With all the craziness this year, our summer mission trip to Brazil has kinda completely sneaked up on me. Cooper smoked me this year getting his support letter out.
Cooper hit all the basics in his. I’ll add a couple of details.
First, we will again be taking a group of teenagers to Porto Alegra, Brazil to partner with Thomas and Agnes Schneider and the Word of Life crew. Last year was the first time we tried this kind of a trip and in July. It’s cold, wet and none of us – Brazilians or Americans – had a clue if this would even work. The idea was to promote a spiritual getaway weekend with Americans. We had local churches come as well as a winter retreat.
Word of Life would not only bring in students but youth workers, pastors, and church leaders for the weekend to get some spiritual training and refreshment. I’d also have the opportunity to do some discipleship training with the missionary staff. It was a lot to do in a short amount of time. We had no idea it could even work.
It was a huge success. Again, because we are Americans and speak English (most of us), we are a huge commodity for them. We gain Word of Life access to schools they would have no chance of getting into, allowing them to reach even more kids with the story of Jesus. We saw many kids come to Christ. You can read about last year’s trip here.
Second, after this year, this will become an every-other year mission trip. It’s an expensive trip but we’ve been able to partner with another US church who will go in our off years. So they will go in 2013, we will go in 2014.
Third, like last year while the kids are playing soccer and hanging out with other teens, I’ll be working. Seriously, I’ll be teaching some discipleship courses to college-age kids as well as giving some theological training to some national youth pastors who would never be able to afford seminary or college classes.
It’s a huge honor for me. I think I end up learning more than they do but their eagerness to learn, their hunger for the Word of God, their desire to be closer to Christ is just infectious. I wish you all could go with us just once to experience it.
How can you help?
First, you can follow me on twitter (@thegsides) and follow me on this blog. It will keep you updated on the trip and you’ll have a better idea exactly how to pray for us. Plus, I’ll post pics when I can and tell you all kinds of funny stories along the way.
In a country where Spiritism is the leading religion, it is NOT cliche’ for me at all. I will need a huge amount of prayer support. We all will. Every year this trip is awesome, every year I see or experience something that reminds me how real spiritual warfare is.
Obviously, you can support us by sending us money for the trip. The trip is $2,000 and anything you give is tax-deductible. You can donate online by going here. There are instructions to guide you through it. That is a secure server so it’s a safe place.
You can also mail me a check. Make it out to Western Hills Baptist Church. NO WHERE ON THE CHECK CAN IT HAVE MY NAME ON IT! You can put “Brazil” in memo. You can either direct message on Twitter, leave a comment, or fill out my contact page for my address. I try not to post it online.
This year, Cooper is going with me. 14 years went by very, very fast. I’d never thought back then that one day I’d be going on a mission trip with my son going as a worker as well. I can’t put into words what that is like – serving alongside your kid and watching them grow a heart for Jesus and other people. All of my kids are so much further down the road than I was at their age. I’m a proud dad.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about our trip – just leave a comment or DM me on twitter. I love talking about Brazil!
Thanks for your support.