God can take the ordinary and do something exceptional

Why am I going to Brazil. This was a hard letter for me to write. Is it exciting to be going to another country? Yes. Is it a once in a life time opportunity? Yes. There will be occasions to give the Gospel, to give a testimony, to help build a church and relationships, and serve with the missionaries. But I could not honestly write about one or all of these as the reason that I am going. When the mission trip was first announced, I immediately felt that I should be going. I felt compelled to act upon the opportunity and I could not let this trip pass by. I prayed about the decision and let Pastor know that I would like to go with the team. Now the question is ‘why am I going?’. If God can take the ordinary and do something exceptional than that would be me.  I am going to Brazil on the faith that God wants me to go and after or during this time I will know ‘why I am going to Brazil’.

Daily focus on God and God alone

I was excited when I heard about the opportunity to serve in a mission trip to Brazil. I began to pray about my involvement and the possibility of joining the group.  The Lord opened doors and allowed everything to fall into place. It also would not have been possible without the generous donations of those that God has used to help fund this trip.

I have had the opportunity to go on two mission trips in the past, on both occasions I returned with a different outlook on life. Often times I get so caught up with work, family, and “things” that God does not take first, second, or third place, but last. Psalm 46:10 says ”Be still and know that I am God”, it is an easy concept but not always an easy thing to do. If only we could focus our energy and daily focus on God and God alone. This trip will be a wonderful opportunity to focus on serving God. I am excited to be used of God in any way possible. I pray that God will kindle that fire that gets dampened so easily in our day-to-day lives.

Ministering to other Believers

Since I started attending First Baptist Church, I have really felt the Lord working in my life and am thankful to have found such a wonderful church with fellow believers who encourage new members. I have never been a part of a mission trip and had never given it much thought until hearing about Pastor Brad’s and Luis’ trip to Brazil last year. Hearing about their plans to return with more church members this year and learning more about FBC’s emphasis on missions has inspired me to become more involved in serving the Lord and spreading the Gospel. God has blessed me in so many ways and I want to give back to help spread the Word. My goal and prayer for participating in the mission trip is to be an encouragement to other believers by ministering to them and helping them build a new place to worship in. We are very blessed at FBC to have a wonderful building that facilitates our ministries. I am excited to help the church in Brazil take this big step in building a permanent location where they can worship and do God’s work.

Opportunity to serve our missionaries

When I first heard that our church would be presented with the opportunity to participate on a missions trip, I knew that I wanted to be involved in some way!  I began praying that God would make it clear how He wanted me to become involved.  As I prayed this way, God began to work and it became evident that He was going to work out all the details to allow me to travel with the team that would be doing the work on site!

I am very excited to see what God is going to do in my life as a result of this trip.  I have had many spiritual mentors who have encouraged me to go to a foreign missions field for a trip to serve the missionaries my church supports and the people they serve on a daily basis.  I am thankful for this opportunity and thankful for church leadership who feel the burden to see us get involved in missions!

Go, Tell and Teach…

Since first hearing our Pastor’s report on his trip to Brazil last year, and in response to the suggestion that we as a church should organize a group to go and see the mission work being done on our behalf, I started praying that the Lord would make it possible for me to go as part of that group. I’m humbled to say, that God has made my prayer a reality!

What I look forward to the most is sharing with others what God has done in my life. Only God can change a life (John 15:5b …without me ye can do nothing). Yes, I know and expect that the people of Brazil are different. Their culture is different, their language is different, and their country is different. However, the things that make us all human are the same. They are saddened by death, children that go into drugs, divorce, unrealized dreams…you name it! The things that make us all have heavy hearts are the same… Jesus is the answer to all of those, and they need to hear it, and I need to tell them (Matt. 11:24 Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.)

I am really looking forward to the opportunity to Go, Tell and Teach…and we might just build something while we are there!

I’m praying that God will use this trip to put a renewed vision for missions in my life!

Brazil Mission Trip

I have never been offered a chance to take a missions trip of any kind with my church.  I am so overwhelmed with the chance to experience just a fraction of what a missionary is privileged to do when they commit to leaving their country for another to give out the “Good News”!  So many thoughts go through my mind daily as I prepare my heart to take in all that the Lord will teach me through this opportunity.

I am a selfish person by nature. Having never seen or even really been “out of the country” it is hard to get a perspective on what our missionaries face day to day.  It is so easy to think that it isn’t that “BIG” of a deal to not have the comfortable, American things every day.  For example-  Clean water, heat, electricity, “normal food” that we are used to, clean environment to live and raise our children.  One of the areas that sticks out to me is just how much am I willing to NOT have and still be comfortable.

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Ministry that costs nothing, accomplishes nothing.

I decided to go on the Brazilian missions trip, as I have always wanted to go on a foreign missions trip. When the opportunity to go to Brazil came up, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.

As an American, it is so easy to get caught up in our “comfortable” way of living, with little thought of how the rest of the world lives. It is also easy to forget that there is a lost world out there facing the prospect of a Christ-less eternity. I hope this trip will impact my life by increasing my heart for missions and my desire to spread the Gospel.

I recently heard a song sung in church that convicted my heart. The song discusses how the Father sadly says “My house is full, but my fields are empty” (Luke 10:2). I love our church and fellowshipping with other believers.  But the time has come to “push away from the table,” as the song says, and try to reach out to the lost. It has been said that “ministry that costs nothing, accomplishes nothing.” And I want God to accomplish something great on this trip.

During the trip, I hope to be an encouragement to the Coelho family as well as the fellow members of the team. I also hope to be able to have a chance to share the Gospel with the people down there.

When I return from the trip, I hope to be able to encourage the church family by sharing our experiences from Brazil and sharing how God is working in another part of the world.

Denying self – to follow Him and serve others

Over the past year God has been working in my life to teach me things about my relationship with Him.  So much of my time has been all about me but God has shown me and is teaching me that joy and peace and pleasure in life is more about my time with and focus on Him than it is on me!

He has been teaching me that as a believer, being in His presence is a truly rewarding and exciting place to be.  But the only way I can be in His presence is to not only believe in Him but to follow Him.  God has no responsibility to follow me but He does require that I follow Him (Luke 9:23).  To follow Him, I must deny myself, take up my cross  daily and follow Him.  I am learning everyday that God wants me to follow Him and to come into His presence.

I am trying to study this year to understand better what it means to deny myself and follow Christ.  To deny myself means that my focus must be on Him and His purpose and His purpose always seems to be meeting the needs of others – that is what we continually see Christ doing while He was here on earth.  I see going to Brazil as a step in the process of learning to deny myself, follow Him and serve others.

I am thankful that God has been teaching me and has made this opportunity available to me.