Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Bits August

Back to school! It is back to school time for many students. I know some are excited, some aren’t. Evelyn is either or….excited or dreading depending on the different day. I, on the other hand, am nervous. It appears that I am starting school again this month…after an eleven year absence. I was reading some course description stuff wondering if my mind can handle school again. 

This month was exciting. I went to Rio for the Olympics, (you can read about that here) and had a good time as we handed out a ton of little booklets with information on the Christ Redeemer statue as well as containing a good explanation of the gospel. 

When I arrived home I had just a couple days before we played our second league football game. We were down at half 7-0, but then Sarah’s little 4-8 year old cheerleading crew did the halftime show. They did great and had fun, the fans enjoyed it, and our team went out and won 22-7 after their performance! Sarah is enjoying this new role as well as learning new information on organizing/managing. 

After our win we had our Bible study and had 30 adults and 8 kids! It was packed at our house! Sunday nights go like this: They start arriving around 7; the starting prayer usually happens around 7:30; we sing a few songs, do a Bible study as the kids go upstairs and have their own time together with Sarah; ending prayer at 8:30 and then everyone is usually out the door around 9:30! We talk and sing for a while after the study. The name of our church is Koinonia, which is greek for fellowship….so we try to hold true to our name! :) 

This month a couple that has been a part of our group since the beginning and also have their own ministry (Teen Challenge) started organizing a kid’s club together with Samaritan’s purse and we have been involved in that. The first week they gave out Christmas shoe boxes (I know….) and the second week they started the discipleship aspect of the program. The gospel was presented both weeks and the kids seem like they are having a good time. Please pray for that ministry! Saturday it rained and so we had about 75 kids and a few adults packed into a 10x20 room. 

Right after the club, while it was still raining, Tyler and I went to English conversation in the park and met with the one guy who came; João Marcelo. He has been in our group for a while and we had a great conversation. We went into the gospel and he really opened up. It was really neat! 

Construction at the church continues and hopefully the first floor ceiling (2nd floor floor) will be done this month. Lots to do still, but we are praying for us to have the space to use soon. Please continue to pray for the funds to come in. This Sunday our study was on giving out of II Corinthians 9. 

Also, in case you missed it: Here is the link for the message magazine! In it is an article on the football ministry as well as an article on the people behind the Olympic ministry. As a special added bonus, there is an article on our friend’s Maicol and Mandy who are our partners in crime for Servant Leaders. He and I are working on the translation and development in Portuguese and it is going well! Check out the English website to see about how local church leaders can be trained; there are already many videos in English and many free resources for churches to use on practical classes you don’t see everywhere! :) 

So much to say! Thanks for your patience, love, support and prayers. You all mean so much to us!

All for HIS glory,

David, Sarah, my big two schooler (that is meant to mean that Evelyn is going to two schools right now, home school and Brazilian school) and doing well in both, and our little kitty cat Anna Claire (if her five hours per day acting like a kitty cat persist we may have to survey our constituency for a free psychologist, but for now we enjoy the cuddles she gives us in the morning while acting like a cat). 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Olympics in Rio de Janeiro

On August 8 I flew from Recife to Rio de Janeiro in order to participate in the Olympics. Although rumors might have accidentally been started by me about competing, I was not there as an athlete. A group led by Dr. David Crandall, an ABWE board member and leader with Answers in Genesis went to the Olympics to evangelize. Dr. Crandall has been active in this type of large world event evangelism for the last couple of decades and has seen a great impact. I heard about the cause through our mission board ABWE as the missionaries from Brasil were asked to translate for the groups.

I thought it might be right up my alley since I do enjoy sport's ministry and so I signed up almost a year ahead of time. Upon arrival there was a diverse group of people from Peru to New Zealand, China to Brazil, and US groups from Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, California, Texas, Michigan and everywhere in between. There were around 85 of us in all with varying personalities and styles.

We started going out on Tuesday and my group went to the Ipanema beach where almost everyone accepted the booklets we had. The name of the book is "The 7th Wonder" and talked about the Christ the Redeemer statue as well as talking about the Christ of the statue. The book is very well written and provides lots of interesting information. The Brazilians in Rio took the books like candy and we soon realized that we had not printed enough in Portuguese.

We switched locations most days and only a couple days did I go back to a location. During the 10 days in Rio I went to the Christ Redeemer statue, Ipanema beach, Copacabana beach, Olympic Boulevard, Olympic Park, a major bus stop and one rainy day to a mall. Most locations had crowds of people walking past us and we just handed them out with people on the run. We did not have many lasting conversations on these days, but were very successful in getting the books into the hands of people. During the week we were told that on average each book you hand out is read by 7 different people. Since the trip we have already heard of someone from Italy getting saved upon returning home and reading the book. God chose to give us His Word in written form, which probably means that is pretty effective.

The beach days were nice to be able to talk to more people. One day I hung around a few different groups and talked for a while. I met a girl whose boyfriend was participating. She asked prayer for his grandmother since she was really sick and they didn't want to tell him before he competed. A couple other conversations went deep into the gospel and it was neat to see people thinking about their lives.

After 7 days of passing out booklets our group had passed out over 108,000 books. The 55,000 Portuguese books quickly disappeared which stalled our effort some the last couple of days. Around 20 people had made professions of faith and many more deep conversations had occurred. We received many thanks from Christians who were impressed that the group cared that much to make the trip.

One other part I enjoyed was the networking aspect of the trip. I was able to connect to a couple pastors who have been begging for someone to go work in Rio. We were able to get some leftover books to them as well as maintain contact. There is so much work to do in Brazil and around the world! It is neat to see a trip where we could help both the world and Brazil in hearing the gospel. By the way, we were able to hand out books to closed countries; people who would not be able to hear the gospel in their own country. The popular refugee team from the Olympics all received these books! We also were able to get a box of books from 10 different languages into Olympic Village to be passed out to the athletes. I watched some of my teammates congratulate a girl from Hong Kong who had participated and it was a huge step for their country.

Below is the link to the Message magazine where there is an article about this Olympic ministry (as well as the article on our football ministry here in Brazil). It has more info about the trip and the ministry Dr. Crandall is involved in.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Football opportunities in Brazil

The doors are open for football in Brazil. But what does that mean? How can Christians take advantage of this growth? I have heard of a couple of missionaries being involved with teams, but there is so much more we can do. We are already involved in camps/clinics, coaching, playing and networking. We teach character as well as the fundamentals of football during our clinics. If you played in high school or above you are probably qualified to help out. We usually have a camp in early June. We could also setup another clinic as well. If you are interested in being involved in a camp, please let me know using the contact info below.

Besides taking a 1-2 week short term trip, we could also use players to come down for 5-9 months. We currently have a graduate from University of Northwestern in St. Paul who played four years of college and has come down to play a little more as well as help with the church plant here. With football experience under his belt, he already comes out with a leverage on the players here. He can be great influence on them in little time. Brazil has many more teams and some of them are in cities with missionaries in them. You can come down with one of your friends (or we can hook you up with another player), live, work and play with them and help out a church plant as well. One cool thing is that you probably won’t have to raise support or self support yourself that much. Some of the teams have money to pay your passage and visa as well as living costs. Some might just be able to do living costs, but either way, you won’t have to self support your self that much. Some places would even find you some sort of work you could do to make some extra money (don’t expect too much though). 

We have already started looking for players to come next year in either February, March or May to stay through November or December. Ideally we would like players who have played in college and already graduated. We also need guys with character and a passion to make Jesus’ name known. Come be a part of what God is doing through football in Brazil! 

David Carrel
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