Help Get Me and Cooper Out Of The Country

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.

2 thoughts on “Help Get Me and Cooper Out Of The Country

  1. Grant,

    I read you blog because I know alot of people that know you.

    I’ve got a question about your trip to Brazil….where is the sacrifice if you’re asking other people to pay your way? I understand your sons situation, but you have a full-time job. I noticed you spend alot of time out of the country funded by other people. It must be the whole Campus Crusade way of doing things like your sister that promotes just going on a blog and asking for money to go tour the globe. I’d like to do that to, but I don’t think it’s much of a sacrifice and you don’t get the full impact when you have no skin in the game.

    I’m a strong Christian who believes strongly in people going to the mission field. However, you have a full-time job like I do. Pay your own way. You do have enough money to go skiing whenever you want, take in sporting events, travel with your wife. I assume you pay your own way to do those things. Try skipping a skiing trip and paying your own way on the mission field, it’s much more rewarding when you make a true sacrifice to make an impact on the kingdom.

    Look forward to your comments.

    • I appreciate your concern and comments.

      Let me make one rabbit-trail comment then I’ll get to the meat of your comment. One reason people ask for support – prayer and financial – is that it does give people who can’t go an opportunity to be a part of something larger than just their local church experience. That alone is worth the ask.

      However — that’s not what you asked me about.

      There are three of the English family going to Brazil this year – Amy, myself and Cooper. You’ll notice we are only asking for two of us. I’ll let you do the math on that.

      As far as the other comments – we haven’t skied since we moved to Kansas three years ago. We recently got rid of our cable/dvr tv stuff so that we had money to do things like this. Travel – I guess the 60 mile drive to KC every now and then and the generousness of our parents does amount to something.

      But the bottom line is we don’t ask for support without first making our own investment in the trip. Maybe we should make that more publicly known. Then again, I don’t really want to do that either because the moment that information (what we give and spend on missions) becomes public – therein lies our reward.

      Unfortunately, I don’t know you, Chad. And you don’t really know me. That’s the catch-22 of a blog – I put pieces of my life on here and those that don’t know me THINK they do based on what they see on the blog. I get it. It’s the nature of our digital age. I’ve learned to live with that.

      However, there is a huge danger in making assumptions – like we don’t put any of our own money towards the trip – that are just flat false. Just because it isn’t obvious or stated doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. I think if you knew me and you knew my family – you’d never made those assumptions.

      But you don’t….and you did.

      So hopefully this answers some of your questions and concerns.

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