Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Reading from Luke

As we get ready to come back to the States we are working on helping the missionaries know more about our readers. It is incredibly important that there is follow-up to the work that we have been doing. God will continue to work in the hearts of our readers. We praise God for this opportunity that we have had for a couple weeks in our life and trust him as we leave.

Tomorrow is our last day of reading. God is still using us. Our conversations are still important. In fact, this afternoon I have a new reader I have never read with before! We are here to plant seeds so new readers coming two days before we leave is still a good thing! Tomorrow night we have our farewell Churrasco where we will give our readers a certificate and a little bookmark to remember us. We will get many pictures so others can see.

The Lord is Faithful

The work continues in Rio. I continue to make more and more friends here and, in the process, get to share Jesus. Last Sunday our Texas party was a hit! There were a total of 80 people present, 17 of which were our readers. We ate Texas chili, played Texas Bingo, learned some Texas slang, acted out a Texas story, and had great fun the whole time. It was really good to see the readers and church members interacting with each other and getting to know each other. The Lord is faithful in his bringing people together to spread his word to fertile soil.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Lord's Strength

Yesterday I only had one no-show! Awesome! It is a good thing to get to the end of the day, collapse on the bed, and say, "Thank you, Lord, for spending me for your glory!" I praise God that I must rely on his strength to read with 6 to 8 readers a day, plan for our parties, help cook meals, clean up, update the reader sheets, and other things that just need to get done. You are an amazing God. We continue to praise you, O God.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Reading Sessions

The last two days have been full of reading sessions. I have had a few no-shows, but they have rescheduled. We are gearing up for our Texas Party on Sunday after services. We will have Texas chili, Texas Bingo, Texas slang, Texas stories, and Texas songs. Some of these things we will not have time for, but it is going to be fun for all involved. All my readers are very excited about the party. Our main goal is to get the readers connected and interacting with the members of the congregation here. We are planning for about 100 people at the party. Please pray that God bring glory to his name during this time.

This is one of my readers named Wagner. He is a really cool guy. He says it is encouraging to have discussions with someone in another part of the world that has the same beliefs.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The work continues

Lee Ann and I are in our second day of reading. We are working hard. There is a wide variety in our readers' level of English. Some have more difficulty than others. Even some of the one's who can't speak well, however, are receiving the seed of God's word in their hearts. We can only praise God for this. Here I am reading with one of my readers, Felipe. Our conversations normally last about one hour. We read with up to eight people per day.

Monday, July 16, 2007

We have arrived in Rio

We arrived safe and sound in Rio. Sunday evening we experienced worship at this church for the first time. It was a great! God really works in neat ways when you don't understand all the words in worship. The meaning of Romans 8:26 became new: "...the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." The Spirit was interceding yesterday.

Tomorrow is our first reading day. I have four readers scheduled right now, but I will be working to get some of my other readers scheduled once I get a small break. Please pray for my readers hearts. May our conversation be full of grace.

It is such a blessing to be in this country. God is working amazing ways. Hopefully I will be able to let you know about this as I report on the project here. May God continue to guide our conversations.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Packing for Rio

Chris is packing for Rio
As you can see, tonight I am packing for my two-week trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We leave tomorrow! Trying to get everything into one suitcase is going to be a chore; I don't know how I am going to do it. I do have one little bad that I can check if need be, but I don't want to carry this one around too.

I am going to miss my family tremendously! This will be the longest time that I have been away from everyone since Tanya and I have been married. Wow! God will give us strength though. He has also provided Skype...a cool way to keep in touch with them with video calls...yes!!

Well, the work ahead is going to be hard, but rewarding at the same time. Lee Ann and I have been preparing for this trip since way back last fall. The journey has been amazing and I look forward to seeing the people God will touch through us. We are focused on Sharing Jesus and Sharing Ourselves. I can't wait to read the story of Jesus with people!

Lord, protect us as we travel. Let our hearts be prompted by your Spirit to move us where you need us to accomplish your will...whether we are aware of it or not. Give us the words to say, the energy to love, the compassion to listen, and the guidance to grow. Please continue to prepare the hearts of our readers. Let them encounter you as they interact with us. Grow them to be your disciples telling others about who you are. Keep us in your arms. Amen.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Heat Exhaustion

Monday I got heat exhaustion. I pushed myself a little too much with too few breaks. I drank plenty of water while mowing lawns, something I always do. But Monday did me in like I had never experienced before.

It was the last yard we had to do that did it. I needed to get home quickly to take a shower and run off to college devo. Tardiness was already calling, so I got after it. I went way too fast! I didn't want to be late! I knew I was pushing myself in that last yard, but I knew it would be over soon. Even on the way home I knew I was tired, but I didn't know that things were pretty bad.

When I walked in the door I told Tanya I was really tired and a little dizzy. I rushed off the get my body temp down in the shower (something normal after a hard afternoon of mowing lawns). As I got out of the shower, I just wanted to lay there. I was still hot, still dizzy, and my muscles were give out (a good Texas description for ya), and my heart was still beating pretty fast. Tanya asked if I should be going to devo like this; I thought I would be okay.

I bent down to hug and kiss Kayla bye and then I had to run to the bathroom. All the water in my stomach came up. Uncle Ralph and I had a good conversation...twice in thirty minutes. Tanya helped me the rest of the night as I tried to keep fluids down me. It was not fun. Even the next day I stayed at home trying to Tanya's orders. No mowing double-header softball games. That stinks dude!

Spiritual lesson: moderation is the key. Don't overdo it. Spiritual accomplishments will not happen overnight. Take on one vice at a time. Otherwise, Satan may overwhelm you making you worse off than before. It is okay AND NECESSARY to take breaks to re-connect with God who will sustain you through all things. Know also that God will not give you anything (temptation or otherwise) beyond what you can bear. You can stand with God's help (1 Cor 10:13).

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Last night after a short devotional at church, we went outside to eat watermelon. Kayla was with Tanya when everything got started. I had some watermelon in my hand and after giving Kayla a small bite, she made a b-line outside. Rarely am I able to get her motivated to do things, but I am sure she would have washed my car if she knew she was going to get watermelon. It was pretty funny to watch.

Thinking about this I find myself compelled to give people a taste of Jesus so that they will make a b-line to have more of him. I give people a taste of Jesus whenever I do something "for one of the least of these brothers of mine." (Matthew 25:40)

What do people taste when they are around you?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


“The blood of American soldiers was great for American freedom…how much greater is the blood of Jesus for the world’s freedom…from sin and death”

“Having inalienable rights that cannot be surrendered is great…how much greater is having these rights and surrendering them regularly and without hesitation because of Jesus’ name”

“Being considered by many countries a Christian nation is great…how much greater is it when many countries encounter real Christians living out their faith just like Jesus”

“The freedom Americans have is great for America…how much greater is the freedom Jesus gave the entire world”