Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bits from Brasil December

It is nice to feel at home. It is not uncommon for missionaries to never feel that way during the holidays. Sarah said she felt that way this year and that makes me super happy. We have not even made it to the year mark here in Arcoverde and we are already feeling like we fit in here.

We had our Christmas party on the 17th and it was a blast. We had around 30 people there, sang for the first time and had a little message. No one wanted to leave and we didn't leave until late. Many expressed gratitude for the group and what it meant for them. We are hoping that the momentum carries to 2015 even though we have taken a couple week break.

Our life right now is divided into major projects and daily tasks. The major projects going on currently include the youth event for February 5-7 that is at a huge building. We are praying for many youth as we could have anywhere from 50-400 youth. The uncertainty of the numbers makes the planning a little difficult. I am also working on a website that will have courses and seminars available for churches in Brazil. This involves networking with missionaries, gathering and organizing material. The house construction is also a major project that we hope to finish in 3-4 months, Lord willing.

On Sunday I get on a bus for Recife where I will speak at Adventure week for Camp Paradise for a week. I will be speaking on Colossians 3. Pray that the time there would be effective and that Sarah will be ok with the girls for a week here in Arcoverde. 

This year we will be trying to build the church and start services, host a church from Alabama that will serve here for a week, have outreach events, host more training events (we will do a Good Soil seminar in April), make more friends and disciples! 

We pray for a prosperous new year for you all and appreciate your faithfulness. A couple weeks ago I wrote this blog about our financial situation and how you all have been a blessing. Thanks!

All for HIS glory,

David, Sarah, our five year old who is growing an inch a day, learning to read, make up songs and stories and ballet, and our little tornado with gusts ranging from 80-120 miles per hour that is starting to talk a little more each day. (Evelyn and Anna Claire, since I never mention their names :)

Monday, December 22, 2014


This year has been amazing for us as far as support goes. We started off being super blessed in our return to Brazil by people going above and beyond for us to arrive back in Brazil on schedule. We are continually humbled by the sacrifice of many for us; from people who scrape money to get by and send in a once every couple years offering of $60, to one who is facing cancer with little time left and is still making giving a priority, to a big chunk of friends who budget us in monthly. We count it a privilege to serve the Lord and alongside you all.

As I shared the gospel on Saturday with a friend, he told me how he did not want to be religious because he had to be; he wants to do whatever he actually wants to do. I told him how we are here and we serve because we want to, not out of obligation. And I am pretty sure (or at least hope) you all are the same way when it comes to giving to us.

God has blessed us this year to the point where we have not been in the red in our general support account; which used to live in the red! We are still at full support after almost a year of being back on the field (usually people start forgetting about you after a few months). And usually we receive extra gifts around Christmas that make up for lower support towards the end of the year. That has not been necessary.

I just wanted to write all this to say thank you. (We will ask for money later with the youth event and church construction coming up, but not in this post :).

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A selfie culture

Smart phones have brought in a lot of time/energy saving resources. They have also put a high quality camera into something you have with you all the time; allowing picture-making to happen much more often. We can see first walks, random acts of kindness, crimes, and all sorts of activities because cameras are always a reach in the pocket away.

Phones also have games on them. All kinds of games from simple word search games, to time consuming games like candy crush to video games where the phone is the controller, screen and audio. The sky is the limit with the apps you can purchase or download to your phone.

Unfortunately the camera and the games have mixed into a new culture buzzword: the selfie. Apparently, the game is to find the most creative way to make yourself look good while still holding your camera. The object is to receive the most praise possible by one picture. This game is almost addicting as candy crush as people take the game to all different levels. Level one started years ago when no one was around to help take a picture and couples had to creatively extend their arm and catch a picture of themselves. Hopefully this has nothing to do with the busy-ness of our culture in not being able to ask someone to help you out when your group is wanting to take a group picture. This whole game might be avoided if we were all friendlier!

The part of the selfie culture I find most devastating is the selfie mirror picture. Find the best angle that will make you look impeccable; put on your seductive smile and BOOM, you conquer the highest level. You can expect dozens of comments on your beauty that should boost your self-esteem for a whole three days!

I tried not to be too sarcastic and brief with the above comments, but the whole selfie culture really makes me sick to my stomach. Not every time; the group ones can be fun, and I realize that. But I wonder what we are trying to prove when we post pictures of ourselves all over the internet. What is the motivation?

It seems Jesus and the Bible highlight thinking of God and others first. I wonder how selfies fit into seeking to bring honor to God and serve others. I know that it is hard to fit that phrase into every aspect of life, it just seems that generally selfies have the opposite effect.

But just so you know, whether you take selfies or not, you are beautiful in the eyes of the most important person in the world and He loves you unconditionally. He wants you to be even more beautiful on the inside than you are on the outside and has provided a way in which you can accomplish this. And I love you too because you are important; God made you in His image! I hope you can receive worth as a child of God and accept the praise of man only as a little bonus.