Brazil Trip Scrapbook

Training highlights:

  • Julie and I coached the new staff as they taught Keynote’s sessions on nonverbal communication – the same classes my team taught in our 2007 trip to Brazil. I felt so proud of them for how they have mastered the material and communicated it with their own flair!
  • Julie taught how to write stories of God at work in their everyday lives. Here she’s demonstrating a technique called storyboarding or mind-mapping.
  • Henrique, one of the new Brazilian staff members we trained, thanked me for helping expand his vision. I challenged them all to think past Brazil to all of South America, both to do outreach tours and to help other countries start music ministries of their own

As the Brazilian team practiced comm coaching, we recorded them on a little digital camcorder, one of several owned by Keynote. I had them watch their videos and find three skills they did well and two skills they needed to improve.

After discussing what they saw, they told us how helpful it was to watch themselves, and that they hadn’t done that before. I was surprised and asked if they had a camera. They said no, because in Brazil even the cheapest camcorders cost five times what they would in the U.S. The thought ran through my head, “We should give them our camera.” Later I talked to Julie, and she had been thinking the same thing! We realized the Holy Spirit was prompting us, so I called one of my directors (who of course was surprised to get a phone call from Brazil!) to ask permission to leave the camera there.

The next day I told the team, “We have something for you!” and pulled out the camera. I heard gasps around the room as  Janiê’s eyes welled up with tears and she gave me a big hug. I can’t tell you how happy I was to see their excitement over the surprise gift! I felt like God gave me a little glimpse of the incredible joy He has in lavishing His gifts on us!

Thank you for making this trip possible through your gifts and prayers!

The Crown of All Our Hopes

My last new post was nearly a year ago at Easter, so it seems fitting to start posting again on Easter. It also seems fitting to restart this blog with a passage by the same author I quoted for my first post, A. W.Tozer. For the Easter season I started reading a new collection of his essays (previously published in other books) called The Radical Cross: Living the Passion of Christ. In a chapter called “The Easter Emphasis” Tozer writes:

“Christ was born that He might become a man and became a man that He might give His life a ransom for many. Neither the birth nor the dying were ends in themselves. As He was born to die, so did He die that He might atone, and rise that He might justify freely all who take refuge in Him. His birth and His death are history. His appearance at the mercy seat is not history past, but a present, continuing fact, to the instructed Christian the most glorious fact his trusting heart can entertain…The glory of the Christian faith is that the Christ who died for our sins rose again for our justification. We should joyfully remember His birth and gratefully muse on His dying, but the crown of all our hopes is with Him at the Father’s right hand.”

Because Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, I can have absolute confidence that the Father accepted His sacrifice on my behalf and that I am forgiven and in right relationship with Him. His resurrection not only guarantees my future resurrection but provides new life for me right now. Christ is alive and actively working on my behalf right now. He is my “defense attorney” in the court of heaven, so I have no reason to fear the accusations of either the devil or  my own overactive conscience (but I still do, more often than I like to admit – oh, me of little faith!).  Jesus is representing me before the Father and interceding for me right now. Amazing! The Son of God Himself is praying for me at this very moment! Why do I forget that so often?

Father, please remind me of the significance of the resurrection not only this Easter, but throughout the year.

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