to our VBS last year. She has made a profession of faith in Christ and this year she helped us in our second club and brought her son and nephews every day to participate.

The boy on the left made a profession of faith during the second club. He has come many times to our Sunday School and has always shown a lot of interest in the gospel. Pray for this young boy, that he will remain firm as he reaches the hard preteen/teenage years, that he will not be lured away by everything the world has to offer.

Group #2 from Curitiba included both mine and David's parents and Rachel. It was great to work with family and to have both Grannas here to help take care of the little ones.

Dad concluded three of the days with great paintings illustrating an attribute of God and concluding with the cross of Christ

Song time -- by the third day, the kids were singing the songs really well

Good outcome in both clubs. We have around 50 new families to visit. The mother of the second boy on the left has already agreed to start a Bible study this week.

Good story time with James and David. The theme of both clubs was "The Real Treasure" focusing on God and His attributes.

Game time is always a big hit with the kids. We are thankful that the neighborhood school allowed us to use their gym for the second club.

There are many other details I could write about, but I think this is good for now. Thank you for praying for us. There is so much work to be done here. The more we come in contact with people, the more we are seeing the importance of God placing us here to spread the gospel.