Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Back to the Dark Ages

Hey friends and family! We have been out of touch lately because we got our new place (as you saw in the previous post), and we don't have internet yet. Previously we were staying with Jay and Luciane at their apartment and we had internet there, but now we are hoping to get internet at our place sometime in the next week. Please bear with us during this transition time! We hope to send out a Newsletter soon recapping our first week here with some pictures, but until then, please pray that we can continue to get acclimated here with our areas of ministry, apartment/neighborhood, and with all else that comes along with living in a completely new culture! God is good and He is teaching us so much so fast, we feel like we've already been here for months! We're SO appreciative of your prayer during this time. We miss you all very much!

With love from the concrete jungle,
Giulian & Christy

Sunday, March 28, 2010

CRIBS - Rio de Janeiro

Ok everyone, here is a quick glance at our "apartment", really it's not an apartment complex but in a pousada or hostel-type inn, but we do have our own kitchen. And guess what the coolest part is? It's on an island! The Ilha da Gigoia to be exact, and on Google maps you wouldn't even know it's inhabited unless you saw the satellite view because all the streets are only for people so they're unmarked. We have to take a short 2-3 minute chalaga ride (mini ferry) to go to/from the island every day for our various activities, but there is a little grocery store, dinner service, and a yummy pizzeria that we can walk to.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Life Upstream

THE VIDEOS ARE UP! Check out Jay's blog post here to see us arriving at the airport, and watch more new videos in the Media and Resources tab above.

It has really been an exciting couple of days getting situated here in Rio. Jay warned us when he picked us up from the airport that we would see some of the best of things and some of the worst of things. How can you possibly prepare for that warning? We have been staying with Jay and Lu at their place while we have searching for an apartment. Here is a little recap of what we've been up to:

Our first night in Rio, Jay and Lu took us out to dinner at a buffet style restaurant. Even though it was two days past my birthday, the gerente (manager) let me eat for free with the birthday special (they told me this was an absolute miracle, they didn't expect him to give in)!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

WE'RE HERE!!! Bemvindo a Brasil!

It's official everyone, we are on the ground in Rio! The flight was smooth, the landing was great, we were right on time, and Jay was there waiting for us when we came out of the baggage claim area. God is so good and is definitely in control of our stay here. Right now we are submitting to Him in prayer for an apartment. We went to look at a few potential places today and we'd like to make a decision by the end of the week. So please be partnering with us in prayer for that; we are confident God will guide us to the right location. Also please pray for Christy as she's a little under the weather with a head cold. We'll tell you more about our first day here, but for now check out our Final Texas Update video from the previous post, and the one below when we are only hours away from arrival and ridiculously tired/excited...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Final Update from Texas

We really wanted to send out a video from the airport but their internet connection is as slow as Christmas! So instead we wanted to get on here really quick to say thank you, we couldn't have done it without you and we're so encouraged by your prayer and support. We'll post that video as soon as we can, but for now here's a picture! We love you guys and we'll miss you all dearly. See you on Skype!

Love, Giulian and Christy

------------------------Video is below-------------------------

Saturday, March 20, 2010



I just wanted to take a moment to celebrate my husband, the love of my life, and wish him a happy 24th birthday! We have been so busy packing up and moving out of the RV, so today is almost slipping by without notice. But I don't want to let that happen! So here's to you Giulian! This past year of marriage has been a blast and I wouldn't trade all of these crazy adventures that God has guided us on for anything. I can't wait to turn this new page in Brazil! Love you!!!   -Christy

Let's take a walk down memory lane...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Four Books - Six Months

I have been influenced greatly by the writings and journals of men whose bodies are six feet deep. Men who have gone to be the with the Lord but left a legacy of edifying work to be gleaned from by the minds of those who yearn for Godliness. Men such as Jonathan Edwards, John Owen, Thomas Watson, and Spurgeon had a knack for beautifully painting a picture of the Gospel in their lives and writings. Their penned truths often give me potent affections that last throughout the day. I was first introduced to Puritan writing a couple of years ago by the book Sin and Temptation by John Owen. I might as well of dipped that book in highlighter ink after I was finished with it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Our Last ESL Class

When we moved here in August, we had the privilege of joining and eventually taking over an adult ESL (English as a Second Language) class taught by our friend Sarah at a low-income apartment complex in town called Shady Oaks. The class has grown through these last months and now has two different learning levels with anywhere from 3-8 students. Now that we are moving, we have unfortunately not been able to find anyone to take over this crucial work.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Single Digits Baby!

Wow! We are officially in the single digits now- only 9 days until we leave and we are SO excited! We had a wonderful hour long conversation yesterday with the director of Restore Brazil, Jay, which sharpened the image in our mind of what it will look like there. He has been working tirelessly to get Acts 29 Brasil off the ground and  to start promoting the church-planting bootcamp called Foundations (scroll down for English) that they'll be hosting there in May. We are so pumped about this bootcamp! Today we're going out for a breakfast date and to see a matinee movie (something we haven't done in a loooong time), then we are going to go shop for some items that we need to bring (including a couple more suitcases to bring them in- can you say Goodwill?). Jay told us that it's important to bring all the clothes that we will need because they're more expensive there, and we're going to need to bring an extra pair of "throw-away" tennies for our work in the slums.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Culture Shock

In preparation for our stay in Rio, Christy and I have been reading through a book called Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. It is a "reader" with over a hundred articles or clippings about the Biblical, historical, cultural, and strategic dimensions of world evangelism.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Must Read Update- Outreach in City of God

Ok, help me do the math here- These stats come from Rio Como Vamos, an organization that exists to research and produce statistics to show how Rio de Janeiro is doing in all aspects of society.

37,202 people living in 0.75 sq. miles (1.21 sq. km) [2008]
83.17 homicides/100,000 residents [2006]
19.49 deaths by police action/100,000 residents [2006]
368.83 homicides/100,000 men ages 15-25 [2006]
115.26 deaths by police action/100,000 men ages 15-25 [2006]

Just to put it in perspective, the murder rate in all of Texas for 2008 was 5.6/100,000 residents. Jay (Director, Restore Brazil & Acts 29 Brasil) has posted on his blog a must-read update on recent outreach in the City of God slum. We are touched by their heart to reach out with the Gospel to the little ones in the community and meet the basic humane needs of the residents. RB will be assisting church-planters to start a church in this slum this year.

"The poverty in this community is unbelievable." Read more here.

Re: Ben's Comment- "So there's only 1.28 sq. inches per person?"

Is that countdown clock my enemy?

Ok that countdown clock over there is staring at me. I mean, I know we're leaving in 14 days, but does it have to flash a constant reminder in my face? But really, apart from having a million questions and wondering if I have everything I need (this is a standard question because I assume that I can't get something I need there- silly), I am SO excited! One main reason is because Giulian and I have felt and seen God guiding our journey so providencially thus far, I mean in incredible ways. We began our official fundraising at the end of January and we are already close to our goal! The support that we have received from so many family members and friends, old and new, has been overwhelming and very humbling.

Giulian and I were discussing that term the other day, "humbling." Last night was the Oscars. Did anyone watch that? We caught a few of the speeches. One unfortunate man was cut out by his co-awardee and began speaking right as they cut the mic and began the "your time is up" music, but that's beside the point.

"Thank you Academy. You honor me and humble me with this." -Mark Boal, Best Original Screenplay

Friday, March 5, 2010

Treasure Map

Psalm 19:7-10
The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the LORD is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the LORD are true,
and righteous altogether.