Monday, May 21, 2012


This is a video of the trip that Kay and I made to Pirenóplis to celebrate our 9th anniversary.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Video Blog 1 - Goiânia

Check out this video about the church in Goiânia.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Jesus: On Being a Missionary

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
   did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
   taking the very nature of a servant,
   being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
   he humbled himself
   and became obedient to death—
      even death on a cross!
 Phil 2:5-8

There truly is no greater example of self-sacrifice, humility and obedience than that of our Lord, Jesus Christ! He "made himself nothing" and Paul here in Ephesians calls us to have the same attitude! I am humbled by the man Jesus and even more than the man Jesus, our God and Savior Jesus. He had every reason to come as a King or any other way he might have chosen, and yet he made himself nothing. 

This concept of Jesus as the first and ultimate missionary on this earth is a great inspiration for me. I wanted to share just a few of the scriptures that I have found on the subject. 
  • Jesus knew exactly why he had come. He was clear and determined in his purpose..

Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” Mark 1:38

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “Iis not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17

 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! Luke 12:49

Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” John 9:39

  • He was extremely generous and held nothing back...

Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isa 53:12

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full! John 10:10

 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19

  • What drove his decisions and guided his words was his determination to do God's will above all else...

For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. John 6:38

He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” Matthew 26:42

So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. John 8:28

Jesus' determination, his generosity and his submission to the will of his Father are just a few examples of how Jesus was truly the ultimate missionary. I am inspired by the way he walked and talked and lived on this earth. He calls us to a different standard of self-sacrifice and his humility is almost shocking. I pray that our lives will emulate his on this earth, our mission field.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Learning Curve

learning curve is a graphical representation of the changing rate of learning (in the average person) for a given activity or tool. Typically, the increase in retention of information is sharpest after the initial attempts, and then gradually evens out, meaning that less and less new information is retained after each repetition. (Wikipedia)
The learning curve shoots up pretty high moving your life and family to another country, culture, church, environment and language. I am grateful that the Spirit of God is the power that is at work within us, because without his strength it would just be too overwhelming. We thought maybe some people would want to know about the little details in our learning curve, so here goes..

The first set of details involve lots of paperwork and generally lots of waiting. The process of obtaining a missionary visa we started a few months before leaving the US and God graciously granted us along with Rita those visas right before we left. Upon arriving there are is work to do in getting the visa registered through the International Police. The next big necessity is getting a CPF (equivelant to SSN in US).  Once those things are squared away it is off to the races...looking for an apartment, trying to get a bank account(which is still in the works), finding health insurance, and the like. We have gotten through much of it surprisingly fast though.

We found an apartment very quickly and were able to move in within a couple weeks of arriving in Brasilia! Thank you LORD! It is a great apartment with 3 bedrooms so that Rita can have a room. We live very close to the University which is a blessing. Along with getting an apartment comes finding all of the little things in order to live, like beds and a table. In apartments here the major appliances are not included, so we bought a fridge, stove and washing machine fairly quickly. All of the little stuff we are getting as we go, like dishes, pots and pans, hangers, etc. We brought sheets and towels and a few other things that were helpful in getting started. 

Maya and John's Room
Soon after getting in to our apartment began the search for a school for Maya. We started praying about this before we got here because it is a huge adjustment for her now that she is 5 and knows a lot more than when we moved to the States from Chile. We looked at a few different schools and got advice from people here and found a great school that is about a 5 minute drive from our house. We can walk there in about 40 minutes. The school has an arts focus which is so much fun for Maya. She is learning Portuguese quickly mainly because she has to as the school is completely in Portuguese. Her teachers are helpful and loving with her and her friends have been very patient with her. I was able to go with her to school for the first week for a few hours everyday for an adjustment period that all of the new students get.

So, that is probably enough detail for now, the language aquisition is a whole process that hopefully we will write about at some point. We are so grateful for God's strength through this period of change and adjustment.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 2 Corinthians 2:14
Maya  getting ready to go off to school.

John's first sunday sermon in Portuguese

I got to preach this past Sunday and decided that for the first time I would preach in Portuguese. I've been studying and living here now in Brazil for two months and felt ready to make the jump. I think it was a good first attempt and I trust and pray that with the Spirit's help it will only get better.