God in Schools

November 14th, 2018

It’s hard to watch our public schools and universities display such contempt for the name of Christ. I remember in hgh school being made fun of and mocked in front of my entire Social Studies class by a teacher who hated me only because I had a Bible with me.

He made comments about mistakes I made and taunted me by saying, “too busy reading your Bible, aren’t you?!” He encrouaraged the class to read ” fascinating articles“ in PlayBoy magazine and he would break into laughter as he explained that congress would begin sessions with prayer.

Today I have the privilege of teaching English and chess to four classrooms full of third and fourth graders in a public school in Brazil. I tell them stories like how Jesus calmed the storm and healed the broken. We pray before each class and at the end, we pray with the children for their families, school, teachers and their community.
The school pays me nothing, but the rewards are endless!

Theater Performance

October 25th, 2018

We anticipate more than 1000 children and adults to enjoy the performance our three youngest girls are working in this 2 week period. They prepared a type of theater over the past four months through our Arts (Arte Sete) ministry.
The performance expresses that everyone, even in this depressed region, has a place and that their value lay completely in a kind and merciful God’s love. I’m so proud of my girls sharing God’s heart in a way that brings smiles and laughter and communicates that God cares about these people and every single one of their battles.  


August 22nd, 2018

One of the most valuable ministries on our YWAM base here is the Brazilian jiu-jitsu program. It’s an amazing opportunity where teens and children learn skills that bring them a sense of accomplishment and a way to build confidence.
At the end of the year, they are awarded belts and have the opportunity to compete further abroad. Most commonly, these are some of the most underprivileged children you could ever meet. The majority live in shacks that have no bathrooms and families of 5 or more people live in broken down make-shift one-bedroom houses with little to call their own. Considered the most forgotten in society, yet we watch these young people stand proudly. They are treated with respect and honor.
I believe Christ speaks into their lives through our actions and our words. I’m so proud of them as they lift their heads, standing up front. They bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart knowing they feel valued by us.


August 17th, 2018

The homicide rate in California (population of 39 million) for 2017 was 1,829 victims, often described as a war-zone.
I’ve done inner-city work there and I can tell you I have felt uncomfortable more than a few times. 17 years volunteering at the Union Gospel Mission in Salem and for 30 years God has allowed me to serve the homeless.
Our daughter Danielle and her husband Thiago teach churches and other missionaries how to evangelize in Brazil. They often go into the most difficult areas in the cities of Rio and Sao Paulo. She tells me stories of how as she enters into the slums (favelas), men with automatic weapons warn them, “If you steal from us, we’ll kill you.” They frequent these places enough that now when they enter, these same men ask them, “Please pray for me.” And they spend time with the women and children, sharing Christ and meeting the great needs there.
The homicide rate in the state of Rio de Janeiro (population of 16 million) for the first 6 months of 2017 reached nearly 4,000 victims . These statistics give you an idea of how violent the places are that we live in.
Many think of Rio as a paradise. But, it was reported earlier this year, that for the first part of the year, more people died in Rio than in the Syrian conflict for that same year.
Christ died for these precious people and I”m grateful for the heart of my daughter and her husband, reaching some of the most difficult places to reach.
Please pray for them as they are presently in São Paulo doing this very thing.

Pinheiro Tree

July 31st, 2018

The pinheiro tree (a type of araucaria) grows here in the state of Paraná and is a beautiful and majestic testimony of the diverse marvels of our Creator. This tree reaches heights of 40 meters (130 feet) and the impressive span of the branches often extend nearly in width what it grows in height. It has an umbrella-type of appearance, yet some others form what appears to be a candelabra-type top. 2400 tons of pinhão (much like a large pine nut) are harvested every year and Brazilians roast or boil as an exceptional treat. A healthy tree grows large and broad and can be identified on hills several miles away.
Wouldn’t it stand to reason that a believer who continues in the faith for many years, could be seen as one whose life reaches outward to cover and protect those around him? And that their way of following God would be difficult to miss? Shouldn’t their fruits provide hope and light that bless their community? Husbands and fathers ought to be examples filled with a genuine joy that spills over into the lives of their sons and daughters and their homes are a safe haven that their families can feel loved and properly cared for.
If you are a healthy believer, and your source of joy is a result of the Spirit’s dwelling and proving God’s will in you, then we are beginning to live as Christ taught. And then the church can be the body of Christ that it was always intended to be. Otherwise, we need to get on our faces and seek God until our lives are truly changed!

His Desire for our Good

June 5th, 2018

Just a week or so after arriving in Brazil, we went into the nearby town to get some idea of what it was like. As we began our walk in the busy area, one of my daughters grabbed my hand and said, “I’m holding Dad’s hand, that way I know I’ll be safe!”
Everything that seemed strange then is quite familiar now, but I reflect on her comment often. She believed I would keep her life safe, and with all my ability I would do as much as I’m able. When I parallel her thoughts with that of believers and our faith in God, I recognize the reality that He is not only able far above our ability, but that His desire for our good is equally mighty!

Reaching the lost in Brazil

April 27th, 2018

This video is intended to bring attention to a need and to show how God is bringing resolve to this problem.
Please feel free to share this video with your church or with a small group and let’s see the hand of God change the lives of people who have not heard the gospel!

Wise as Serpents – Part 1

January 25th, 2018

When I think of serpents, more so in a Biblical context, I most commonly think about the enemy’s involvement with humanity, his deception and his hatred for the people of God, the imagery of his work in the garden, or maybe his involvement through those who worked so hard to destroy Jesus. Jesus often called out the hypocrites and referred to them as a “den of vipers.”
But on one particular occasion, Jesus told his disciples to simulate characteristics commonly displayed by serpents. “Be wise as serpents,” He said.

Snakes display patience and strength when placed in a difficult encounter. They never seek out a fight, yet are, I think, clever in their response to confrontation. In our personal lives, and on the world stage, christians are coming under fire more and more each day. Christianity has become the most persecuted religion world-wide in the past two years. Clearly we are being backed further and further into a corner by the work of the enemy. Yet, how are we to respond? Or maybe a better question would be, who are we really?

On the world stage, it is very easy to spot those who are able to stand against the tactics and propaganda of a power-hungry media, coupled with their counterpart in politics. It is those that are well-learned, who choose to believe that their beliefs are worth knowing and understanding well, instead of being bullied, these men and women are causing their assailants to step back and realize they have no answers for the wisdom they have spoken.
Could it be that this may be the answer to common attacks in our personal lives? Studying, searching, seeking, and being prepared to answer. We have the words of life and we should always continue to learn, never stop drawing from the one who holds every answer to any question. Do not think that you are not able. For because of Christ, we are able.

The Israelites allowed themselves to be fooled out of serving the true God as they took on other belief systems. God spoke to them through the prophet Isaiah, “My people are destroyed by a lack of knowledge.”

Let our story speak to the world today that our fate was not because of our ignorance, but our successes were because our words answered the difficult questions of our time. Our words confounded those who thought they were wise and our words brought light to a dark world and changed the world that we were given to change.

Please prayerfully consider giving towards our ministry.
Our church website (tax deductible): http://vccalbany.com/online-giving/

Or PayPal:  http://paypal.me/goinstobrazil


Wise as Serpents – Part 2

January 2nd, 2018

“Wisdom is justified of her children” ~ Luke 7:35
Jesus spoke these words, not about true wisdom that comes from God, but rather a wisdom that only appears to be wisdom. Or in other words, it is a perception of the world only with the simple shallow look or view tainted by our own agendas. A good example might include the desire to take the easy road, which at times, might seem best. Or that of having a mind not to offend others, maybe for the purpose of not creating for ourselves a difficult encounter. I do not enjoy hurting other people’s feelings, yet telling the truth may cause unfavorable results.
More and more commonly today I see the body of Christ bowing to worldly views, accepting ideas that are clearly in opposition to the Word of God. One such idea would be that all belief systems can be compatible, that we are all seeking the same purpose and the same God, but only in different ways. If this were true, then what was the reasoning behind God giving the command to have no other gods before Him? And why was Israel and other nations disciplined for serving these other gods? And why did every prophet warn vehemently against serving these other gods? Of course it would be easier to just accept the belief system the world demands and we could simply relax in the flow of conformity to political correctness.
The Prince of Peace once said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace, but a sword.” His actions reflected this idea and it cost Him His life here on earth. His words, that Christians sometimes worry will offend in today’s culture, offended in the culture on the day in which they were spoken. Why? Because He was confronting what was not right and they hated Him for it. Jesus taught us that if they hated Him, they would hate us also.
If we are “wise as serpents,” we will not be fooled by enemy tactics. Serpents never ignore potential threats, nor let down their guard against an enemy that intends to destroy them. We must always see the enemy for who he is and know that our families, our friends, and our world must be guarded faithfully. As the tempest rages, would it be wise to call out, “All is well and there is nothing to be concerned for?” Can we enjoy the view and ignore the cries of people who are devoured by a relentless enemy? Or must we speak up for the helpless and make a genuine effort to bring a stop to their destruction?
I would like to visit one account of a faithful hero from Scripture. Daniel and all the wise men of Babylon were seemingly up a creek without a paddle. There was truly no reasonable way to answer the king’s request and tell him what his dream was, let alone interpreting it. Keep in mind that the entire predicament was not stirred up by an enemy attack, but by the Prince of Peace Himself. The king was given a dream by God and God’s intent was completely for the good of their time. Yet the king’s troubled heart could only seek within the realm of what he knew. What was truly astounding was Daniel’s immediate response. He and his close trusted friends instantly reached for the throne. The throne of the One who is all wise, all knowing, the One who cannot fail. Read the story for yourself in Daniel 2.
God used Daniel to reveal the answer to the most difficult question of their time, and because he was unwilling to go along with the wisdom of the day, he and his friends turned to the answer of all ages. If we are faithful to the call, we will come under fire and will experience great opposition. It is even possible we could lose our lives for His sake. Or maybe prove God and His perfect will to a world that is desperately in need!
It is important that the gospel that goes out is always at full potency. Scripture tells us that Christ is a stumbling block and it is not our job to ease the world’s ability to accept it. A cheapened gospel will not reach the world, it rather has the potential of deceiving them. Christ died for the lost, and in particular, a great deal of His focus was a compassion and concern for the poor.
Please prayerfully consider helping us continue to reach out and meet immediate needs and share the love of Christ.

Our church website (tax deductible): http://vccalbany.com/online-giving/give-online/

Or Paypal:  http://paypal.me/goinstobrazil