Clarity can be difficult both in seeking “God’s will” for your life and in communication with people. Especially with friends and family 7000 miles plus away. Last week the main point of our blog was learning that seeking God is both about the here and now. Blessing those around you. As well as being purposeful about preparations for the future. It came to my attention I wrote things that could be taken to mean more then they do.
I just returned from Sao Paulo, getting what we hope are the last papers we need to get residency for a while. During my time there I walked in a rougher part of the inner city while waiting for my bus. How do they manage to put bus stations in the worst parts of town globally. It was a great reminder that there is no end to the need in this world. For us there is a growing heart for the less reached of this world.
The truth is looking at all the street people in Sao Paulo my heart broke for them, but they could walk into one of the many churches in the area. They have probably had someone share the gospel with them at some point. We have a responsibility as Christians to work with the less fortunate around us where ever we are. All of us in some way need to be touched with compassion and show the love of Christ to those around us. One striking image that haunts me from my walk, a baby doll. I walked under the train tracks by some stairs up to the station. There were half a dozen make shift beds or camps. All empty, except for a baby doll laying next to a ratty, dirty, bug infested blanket. I didn’t get to see the little girl or I may have fought whatever parent she was with to bring her home with me.
I returned home, not 8 hours after I arrived I got another chance to experience the broken heart of God for his lost children. A lady 8 months pregnant or more came to our door with another lady and some kids. She was Guarani, one of the tribes here, covered in dirt and had the most empty eyes. Unlike the street people in Sao Paulo I know she has far less of a chance to hear the Gospel. She doesn’t speak Portuguese, Spanish, English and we don’t speak Guarani. Who is she going to interact with that can be Jesus to her and much more tell her about Him. We often interact with tribal people, their need is immense as well.
Like the street people in Sao Paulo or my upper middle class neighbors the food I give them when they regularly come to our house is only a temporary hope. Hope lies in the gospel. Hope is only found in Heaven. We all die, and all face one judgment, did we believe Christ to be the savior of the world and surrender our whole beings to Him?
What we are realizing these things mean for us.
- We need to be equipped to love people that have less hope of meeting Jesus. This means, most likely, a school of frontier missions with YWAM most likely here in Brazil and most likely in Portuguese. With an emphasis on tribal missions
- The next three months with our paper work at a good hold stage, we focus very heavily on the language. Especially since we want to go to a school that will be in Portuguese.
- We plan to make a trip to Porto Velho in the north of Brazil, hopeful when my parents are here if they are able to come. That is the location of 2 or 3 different schools that could help with reaching cultures that are oral, don’t have language schools, and we are currently interacting with.
- It may mean moving to the north of Brazil where there are less Christians, and potentially less opportunity for the people to hear the gospel.
We have always had curiosity about whether God might use us being in Brazil to impact Africa. Especially since there are several African Portuguese speaking nations and Brazilian culture is influenced by Africa. This could be going on outreaches with Brazilians, sending Brazilians and maybe in the distant future we could go ourselves. Because of this, Ben, is thinking of a trip to Guinea Bissau in the next two years, maybe even late this year or next. This is in the dream stage, unlike the trip to the north and the school which are in the plan stage. We are not planning to move to any other country any time soon.
Be praying for Clayton, and his family. I have gotten to know him. He works at a restaurant owned by his in-laws. His whole family eats there, hangs out there. Aunts, cousins, his sister in law is the same age as Moriah and helps wait tables there, for fun, her name is Gabriele. What an opportunity to impact a family. They know of God but I don’t think any of them are Christians. The restaurant is 4 blocks from our house. We plan to spend time there learning language and hopefully demonstrating the gospel. Also, Luis, the owner or a pizza place even closer. He is a nice man, sort of catholic in his words, and we like to spend time there as well. This is our best way to practice language and build relationships with non Christians.
Also pray as the Pastor, Tim, wants us to help do a soup kitchen type feed at the church to help build the churches heart for the hurting around us. We tried an outreach at Christmas but it didn’t come together well. As we learn to meet needs we see we know God wants us to teach that to the Christians around us.
The Lyon Family.