Now before I jump straight into what I would call life’s most important and difficult thing to accomplish on a day to day basis, I would like to explain a bit about what ministry/life has looked like for me in the past few months and weeks. In June I led a team to Brasil, for a 10 week outreach, I would say that this time of my life was the most challenging time thus far. There are many aspects that made it this way. Not just for obvious reasons like being in Brasil during the busiest craziest most outrageous time that Brasil has ever experienced in History during the World Cup, being in a new culture and just living in that new place which was completely different from what we were used to. But as a leader of a team who is in a new place and was trying hard to seek out everything that God wanted for the team and attempting to lead exactly how God knew would be best for us became very spiritually exhausting and overwhelming at times.
We were a team of five guys and one lady each with our own different extremes in personality, this tended to make things very interesting from time to time; but I reckon that’s a normal thing when you have a team that consisted of 5 different nations. During our time in Brasil we were a part of many different ministries and were able to see God move in some pretty incredible ways. We were in about 4 different places throughout Brasil, they were; Sao Paulo/Campinas, Rio de Janeiro/Mesquita, The State of Miniature Eyes and Espirito Santo/Vitoria.
Each place in which I have been to for ministry in the past never fails to be different than the other place. I have done ministry in the USA, Mexico, Australia, India and Brasil. Within the next year I will go to another nation. But even though these places have so many differences, they always have similarities as well. Some of the similarities that I can think of off of my head top are that people are in pain everywhere, everyone is in need of this pain to be healed, all are in need of forgiveness and whether or not they are seeking a resolution to these things-no matter what there background looks like, each person in each nation of this planet can have this resolution. It’s Jesus. Jesus is the simple but powerful change that can be brought to anyone.
I would like to encourage all of you Christian readers to take this blog that I have wrote and which was inspired fully by God and share this with your mates who are non believers but also for those who are. God has the ability to take these words and use them to encourage and bring His people closer to Him. Thanks for that!
Some of the things that we did and things we saw God perform in Brasil. I am so grateful to God that we were able to experience the “classic tourist spots”, like the Christ Statue in Rio de Janero, the Capacabana beach, the Ipanama beach, the World Cup of soccer as well as every other amazing place we saw. But none of these amazing things could ever compare to being a small piece of a puzzle to the lives that we were able to see be completely transformed by Jesus. We were blessed with a full schedule. Some of the ministries we were a part of were street evangelism, speaking in churches every week, serving people by repairing buildings, doing yard work, fixing vehicles which had been sitting in the weeds that hadn’t ran in years in order to help them be able to drive 20 miles to get groceries rather than them walking, encourage the youth, see people be healed from things such as becoming pregnant after being barren for multiple years, visiting villages and hosting events for the children, families and prostitutes to come to in order to get away from danger and have a safe haven and to show them love where they had none, speak forgiveness grace and love over people in drug rehab houses and children and teenagers in prison alike.
Now there was one time in particular that was a crucial turning point for our team as well as for each of us at a personal level. It was during week two of outreach. We had an opportunity to go to a prison for children and teens from ages 8-20. We were given one night to prepare and then that next morning we would check into security at the prison walls and then go into this prison that we were told was very sketchy. When we were given this opportunity we were told that these children had been locked up for a variety of reasons, “These children of God are in here for things such as theft, assault, vandalism”, with tears in there eyes they said, “ but most are in here for rape often the victim being siblings and girls younger than them who had no defense, drugs by selling them, making them, distributing them and doing them, and some of them for murder, remember 8-20 years old.”
Now I do not tell you any of this to make you sad or depressed or anything like that, I tell you this to tell you how God can truly take the nastiest thing created by the devil himself and turn it into the utmost beautiful gem ever to be seen…please, picture a diamond being found in the dirt, when it is pulled out it probably looks like filth because it has been covered by soil or things of this earth up to this point in it’s existence…now picture running the gem under a clean tap of water. Haha wow, that is astonishing!!! Admire its beauty and life! Just like that, it is made new and just like that God is able to clean up these children’s lives and make them clean from rape, drugs, murder and whatever else. This symbol of water on the diamond is to represent the blood that Jesus shed for us on the cross displaying such an example of love so that we could be forgiven and blameless in the face of our Father. This love is indescribable!!
This leads me to the cliffhanger that I left y’all with at the start of this. What is life’s biggest challenge that we face daily? It is simply to get out of the boat….
Jesus Walks on the Water
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
When God gave us the opportunity of speaking to the children and teens at the prison; God was in other words asking us to step out of the boat. Just like Jesus asked Matthew to step out of the boat in faith that he would be able to walk on water, He was asking us the same. It shows in the these Bible verses that Matthew was scared to step out and he doubted, it was the same for us…we were honestly nervous to go and let God move through us to these people who had been labeled as rapists, murderers, thieves and druggies. But see we chose to just do it, we chose to step out and allow for God to move through us and see these lives be forever anew and afresh through Jesus Christ. Once again they were able to start with a clean slate in their lives. No longer labeled as bad, but good!
This is a fairly radical example of stepping out. But in everything, every single day we can step out of ourselves and step into what God has for us. God surpasses all, every fear must flee in His name. Thank you for reading what I have wrote, I hope that it has encouraged and challenged you all.:) God bless You. For those who follow my blog on the Blogger website that is great, but I will slowly be switching over to using Wordpress. I am still going to post through both, but on Wordpress I have actually created a website were I am trying to build up my crowd of followers and viewers so check it out! Thanks.