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.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Pure in Heart Will See God!

It was the Annual HOPE conference in 2011 that began Rita dreaming and planning to serve God in South America. After months of prayer that God would use her to be a servant and ambassador for him in whatever way he desired, Rita started thinking about moving down to La Paz, Bolivia to be apart of the incredible work that HOPE Worldwide is doing with the Arco Iris hospital. With much prayer and seeking God's will it seemed that was not the right place for her at the moment, but within a few months we started talking with her about joining us on the mission field in Brazil. Almost immediately, she began to make preparations to move along with us! After over 20 years in her home, she put it up for rent and started getting everything in order to take this huge leap of faith. God opened doors and allowed her home to be rented and allowed  her to obtain a missionary visa along with ours so that she can stay for an extended period of time.

More than anything else, Rita is a woman who prays. Matthew 5:8 says "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." It is so evident that her heart for God has opened up her eyes to see him and allow others to see him as well. As a grandmother and incredible mentor to our children, she has wrapped her arms around them and helped them to transition smoothly in to this new world. We feel very blessed that our kids have such a special opportunity to be with "Gramma Rita." The women in Brasilia are also immensely grateful for Rita's heart to come and give and serve here in the church. She is leading a small group bible study in our home for moms called "mães em treinamento" (mothers in training). The women are eager to hear her heart and spiritual thoughts about raising  Godly children. She has also started working on plans to help the church in its quest to serve orphaned and underprivileged children in the community here. Moving to Brazil has also meant tackling a completely new language. She has prayed earnestly and will begin courses soon to be able to serve in even greater ways. 

The Bible says in Proverbs 31 to "honor her for all that her hands have done" and Rita is certainly worthy of honor for her sacrifice and work for God. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Welcome To Brasília

Well its been about two and a half weeks since we've arrived here in Brasilia and we're just getting settled down enough to write about all that has happened. These days have been a blur but the overall sensation is one of being tremendously blessed by God not only to be living here but also in so many of the small details of life. 

We were greeted at the airport by a joyful group of christians singing "O happy day" and holding a huge welcome sign for us. We were overwhelmed by the joy and love that was expressed by the church that day. 

After that we moved into a hotel which would become our temporary home while we looked for apartments. The disciples took care of us and encouraged us that it would probably only be four to six weeks that we'd be in the hotel. The first day we were confronted not by tropical summer heat as expected but by cool air and rain all day. We found out that we are in the middle of the rainy season and some times it rains continuously for days. That didn't stop us as we got started on the incredibly long list of things to do to get life setup here in Brazil. 

Jorge Bittencourt, the brother who has been the main leader of the church here took 10 of his vacation days to take us around to look for apartments, buy furniture etc. Thank you Jorge, we could not have done it without you!!

On just the second day of being here we identified apartments, looked at a few and decided on one. Jorge told us it would still take a few weeks to get all the documents arranged. But, in just one of the many examples of God's grace on us, we were able to secure the apartment and start moving in after just one week!! We are so grateful for the place God has given us as it has ample space for our family and is located just a 10 minute walk from the University of Brasilia (UnB) campus. 

One week after arriving we were able to have the privilege of receiving a visit from my old college roommate Vernon Harris and his wife Muthoni.  For 6 months they are traveling around the world, taking in the sights and encouraging as many disciples as possible. I hadn't seen Vernon for over 5 year so it was crazy to meet here in Brazil. We showed them around our new home city and had a great time as they helped us move into our apartment. You can click here if you want to read more about their adventures. 

The main hallway at UnB
The last thing I want to share about is the "Bate- Papo" (Bible discussion) that we've been able to participate in at UnB. The university has around 30,000 students and is recognized as one of the best in Brazil. Many students come to UnB hoping to get good government jobs. Our main focus in being here is to reach out to these students and teach them about the Gospel. Currently our group consists of Pedro, Hamilton, Ana Cristina and Kay and I. Another sister also works at the university and is able to participate some times. Yesterday we went out to invite people (our first time in portuguese) and were able to see a few students come out. By the end twelve people were talking about Jesus and their lives. It gave us a great vision for what God will do in the future at UnB. 

Thanks again to everyone who has supported us and encouraged us. Please keep us in your prayers, that we may learn portuguese and that our lives can bring much glory to God here in Brazil. Até mais!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Missionary Supporters

Today I want to take a few minutes just to lift up all of those who are Missionary Supporters. There are numerous people that in the last few weeks have helped us immensely and made our departure to Brazil possible. Certainly God calls all of us who are disciples of Jesus to be involved in teaching others the Gospel, but these few have recently gone above and beyond. 

I want to thank all the people who have housed us. We moved out of our house on December 18 and have since then been able to count on the hospitality and love of the following special people: Grandma and Grandpa (Jim & Dottie) Allison in Oregon, Ian & Crystal Scott in Gainesville, Colleen Parramoure, and Mike and Maritza Swabb in Orlando, Bob & Barb Owens  and  Denice Janis in Broward Al & Mimi Gonzalez (the best next-door neighbors ever), Ralph & Aileen Ojeda and Thomas & Tina Allison in Palm Beach. Its a bit of a scary feeling to not have a place you can call "home", but because of each of you we have felt at home even in this time of transition. THANK YOU!!

There are others who have supported us either financially or in special way through prayer and friendship. I want to thank Chris Overstreet for her special love from Gainesville, and Loni Charters, Evelyn Clayton, Cindy Whitaker and Dot Nelson for their support from Orlando. We know that you and many others wish to remain unnamed and unnoticed, but we want you to know that we could not do this without you.

Finally there is our family. While we have grown accustomed to their support through out the years, they have been so amazingly helpful in the recent times. I'm not going to name them because they know who they are, but we could not have done this without your help through the myriad of details, errands and decisions of the past few weeks. We love you and are so, so grateful for each of you. 

Certainly there are many more that I have left out that have served us, loved us, encouraged us and taught us more about God. I hope that whether you have "only" said a prayer for us (maybe the biggest contribution) or sacrificed money and living space for us, you can feel a part of what God is doing in our lives and in South America. May it be as it was for our first century brothers and sisters:

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. Acts 5:32-34

Sunday, January 01, 2012

2011 Year in Review

As 2012 begins, now seems like a good time to remember a few things from 2011.

First of all I am so thankful to God for how he did "immeasurably more" than we could have imagined. Especially with our campus ministry in Palm Beach, God showed himself to be powerful, faithful and loving in so many ways. I rejoice for the 9 students who were added to D.O.C. and for how new leaders were raised up. I also rejoice (and will miss dearly) the family that was created in the ministry. Through good and bad and lots of fun we learned to love each other in a deeper way. Also, the first year of the G.O. Program got started in Asunción, Paraguay with 4 amazing students. I'm so grateful how God used those 7 weeks to radically impact their lives.

I'm also so grateful for the spiritual lessons that God taught me throughout the year. I think one of the main things I saw this year was that God answers prayer. Over and over he answered prayer after prayer. Some He answered the way I had hoped and others he answered in different ways. But He answered. One of the most recent answered prayers was that my mom was able to obtain her Missionary Visa to Brazil. This is a huge deal because it allows her to stay as long as she wants and not to have to worry about lots of things related to her coming with us to Brazil.

Finally, I thank God for my family. Today I got to say goodbye to my Dad, my Grandma Betty, and my aunts Susie and Dottie in Orlando. It was a nice way to begin the year and I am grateful for their support. Last week we were able to spend time with Dan and Mary, Thomas Tina and Leila, and my mom in Ellijay, Georgia (Many thanks to Al & Mimi Gonzalez and their "Casa de Luz"). It was an amazing time to enjoy nature, play games, relax and recharge spiritually. We had nightly devotionals meditating on the character of Jesus and I think that we will carry with us the lessons throughout 2012. I can't thank God enough for surrounding me with people who want to love God and love one another. And most importantly, I thank God for my amazing, beautiful and patient wife and beautiful children. It had been my dream ever since I can remember to have a John Wesley Hoyt IV and this year God gave me a son who already surpasses my dreams.

So now 2012 begins. Thank you to everyone who made 2011 a special year for me and my family. I hope that through this blog we can not only give you a glimpse of our life and the missionary adventure that we are on but also relate the joy of following Jesus together as a family.