Friday, December 31, 2010

Our 2nd Anniversary

We're excited to get away this weekend to reflect on the past two years God has woven our stories together. He is good.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Photos

We had a wonderful Christmas here with our DCC family. It was a fun-packed couple of days, and we're very thankful for how welcomed and connected we feel already. This team really is like a family. Below are some shots from a snowflake-making party we had at our apartment on Christmas night, so now you can see a little bit of our spot and our great Christmas tree!

The end of Christmas also marks the end of Giulian's seasonal job at Macy's. We are so thankful for the way God provided that job only nine days after we moved here- what a miracle. It has helped us not drain our savings while we look for more permanent positions, and Giulian has connected with a ton of co-workers which has been awesome! So many new contacts. Will you please pray with us that Giulian will find an enjoyable job with a good schedule and enough income to provide for us to start a family soon? He's applied to a bunch of places around the city, so we're hopeful that the new year will bring some follow-up calls. I have also applied to some cafes, tutoring companies, and non-profits and have a couple of leads that I'm praying about. We're excited to get away this weekend for our 2nd wedding anniversary (Jan 2nd)! It'll be nice to remind ourselves how God has provided for us over these past couple of years of marriage, and pray for His continual provision for this new year.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

He has DELIVERED us!

"Our toil is our atonement and our freedom yours to give, so Yahweh break this silence if you can."

After 400 years of silence, our promised Savior has arrived. Let's remember and celebrate!
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It was a labor of love

Just wanted to share this unconventional Christmas song with everyone. I love it. The other night at our church gathering Pastor Adam asked us all to share our favorite Christmas song and this one came to my head first. I'm sure you'll pick up how it's kind of a challenge to the conventional "Silent Night" paradigm by showing the profoundly human entry into this world that Jesus went through. I think it hits its mark beautifully. A couple on our church plant team just had their first baby a couple of days ago, which has given me an even fuller picture of this "labor of love". I hope you enjoy it.

Thank you Jesus,

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cornerstone Kids Planning Meeting

These were our ideas, what do you think?

We had our first planning meeting for Cornerstone Kids a few days ago with our new brother Alan. Even though he felt like crap, we still had a great time. During January as DCC transitions to weekly gatherings, Giulian and I will transition into leading up Cornerstone Kids. We're really excited about this opportunity to invest in the city and the church that God has sent us to help plant!

Tomorrow, Sunday the 19th, we're having our final Preview Gathering of the year, Lord willing, before we launch into weekly gatherings on January 16th. These are exciting times. Will you pray for us? Pray for God to bring 50-60 people, including many friends and family that our team have long prayed for. Pray most of all that we could make Jesus look as good as He really is, as Pastor Adam likes to say.

That He may be magnified,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Card

Check out our Christmas Card here: 
Merry Christmas to all! Taste grace.

And just in case you didn't catch on, the quote at the top of the card is from the song in this post.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Seattle Union Gospel Mission

"The entire city would mourn the loss of the Union Gospel Mission." -Tim Burgess, Seattle City Councilmember

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Seattle Snow Photos - Pt 1

Hey! Here are the first batch of shots from the recent snowstorm we had here. I'm so excited for you to be able to see more of where we live! Thankfully the snow ice melted after a few days and we're back to about 40 F. More pics to come!


Monday, November 22, 2010

It's official! We're LIVING in downtown Seattle!

We got the keys to our new pad on Friday, the same night that another couple from DCC, David and Michelle, got their new place in downtown. God is good! Let me rewind a little bit though... Since our arrival Giulian has interviewed for a few jobs around downtown, one of them being a seasonal position at Macy's on Thursday. We found out we got the apartment for sure on Tuesday, and Wednesday we chased a good lead on craigslist that ultimately got us a bed with mattress, a coffee table, and a floor lamp. So the next day while Giulian is interviewing at Macy's, he and the manager automatically hit it off because the manager is also an alumni of Cal State Fullerton!!! Small world (in God's hands)! So this guy offered Giulian a job on the spot!

After we found out the great news, we decided to go up to the food court and celebrate by eating some Mexican food. Recently, I have been praying to the Lord asking Him to give me passion to invest in other areas outside of the Hispanic community. That is where my heart has been in Texas and I just could not see how it would happen here given our location. However, as we were ordering our food we were able to meet Carlos and Rene, a couple of the employees of the restaurant. They told me (in Spanish) that free English classes for them were far and few between and that they'd love to have one there at the mall before work!

Now it's SNOWING and Giulian had to walk to the bus stop amidst the flurry for his first day of work! It seems like each time we move, God likes to give us an extreme weather welcome present. The snow is so beautiful though, I certainly don't mind. So pure white. I'm trying to let it remind me of the Gospel's power to cleanse me of all sin.

"Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow."


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"It's time for us to stand."

We want to encourage everyone to go to iTunes and purchase for yourself or someone else the following song, "Actions Speak Louder" by Swoope featuring Lecrae, Tedashii, and Jai (with a snippet from a John Piper sermon). Why? First of all, it's a good song that we know you'll enjoy. But more importantly, because all of the proceeds will go toward building another orphanage in Sudan where needy children will be cared for and the gospel will be proclaimed.

"This past September, a group of 13 from all walks of life including: Reach Records, The Village Church, Red Revolution, Collision Records and HIS VOICE GLOBAL, partnered under “The Village” banner to go and minister to those in Southern Sudan. They ministered through teaching, medical service, music and loving children who were victims of the civil war and now live in one of the three orphanages sponsored by HIS VOICE GLOBAL. Moved by the fruit there and continued need, Tedashii, Lecrae, Swoope (Collision Records artist) and Jai teamed up to do a single to raise awareness and funds for a fourth orphanage in Southern Sudan."


Friday, November 12, 2010

We Made It!

We arrived here in Seattle three days ago on Tuesday morning after spending five days in the San Fransisco Bay Area with friends and family. It definitely didn't seem like long enough but we'll be out there again in May for a very dear friend's wedding!!! We were pretty checked out all day Tuesday due to the lack of sleep and travel, but all day Wednesday and yesterday we have been dedicated to apartment hunting in Pioneer Square. We love this area. It is the historical district with many buildings dating back to the early 1900's. It's just a stone's throw from the downtown core and Chinatown/International District, and despite its recent influx of young, hip folk (like ourselves ;-) it still remains a hub for the homeless. We are pumped about the potential that we have to engage this neighborhood and have already begun a friendship with a local park concierge.

Even in this short time, we've been able to look at seven different apartments! So we ask that you'd continue to pray with us because we put in an application for a six month lease at a place in the Pioneer Square area! God totally provided for us because two fantastic units opened up in this building that were difficult to choose between. We totally hit it off with the manager, she was extremely helpful and patient with us in the process. We should know by Monday if everything's good and we can put a deposit on it so we'll be sure to update you here on the blog. Woohoo! Also please be praying because Giulian has two interviews lined up, and we're planning to submit many more applications this coming week. God is so faithful to us even when we are disobedient to Him at times. "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever." (Psalm 136:1)

Love and gratitude in Christ,

PS: The banner above on our blog is a broader shot of Pioneer Square.

Charming Pioneer Square

View Larger Map

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Lord, fill us up and send us out"

We had the grand privilege of being sent out by our church body tonight. Our pastor and very dear friend, Chris Alston, had us share a bit about what we feel God is calling us to before the elders came around us and prayed for us. It was truly a humbling experience as we are sincerely nothing special. We are only doing anything of worth because of what Christ did for us on the cross. His work of paying for our sins gives us the grace and freedom that we have to move across the country and work for His Kingdom. We are merely answering the call to GO. We are so indebted to Clear Creek Community Church for how you have invested in us, prayed for us, supported us financially, and loved us. We will miss you all and will continue to visit regularly in the future. Thank you!!!

If you're seeing this blog for the first time or if you are just not sure what it is that we're planning to do in Seattle, please check out our latest e-newsletter here and check back to the blog as we'll be posting more on that. We're boarding our flight at 9:35 am tomorrow to go visit Giulian's family in the San Fransisco Bay Area, then it's off to Seattle the morning of Tuesday, the 9th!

Soli Deo gloria,
Giulian & Christy

Monday, November 1, 2010

Update on the Move

Well, we managed to ship our five boxes of books and dvd's in the mail today. Thank you Lord for USPS media mail shipping! We recently bought an external hard drive (aren't you proud Jenna?) so I have been backing up our millions of videos and photo (not fun but I know worth it). The Lord has helped us to sell some things for a little extra moving cash.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

If we don't win, then I don't know who will!

Check out Giulian's brilliant (free!) Halloween costume party idea. And this all started with just a handful of balloons...


Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm Hungry

I'm thinking about this guy today. If you want to help feed him (both spiritually and physically) and other children like him in City of God, ask how here.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Movie for Christy's Birthday

I had secretly made this movie and surprised Christy with it for her birthday tomorrow! Enjoy!


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Unashamed Tour - Houston

We had an AWESOME time at the Unashamed Tour last night in north Houston! Thanks to Lecrae, Tedashii, Pro, Trip Lee, Sho Baraka, DJ Official, and their team for serving us. Click below to see some highlights of the evening. It was a great time of worship and fun, I can't wait to go to the next one! Maybe I'll drive up to Dallas tonight to catch the next show! Well on second thought... I can't because we're about to go to Mr. Gatti's (haven't been there since I was a kid!) to celebrate my birthday early and my niece Haleigh's district championship in volleyball! Way to go Haleigh!!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Seattle, Here We Come!

Ok friends, finally I've organized all the pictures from our two week excursion to So Cal and Seattle. Hopefully this short slideshow will give you a better vision of our forthcoming mission field, downtown Seattle.


Monday, October 18, 2010

We're excited that our church is doing a new series entitled "Sent" which obviously is very relevant to our current situation as we're praying through being sent by God to Seattle. Yesterday, Pastor Bruce preached an outstanding sermon that gave me much to chew on as I consider how I can apply it to our forthcoming new context. His entire preface really resonated with us. It was about God's story of redemption and how you being a part of a church is not primarily for the peripheral things such as programs, ceremonies, social justice, etc., but for the GRANDER purpose- God's story of redemption around the world. We titled our blog "Chronicles of the Missio Dei" because we recognize that we are living out a story (in Brazil, Texas, Seattle, and wherever!) that is just a part of God's greater story "which is the greatest story ever told." (See here and here.)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

First Ice Cream Cone

Hey friends,

I feel ashamed at how I've been neglecting the blog lately! So much story has been going on but I've failed at retelling it because we have been so busy. We just returned from an over two week long adventure up the West coast visiting sweet old friends in San Diego and Orange County, then our new friends from Downtown Cornerstone Church (and a few old friends too ;-) in Seattle. I'm really looking forward to going through and posting some pictures and video, but until then I'd like to leave you with one story left untold from Brazil. I can't say it will be the last but it certainly merits a blog post.

This little boy is a friend of ours from the church plant in Sitio - City of God. He and Giulian really made a tight bond so needless to say, it was quite difficult to part with him. However, before we left God blessed us with an opportunity to extend grace to him and take him to the mall. The mirrors were surprising to him and he just couldn't understand why the dolls had to stay in the store windows all day, he thought they were for sale too. Here's a little montage of our fun time together, including his first bite of an ice cream cone.

Love and grace,

Monday, September 20, 2010

God is mighty in His sovereignty, and He is sovereign in His might.

Today I reflected on the following characteristics of God in order to praise Him better:

Painting from

God is mighty in His sovereignty,

Exodus 9:16 - "But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth."

and He is sovereign in His might.

Exodus 14:27-31 - "The LORD threw the Egyptians into the midst of the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen; of all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea, not one of them remained. But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great power that the LORD used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD."


Thursday, September 9, 2010

You Have Not Honored

Daniel 5:23b, 30
You have praised the gods of silver and gold... which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored... That very night Belshazzar... was killed.

How many coworkers, friends, family members, people do you know that are sprinting down this same road to death? We must declare to them the good news of the Savior of the world!

Romans 5:8-9,11
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God... We also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Join us in confessing the reconciliation that was purchased in Christ's death to the world!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back from the Blog Break

Hey fam! With all the transition that has occurred recently, we inadvertently decided to take a week-long break from the blog so we could focus on resting and spending time with our family and friends. It has been a really sweet time.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Final Week at Igreja da Cidade

Last week, we spent our final moments in Sítio talking about the gospel and celebrating all that God has done during our time here. We have really fell in love with the people there and our heart is to see a strong, gospel-proclaiming, Biblical church take root and transform the community.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Photo Shoot of our Inn

Our rent ran up two days ago, but we negotiated a deal with our landlord to let us stay here one more week for free in exchange for some photos of his place. The island and the inn where we live was recently featured in the local newspaper, so he's trying to beef up the biz with a new website. Check out the pics below.
PS: I understand more fully now the task of a photographer to make any location look more, shall I say, favorable. He's lucky I didn't include the picture I took last night of a pile of dead termites that we spent an hour killing. ;-)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Leading out from the Gospel

One of the greatest blessings for me has been a weekly opportunity to pour into some men through a leadership development class I am giving at a church in a neighborhood of Rio called Freguesia. Pastor Michel came to me with a few men that he would like to develop into deacons of the church. I have been working with Pastor Michel these past seven weeks on this class and this week will wrap up my involvement in it as we head out. Thankfully, Pastor Michel will continue the work with the guys as I phase out. We will be praying for their development into leaders, which are greatly needed at this church. I'm excited because I've been invited to preach the gospel at their church gathering tonight. Please pray with us that God will bless it. To the left is a picture from one of the meetings.

I wanted to post the foundation to this training so you guys can get a good idea of what it looks like. Below is basically the mission statement - it is at the core of all the teaching given on leadership. I would like to break it down so you can see what this really means and how it can effect teaching on things such as doctrine, character, manhood and discipleship.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Redeeming Time

As we finish our time in Rio and prepare for the next season in life, we have had much opportunity to think of what we have done and where God is leading us next. Thanks to a suggestion by a pastor here, I recently read a sermon by Jonathan Edwards on Ephesians 5:16, and he spoke about time in a way that profoundly impacted me.

Our goal as we turn a new page in our life is to make the most of the time in order to advance the gospel and love as high as possible. Join us in completely submitting your life to Christ this year and play a part in His global redemptive story! Redeem the use of your time to leave a legacy for Jesus who will remain long after you and I fade.

An exerpt from the J. Edwards sermon (read the rest here)-
How much may be done in a year? How much good is there opportunity to do in such a space of time! How much service may persons do for God, and how much for their own souls, if to their utmost they improve it! How much may be done in a day! But what have you done in so many days and years that you have lived? What have you done with the whole time of your youth, you that are past your youth? What is become of all that precious season of life? Hath it not all been in vain to you? Would it not have been as well or better for you, if all that time you had been asleep, or in a state of nonexistence?


Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Sharing with you not only the gospel but our lives as well."

This will mark our final week with Igreja da Cidade in City of God. We have been working along with another missionary couple, a pastor, and a female missionary to plant this church. By the Lord's grace, these past five or so months have been a stretching and amazing experience. To give you guys a little taste of what we do each week in this community, here is an excerpt of a document that I developed from 1 Thess. 2:8 that helps guide our practice of visitation.

Some of the key things we want to make sure to do while visiting; when appropriate:

Pray - Ask people how they are in need, what is new in their lives, and that we would like to pray for them to seek God for help. 

Learn their lives - Get to know people better, ask a lot of questions, and create a peer-to-peer relationship.

Share our lives - Let them see our godliness, and our need for a savior as well, as we converse and share how we deal with things as Christians.

Witness - Share the gospel message and ask for a response.

Love - Meet needs, share life's joys, and spend time with these people who do not have anyone else to love them.

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    Photos & Video from Mission Trip 3

    We are very thankful for your prayer support this past week as we hosted the final mission trip that will come during our stay here. It was a total success and we are confident that God used this team to grow and promote the work of the church in Sitio (which now boasts a banner with its name "Igreja da Cidade" Church of the City). Please see the blog of CrossPointe- Winter Park for more stories and video here. Below are some pictures that I captured from a social outreach with children in a low-income neighborhood as well as Day 3 VBS in Sitio, and a video that paints a good picture of their important work in Sitio. Thanks Connection Church and CrossPointe Church- Winter Park for getting out of your comfort zone by allowing God to work through you!

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    Jesus is Bigger Than My Sins

    The following is a guest post from Christy's best friend, Heather Burdette. She is an early childhood teacher at a Christian school in San Diego and super passionate about teaching kids the Gospel of Christ. Check out the rest of her writings at her blog here:

    Psalm 106 is amazing. It talks about God’s steadfast love even when Israel was rebellious and unfaithful. It has been an encouragement and a beautiful reminder of God’s grace. This part (v36-39) in particular really blows my mind:

    Monday, August 9, 2010

    Mission Trip #3 Update

    Thank you for praying with us this weekend! Giulian is already feeling better and hopefully will be 100% tomorrow, praise God! Saturday morning the whole team visited an orphanage that none of us had ever been to before and it was awesome! The director began it 12 years ago with one 6 year old boy whose gang-affiliated parents used him to deliver their drug orders until one day he made a wrong turn and was apprehended. Shortly thereafter his parents started visiting him at the orphanage and were both converted to Christ, so he reconciled with them and his father eventually became a pastor. We had the privilege of meeting that boy, who is now an 18 year old man who has graduated high school and consistently comes back to serve at the orphanage. What a pleasure.

    Saturday, August 7, 2010

    Happy Wedding Adam and Monika!!!

    Two of our very good friends are getting married today, right now! So since we can't be there to wish them well in person, here's our toast! We love you Adam and Monika and are excited to share our lives with you. Way to go!!! Please join us in praying for them today as they unite in a beautiful display of Christ's love for the Church.

    Friday, August 6, 2010

    Mission Trip #3 This Week

    Hi friends! Please be praying for us this week as we're receiving a third mission team, 16 people from Connection Church and CrossPointe Church - Winter Park Campus. They just arrived today from Orlando and together over the next 5 days we will be working in an orphanage and a children's program in Dona Marta Favela that we also have not participated in yet, reaching out to the homeless in downtown Rio, giving a 3-day Vacation Bible School in Sitio - City of God where we're planting a church, plus many other events where they'll have an opportunity to share their lives and th gospel. We're excited for this time, and we really appreciate your prayer support, specifically in the following-

    -Giulian, who is having flu-like symptoms, to recover fully in time for the VBS on Monday. Even though he's not a translator, he still plays an integral part as one of those that will be making sure the area stays secure and the children are all behaving (which is suuuuuch a help!) He's taking medicine and currently snoring in the other room. ;-)
    -The team wouldn't experience sickness related with traveling (always seems to be at least one poor soul).
    -Pastor Sergio, an important leader in many of this week's activities, and Ana, the main translator, would kick off lingering coughing/stuffiness.
    -Good, dry weather. It's been raining a lot lately and in Sitio we're basically working with tarps and mud.
    -Of course, most importantly, that in spite of sickness/weather/children craziness, we would trust God to change, through His Spirit, the hearts of the children and adults we come in to contact with.

    Thanks so much for joining us in prayer. We'll be having a couple of very interesting guest posts this week so be on the look-out for that! We just went to downtown Rio last week to visit the museums (click link below to see pics), isn't it beautiful?


    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    Church in Vila Kennedy

    This past Sunday evening we had the joy of catching a few buses to go to a favela in Campo Grande (a city on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro - see map here) called Metral. We arrived and were greated by Pastor Alexandre's wife, Adriane, a joyful, servant-hearted lady who never stopped smiling the whole time we were there. We then met a man appearing to be a tight end for the Raiders, who turned out to be Pastor Alexandre, and a very talkative and clever boy with a full head of dark, curly hair who's their son, Heyman. They were very glad to host us and give us a tour of the small favela where the church is located.

    He shared many stories of how dangerous and desperate the area was before the police raid two years ago that pushed the cartel out. It was sickening to hear the stories of men who ruled without concern for life, set free to rampage the community. We observed and heard stories of lookout points, judgement houses, makeshift cemeteries, and bandits who rather than bribing the police to stay out, would taunt them to come in so they could have an arms war. Church services were held amidst police shootouts with the gang members finding refuge on top of the sanctuary roof. During that era this church, Nova Filadelfia, was the only one in the community. No one else would step foot on to these two deadly streets that due to the hold of over a hundred Comando Vermelho (Red Command) bandits, came to be known as the most dangerous slum in Rio.

    Eventually, the police came in and took over for good, but Alexandre's church knows better. They know that it was God at work through their many prayers that removed them and has continued to improve the conditions in their neighborhood. As we stood outside the judgement house where the gangs formerly decided on executions, Alexandre said in reflection, "This community is our church." I was impressed by their eager faithfulness to see change they have been a part of in the community. 

    It was pleasantly surprising to see a great deal of young men involved in the church which packed out over 200 seats at the Sunday night service. Meeting the church body was a joy as I preached the Gospel with our good friend Paulo translating. We invited Alexandre to the next Restore Brazil meeting and hope to see him and his pastor friends there to encourage them further as a pastor and church planter. We enjoyed our time there and will be praying for their influence in the community.


    Saturday, July 31, 2010

    Wesley, 11 year-old shot dead in math class

    Last Sunday, Rio de Paz (the NGO with which we participated during the floods, see articles here and here), silently protested at the most famous beach in Rio, Copacabana, the sight of many previous protests. On Friday the 16th, a stray rifle bullet blasted through the window of Wesley's school classroom quickly bringing his life to an end. Rio de Paz, with the help of many slum children we work with from Rio das Pedras and one Christian public school teacher, rallied together to say "Enough is enough!" to the violence. Read more and see pictures and video in this article.

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    Bible Study - Giselle in Sitio

    Junior, Giselle, Ana Luiza, Gabrielle

    Giselle was really touched by the last mission team that came to visit from CrossPointe. Her two daughters always come with their smiling faces to our children's Bible class on Saturday afternoons, but Giselle would rarely stick around for the service unless we were serving food. Hers is a classic case- 24 years old, five children but only three living with her, living in Sitio for six years (if I remember correctly). She told me she used to be homeless seven years ago before she met her "husband" (we aren't sure if they are formally married or just living together) who's 56. But during the last mission trip, God began to change her heart through the words of an American on the team speaking to her through a translator. She didn't tell me what the American said, but what we do know is that she has made a personal commitment to start reading the Bible and attending church.

    Last Friday, the 23rd, during our normal home visits in the community, we passed by her house to do Bible study with her which is what we want to start doing weekly. Our goal for this time is to equip her with basic study skills so that she can read the Bible on her own and apply it to her personal relationship with Jesus. Giulian was prepared to give her a few basic tools for study and we imagined that we would ask her to read a passage from the Psalms with us, but to our surprise she had already written a list of Scriptures she has been reading and had questions about. We started at the top with Romans 13:14 "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires." Through our discussion with her about this text we were able to re-direct her to the Bible by showing her the importance of knowing the Word in the fight against sin. Please pray as we begin this discipleship process with her. We will return tomorrow to discuss more and try to get to know her better.

    It's going to be quite difficult to leave Sitio in six weeks just as we are beginning to see some fruit. I love how God is always sure to humble us so that we can be certain He is the one responsible for the fruit, not our own "hard work."


    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    Recent Pics of Kids in Sitio

    ***10/28/10*** The previous slideshow no longer works, but below are all the pics of Sitio. Thanks.

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    Pen-selling Bus Evangelist

    Today when Giulian and I were on our way home from Sitio, God ordained a meeting for us at the bus stop. Unfortunately we didn't get his name, but he was waiting to catch a bus where he could sell special pens for the equivalent of $0.50 a piece. Conversation began because he gave us a Christian leaflet and asked us if we know about Jesus. When we told him we were missionaries from the U.S. working with a church in City of God, he fist-pumped the air with both hands and said "Gloria a Deus!" ("Glory to God!"). He told us how encouraging it is for him to meet missionaries who come to help his country. In Santa Cruz, a city on the outskirts of Rio where he lives, his church is doing a work with the large homeless population. Every day he's on the buses from one side of Rio to the other, sharing about Jesus and selling his product to try to support his family. If there was a good way to give out Christian leaflets, it was the way he does it. We watched his speech on our bus and he was so friendly and pleasant with the often tired, frustrated bus riders. It was a blessing for us to meet him. He was full of the joy of the Lord and thankful for how God is always providing for him; you would never have known that he only had one leg.


    Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    Time in Sao Paulo

    We're home in Rio safe and sound! We just got back from our weekend in Sao Paulo with an absolutely amazing church. Though we are really tired from all the awesome activities, we feel very refreshed by the time we spent getting to know them, their community, and the city. We'll be sharing more details about our time there in our upcoming newsletter, but for now here is a slideshow of the pics we took and a couple of videos.

    Saturday, July 17, 2010

    Flying to São Paulo Today!

    We're flying out to São Paulo in about 4 1/2 hours and we'll be staying there until Tuesday morning Lord willing! Tomorrow evening Giulian will be preaching to a small church-plant (our friend Paulo will help by translating) and Christy will be sharing her testimony with a group of kids from the local slum. Monday will be a lovely day of getting to know the city - it's culture, food, and street shopping. Paulo has some family there so we'll be visiting them as well. It should be a fantastic trip, and we'll have plenty of photo and video to share I'm sure.

    A few stats about São Paulo from Wikipedia :: With a population of over 11 million, it is the most populous city proper in the Western World and 6th most populous in the entire world (the S.P. Metropolitan area is just short of 20 million). People from São Paulo are known as paulistas and cariocas (people from Rio) think they work too much and are too serious. It's the 10th richest city in the world and is expected to be the 6th richest by 2025, and among the wide immigrant community there are over 6 million Italians (so Giulian will feel right at home).

    Please pray for us as we travel because it has been raining cats and dogs here and our island is actually flooded again. We'll see if they're able to take off today, but we really don't want to get caught in flood traffic and miss our flight. It should only be a short 1 hour flight, so we'll let you know how it goes. Hopefully we can get internet connection there to share some videos, and we're hoping to send another monthly e-newsletter out next week as well. Talk to you soon!!

    Giulian and Christy

    Friday, July 16, 2010

    To Die Victorious Over Fear

    Mini-Biography Part 4
    James Chalmers

    Murdered and Eaten. Two verbs you do not run across too often regarding the same person. But that was the fate of this heroic missionary, James Chalmers (born 1841). Growing up in Scotland by the sea, the young Chalmers sought to conquer it through many daring adventures that often left him in need of rescue. His riskiness led him to listen to a preacher at a revival and he was stricken by his own sinfulness, but found relief in Christ the next day thanks to his Sunday school teacher. Shortly after obtaining some language training, he and his wife were sent off as missionaries to Rarotonga, an absolutely isolated island between Australia and South America. After experiencing some success there, he desired to go where Christ had never been preached - the cannibal islands of New Guinea. The cannibals did not react so kindly at times to their new neighbors, but eventually were won over by the joyful service of the Chalmers. So much so that at one point when Mrs. Chalmers lay bed-ridden with fever, a native kindly brought her a stew with the meat of the day. Yes, you guessed it, human flesh.

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    Leadership Development in Rio das Pedras

    Last Sunday I got to be a part of a leadership vision casting meeting at one of the churches we have been working with. After brainstorming with the pastor on ideas for leadership development he asked me to speak to a hand full of guys on the importance and necessity of leadership in the church.

    I was able to walk the guys through the Great Commission and how the local church is the God-ordained channel to fulfill it. The pastor opened it up for the guys to voice their vision and they all seemed eager to grow the church and unite the community. Some expressed conviction on how they need to start dedicating more time to furthering the great commision and not to regard church as a place to relax.

    I was glad to be used and we are working on next steps for these guys. We are praying that we can influence their character, grow their capacity, and increase their competence. Pray with us that God uses this time as a seed for them to take more responsibility in their church and in their community.


    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Recent Videos

    We caught up today on some long over due video-posting. Some great moments captured in these clips-

    Friday, July 9, 2010

    Guacamole Night!

    Check out that baby! That was from the previous guacamole night, the one tonight isn't quite as mammoth but hopefully it will taste better. Giulian is in the other room practically drooling in anticipation, meanwhile my eyes are drooling because the onions here are so darn potent! So much so that without even realizing why I had a random memory pop into my head about the time when Giulian and I stopped at this Mediterranean restaurant in the middle of the Nevada desert while we were driving to Texas from California. Giulian and I were talking about how hot it was there after I told him I remembered that, when he realized why I remembered it- the odor of onions combined with the heat was so potent in that restaurant that we both were crying.... Funny how our minds do that!


    Thursday, July 8, 2010

    CrossPointe Trip Photos

    From June 28th to July 6th we had the privilege of hosting a mission team from CrossPointe Church in Orlando, Jay's home church. A few people on the team had been here before and others had never been on a mission trip, so it was a cool mix. This team did a wonderful job of loving on these kids and making them feel special even where there were over a hundred of them. They did a Vacation Bible School in Rio das Pedras for three days that consistently saw around 150 kids or more, and capped off their week with a church service in Sitio that had over 100 kids as well as over 30 adults!

    Sunday, July 4, 2010

    Mission Team

    Hey guys,
    We have been real busy this week hosting the mission team that came in from CrossPointe Church in Orlando Florida. We have been spending most of our time in Rio das Pedras with an bible school for the kids.

    You can follow more closely with what they are doing here at their blog here.

    Also, yesterday the men of the group had the privilege of ministering to the men in Polinter Prison, a prison famous for its inhumane treatment of the prisoners. Watch this video below of the worship service we held with the men in the prison.

    Neves from Marcelo Talassuh on Vimeo.

    Love you all,

    G & C

    Wednesday, June 30, 2010

    Happy Centennial Fellow Storytellers!

    We celebrated our Centennial Anniversary today! 100 days in Rio! This means that we are now more than half way through, closer to leaving than beginning, and what a time it has been. God has taught us a lot and we're excited to see what He has in store for us during our remaining 9 weeks here. But we're ALSO excited to see some of our wonderful friends when we return home, like our sweet small group! It was a perfect end to our centennial day to open up a giant package that they sent us in the mail all the way from League City, TX! See pics below-

    Sunday, June 27, 2010

    Church Without Walls

    I know it's popular to say that yours is a "Church without walls", but when this is literal instead of figurative, it's not so popular. Our church in Sitio did not have all of its walls, so this past Saturday we put some elbow grease into it and started to make things happen. We could potentially have three rooms in the church, but the back "room" had been turned into a public garbage/bathroom because of the lack of walls. So with the help of some locals, the team got together and helped construct temporary walls as well as clean out the back room.

    This back room (pictured at right) was about three feet high in garbage and waste. We actually thought it didn't have flooring until discovering tile after a couple hours of digging. We can't describe everything we pulled out of there without ruining your appetite.

    Missionary Aurora (pictured at left) hard at working helping put in these walls made of "madeirite" which are thin pieces of plywood.

    After a morning of clean-up, we held a service at the church. The preaching took place to the background of our hard working wall-installer cranking away with the skilsaw. This bullet hole tells the history of this building- execution center turned church.

    We're receiving another mission team on Tuesday, so please be in prayer for these 16 people coming from Florida and 1 from New York. This time they will be working in the ministries that we have been actively involved in so we are excited for them to help!

    -Giulian & Christy

    Friday, June 25, 2010

    Fifa Fan Fest

    We're leaving in a few minutes to go to Copacabana Beach where we'll watch the Brazil vs. Portugal game with thousands of other crazies at the Fifa Fan Fest- a ginormous screen placed on the beach. Should be awesome! We'll be bringing our Brazil flag so they know we Gringos come in peace... Video footage to come shortly!

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    Bus Stop Conversation

    So on Friday afternoon as we were leaving Sitio, the location in City of God where we have a new church, we saw a little boy, about 7 years old, that we call Cauan #2 at the bus stop. He's always shirt-less, shoe-less, and dirty. He was siting on the bus stop bench, alone, with his hands curled up to his mouth. An older lady was drawing attention to him because he was there alone and his mother wasn't taking care of him. "Look at this boy, all dirty, taking the bus here and there by himself. I told him to go home but he said his mom's not there. What a shame. Look at him!" We sat next to him and tried to talk to him about where he was going and what he was doing, but he was too embarrassed to say anything I think. Then, the squawking lady drew attention from a man who then proceeded to castigate frightened Cauan. "What are you gonna do? Go out and beg on the streets? You know there are people that drive around looking for children just your size," he said as he pointed out his height, "they want to take you away and steal your organs to sell them."

    What a disgusting experience. We convinced Cauan to walk back to Sitio with us so we could buy him a drink and some cookies. After explaining to him that many people will tell him things to scare him but God will always tell him the truth and that God will always take care of him, we prayed for him and his protection and told him to go back home and not go out into the street alone. What is he supposed to do? He is actually one of our more tough, problematic kids, but at this time he was obviously timid and afraid. His mom probably demands that he goes out to beg, unaware or apathetic toward the possible consequences. I'm pretty certain he no longer attends school, at least not consistently. For this reason, we are planting a church in Sitio. Boys like Cauan need to know the hope that we have in Christ, because it is the only hope they have for a future.

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    "I like Jesus & He sees everything."

    Today we went to our church building in Sitio - City of God for our normal Wednesday gathering. Recently we decided to switch Wednesday mornings from a mid-week church service to an outreach day, similar to Fridays, so we're able to connect more with the community and pray with them. But today when we arrived we found a rude awakening.
    While we were with the mission team in Niteroi, the wood scrap dividing wall (pictured) fell once again, but this time for good, leaving the church exposed. Aurora, the missionary that has been working in the area for four years, went as soon as possible with her sons to lock away the chairs and tables in our storage closet where we keep donations, music and art equipment, etc.

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    Brasil World Cup Game 1

    Well, we made it out alive!! It was quite an intense game as Brasil did NOT blow N. Korea out of the water as they had anticipated (not speaking literally of course). In fact N. Korea defended them well and scored one goal of their own, but still was no match for the Brasileiros who defeated them 2-1. I think Brasil will be more on guard against Ivory Coast this Sunday. Enjoy the following videos from our time at a friend's crowded apartment, there was a lot of hugging-

    Sunday, June 13, 2010

    Adventure in Store

    Hey friends,
         Please pray with us as we embark on an adventure into downtown Rio tomorrow in order to extend our visas for the full 6 months. (By the way- we finally got our flight home for September 1st!) They only grant 90 days at a time, so now we need to beg them to give us 90 days more and we have heard that they can be a pain in the rear. That is why we ask for your prayer because we don't want to wake up again at 5:30 am and take a long bus ride to try it again. But as always, we are going to make some fun out of it and check out some of the beautiful museums Rio has to offer while we're there. After all, it is our off day so we must make the best of it! Tuesday will be another adventurous day with the first Brazilian World Cup game. I guess we should ask for your prayer then too as we've been told it can get preeeetty rowdy here, but we're pumped!

    Enjoy these pics from our beautifully, relaxing day in a coastal town called Cabo Frio with the mission team from Karis Church. We got to take an incredible boat trip around the bay, visiting a few of the beaches and hunting for shells and sea creatures. It was a blast! More on the mission trip to come...

    Saturday, June 12, 2010

    Grace-filled Adoption

    We went to see the Prince of Persia the other night. It was interesting to see the story of his adoption. He was a peasant boy without parents and was adopted by the glorious King once he saw the courage and strength the young boy had shown himself to possess.

    That is not the Gospel. That is not grace. In fact, it is the opposite.

    Thomas Watson writes,
    Consider what we were before God adopted us. We were very deformed; and a man will scarce adopt him for his heir that which is crooked and ill-favoured, but rather him that has some beauty. Mordecai adopted Esther, because she was fair. When we were in our blood God adopted us. "When I saw you polluted in your blood, it was the time of love." Ezekial 16:6,8. God did not adopt us when we were adorned with the jewels of holiness, and had the angels' glory upon us; but when we were diseased as lepers, was the time of his love. (A Body of Divinity, p. 235)

    That is grace.


    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    Fear - Christy's Guest Post

    Speaking of guest posts (see previous post below), I recently guest posted on a really awesome blog for women - Girls Using Their Strengths (G.U.T.S.) - directed by a friend of a friend, Aurora McKeehan. The topic is weighty, and I believe it is one not only for young women but for all. So please take a few minutes to check it out and ponder the implications of God's Sovereignty in reference to our fear of death -


    Sunday, June 6, 2010

    Guest Post - Josh Block

    Our absence from the blog for a week made for a perfect time to present this guest post from our fellow missionary, Josh Block (missionary here from Seattle). He recently recalled this story of life change for a summary paper we were writing about the church-plant in Sitio - City of God. This story is one of many, and we´re happy to share it with you thanks to Josh. He and his Brasilian wife Ana (pictured below) have been working faithfully in Sitio for some time now, and we are privileged to get to know them better.

    Friday, June 4, 2010

    This Week´s Mission Trip

    Hey guys! We just wanted to direct you real quick to the Karis Blog where the mission team from Missouri is updating daily with wonderful photos, video, and stories about their daily adventure here in Niteroi. They´re doing an awesome job communicating about their trip with their congregation, so we wanted to direct you there if you want to see what we are up to this week! We have had a comfortable stay with one sister from the church we are serving this week, and have enjoyed this experience as working in Niteroi is new for us also. Please continue to pray for the team and us as we will be finishing VBS tomorrow with an expected attendence of 200 (yesterday we had 150) and only about 18 of us volunteers.

    -Giulian & Christy

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    Fully Surrendered to Christ

    Mini-Biography Part 3
    Charles Haddon Spurgeon

    This brute orator was born in 1850. Unlike Bunyan, at a young age it was Spurgeon's self-righteousness that kept him from Christ. "I really thought I was quite a respectable lad, and might have been half inclined to boast that I was not like other boys, untruthful, dishonest, disobedient, swearing."

    But around the age of 16, he rushed into a small church to avoid the snow storm that halted his journey. The snow had kept the preacher from coming that day, so instead, an unlearned layman spoke from the Bible. For Spurgeon, this church service was impromptu, but for God it was set in stone from before creation. That night he gave his life to Christ. Only a few months later he dipped his toes into preaching, and it snowballed quickly from there. He became a pastor at 17 and by the time he was into his 20's, he was preaching to crowds of up to 10,000.

    If you have ever read any of his sermons you know how gifted this man was. He had an uncanny capacity for serving God. He published weekly sermons, monthly newspapers, traveled extensively preaching the gospel, started an orphanage, shepherded his people, and ran a pastors college. I believe God blessed him mightily because he was so surrendered to being used by God. At about the time of his conversion to Christ he wrote, "I gave Him my body, my soul, my spirit; I gave him all I had, and all I shall have for time and eternity. I gave him all my talents, my powers, my faculties, my eyes, my ears, my limbs, my emotions, my judgment, my whole manhood, and all that came of it, whatever fresh capacity or new capability I might be endowed with".

    May we be this surrendered to Christ, and may Christ use us so.


    A Taste of Spurgeon's writings from a sermon on Colossians 3:11 "...Christ is all..":
    The way to be saved is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. "But what is it to believe?" you say. I have heard of a captain who had a little son, and this little boy was very fond of climbing aloft. One day he climbed to the mast-head, and the father saw that, if the boy attempted to return, he would be dashed to pieces; he, therefore, shouted to him not to look down, but to drop into the sea. The poor boy kept fast hold of the mast; but the father saw it was his only chance of safety, and he shouted once more, "Boy, the next time the ship lurches, drop, or I will shoot you." The boy is gone; he drops into the sea, and is saved. Had he not dropped, he must have perished. This is just your condition: so long as you cling to works and ceremonies, you are in the utmost peril; but when you give yourselves up entirely to the mercy of Christ, you are safe. Try it, sinner; try it, that is all. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved," is Christ's promise, and it shall never fail you. The invitation is to all who thirst.
    Read more Spurgeon here :

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    Karis Community Church Working Together for the Gospel

    Let me just begin by saying that we have been without internet since Thursday and it has been difficult to communicate with the outside world. Even with all of our teammates here we generally communicate through Facebook since the cell phone system here is unfortunate. As I type these words now I am sitting in an internet cafe. We´ll be leaving in a couple hours to meet Josh and Ana (our fellow teammates working in the Sitio church-plant) at the ferry to go to Niterói together for a week. Hopefully the internet situation will be resolved by then, but for the week we will probably be without internet. It won´t matter though because we are so pumped to work with a mission team that travelled all through the night to get here from Columbia, Missouri, representing our A29 partner Karis [Car-iss] Community Church!! Twelve strong team members led by lead pastor, Kevin Larson, will be teaching a Vacation Bible School, among many other things, for dozens if not hundreds of slum kids in Niterói. We are super excited to meet them and hear their stories as each of them are bringing their unique mission experience and passion to the table. Moreover, we´re eager to further our relationship with Renato Vargens and his congregation; this is the first time Restore Brazil will be partnering with them for a mission trip. This is going to be an exciting week with lots of challenges, so we ask for your prayer as we open up the summer with the first of three mission trips coming down to serve whole-heartedly to bring Gospel Restoration in Brasil.

    We´ll be publishing various blog posts while we´re away, so continue checking back. They´re goodies you don´t want to miss (including Mini-Bio Part 3)!

    Visualizar Rio Ministry Areas em um mapa maior

    Thursday, May 27, 2010

    Jesus the Great High Priest

    I have been studying Hebrews of late with my friend Nancy in Hoping for Something Better. These words from Shai Linne have constantly been on my brain as I ponder the weightiness of Christ's "once for all" sacrifice (Heb. 7:27). Take a moment to listen and read the lyrics below, then praise God for His Hesed.


    Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    On the run for Truth

    Mini-Biography Part 2

    Athanasius. That name just sounds tenacious, and that is exactly what this man of God was. He was a straight up soldier. Perserverance marked this man's character, from start to finish. He was the poster boy for Jude 1:3, consistently contending for the faith. As I read about this truth-teller, I felt like I was entranced into an action-packed blockbuster suspense. He did not have anything easy, and most of his life felt like a "fourth and goal" with only seconds left in the game. If it was not for Athanasius, orthodoxy would simply not be. When the majority of the Christian world held an unbiblical view of Jesus, Athanasius put on his shoulder pads and took it to the heretics one blow at a time.

    Born around 297 AD, Athanasius studied religion and philosophy and built his resume through apologetics. And by the age of 28 he was leading the debate at the council of Nicaea. For promulgating his Biblical doctrine of Jesus, and refusing to be silent on false gods, he was exiled a number of times. Six times in fact. Once the threat was so strong that he had to be protected by a small band of monks in the desert in order for him to continue writing instead of running. Today his writings are still "go-to" texts for defending the divinity of Jesus.

    After the threats died down, Athanasius was free to pursue his calling as a pastor. He continued in the work of explaining the truth of the Scriptures and building the Church. A testimony to the effect of standing for the truth as he seemed to at times single-handedly shut down the work of false teachers.

    Someone needs to make an action figure of this guy.


    Excerpt from "On the Incarnation"
    You know what happens when a portrait that has been painted on a panel becomes obliterated through external stains. The artist does not throw away the panel, but the subject of the portrait has to come and sit for it again, and then the likeness is re-drawn on the same material. Even so was it with the All-holy Son of God. He, the Image of the Father, came and dwelt in our midst, in order that He might renew mankind made after Himself, and seek out His lost sheep, even as He says in the Gospel: "I came to seek and to save that which was lost. This also explains His saying to the Jews: "Except a man be born anew . . ." He was not referring to a man's natural birth from his mother, as they thought, but to the re-birth and re-creation of the soul in the Image of God.

    Saturday, May 22, 2010

    A29 Brasil Boot Camp Pics

    Wow! What an incredible impact the first ever Acts 29 Brasil Boot Camp had on the church-planting movement here in Brazil, to the glory of God. Many people were challenged and encouraged as they heard God speak into their lives through the lectures, and this is only the beginning. God is at work here in Brazil, Satan and all of his schemes don't stand a chance. Check out the photos below to see faces of some of the unsung heroes in the Brazilian church. We're working on our 8th newsletter right now to come out on Monday where you can read more about the Boot Camp, and we'll be posting videos soon that will be on the Media and Resources tab above. If you don't receive our monthly e-Newsletter, please sign up here. Thanks so much for partnering with us in prayer for the Boot Camp, God heard and He responded faithfully. What a good, good God we have.

    ***Photos Removed: If you want to see/download photos, email us.***