I have been on the run ... Boca to Miami to Sao Paulo to Campinas to Rio to Niteroi to Rio to Campinas. Saturday I am going back to Sao Paulo and then home on Monday. In the meantime I have had the privilege of preaching in Igreja Presbiteriana da Gávea (Rio) and Igreja Presbiteriana Betania em S. Francisco (Niteroi). Yesterday I brought a message for the Church Planting Conference here in Campinas. It has been a rich and rewarding time. It has been hard to carve out extended time to write, so here are a few reflections:
- God comes through -- I know this, but it is always a delightful, yet hard lesson to learn. Hard in that the circumstances surrounding the lesson are usually challenging. I've watched God come through in message prep while on the go and fighting a cold.
- Translators are humble, hard-working servants of God -- Dusi, Leandro, and Eduardo have taken words I have spoken and given them life in a language I do not know. They are the living embodiment of servanthood. Their job is to be present and invisible at the same time. They listen, they speak. They listen, they speak. They hear the message and then must give the message. It is intense, tiring work. I am grateful for these men.
- When you follow Jesus, you have family everywhere.I have been welcomed, hugged, kissed (appropriately), blessed, encouraged, cheered on, made to feel at home, challenged, and prayed over by my family -- most of whom do not talk like me, look like me, or share many of my customs. It is a reminder that Who unites us is far more important than petty differences that sometimes divide us.
- Another adventure is about to begin -- I would love to share more but it is time to run again (walk actually). Carl Bosma, my Brazilian walking partner is at my room and ready to go. It's a new day, new friendships, new experiences, new food, new lessons.
This is the day that the Lord has made;let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24