Sunday, May 30, 2010


hello again. how are you? i gotta say, my week was pretty good one!
Monday at basketball we had the biggest group of people show up as of yet. i think there were 7 of us which made for an interesting game of 3 on 4. haha. Tuesday i spent the whole time on the playground pushing kids on swiings as usual. we had a good bible study lead by Pastor's wife that was filled with scripture, and afterwards the girls sold pastels for the retreat fundraiser. There was a "worship team" practice after that for the ladies who sing in front of the church at the services, so some of the girls and i hung out it the back and i tried to actually get some pictures of them (cuz ive been kind of bad at that the past 4 months..) but taking pictures with them is like pulling teeth! they tell me to delet like every picture i take cuz they find something they dont like about it! ive started to take a paparazzi style aproach and just snap pictures when they least expect it.. it seems to be working. hehe..
Wednesday we stayed in town after school becaus amanda and douglas had dentist appointments, so we didnt make it back to Grupo CEO for the study, but we had fun hanging out. Douglas, Amanda, and i watched some french movie called Surviving With Wolves that i would not recomend even to my worst enemies...strange movie (i would like to point out that this is not the first movie that ERIKA picked out that has been....less than enjoyable. ;D dont worry erika, i still love you!)
Thursday was, as usual, a fun day with the little ones at Children's Worship. I really should do a better job at getting some pictures of them too. They're soo cute!! Friday was just a good day in every aspect. 1) it was friday, i mean, who doesnt like fridays? 2) We ate lunch at McDonalds. yum! 3) playground time was fun which lead into a good Childrens Worship with the Pre-Teens (thiago pretty much owned me this week in our dance off..) 4) we watched The Triumph at the teen meeting which really got them thinking about how much they can accomplish if they work as a family in community (thats right brian, community) and dont give up. 5) the Devos after the movie were filled with the Holy Spirit, and everyone was connected and paying attention. I gave my devo on Life and how we're living it right now, its not something that starts "when we're older" its today, and we only get one chance to live the plan God has for us. I sort of left it at the end with the idea from that switchfoot song "This is your life, are you who you wanna be?" Patrick translated the last half of the devo for me cuz i really wanted the kids to understand. (by the way, he's getting better at that every time he does it! thanks Patrick!)6) the last real highlight of the night was at the end when we joined to pray. Erika asked for volunteers to pray, which, im pretty sure ive mentioned before, can be a futile question with the teens, but to my surprise and to the glory of God, you know who raised their hand? Barbara. Now, i dont know how much i've mentioned her in my blog, but normally, barbara isnt one to volunteer to pray. Not only that, most times if you ask her to pray, she wont do it. You can stand there waiting with your head bowed and eyes closed, but she wont. It was a different story on friday though. She volunteered and prayed a prayer from the heart, and i was so blessed! After the meeting she was a little teary-eyed and talked privately with the pastor's wife for a little while, and when i saw her after that i told her i was really proud of her and she smiled and said thanks.
God is good. He is just SO GOOD! and you know what else ive realized? He IS going to be victorious. He WILL conquer the Deciever who whispers all kinds of lies in these kids ears every day. This battle is His. These children are His. He had already declared that He will deliver them. Now all we need to do is be willing to seek His will to make that happen. I dont know exactly when, and i dont know how He's going to do it, but God WILL be glorified in the lives of these kids, and just to be a part of it is an honor and blessing i never could have imagined!
So that was friday. haha. Saturday we spent all day at home relaxing. oh, and i made lunch! (dont worry, everyone is still alive!) today has been pretty slow too. But today before lunch, Amanda and i went to a ladies house in the neighborhood whos daughter has microcephaly. We spent a long time talking with her about her daughter and life in brasil, and how tourists pay way too much money for things at the market. haha. She's a nice lady with a beautiful family. oh, and i almost forgot! earlier that morning, while setting the church up for the service tonight, Patrick and i were almost converted to Jehova's Wittnesses! ok, so we werent even close to being converted, but there were JW's walking around the whole community this morning in their ties and dress-pants spread their "truth" around to anyone who would listen.
Tonight, we're going to start a series at church all about FAMILY wich is a a topic that a lot of people in the church have really wanted to study. Pray that God brings people with hearts ready to accept His Word!
God is just awesome! theres so much i could thank Him for! He brought me through my tests better than i even expected, He has given more and more ease with the language as i need it, and He's changing hearts right before my eyes, including mine! I love you LORD!
And you know something else? He's doing just as much in you're life, you just need to open your eyes and take a look around and you'll see. = ) thanks for reading. God Bless!
Until Next Time,

Sunday, May 23, 2010

2 for 1

hello. = ) first off i would like to say that whoever takes the time to read this ginormous blog deserves a parade. you're a trooper. ; D
goodness, im two weeks behind again, aren't I? well let's see what i can remember from 2 weeks ago. Monday we had girls basketball as usual, although i think im gonna have to stop calling it basketball. What we play looks more like the distant cousin of basketball, soccer, and football.. sometimes even a little UFC! ok, maybe not that last one, but either way we have a lot of fun! Pastor's wife lead the service on Tuesday about being athletes for Christ. One of her illustrations (unbeknownced to me prior to her calling me up to the front) was to have Joyce and me pretend to box. I dont know exactly what her point with that one was, but the whole message was one about how Christ has already won the fight against Evil, and if we are on His "team", we are champions over the world as well. Amen? Wednesday service was good as well, followed by a fun Children's Worship time on Thursday with the little kids and Friday with the Pre-teens. (im pretty sure we served them hot dogs for their snack.. im also pretty sure that, afterwards, the floor inside the Grupo CEO building looked like it rained pieces of hot dog. lol) The teen meeting was a blessing again, especialy because of one of the guys who gave a devotional. Evair had asked me earlier in the week to give him an idea of what to talk about for his devo and i told him that it should come from his heart and he should pick something that maybe he has struggled with and go off of that. So at the meeting that night, he read a verse in Proverbs and started to talk a little bit about wisdom and also forgivness. Then, mid-scentence, he stopped and put his head in his hands, choking back tears. He tried to keep going, ended up just keeping his head down, whiping away those few tears he couldnt keep from falling. we paused for a little while and Thiago prayed for him, then the next person continued with their devo. I didnt know it at the time, but it turns out that, either before the meeting or earlier that week, im not sure, Evair had gotten into some sort of fight with Fabrissio about his guitar. I guess the argument got pretty heated, and as Evair was preaching on forgiveness, the Holy Spirit tugged at his heart, telling him he needed to set things right with Fabrissio. To God's glory, everthings good between the two guys now, and it was so beautiful to see how sensetive Evair was to God's voice. (is it weird to describe that as beautiful? maybe, but thats what it was) He's a good guy and, just like the rest of these teens, FULL of potential to make God famouse!
Saturday we spent the afternoon at the mall. Patrick, Douglas, and I saw Iron Man 2 while Amanda and Erika had some mother-daughter time. Sunday was a day of relaxing and getting ready for a week of mid-quarter tests. Thus ended a pretty good week!
Now this past week, every day was pretty bipolar. "Jordan, you're saying your days were bipolar?" allow me to explain. So, i get up in the morning and go to school, trying (usually in vain) to get some sleep on the way. Then we have the first 3 classes as normal (which means homework as usual on top of studying for the tests. blah.) Then the time arrives to take the lovely little assesments so we give it our best shot, hoping we studied the right stuff, and turn the test in, thankful that its over! Then we go home, (depending on what day it is, patrick and i study for 2 hours with the tutor). then, finally, the time arrives to go do the ministry activities and all thoughts of school fly away and i get to interact with all the kids and teens who i love so much! haha. All of the services and studies this week were just really great times that i could see God working and moving in even the smallest way, and there were a lot of times this week that i just stopped for a moment to think about how God has brought me so far, how incredibly much He's blessed me to be able to spend every day with the people here. I told myself, "Jordan, when you were down here in 2007, you never dreamed that in 3 years you would get to spend 180 days in a row with these persons!" Thank you, Jesus!!
Monday, Patrick and i had a movie we had to watch for a paper we had to write, so it became a movie night for us and the pre-teens who normally have Cycling on mondays. it was a good movie, with some pretty good company. = ) Tuesday and Wednesday were, as i said, bipolar, with tough tests in the morning and good times at Grupo CEO in the afternoon. Thursday's Childrens Worship was a lot of fun, and on Friday with the pre-teens, Thiago and i had a bit of a dance off during one of the songs. Hes pretty light on his feet, he is, but had a little trouble copying me when i did the worm (the only thing that i can do dance-wise thats semi-impressive. lol) Both Children's Worship services were especially good this week! I didnt give a devotional at the teen meeting this week because i was spending a lot of time studying for tests and doing homework, but one of the people who did give them did a good job. Josefa actually gave her devo this week and, considering she gets embarrassed to death when she talks in front of groups of people, i was really proud of her stepping up and sharing. Alane was super nervouse too, which surprised me because she has already lead a devo once before. Both them and Thiago and Patrick shared from the heart so needless to say, i was blessed. Since i didnt share anything this week, Pator Eudes lead a discussion with the kids about purity and "friends with benefits" kind of stuff, which is common here. Everyone seemed to stay engaged and a few people gave their oppinions. All the teens agreed that its not alright to be physically involved with anyone, but easier said than done, right? Pray that the Holy Spirit uses the Word that was taught to mold the hearts of these teens!
Saturday, Erika went to VQ with Pastor and his wife so their daughters Gessica and Amanda spent the day at our house hanging out. It was a great way to spend the day! Today i spent a lot of time planning my devo for friday, writing this monster of a post, and planning the lessons for the teen meetings that Rob Lauter and I are going to be leading once he gets here in 18 more days!!
i had some of good chances this week to talk with a few different girls about stuff in their lives and point them towards scripture so that it's not me who is helping them with tough times, it's our God, cuz He'll always be there and isnt leaving to go back to His home country 2 months... Im going to miss everyone a lot.. a lot, a lot.. theres a quote that says, "How lucky I am to have known someone that was so hard to say goodbye to." I really like this quote, but i would change 2 things, because for me, its not just a someone, its a lot of persons (no, not people, persons), and im not lucky, im blessed.
Thanks for reading, thanks for remembering, thanks for praying. = )
Until Next Time,

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Feliz Dia das Mães!!

Hey everyone, and a special hello to all you moms out there! Love you, Mom!
Well, in case you didnt notice, i kind of slacked off last week, so this blog is gonna cover two weeks of God's awesome work in NE Brasil! Let's see if i can remember everything...
Well,the weeks are kind of running together, but i can give you a pretty good overview of what happened. The teens have spent the last two weeks selling food on tuesdays and wednesdays to raise money for their retreat in July. The boys team sold pizza, hamburgers, and coke, and the girls sold mousse, cake, and chicken pie. (the guys may, or may not be the ones with the most money at this point, and they may, or may not be making sure that all the girls know it!) The girls have had some problems with communication and organization. There was actually a point where a lot of them wanted to just quit raising money, so that sparked some..creative discussion, but im happy to tell you that the Enemy didnt succeed in tripping them up, and the girls are gonna persevere!
For my devotional last week, i asked Patrick to translate for me instead of me doing it in portuguese. and before you make your assumptions, no this was not just because i was feeling lazy and didnt want to try to give the study in portuguese! Patrick is gonna be doing a lot of translating this summer when Rob Lauter and I work with the teens, and when the other missions teams come down in July, so he needs his practice! He was also an illustration of sorts for my lesson. He doesnt like to translate, just like some people dont like public speaking, its just not his thing, but he did it anyways cuz he decided it didnt matter if his friends made fun of him a little bit, because what God thinks of His relationship with God is more important to him that what others think of his relationship with God! amen? Also, i was really blessed this week at the teen meeting cuz I got to see how God is changing their hearts. See, two of the guys that are newer to the group were supposed to give devotionals, but they didnt show up, so Pastor Eudes asked for volunteers to just share something that was on their heart, even though they didnt prepare anything. Now, im pretty sure if he would have asked that question a few months ago, there prolly wouldnt have been any takers, but, I'll admit, to my surprise, Renan, Douglas, and Joyce all three shared something from the Word! Isnt that cool?! it makes me wonder how many of me and my friends would have been willing to step up in that sittuation...
Well, im happy to say that God still hasnt stopped helping me learn the language! (as if i ever had reason to doubt, right?) But as i learn and understand more portuguese, the material we cover in my classes at school gets harder. (dont you just love irony?)Our midquater tests start a week from monday, so keep prayin up Patrick, Douglas, Amanda, and me! In other school news, Brenda, the girl i mentioned last post, ended up not going to the school bible study last week, but she did come this week! I feel like God is really preparing her heart to her His Truth, so please pray that im sensetive to the opportunities He opens up!
As far as the pre-teens go, they've had stronger times. There are still a bunch of them that regularly come to service and Worship on Fridays, but, from what i can tell in the moment at least, they dont have quite the same hunger that they've had before. Keep them in your prayers. They're a great group of kids that have amazing potential for Christ! Oh, and speaking of Childrens Worship, do any of you who read my blog last summer remember a girl named Sula? well i got pretty close with her the last two times i was here, but had only seen her twice in the past 3 months. That is, until thursday. She came with her 3-month-old baby girl, Riana, to Childrens Worship and we got to talk a little bit. (Riana was wearing TINY little knitted flip-flops. SO cute!) Sula told me she would be at church on that sunday, but for some reason she didnt come. i shouldnt have been too surprised, because she had been known to do that before, but thats the thing about inconsistency, you never get used to it. I still love her to death though, and i hope you join me in prayin for God's Grace and Truth to explode in her life, as well as the lives of everyone in this young church!
The past 2 weekends have been awesome times to just relax from the past week and prepare for the next. This weekend Erika's family came over and we hung out in the pool for a while on this beautiful, Brasilian Mother's Day!
You know, i dont think i'll ever really understand why God chose me, why He loved me enough to save me from what i could have been and give me such a clear understanding of how to serve and praise Him. But i dont have to understand it. What i know is that He did save me, He does love me with a Love greater than any that i can even imagine, and i love Him! And every day that i discover something new about His Love, the more passionate i am to share it with everyone else so they can experience this sense of peace and purpose for themselves!
My time here maybe be half-way over, but God is just getting started. So please, dont stop praying, and dont stop believing in what He has planned for my life, for your life, and for the lives of the people you and i encounter every single day!

"None of us walk around with mere mortals." -C.S. Lewis

Thanks for the all of your support and love. = )
Until Next Time,