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Tuesday, March 15, 2005
The last two days have been so amazing!! The Lord has used us greatly. It has showed me the importance of listening to God. Whenever God opens a door for you, it is imparative that you walk through it, for when you do great things happen. Sunday morning we went to the international service and we were able to do the entire service in English. Through our ministry there sunday morning God used us to bring the first person ever to Christ through the Internation church service that the pastor knows of. The church uses a card system where people can fill out and say if they've made a desision and sunday was the first one they ever had comfirmed of a desision for Christ through that church. That was encouraging and it began the chain of events that followed later that evening. But during the afternoon I had the opportunity to hang out with another family (Felipe's girlfriend's) for most of the afternoon. A few of her relatives knew some broken english so I was able to communicate somewhat. But what I had the most fun with was playing with her nephew who was two years old. I had a great time entertaining him and I think the family had fun watching me. He ended up laughing really hard and spitting up some food all over my pants. But it was well worth it. Everybody was laughing. They ended up having Lasagna, it is quite a bit different here in Brazil then it is back home but it was still very good. Then I had the opportunity to try Bregadeto Cake (Allie will make a comment here and tell me how bad I butchered the spelling on that one) But that was some really good stuff. I have had a real problem the past few days with my wisdom teeth though. I really need to get those things pulled because the Devil has continued to use the pain they cause to try and hinder the Work we do here. The only other time they have bothered me so much is when I was back in Utah on my other Mission s trip. Once I got back from that trip the pain went away and they didn't really bother me that much. But now that I am out serving the Lord once again The Devil tries to wiggle his way in and Get at me. This time it is even worse then last time. The tooth has pushed its way down and so much so that every time I bite down I end up biting my cheek. So my cheek is compltely raw right now and then its accompanied by a pounding headache. Not only that I can't open my mouth very far without cutting pain back there. It has not been good at all. It makes it rather difficult to enjoy food. But I fought through it and managed to eat some of the Bregadeto Cake. That was some good stuff, The ice cream they put on it was very nice as well. After the dessert Felipe and I came back to his house and lounged around and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. But we were schedulded to be at the church again at 5:00 to travel to the next church where we would perform that night. The evenign service sunday was even greater as far as effectiveness. The count that we know of so far brought desisions for christ that night up to 21. there was a mass of people that came forward after the service to accept christ. Our Translator Talita gave her testamony to the people in portugues and after that you could really feel the quietness of the people. I wasn't quite sure what she said since it was portugues, but it had a good effect. Our drama I know was greatly used that night as well. I think it was our first time performing it perfectly. We did not make any mistakes at all. But the message was setup to use our drama as an example to the people and they both worked together. When it was all over the people just started coming in. Oh another thing also was we had to get more chairs for all the extra people that had came. we ended up adding about 50 extra chairs in the back then normal. That was also an answer to prayer to have a full house that night, God ended up taking that even further. It was really cool. After the service we went back to the main meeting place for our host homes to come pick us up I was able to talk to his family a little bit more that night after we got back to his place. I gave his sister a little gift also and she got really excited about it. It was just a little stuffed animal thing I brought from the US but apparently she really liked it. Before heading to sleep that night I tried to have a short little bible study with Filipe and then we prayed together also. Felipe is a very new christian and he hasn't made a habit of reading the bible and growing in his relationship with God very much. I have been trying to work with him in that area and he is very receptive to it. He is anxious for us to do that each night.

Today was an even greater day for how Christ worked through us. We were invited to go to a Spa/Gym here in the city and play the music for the aerobics class. It was a very unusual thing for us to do as it was nothing the Singers or even the pastor here had ever done before. But thats where we needed to be sensitive to open doors God gave us the opportunity to go into the city in a place where people who had never gone to church before would be able to hear us worship God. We did however have to wake up at 5:00 so we could get to the Gym at 6:30 that morning. While they were doing thier excersices that morning the singers played and sang a few secular songs that the people would recognize just to get them into it, but then they sang thier portugues song of "For God So Loved The World" and I'm pretty sure the message was taken in by quite a few of the people that were there that morning. We ended up giving the instructor a free copy of our CD and she told us she would be using that from now on for her background music. As the aerobics session was getting over we handed out tracts to people as they left the gym and also had some oportunitys to talk to some of the people that could speak a little bit of english, We gave them flyers indicating where we would be through the week so they could come see our full performance and we would have a better opportunity to minister to them in the other settings. We then had an hour break before the next aerobics session where we would sing again for it. During the second session the instructor knew what was coming for our last song and once we got to that song she told the people to just hold a basic stretch and just listen to the music. While the people just listened to the words of the Portugues song I'm sure the spirit moved among many of the people. I and a few others on the team saw some of the people with tears in thier eyes as the song came to a close. We were never really able to see any fruits of that morning come to light, but We know we at least started a spark that would soon grow to a flame in some of those people. The Gym then told us that through this entire week while we were in town we could have a free membership to it and come and go anytime we woudl like while we were here. They had a full olympic sized pool, a weight room, cycling, coffee shop, and lots of other stuff that gyms typically have. So that was a nice perk to have an option for. After we left the gym we were then given the freedom to walk around in the mall for a little over three hours and get anything we wanted to. I exchanged some American money and got some Brazilian Currency $REAL (Pronounced Hay-ow). Then I went and had lunch at McDonalds and ordered a Big Mac and Guanana (yes they have that at McD's it was cool). It took me like a full hour to eat though because with my tooth problem it feels like I am chewing glass without any teeth. It is not a good feeling at all. The BigMacs they have here taste fairly the same but they skimp a lot on the contents.. it was about an inch thinner then it would be in the US. It was still pretty good though. After that I wandered the mall for a while and got a few suveniers and some gifts for Allie I know she would have wanted. It worked out pretty good for me going into stores and not knowing any portugues, but still getting the things I wanted. I also walked through the grocery store for awhile and checked out the cool things they had in Brazilian markets. Then while I waited for the people to all gather and get on the bus I tried some Brazilian coffee at the coffee shop. It was actually pretty good, but it had a weird after taste. Once we left the mall we headed over to the Missionaries home and they had a medium sized swimming pool there and they also had a maid that does proffessional Massages. So some of the team went swimming while they rotated around to get a massage from the Maid. I just spent some time reading the bible and journaling, then I slept for the rest of the time. It was a good relaxing afternoon. But the real journey began for us Monday night.

The first part of the week I didn't really feel like we were doing all that much, we just played in churches and it seemed like we were preaching to the Chior and stuff. Now that we were out into the real world sharing christ to the city folk I could really feel the effectivness of our ministry here. I also felt a little useless at first since I wasn't a singer or anything, I didn't really have any "real" job of sharing christ to the people. So far all I really did was stand in the background and help out. Monday night that all changed however. We were to meet at a building where about 100 english teachers from around the city gathered for a meeting. The singers sang a few songs and we had some brazilian fingerfoods but the real ministry happend amongst the mingling. After the singers did thier routine they actually had to rush out and get over to the University to setup for thier next gig over there. But the few of us that weren't singers, or band members stayed behind and talked to the many english teachers that were there. I ended up talking to many of them, but as people started to head out I ended up talking to one english teach who was not saved. This man calls himself a "Master of Religion" he has studied about 5 different religions and tries to live out all five for himself. He is just greatly confused and doesn't know where to turn. I talked to him for over an hour and God gave me all the words I needed to say. There were some scriptures I shared with him that I didn't even know I knew them by heart. Every question he had it seemed God gave me the answer for. I worked my way through most of the obsticles he was struggling with that was keeping him from a relationship to Christ. Meanwhile during my time of sharing Christ with this gentlemen another one of the guys on our team was also engaged in coversation sharing christ to one of these english teachers. As a group we were supposed to go and meet up with the singers at 9:30 because they would have to start thier singing routine at the College. But as our leader went over to tell us it was time to leave God shut his mouth and opened his ears so he could see what was going on. through that we ended up staying to continue with our witnessing to these guys. The Man I talked to I believe is really close to taking the free gift God has to offer. But the final obsticle I could just not get past was this, He thinks that there should be more he has to do then just accept Jesus and repent of Sin. He doesnt understand how that is all that he needs. But through this conversation I believe God took him a lot closer to making a desion. It however got to a critical point were we did have to leave and couldn't stay any longer. Our team really needed us back at the College. We ended up getting the cell phone numbers of these two guys though and we have plans to meet up with them later this week to talk more. They were sooo close and after we got back on the bus to go to the University we showered them in prayers that God would work further in their hearts during this time.

After we arrived back at the University the singers had already finished with thier routine but we got their in time for the question and answers from the group of college students. This was another open door God clearly had given to us. We are a christian group singing christian songs but we were allowed into a public school here in Brazil to sing and worship God. Then one of the students ended up asking us about our lives and our church and we had an opportunity to share right on stage what we were all about. It was awsome. The teacher even came up and thanked us in front of her class for the presention after it was all over and she gave us teh opportunity to come back anytime. If that is not God at work I don't know what is. Because we went through this open Door God gave us we ministered to about 200-250 college students and most probably didn't even know Christ. Again we were able to tell them the other places we will be through the week and I think quite a few of them will be coming to those. During those presentations we will be able to come right out and speak about God openly and we will also be able to do our drama as well as share a few testamonies. But Monday was an awsome day and we could clearly feel Gods presence and hand on what we are doing here this week. After leaving the University we met back at the church about 11:40 and returned to our host homes. I was able to share with Filipe the amazing things that happend that day and we both prayed together over those two men we shared christ with as well as the hearts that heard our songs of praise to God who may not have even heard of Christ in that way before. Then before going to sleep We prayed together again, but this time Felipe wanted to give praying in english a try and I was there to witness his first prayer in english. It was very cool to see, he then prayed again in Portugues after that. He was so excited however that he had the opportunity to pray in english and how well he did. I was real proud of him I told him. We ended up getting to sleep shortly after 1:30 Monday.
posted by Jeremy Dillinger @ 2:54 PM 

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