Friday, February 26, 2010

Weekend Travel

This past weekend I got a chance to take a little road trip to Dallas with a good friend and mentor. I was funneled into the gospel again and again as we spent a day experiencing Dallas.

We were also given two Mavericks tickets and enjoyed watching them play the Miami Heat. More entertaining than the game was the half time show. Check it out, do not try this at home.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

One Reason why we Love RESTORE BRAZIL

"And Jesus went throughout all the cities... When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." -Matthew 9:35-36

That is a portrait of the people living in the sprawling slums (favelas) of Rio's hillside- harassed and helpless. Terror is always lurking at their doorstep and they don't know who to trust. The drug lords? The police? Their neighbor?

The following is an excerpt from the Restore Brazil Vision Doc:
"Drug-trafficking in the favelas, kidnapping, and robbery are part of daily life for many in Brazil. Despite the "South American Revival" of the 1990s, there has been very little gospel transformation that has resulted in a safer or less corrupt nation. This is tragic."

But thankfully, it doesn't end there.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Giulian's visit to the Consulado-Geral do Brasil em Houston

Yes, Giulian trekked all by himself into the scary iron jungle of Houston by motor vehicle to procure our Visas at the Consulate General of Brazil in Houston. With all of the proper documentation properly bundled up by myself in a folder and the directions written neatly to correspond with his mental picture of the route at hand, Giulian embarked on what turned out to be an hour and a half drive to the Westside of Houston. Of course I thought I had prepared everything perfectly for him but what I didn't realize is that every street over there is "Post Oak" something. "Post Oak Part Drive" "Post Oak Parkway" "Post Oak Blvd" I mean, who does that?!

To get our Brazilian Visas, we must pay a "reciprocity fee" of $130 each because that is how much the U.S. charges for Brazilians to get a Visa to come here. The require you to appear in person at the Consulate, or to send a proxy on your behalf and pay an extra $20 fee. Giulian and I decided it would be wisest for him to go before work by himself for both of us rather than me take off work so that we can go together, but this came with unforeseen driving obstacles. Thankfully, when Giulian hit a wall of traffic due to construction (shocker!) and a little pile-up, I was able to look up a backway for him to take on Google maps at work! Who else has done this? (Who has done it when driving to LAX? Oh yeah.)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Washed by the Water

I just want to leave you with this song from Need to Breathe. "I am washed by the water." Incredible talent.

Acts 29 Brasil's New Website!

Guys we are SOOO excited to announce that the Acts 29 Brasil website is finally up and running in Portuguese and English! Please browse the website and also follow them on Twitter (@Atos29Brasil). They will be hosting a Church-planting Bootcamp in May called "Foundations" that we will be working at while we're there. Giulian and I are extremely pumped about this opportunity to participate and think it will be of such benefit to the church-planters in Brazil who are so thirsty for community and training.

Acts 29 is a Gospel-centered church-planting network that our church Clear Creek Community Church is affiliated with. Restore Brazil, the organization that we're going to work with in Rio, was founded by the director of Acts29 Brasil, Jay Bauman. You can find these links and other helpful resources in our "Suggested Resources" section at right. (Note: For those of you whose spellchecker eyes have picked up on my writing "Brasil" and "Brazil," it is no typo. "Brazil" is how we spell it in English but it is spelled "Brasil" in Portuguese. You can learn something new every day on this blog ladies and gentlemen. :-)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Word of God, Observe His Law

Isaiah 66:2
"But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in Spirit and trembles at my word."

Christy's Musings on Psalm 19:7-9
The law of the LORD                   =  Revives the soul
The testimony of the LORD          =  Makes wise the simple
The precepts of the LORD           =  Rejoice the heart
The commandment of the LORD  =  Enlightens the eyes
The fear of the LORD                  =  Endures forever, clean
The rules of the LORD                 =  Altogether true and righteous

"In 100 years this book will be forgotten and eliminated..." -Voltaire, mid-1700's
Fat chance Voltaire!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Newsletter #3 and Nature

37 days to go till blast off. Until then, enjoy the latest newsetter here along with the following quote from John Calvin in his commentary on the Psalms:

"When a man, from beholding and contemplating the heavens, has been brought to acknowledge God, he will learn also to reflect upon and to admire his wisdom and power as displayed on the face of the earth, not only in general, but even in the minutest plants."

Picture taken from our RV by Christy

Psalm 19:1-6
"The heavens declares the glory of God;
the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
Which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber;
And, like a strongman, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
And its circuit to the end of them;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat."


Friday, February 12, 2010

Who will cry out?

Please see this short post written by Jay, Director of Restore Brazil, about the gravely inhumane treatment of prisoners in Rio. There are more than 700 men in unsurvivable conditions in one prison alone right now = more than 70 men in a 60 sq. ft. cell in temps over 134 degrees Farenheit according to the local newspaper. This should fill you with a Holy fury.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

We bought our tickets!

We did it everyone! After many hours of debating over and searching for the best deal, we bought our tickets! It's a weighty decision because you're always questioning whether or not you're getting the best deal or if a better one will pop up tomorrow, and Giulian did not appreciate all of my mulling as he would rather just jump in!

But we'll be leaving very soon, 40 days to be exact, on Monday, March 22nd at 9 pm! This is perfect timing since it is two days after Giulian's 24th birthday party! So we're going to be having a huge celebration party on Saturday, the 20th. More details on that later, but for now, check out our intense video account of the evening below.

Thank you so much for supporting us in prayer as we took this big step of purchasing our ticket. If you'd like to support us financially, please click the link in the sidebar called "Support Form" to find out how!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pastor Slav

I met Yuroslav or just "Slav" at a Go Ukraine party. Though I had never been to Ukraine, Christy got me in because of her Go Ukraine experience (thanks Christy). I was introduced to Slav and immediatly noticed his strong resemblance to Mark Dever, so I knew I would like him.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Counting my blessings, one by one...

I have been trying to write this post for a few days now because I have been overwhelmed with so many blessings! However, I have been so busy researching every possible flight option (a very arduous task) that I have not been able to sneak a few minutes to count my blessings, one by one. God has certainly been blessing us.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Newsletter #2

Hey fellow storytellers!

Check out our latest newsletter, click on it to enlarge it. It has a lot more information about the trip, as well the first installment of Giulian's thoughts on missions- The Gospel as Light. We really want our newsletters and our blog posts to be beneficial for you to read, so we include informational, funny (we hope), and challenging sections that can help you focus on God's global mission. As you read and think on how you can be a part of His mission, please let us know if you feel the urge to join us through financial support! Also continue to pray as we are buying our flights this week and continuing to study the language and prepare our hearts. We love you guys!

-Giulian & Christy