Carlsbad Water Tower Hike

Sometimes waking up early on a Saturday morning has its benefits.  I woke up at a friends house in Carlsbad one Saturday morning and decided to hike up to the top of the hill with the water tower near their house.  It was a great hike.  They live on a ravine which has some great gravel paths crisscrossing the canyon.

Along the Way

Hiking the greenbelt in Carlsbad, CA

They were right when they said that you could see the ocean on a clear day.  It was a great view that Saturday morning.  The picture does not do the view justice.

View from the top

Beautiful view from the Water Tower

The panorama of the view comes a little closer to the great view that I enjoyed at the pinnacle of my hike.

Panarama from the top

Panorama of the Water Tower view

Brazil Facts V – Football or Football?

In Brazil they worship football but I was surprised that they also have American Football.  I am not a fan of football normally but I will have to become a fan of either Internacional or Gremio football teams.

International

I might make the decision based on either color red or blue or who has the least amount of fan’s on the field team currently.  I really don’t care too much, but I know that I will have to care in the future.

Gremio

Football is a sport that I will get to play some more while in Brazil.  I have never been a huge fan of football but I have a feeling it will grow on me.  Pele is one of the most famous football players ever in Brazil.

Pele

While I was in Porto Alegre I got a chance to coach an American Football team.  The Porto Alegre Bulls is a semi-pro team.  It is fun to see guys work hard and grow as football players.  I look forward to spending some more time with them when I come down next January.  These guys worked hard during the off season.

Bulls 2

The hard work paid off during the first game where they won 14-13 on the last touchdown and extra point kick.

Bulls 1

Is there a Dr. in the House?

The answer is yes, the doctor is in the house. I was able to go to Dr. Hogly Wogly’s Texas BBQ with some brothers.  It was a great time of food and true fellowship.  I really enjoy good BBQ.  Eating BBQ can be compared to a sports game.  There is the pregame, game time, post game and the night cap.

Dr Hogly Woglys

After arriving at the Doctors house we began the pregame by spreading all 10 of us over 3 tables. Our group actually filled up a little less than 1/3 of the restaurant.  The menu is very simple, meat and sides.  That lead to lots of hard decisions for us men.

Pregame

Pregame ended with my choice of brisket, hot links, and baby back ribs.  I couldn’t wait for the prayer to signal the start of game time.  Game time is all about eating what your eyes and stomach talked you into ordering.

Pregame Food

The conversation during pregame was great but as soon as game time began the conversation stopped and the eating began.  Thankfully we were able to stop for a second to get a picture while there was still food on our table.

GameTime

Post game conversation started up again.  It was great to hear the different guys talking about some of the great things that the LORD was and is doing.  I was also able to challenge at least one of the guys to be more intentional with younger men.

PostGame

I guess that my eyes were larger than my stomach.  I ordered more than I could eat.  Dinner was so good that I had to have it for breakfast the next day.

PostGame - Food

Dohn’s eyes were bigger than his stomach also.

PostGame - Dohn

After our post game food coma was still in full swing we went for a night cap to Krispy Kreme for some fresh hot donuts.  Look at all the happy full men.

NightCap

Unexpected Blessings

I have been selling all of my possessions that I am not going to be taking to Brazil with me.  The lady selling my library for me found a $100 bill in the front of one of my books.  Some times it is the little things that provide some of the most comfort and are a great encouragement.

Unexpected Blessings

I was recently sharing with a new family about Brazil and received a text message from a different family who wanted to support me.  I was so excited to see the LORD provide from this unexpected source.  When I initially contacted the family who texted me to set up a time so that I could share Brazil with them, they indicated that I could come and share but that they were not willing to support me.

Brazil Facts IV – Churrasco

One of the things that I enjoyed most in Brazil was the churrasco.  Churrasco is Brazilian BBQ.  It is wonderful and simple.  The meat is great is skewered on skewer and then covered with rock salt.  The meat is then roasted over wood coals.  Brazilian BBQ pits are normally built into each house or apartment.  It is a central part of the Brazilian culture.  Here a friend cooked spicy sausage, chicken, and chicken hearts for us.

Built in BBQ

If the BBQ is not in the house they will have them in the backyard where we get to enjoy them cook for a fellowship evening.

Brazilian BBQ

Church retreats included mass churrasco where they cooked large amounts of chicken.

BBQ at Retreat

BBQing is not limited to meat but at the retreat they actually cooked eggs with the skewers.  It was an amazing experience.

BBQ Eggs

Churrasco happens everywhere even on picnics.  Most involve multiple types of meat.  I can’t wait to get back to South Brazil and enjoy churrasco.

BBQ at Park

NoHo Evangelism

During the Shepherds Conference Tony Miano, a friend of mine, organized an outreach at the North Hollywood (NoHo) Metro station.  There were about 14, from all over the US, there to share the gospel with the thousands of people who were passing by between 5:30 – 7:30 am.  Some of the team members preached during the 2 hours we were present.  While others handed out over 200 english/spanish bibles, over 200 english/spanish gospel of John, and countless tracts.

Gospel Preaching

The preaching and handing out of bibles led to different conversations with various people.  The man, Barack, in the brown jacket had listened to gospel preaching and received at least two bibles from previous evangelism at NoHo.  Today I was able to talk with him personally and challenged him personally to turn from his sin and trust in Christ as his savior.  The previous preaching and handing out of bibles by Tony and others paved the way for this conversation with Barack that was able to quickly get to the heart of the issue and his unwillingness to see entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven as being a treasure valuable enough to leave his life behind.

Gospel Preaching with Bent

The conversation that I had below was begun with simply asking the man if he wanted a gospel tract.  Mike handed the tract back to me and said that he is a Christian who believes that God is OK with him living in continual/habitual sin.  1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”  We began a 10 minute gospel conversation which centered around his assertion that 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 does not mean what it says.  The bible is clear that those who practice these acts will not enter the kingdom of heaven.  I hope to hear from Mike again and pray that he realizes that God means what he says in the bible.

Gospel One on One

Brazil Facts III – Hazards

I am under no illusions that everything will work out without any hardship or difficulties.  There are two different categories of difficulties: known and unknown.  The known difficulties are going to be hard and I think that the unknown difficulties are pointless to worry about.  Some of the difficulties that I know that I will experience are as follows.

The Borrachudo bug.  It is a little tiny black fly which lives in grass and sometimes the sand.  I happen to be allergic to them, it may have to do with getting bit 60-80+ times over the course of one day.  It caused me to swell up and boils of puss to form over the bites.

Borrachudo Bites

There are creepy bugs that are in Brazil.  I am not too scared of them but it will be difficult if I see tarantula’s all over the place or run into Brazilian Wandering Spiders.  The Brazilian Wandering Spiders are supposed to be the world’s most dangerous spiders and are supposedly so aggressive that they will attack humans.

Tarantula

There are also dangerous snakes which are in South Brazil.  One of them was caught at the retreat center and is some sort of viper.

Dangerous Snake

 

Sharing Brazil and Cold Food

I have been catching up with people and sharing about South Brazil lots over the past month and a half.  Many of these meetings happen over a meal.  I enjoy sharing over them all: breakfast, lunch, dinner, second breakfasts, elevenses, ect.  Sometimes these are at good new restaurants that I have never been to before and other times it is over a home cooked meal.

Tip Top Deli

I do not turn down any opportunity to catch up and enjoy a meal.  However, I have run into a problem which I have never encountered in one meal before.  That problem is cold food.  Food can be meant to be eaten hot, warm, or cold but a food that is meant to be eaten hot or warm is not always the best.

Cold Food

The rough life of a pre-field missionary who chooses to share about their work over a meal will inevitably lead to cold food at some point.

Brazil Facts II – ABWE

ABWE, Association of Baptists for World Evangelism, has been in Brazil as a missions organization sense 1942.  One of the missionaries in Rio Grande do Sul had a grandfather who planted a church in Brazil that is already 50+ years old.  ABWE has an amazing history in Brazil.

The area where I will be going is in the state of Rio Grande Do Sul.  It was opened in 1995 and is considered the least evangelized state in the country.  When I visited Rio Grande Do Sul in November/December 2015 I found the missions work here very appealing. Some of the geographical views were great, like this one of the country side around Invoti.

Countryside in Invoti

However pretty the geographical views were the other views that I enjoyed better were of the missionaries and Brazilian churches.  The missionaries and local pastors get together monthly for the purpose of prayer and mutual encouragement.  I look forward to the day that I can join the group of Brazilian Pastors.  This picture below is from the ABWE retreat center which held the monthly meeting while I was there.

Brazil National Pastor Meeting

Even though ABWE opened the field of Rio Grande Do Sul in 1995 the LORD has been at work for many years.  One of the churches that he has been at work through was that of Batista Pioneira in Santa Cruz.  I was so encouraged by this churches desire to plant 52 churches and it has already planted 3 of the 52.  The least evangelized state has vibrant churches who are actively reaching out to their community and their region.  I hope to be a part of this picture below next time.  The picture is of men who are laboring for the gospel work in Rio Grande Do Sul (from right to left) of the ABWE Regional Director of Brazil, the Pastor of Batista Pioneira, and two of their Church Plant Pastors.

Brazil National Church Planters

Sharing Brazil and Cleaning Dryer Lint

I am trying to take every opportunity to share about Brazil that I can.  Often sharing about Brazil involves a meal or coffee.  Some times it involves more than a meal/coffee and a slide presentation about Brazil.    This time it involved a meal and helping the family clean the lint out of their dryer.  I loved sharing with this dear family about Brazil, they asked some good questions.  I was so encouraged that we almost ran out of time in the evening to clean the lint out of their dryer.  As you can see the dryer needed to have the lint vacuumed out.

Lint Dryer

The more we opened up the dryer the more lint we found.  It was very enlightening.

Lint Dryer 2

All it takes is opening up the panels and taking a shop vacuum to suck up all of the lint.

Cleaning the Dryer

I forgot to take after pictures but it was very clean.  Remember that your dryer normally should be vacuumed out once a year and if you do this be careful not to drop or lose any of the screws.