Thursday, August 31, 2017

Bits August

This month we finished our 7 week men’s study on Processing Life. The group seemed to grow as we went which really encouraged us as we look to the future to implement Servant Leaders, our leadership training course. For celebration, we decided to grill out last night as well as do another study on Conflict Resolution. It went really well and girlfriends/wives came and enjoyed themselves as well. 



Last weekend the football team had a road game, a good 8-10 hour drive away. I was able to have some good conversations. One guy told me how he had been pretty much an atheist (I would probably say agnostic) before starting to come to the studies. Now he really enjoys them and doesn’t like to miss. On gameday I gave a devotional on David and Goliath, presenting the gospel once again to the team. We had over 40 players there and they pay attention and are respectful. As I continually evaluate how long I want to be involved with coaching football, I think of the quote by Billy Graham that says, “A coach will impact more people in one year than an average person will in an entire lifetime.” I am not sure how accurate this quote is, but I do know he has a great point. Coaching these guys has been an important place of influence for lots of lives that would be hard to achieve in any other position. Oh, and we played in a World Cup stadium this last game, which was a really cool experience. 

Sarah has started a discipleship with a woman who has gone through some marital issues. She also continues to do a lot of hosting in our home. Frequent hosting in our home might not last too much longer though as we will soon be moving some of the studies to the church building. Maybe not this month, but October will give us a good chance to have some studies start there. I have decided to start the Servant Leaders program November 1st at the building as well. Pray for us as we coordinate the electrician, dry-waller (actually we don’t have dry wall, but the equivalent here), window maker, and tile layer as they come and try to have the building ready for us to use soon. I am in charge of the painting and will be busier carrying out that task this month. This morning I was applying sealer and walling mud. 

This month we were also able to report to our partner/mother church in Recife during their missions month about what God is doing in the Outback. They were excited to hear and I hope challenged in the area of missions. They have been a great partner as we seek to establish a church planting base here. 

Thanks so much for your prayers and support! God is good and keeps working on us! I hope that He has been busy working on you as well!

All for HIS glory,

David, Sarah, and our two little ballerinas that are stoked about starting ballet classes soon. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Prayers and football

I have messed up and just now I am starting to see it. In 2014 our family moved to a small interior town in Brazil and looked to start a church. Seeking contacts in a place where we knew no one, american football fell into our laps. I started out as offensive coordinator and quarterback and ended up as head coach as of November of 2015. Coming from the states I have been hesitant to force my Christianity on the football team as a whole. Starting out they all knew why I was in Brazil and knew they were invited to studies, but it wasn't until our first game in October of 2015 that I realized they were ok with praying. Before our game in the locker room the players asked me to pray for the game. Since then they have been ok with saying a few words, giving a few challenges, as well as praying. 

The work here did not spread right away. Few players came to studies at the beginning. I even thought it might not be worth it for a while and thought about seeking out another way of meeting people. But slowly more and more players have come to studies. Eight weeks ago I started a study for men on Wednesday nights where we went over the seminar Processing Life Biblically. We had a good group of ten guys the whole time, several of them from the offensive line. They have been faithful and since the study started the OL has played better. They argue less and are stronger mentally. I did not correlate the two until one of the players commented on how the climate has been changing. 

My conclusion has been that the best thing we can do for these players and for the team is to introduce them to Christ. Of course I always knew that, but because of being american I have been nervous about forcing them to hear about God. Fortunately in Brazil on a club team, this is not a problem. They have welcomed it. Emphasizing character has improved the lives of these guys off and on the field. Our mission is not just to win games but to win at life.

In the states the worst thing we have done is take God out of everything. We need God. We need his blessing. We need His grace. We need to be bold in taking a stand for prayer, a stand for God. I am not talking about being Crusaders and killing everything in our path; I am talking about being firm that we are for Christ and that the world needs Christ. Our teams will grow from this and better men will be produced!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Grateful



This morning in my timeline on facebook, a memory of us at the beach showed up. Last week we went to the beach as well. Vacations are fun and I think we take them for granted sometimes. Maybe we have always done them and think they are our right as Americans. But not everyone can just pack up and go to the beach.

I do not post much about my family on facebook, but I love them so much and we have a wonderful loving family. We had a lot of fun last week. Many families are broken and unhappy and might not have time for one another. I am grateful for what I have in my family.

Just being able to read a blog on the internet means that you are a couple steps above many people in the world and we all need to be grateful for where God has put us.

What can you be grateful for today?

Blessings!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Bom dia! Hope you all are having a wonderful summer! We have seen many of your pictures at the beach, visiting family, enjoying the sun. Here in the semi-arid desert we are experiencing an abnormal rainy, cool season. Last year it didn’t even rain and the last 7-10 years have been more dry here, but this year God has blessed with a couple months of lots of rain! Lots…We are not allowed to complain about rain in the desert, so I won’t, but I am grateful that we have a beach vacation scheduled for a few days in just a couple of weeks. We are looking forward to the sun and being able to get away for a little bit!

                                                                                             Sarah's Surprise Birthday Party       

We started a men’s Bible study this month on Biblically Processing Life. It has been incredible. I originally had a couple guys in mind for this study and ended opening it up and we have had more than ten guys the last couple of weeks! The study is really good too. It is available in English and very solid and practical. If you are interested in seeing it; I can send the notes, the power point, a video of it. Please just ask! 

I have been more involved with the overall organization of Servant Leaders the last couple of months and am excited about how SL’s vision of supporting the local church, serving with resources and training. Some of the same guys involved in SL are the ones that I am working with on my master’s degree. The current class is administration and my project has been putting together a policy manual for the church. This is a practical step that will help us with our decision making! It has also inspired our Sunday night Bible studies where we have talked about our own spiritual growth, how we grow together and serve each other in fellowship. We are ramping up for moving into the building soon.

Construction continues….continues to help my sanctification process! Most days I spend a portion of it going to the building or store or doing something with this process. It is coming along and will soon be ready for use. My hope and prayer is two months for now….but you never know! Pray for us to have the right resources for finishing it up (resources mainly being proper workers and then buying the right material). 

Please pray for our Tupanatinga trips (that are going well), personal discipleships (Sarah and I are both doing) and opportunities to get to know more people. 

All for HIS glory,

David, Sarah, my second grader who just started school, and my little hair comber who can brush her hair for hours on end (well, maybe not hours). 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Bits June

Little girls are loud! :) Sarah is putting on a clinic this week for cheerleading! She has girls ranging from three to ten years old learning to cheer as well as learning about character. She is doing a great job and so far all the girls have loved it. This has been a major project for Sarah and she has done awesome. 

Before this major project she put on a party similar to a harvest party here. June is the corn harvest and the weather is much cooler and we have more rain. So there are lots of bonfires and parties. We did a Bible study with the fire and fellowship attached to it and had a really great time! Sarah did a great job decorating. 

This month I have been busy taking care of the construction, getting the football team ready for our first game of the national league next week, doing studies for Sunday nights and our bi-weekly trips to Tupanatinga, preparing for a men’s study to start next Wednesday night, helping organize the weekly area Pastor’s meeting, working on Servant Leaders Brazil and going through my master’s class on Church Administration. 
Servant Leaders has taken a step up in priority as we are close to starting our program here in Arcoverde as well as reorganizing at the international level. We are wanting to be organized as a team as we develop the resources and partnerships we have. Servant Leaders offers free resources to churches to train their own leadership. God is opening so many doors that it has been hard to keep up with all the work that needs to be done! We are grateful to God for this and look forward to the fruits of the labor which will be developed church leaders across the world. Please pray for wisdom for us and resources (human, financial and time resources).

Thanks for all your prayers as they have sustained us! Pray we would continue to separate time as a family through all the busyness and that God will multiply His harvest!

All for HIS glory,

David, Sarah, and our two little cheerleaders; one being the loudest and most exciting and the other maybe the most distracted and randomly interested, but both as cute as can be!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Bits from Brasil May

Rain! Normal May/June months in the Sertão are rainy. However, last year’s climate was really dry with little water. Lots of cattle have been sold as the brown vegetation has not changed for almost two years. This month has been different as God has sent a good amount of precipitation our way! A true blessing from above. Since being here we have often compared the rain to God’s blessings and both the rain and spiritual blessings arrived this month.

On Mother’s Day we had a service/party at our house. Sarah put in long hours decorating and preparing to make the day special. We had a great group including several couples who had never been to a study. One was a neighbor couple we had invited over the previous night for pizza. We have been able to socialize with several of our neighbors this month. I heard from a Pastor whose church recently decided to separate Sunday nights for the members to intentionally schedule dinners/events in which they could meet their unchurched neighbors and friends. This vision for the unchurched excites me as it is our vision as well!

A few weeks ago a training was held for the Samaritan’s purse Operation Christmas Child program. Our colleague Roger Smith is on the national board of directors as the Prayer Coordinator. Within our Pastor’s group he started explaining the children’s discipleship program and the Pastors were soon excited. Although my involvement was very minimal, my excitement was through the roof as 17 different ministries were represented by around 60 people! Why so excited? This area rarely has cooperation between ministries. One of our main goals through our training center has been to train people from different areas to reach the Sertão. People came from all over our city and region. Several different towns were represented. This gave me great hope for what we want to do with our training center. It seems as though different people will be willing to come here to be trained. 

Our annual football camp happened this past weekend where we had seven coaches come from the US to Recife at Camp Paradise. Their character challenges were accepted by more than sixty athletes that showed up to learn more about american football. For me the most exciting result was in the facebook posts that followed where several athletes emphasized the spiritual teaching they received as being a main highlight of the weekend. I posted a bunch of photos on my facebook page in case you are interested in seeing the impact. 

Construction has ramped up on the building and we hope to be using the incomplete facilities in a couple of months. I have started being more involved with the construction and go there and to the store most days. 

Servant Leaders development is going well and the site seems to be getting quite a few views per week. We are getting close to translating as much as we can before the other courses are fully developed. I am excited to start these seminars and courses here soon. I feel like our influence base here is going well as we have developed our relationships with the churches and people here. 

Excited to partner with you all in this ministry in Brazil! God continues to blow our minds with the doors he opens up! God bless you all!

All for HIS glory,


David, Sarah, my little coach who also started Ukulele lessons, and our arts and crafts major

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Bits from Brasil

A week before we left the US this month we all talked about being ready to be back in Brasil. Our time in the states was fun as we were able to spend some quality time with family and friends and see many friends from churches that support the ministry here in Brasil. We live a very blessed life. Our trip home went smoothly even as we traveled with a bit of luggage. Evie was a big help and cause of your prayers, we were not pushing all our bags all over the airport, but the pick-ups and drop-offs turned out being close to each other!


I did not expect for us to jump right into the routine here, but that is what happened. We arrived late Saturday night after coaching a football game in Recife. On Sunday night we invited our Bible study friends to come over for a get together and we packed the house out and had a great time talking with everyone. On Tuesday night we started a Bible study with a couple that had started in our studies when we first arrived. He invited his Grandma and we met at his aunt’s house. The study went well and we were told we could return. Breno did not grow up in church and is not used to that kind of setting, but is open to in house studies. Pray that they go well with him!

On Thursday we went in the early afternoon to Tupanatinga. Sarah and Bia caught up while the girls continued playing. The study at night went really well with a good group. We are excited about what the Lord has for us there.

My current class is Team Dynamics and I have learned so much in it. Part of my project has been meeting with our colleague Roger and talking about team. We feel really good about what we have been discussing and the future of the ministry here. Please pray for synergetic work that pushes God’s work forward here. One aspect of our conversations has been the construction. Pray for us as I will be more involved in working together with Carlos in getting the building ready. We are putting together priorities to 1) get the building usable 2) finish this phase of the project. We will be seeing how much money we have available right now and what that can finish and evaluate how we will manage that. If you would like to participate in not making the money matters an issue, let me know! :)

Our service this weekend went well and it was good to be back in that rhythm. Normally we do not have services at our house, but due to the location being unavailable, we had it here. Sarah has started projects for the kids to give to their mothers on Mother’s Day. She received some new craft ideas while we were in the states. 

Well, one of my friends said I write too much, so I will stop for now! :) Thanks for all your love and support for the ministry here! 

All for HIS glory,


David, Sarah, and our two little gymnasts, one girl with the janelinha (little window…referring to her two front teeth being out, the second being pulled in the airport forcing a dilemma for the tooth fairy giving in dollar or real), and the other girl who is going to start learning portuguese and is unsure of what to do when someone speaks portuguese to her.