My first guest post is written by my wonderful hubby, Sam, on his trip to Brazil.
I am so proud of him for all his hard work, dedication, and leadership spent leading these high schoolers on a mission trip. He put a lot of time, effort, and prayer into this trip, and it was so amazing to see the wonderful things God did while they were down there. Enjoy reading…
The Great Comission Matthew ch 28 vs 19 & 20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
Recently I had the opportunity to take a team of 15 members, mostly high school students, to Brazil to do an English camp as part of a missions trip from our church.
Our church has been partnering with a local church down there for quite some. Our partner trips consist of river boat medical and evangelizing trips where we travel by boat along the amazon river to remote villages sharing medical supplies, painting buildings doing VBS, and other various activities. We also partner with the church down there doing soccer camps and an English camp. This year was the 4th year that we have done the English camp with our partner The Presbyterian Church of Manaus.
In a nut shell the actual camp consists of English classes in the morning, lunch, Siesta (Brazilians always like to nap right after lunch) sports/games in the afternoon, dinner and then chapel service followed by some type of activity (Hollywood night, Western night, Campfire night).
The high school students are the ones teaching Brazilians English by actual lesson plans that have been created for them. Special thanks to Lora Matheny, Cindy Beier, and my wife Katie for helping preparing and plan the English Lessons.
You may be thinking how does that apply to a mission trip? Well each night we have a chapel time (including worship!) where our high school pastor Eric Chesney has the great privilege of preaching the Gospel.
The following days the students all discuss the previous nights message in their classes. We saw God do amazing things during the week. Thursday night was the “alter call” or “salvation night” where everyone was asked to respond to the Gospel their need for Jesus and God’s love for us that he would send his son Jesus to die for us paying the penalty for sin that we couldn’t pay ourselves. We saw several Brazilians come forward to receive prayer and to pray with someone to invite Christ into their live. We also saw several Brazilians re-dedicate their lives to Christ and confess sin and put a stake in the ground to really live for him.
Thursday during lunch time I sat down at a table of 3 women along with Eric. I saw one girl had a David Star/Jewish Star on a necklace
and I thought that was rather unique so I asked her what does it mean to her? She explained it was from her Mother and her mother really likes Israel and Jerusalem. I inquired a couple other questions to her as the other girls listened intently. Suddenly I was prompted by the spirit. “You need to ask them who is Jesus to them” I posed the question to the one girl that had the necklace and she began to tell me he was her everything, savior etc… I then turned to one of the other girls and asked her, she responded very similarly, I then asked the other girl at the table and her English wasn’t the best as the others but she still responded with a similar type of answer. Right after she told me what she did she asked “How do you have Jesus in your heart?” I began to walk her down the bridge diagram. She began to tell me the morning she was taking a shower and was standing in it and had this feeling that she needs to be washed clean and needing joy and happiness. She said she now understands why she was feeling that way. The other girls at that table had to help me a little bit in translating with her all of this but she was comprehending it all. She was talking in Portuguese to one of the girls and next thing the one girl says “she wants you to pray for her” I ask “is she wanting to accept Christ into her live?” She responds yes, can you pray for her? I said absolutely so I ask if it’s okay to put my hand on her and I start praying for her. As I pray for her she starts sobbing as I can tell God is really speaking into her heart at the time. I turn it over to her to pray and confess her need for Christ and she responds but does so in private in the depth of her heart. We conclude and she starts telling me she wasn’t sure about coming to the camp as she was older, (she is over 40 years old). She tells me she is so happy and feels relieved and filled with Joy and the need to tell others, but she has a concern her family is not on the same page as her new found faith in Christ. We talk for a while and I encourage her to get plugged into the church, to talk to our partner pastor and then go public with her faith with baptism. I now have a new sister in Christ and I thank God for what he did in her life and for me listening to the whisper of the Holy Spirit to start a spiritual conversation at the table.
Take away #1. Listen to the whisper of God and respond.
Take away #2, be attentive to things around you to start a spiritual conversation.
Take away #3, Be Bold and speak the truth in love, share the Gospel.
Take away #4, Really care for others… Jesus said that is the 2nd commandment (Matthew ch 22 vs 39.
I hope this encourages you today! Thanks for Katie allowing me to be a guest on her blog and I hope to share more from this experience with you later!