joined a team with International
Commission to minister in Campos, Brazil July, 2004. Campos
is located on a large plain about 200 miles north of the city of
Rio de Janeiro in southeastern
Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro State, on the lower Paraba River. Coffee, tobacco, sugarcane, and tropical fruits are grown in the surrounding
region. Among industries in the city are sugar refining, alcohol
distilling, and fruit preserving. Population (1996 estimate) 389,547.
Until the first
half of the 20th century, Campos was the largest Brazilian producer of
sugar with many sugar mills in the area. Now their economy is more based
on services and small industries. Two other facts have changed their
region: the fact that their shore has the biggest oil reserves in the
country (lots of jobs!) and that they now have many private colleges and
a public university here attracting thousands of students from nearby
Cindy, Cyntia, Cyntia's Mom, Dana,
Glaucio, and Cyntia's Dad in their home.
More than 4,500 came to know Christ through street evangelism and preaching.
Pray now for the discipleship and follow up on these new believers by the 46
Baptist churches we worked with.
We left July 8th 2004 for Campos,
Brazil, along with 59 other Americans. We were doing personal evangelism in
the mornings and afternoons. We shared the Gospel in homes, schools,
hospitals, markets, on the street and anywhere else God gave us opportunity.
Each night there were evangelistic meetings in about 40 local churches.
Thursday, July 8-
Praise the Lord each of our 60 American participants from seven states arrived
safely at the airport. Everyone caught their flights and made
connections without any problems. Praise God we had safety the entire trip to
Campos. Praise Him, that our boxes of witnessing tracts, follow up materials, and
our entire luggage arrived as planned.
Friday, July 9- We arrived
into Rio de Janeiro early in the morning. We traveled to
Campos via bus, arriving in the late afternoon. We checked into the
hotel, and spent the evening in orientation, training, and prayer.
Saturday, July 10-
After break fast and devotion time together, we spent the morning in
training and preparation. We then traveled to have lunch with other
helpers/evangelists from other areas in Brazil, and Paraguay. We had
an opening rally with all the churches in the evening. the opening rally was an exciting time.
Sunday, July 11-
We attended the Sunday morning service of our assigned church. Some
laymen preached their first sermon in their assigned church. I
preached the first of two evening services, and our team leader Bob gave the second
service, at the Second Baptist Church, the largest Baptist church in Campos.
24 received Christ. Many made decisions to be witnesses for the Lord.
Monday, July 12-
Our team was serving the Second Baptist church, we did personal
evangelism throughout the day. I preached in the 8 p.m. service.
I spoke against prejudice and for the need for witnessing and evangelism
amongst all people from John 4 (The Woman at the Well). The
altar was full of people praying for their lost family and friends, and
hopefully for those they have avoided, thinking, "that person can never be
Tuesday, July 13-
Praise for the daily outreach visitation, today we went to a busy city plaza
where many received Christ. Since one of our translators is a
pediatrician, I spent the afternoon with her and her fianc visiting
throughout a large hospital. 8 people received Christ and another 7
requested a home visit from our host church. One lady, the grandmother
of a one year old patient, is a Gypsy, she received Christ and invited
me to conduct a worship service in the Gypsy camp on Saturday morning.
Praise God, that we effectively used our personal testimony to lead many to
the Savior. In the evening we visited two homes, the two were
sisters, there we prayed for a man who a had a stroke, their elderly mother,
a son with mental disability, prayed for general concerns for two others and
then found one of them was a nominal Catholic. My interpreter, Glaucio,
used my testimony and the Gospel to lead her to accept Christ. Tears
of joy flowed down her sister's face. Meanwhile, Bob Utley our
team leader, and Juceli - a team member and translator, spoke at the church
for our business people seminar, on the reliability of Scripture.
Wednesday, July 14- Since I am
the son of a fire chief and Glaucio is a part time fireman, part time
pastor, he invited me to speak at the fire station. Two of the seven
fire fighters who attended received Christ. Pray that the local churches
will be encouraged and strengthened. Pray for the church members that they
will continue to go out witnessing when we leave. Pray that they might see they also
can lead people to Jesus and hat they would have a burden for lost souls.
Thursday, July I5- We had a
tremendous day at a mission church, very rural way out in the sugar cane
fields. The lady pastor was so glad to have us. We made many
home visits, talked to many children on the streets, and greeted the teens
when they got of the school bus. The church was packed for the evening
service, Thelma one of the Brazilians who sings like Whitney Houston sang
several songs and a six year old drummer accompanied older guitarists from
the church, and I preached an evangelistic message on the healing of Naaman
with my interpreter Glaucio.
Friday, July 16- We visited an
orphanage that is sponsored by 2nd Baptist that is still under construction.
One of the workers received Christ. We went to a men's rehabilitation
center also sponsored by the church. They had a beautiful outdoor
worship circle surrounded by trees. Josh and I shared our testimonies
and Bob spoke. We then broke into small groups with the Brazilians,
Paraguayans and American workers so that we could work one on one or two
with the men in the center. A number were already believers but
many others trusted Christ.
Saturday, July 17- Our team went
to the Gypsy camp, we were well received I preached on Acts 10 the story of
Cornelius, relating how the Gentile Romans were rejected by the Jews but now
were accepted, and the Gypsies should no longer be rejected either. We
also spoke to several Gypsies individually sharing our testimonies. 10
received Christ. I was concerned that they might still be rejected by
a local church. But Glaucio agreed to conduct a weekly Bible study in
the Camp and Elias one of the deacons of 2nd Baptist will address some of
their physical needs too. Pray that many will be
baptized. Pray for the new believers that they will begin to grow and will
unite with a local church We visited in the home of Dr. Cyntia who
still lives with her parents. We looked at all our pictures for the
week and had snacks together. Cyncia's Dad had been rejected by a
church years ago, he accepted Christ.
Sunday, July 18- Following the
morning services, each church came together in the afternoon for the
Victory Rally. The Victory Rally is always an exciting time, as all the
participants and churches who participated in the project came together
to celebrate all that God has done during the week of the project. Just
alter the rally, each participant returned back one last time to their
churches to have a final service together. In fact we had two services one
at 6:00 p.m. and another at 8:00 p.m. About 500 attended the first
service and 800 the second service. I preached the first service and
Bob the second. There were many decisions in both services. I
spoke on witnessing and discipleship, from II Kings and Matthew 28. We spent the evening getting
ready for our travel home. Pray a prayer of thanksgiving for the many lives
who met Jesus this past week
Monday, July 19- We departed at
6:00 a.m. to travel back to Rio de Janeiro where we will spend
the day sightseeing and souvenir shopping. It rained very hard, so we
couldn't do much sight seeing. But we stopped at one church to fill
our our ministry reports and have a final meal together at a Pizzaria.
Then after shopping, traveled to the airport for our journey home.
Tuesday, July 20- We arrived home
about 1:00 p.m. from a long overnight flight from Brazil. Pray that what each
participant has seen will make them bolder witnesses in the United States
Samuel 30:24 says, The share of the one who stays and guarded the supplies
is to be the same as those who went down and fought the baffle. Through
your prayers you have helped guard us this week. You have a part in all that
God accomplished through us this week. Thank you again for lifting us up. We
could not have done it without you.