Thursday, November 18, 2010
Today we went to Argentina and took a first step towards loving some tribal people. We went to Puerto Iguassu and had lunch. Then we bought oranges and bread. When we drove up to the area there are normally quite a few tribal people we discovered they were mostly gone as it was the middle of the day. We began to get nervous about how hungry they might be or whether or not the food would be an insult. Daniel and Juliah were dying to give some oranges to someone. Finally they took the oranges to the guy “watching and parking cars”. He a woman saw and wandered over. We offered her bread and oranges, the rest saw and there were no more nerves. We gave out about fifty little French breads and 2/3 of our 50 lb. sack of oranges. It was interesting as it was obvious the guy didn’t want to look hurting but really wanted some too. We made sure we got his name “Gabrielle” and found out he lives in Paraguay and is from the Macca tribe. He tried to teach me to say thank you in his language but it might has well been “knock knock clickity click bing bang boom”.
I look forward to seeing how God develops our ministry to the poor and hurting. Especially the tribal people.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
We are learning so much of what it means to live in Brazil and we are truly loving it. There many things that are difficult but the people and the potential to love the unloved make up for the difficulties. One of the difficulties is time. You bleed time day in and day out. Government bureaucracy leads to bureaucracy with companies. Bureaucracy at business takes away motivation to get things done. Solving one problem leads to two more.
Yesterday I went to the church with Tim to look at making some swings for children’s ministry. The area we were looking at wasn’t going to be strong enough so we began looking at others. We now realize we need a ladder to put up and take down the swings as well as many other things, but that is another days problem. When we settled on something we went down to the ranch store to buy some rope, a hose for cleaning, and hooks. After selecting all our stuff we went to pay. You are required to give your CPF number here for big purchases, it is like your social. We had cash to pay but because our receipt printed wrong and didn’t say approved we had to wait what seemed close to 30-40 minutes to get someone to come to the computer who knew how to reprint it. The short of the story is that we still don’t have swings, we did purchase the stuff, and we have one less afternoon. Three of us.
Many of you know in the past we owned our own business and early on made some bad choices that led to debt. The thing I learned most in that process is that you can’t allow situations to dictate your choices but make choices to produce right situations. Act, don’t react. We were in such severe debt we no longer could make choices about our finances or lives we simply reacted to whatever crisis was at hand. This led to crisis in all aspects of our lives, spiritual, financial, marriage, family, etc... When it all began to crash we realized we had to take control of our lives back from the situations at hand and do what we needed to do regardless of the consequences. We were forced to let debts go, put marriage and God before work, come to our lowest point. When we began seeking God we became very purposeful at the same time. We got rid of cars we had payments on, we began to trust God to provide so that we could settle debts, without bankruptcy. We became purposeful about how many days I would be out of town, we hired employees to get jobs done more timely. We weren’t spending less money but we were spending it rightly and it was producing more. We weren’t less busy but we were together. So on and so forth. We were acting with a purpose.
When we had accomplished the feet of erasing the bulk of our debt we began to hear God saying it was time to go into missions. In fact I remember telling my parents in the midst of the hardship that we believed we would be out of debt and in missions within a couple years. This was before our worst financial times and right after the worst time in our marriage and my life. We began acting in this direction. We started turning down large jobs that demanded time or were 6 months to a year away. We became more prayerful as a family. We governed our lives by the priorities and direction God was giving us. Things fell into place as we sought God and made purposeful decisions and moved away from urgent responses.
Now here we are challenged in this area. Problems and reactions are taking the bulk of our time. How do we reapply what we learned in our new culture? We are trying to take control of our lives back from problems with power and water bills. With lack of discipline in schedule on our part. With general problems we can face every day. We need to schedule a day to deal with all bills. Days for family, for ministry for other things.
We believe God has called us here to love the unloved. To feed the poor, to disciple the lost towards Jesus. This probably includes a property for vocational schooling and tutoring. Perhaps a business, or other side ventures. It may include more people than us, it may include our church body at home. One thing I know is none of it will happen if we don’t begin to act, to purpose our lives around our calling and make decisions before we have too. Pray for us as we are learning how to take control of our normal lives here.
Love you all,
The Lyon Family.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Having been in Brazil 4 months now it is easy to loose focus on today and become frustrated with all the things we would like to be doing. We want to work daily with the poor and broken. We see the Guaraní people, the street people pushing carts with their kids to pick up trash. Yesterday we seen a woman with a 4 year old girl hiding by her cart of trash sucking on a pacifier while her mom went down a street to look for recycling. Possible the most filthy, dirty absolutely beautiful little girl I have seen. I wanted to take her home. They are the forgotten people. I was limited by language, understanding and resources from doing anything beyond acknowledging this little lindinha with a smile and a bom dia.
We have to remind ourselves we are in a season of training. We have to be thankful that we get some opportunities to touch and reach out now. Cidade Nova and Ciaadi, are a glimpse of our future, a poor community where we help a few bible students with a kids program and the prison for boys. This is only part of our training.
1 Chor 9:24-27 24Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
We are in a season preparing for the competition that is to come. Disciplining ourselves in prayer, reading of the word (especially together as a family), learning language, culture, where and when to buy food. If we want to be effective this time in the gym and on the practice field is vital. If we get impatient and run out to meet the desperate needs before we are prepared we will be unorganized, ineffective and accomplish far less then if we train as if we are going to the Olympics in 4 years. I am constantly encouraged thinking of the years of preparation, planning and coming together of people to put on Willamette Celebration. This is our time to train. Our time to run is within site and just around a corner. Pray for our patience, our discipline, our endurance as we train to love the hurting.