December 2012 Update
Much of the months of August, September and the beginning of October were spent packing and selling and giving away whatever would not fit into these four suitcases.
And finally, after all was sold and packed and given away…
I boarded my flight on October 25th, headed for Joao Pessoa, Brazil. A one-way ticket to my new life.
There were just a number of wonderful ways the Lord helped during the 34 hour travel time. In Seattle I had to leave behind some books to lighten one suitcase that was over 100 pounds. And they boxed up that shofar for me.
In Rio, I got checked in 8 hours earlier than is usual. All part of God’s wonderful touch.
When I arrived in Joao Pessoa at about 2:30am, there was a wonderful reception waiting for me….
Even ‘though I pretty much knew what to expect, it was a tear jerker for me.
I was finally here! In the place of God’s calling. If you would like to see a video of just a part of that reception, you can follow this link…Click Here.
Wrapped in the Brazilian flag, Bishop Simone and I knelt on the State of Paraiba flag there in the airport and prayed together.
Seeing this crowd waiting for me was the culmination of months of prayer, and sacrifice, and work and faith… to believe God to fulfill in my life this “Macedonian Call”
For the church, it was the “First Fruits” of God’s promise to bring the nations to them.
The first weekend I stayed at the home of my dear, dear friends Claudia and Marcio Chaves. I have stayed at their house on every previous visit to Brazil and we are very close.
The next coupld weeks I stayed at the pastors house while we prepared my house for it’s new inhabitant… ME!
After many hours of painting, many wonderful donations from the people in the church, and a diligent clearning crew I was able to move into my new home on November 14th.
The kitchen cabinets, dining table and chairs, stove, and a few other things I bought, but the bed, microwave, sofas and refrigerator and lots of kitchen stuff were all very gracious gifts from my new family.
So I began to unpack… my suitcases were so heavy because not only did I have clothes…
But paintings and items to make my place look like home. A few small things that would make my new house feel like it was “mine.”
Shortly after my arrival, I had the opportunity to speak to a large youth gathering. It was the night after we worked 12 hours to get the house ready to move in. Yet despite working 12 hours, I was energized by the youth, and challenged them to be active soldiers in God’s army. I have received many new Facebook friends from that one time.
It was the first of what would be many confirmations of the words from Psalm 71 that the Lord had given me months before…
Psalm 71:17-18 (NKJV)
O God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.
A gracious gift from “Daddy” to let me know I was in the right place.
Those verses have been confirmed again and again as the Lord has opened my heart to the youth of the church in a special way. There is a bond that is growing and I have had several opportunities to
share with, and challenge these young men. This is the heart of what God spoke to me and a great part of my purpose for being here… to share with them, the greatness of our God so that they can reach their world with a perspective of how big God is for them.
And the whole church has been so wonderful and loving and gracious. I have more invitations that I can accept sometimes, but I feel at home here in this place with these people.
I continue to work on learning Portuguese, and that with the expected torturous slip ups and mistakes, but…
That is part of the…
Check back again for more updates into the year 2013. There will be some new things happening… so come back often.