br Salvador Porters

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

training preachers

Tonight was a good night. In just over a month we are going to be traveling to the US on furlough. While we are gone people have to fill in for some of the roles we normally take care of while here. One of my major roles this past year has been preaching. It is normal to have a few of the guys help out with a series, but this is my first time to plan 9 weeks or so of lessons for other people to preach.

In some ways though, this is a great blessing. Sometimes we have a hard time stepping into roles or trying some things out in life when we think there are other people who will do it for us. Since I am going to be traveling though, I am hoping that we can use this time to help a few more of our men become comfortable with preaching. When I talked to a few of the guys about this need the idea came up that we ought to do some training. In the past all of our preaching training has been more one on one, but the idea now is to try something different.

Several of us are going to try to get together every week to do two things. First we want to open the Bible and find out what God has to say about a variety of topics (who Jesus is, baptism, faith, grace, sin, etc.). Second, we want to give some opportunities for the guys to preach to our group about the things we are studying.

I am real excited about this because this gives us the opportunity to open the Bible in a very raw fashion and study what God has to say about important matters of our faith. Through this study we will hopefully have the chance to model and learn what it means to hear God’s Word and to investigate God’s truths. And then from this study we are then going to have the chance to talk about how we communicate these truths to others. This is something we can do together. The goal is to grow together as we study and speak. I hope that someday we can do something like this with everyone. We all need to know how to study and to speak God’s truths into the world around us.

Tonight was our first night and it was a great blessing. We sat around with our Bibles open studying and investigating who the Bible says about who Jesus is. What a great blessing. I am looking forward to these next several weeks.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

pics from July

Our summer interns. Candice and Marcy
had to take our interns to a truly Brazilian experience, a soccer game!

We are doing a 4 week series on Friday nights with our couples.

Cibele with Kelton and Hannah

Our times together have been a great blessing to all our couples. Please pray especial for our non-christians who came.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thank God for power outages

This past weekend I got to go to the Northeastern (Brazil, that is) Women’s Conference.  Now I must start off with a confession.  The site was a bit more rustic than I was thinking it was going to be.  The hotel was called Agua Viva Beach Resort.  Let’s just say that their name was misleading to say the least.  What I should have been thinking was Camp.  It was very nice for Camp (indoor plumbing, showers, on the beach).  It was not very nice for “beach resort” (no hot water, big ol’ spiders, had to bring our own towels, didn’t get tops sheets until the second night).

It was a truly beautiful place, right on the water, plenty of gorgeous trees and plants around.  It did rain the whole time we were there, but for me this was fine.  I actually like the rain more than I like the sun.  I know, why do I live in Salvador, Brazil when I could live somewhere like Seattle.

But overall this conference was what all retreats should be—time to breathe deep.  I had time to step away from child care and husband care and church care and breathe deep.  I read, I worshipped, I laughed, I napped, I watched the rain and napped some more.

One of the more special moments came on the second evening as we were waiting for the doors to open and dinner to start being served.  The meal times where never very fast.  The kitchen wasn’t really set up to serve quickly the 287 women who were in attendance.  So usually we stood in line an hour or so before we could eat or wait til the line was gone and see what food was left.  Well on the second night we were very hungry and just as they opened the doors to the dining room the electricity in the whole place went out.  There we are standing in the complete dark.  After a moment or two someone started a song and then another and another.  All the women, instead of being frustrated, used their time in the darkness to praise God. 

This was cool enough in itself but then as the darkness continued I began to see something in the darkness.  At first I thought something was wrong with my eyes.  Because I suffer from migraines I often see flashes of light that aren’t there.  I called my intern over, “Do you see that, the little flashes.”  “Yes, I see them…I think it’s fireflies!”  Fireflies!  I grew up in California.  We don’t have fireflies there.  They are something I see in movies or hear about in other’s childhood memories.  But here at my “beach resort” with the electricity out I am watching fireflies dance in the moonlight.  I don’t think the other women noticed them, there weren’t very many of the little creatures.  But I stood there with bated breath waiting for the next little flash.  It was wonderful.  It was beautiful.  It was such a serendipitous moment, one of those “more than you could ask or imagine” moments.

Thank you God for power outages and thank that the very next night, right before dinner it happened again.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The power of relationship

This weekend we put on VBS. Actually it really wasn't "Vacation" Bible School since it isn't vacation time being the middle of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. So we called it Super Saturday. And it really was... a super Saturday.

Just to get the numbers out of the way, we had 53 kids in attendance. That's about how many people we usually have in attendance on Sunday morning. There were probably about 30 more adults running around the building as well, either teaching, leading groups, cooking, helping or parents who came to see what their kids were doing. I was in the "helping" category. I did a little bit of everything. Mostly I was the gopher and did whatever the chief, Valerie (my teammate and children's minister) told me to do.

In the end we only broke one light fixture, the electricity only went out in half the building (including the air conditioners) and only one kid threw up. So it was pretty much a great success.

What I was most proud of for the day was the fact that the kids who came were connected to people at our church. For the most part they weren't random kids off the street that we will never see again. Our members brought their neighbor kids. Our children invited their friends. Our secretary invited the guy who services our copier to bring his kids. The parking attendant that works at the restaurant down the street and the street sweeper sent their children. Kids came through relationships.

Mission work through relationship is slow. It takes time to earn the respect and trust of people. Especially to get to a place where they are willing to share with you about something as intimate as their deepest needs and their spiritual questions and doubts, hopes and fears.

I thought when I moved to Brazil, that five years into the work, I would be part of a church a lot bigger and faster growing than 40-50. But what I have learned is that mission work isn't about having the best worship service that everyone wants to go to, being the best foreign language learner, or always knowing exactly what to say. It isn't even about being the best pray'er or having the spiritual gift of evangelism. Effective mission work is about cultivating a loving, powerful, relationship with God Almighty and letting that transformational relationship spill out daily onto the other relationships in my life. From my husband, to my next door neighbor, to the other moms at Kelton's school, to the guy that always parks too close to me in our garage, my relationship with people matter. And it is the best way to be a missionary in this world.

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Thursday, May 06, 2010




Last night we celebrated 5 de Mayo with some of our friends. We had a great time. Heather, our 2 year intern, helped us make enchiladas, burritos, guac, sour cream (or at least the best we can do here), salsa, and chips. It was a lot of fun sharing our favorite type of food.
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Strategy Review

This week has been a great week. For the past four days we have met as a team, studied God's Word, prayed for guidance, openly talked about successes and failures, and recommitted to an all out pursuit of God. God is good. My teammate Val has blogged about the retreat and said some great things. if you get a chance you ought to check out her post from the past several days.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

September Prayer Calendar

Just wanted to offer our September Prayer Calendar for any that want it. You can click here or on the image below to download the calendar.