I had no idea that I would have access to Internet here in Brazil, and since I do, I will do my best to post pictures and thoughts from our visit here if time permits me to do so. I have added a photo album to the blog titled, Brazil 2009, so feel free to check out the pictures. We arrived early Saturday morning and were greeted by Tele Moraes (a LifePoint sponsored missionary) and his future son-in-law, Roberto. After a visit to the Golden Tulip for breakfast, we arrived at the International School in Carpina where Tele helps raise funds for church planting and training pastors by providing private education for youngsters. Saturday afternoon we spent time praying for Tele's ministry here, and then that evening Pastor Hubert Nolan from Brookville Road Community Church (www.brcconline.com) gave the first sermon in a brand new church plant that was started by Tele's ministry. It was really incredible to see the way God is spreading His Gospel here. After dinner we were treated with an iced fruit whose name I can't spell but sounds like ah-say-ee. It was covered with granola and molasses and was pretty tasty. Pastor Hubert also introduced me to a pastry of some sort that was rolled in sugar and filled with caramel. It was GREAT!
Today (Sunday) we celebrated 15 years of Community Churches being in Brazil. All of the churches convened at the Word of Life Camp near Carpina. We service was really great with singing, preaching, and an evangelistic message. I was asked to share my testimony last minute, which was a bit of a surprise. I wish I had had more time to think about what to say before getting up, but it went okay. Pastor Charles gave the message, and it went over very well with the people. It was really exciting to see so many young people at the service. Apparently 50% of the Brazilian population is 30 and younger, a fact that was definitely represented by the congregations present. We had a fantastic lunch at a restaurant in Carpina, and now we're laying low until tonight's worship service in Recife where Pastor Charles will teach again. After that we're going to the Brazilian steakhouse for dinner! I can't wait!
There is an overwhelming question that has been running through my mind since I've here: Whose kingdom are you building? During my devotional time for the last few weeks I've been slowly going through Ecclesiastes, and I'm challenged by all of the things that Solomon finds to be meaningless. Everything that we do under the sun, the striving, the work, the pleasure, it all amounts to nothing at the end of the day. Even I am guided by wisdom and I manage my life wisely, I will die and someone could come behind me who might not manage my estate in a good way. But what I help to build up God's Kingdom? That's a Kingdom that will never come to ruin. His Kingdom is eternal; it will never fade. God is challenging me to cling very loosely to my own kingdom and to cling very tightly to His. It's really great to be here and to see what He is doing through people across the globe. We serve a big God, and it's a real privilege to be here.