Today is our last day in Brazil. It’s been fun to get to know the students and to see them improve in their communication skills. Last night, my coworker, Dave, and I had dinner with Janie and all her music project students. Janie asked us to tell the students how God led us to join the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ, and she asked them to pray about joining her with Brazil Music & Mission. Three students said they felt God leading them to join her after they graduate, either as one-year interns or as full-time staff members! One other said the same a few days ago, so if they do end up joining her, that will make a 400% increase in the size of her team!! (She’s the only music staff member in Brazil for Campus Crusade.)
I’ve loved helping Janie turn her ministry dream into a reality. Another wonderful thing has been to listen to the students — and the members of the church we attended Sunday night — sing familiar praise songs in Portuguese. It has reminded me that, as Paul said in I Corinthians 12:20, “there are many members, but one body.” There is one church with many members around the world, and we are all brothers and sisters.
Thank you for praying for my friends Benton and Lindsay. They finally booked a flight home and are on their way today. Yesterday we had a short meeting with the music students so Benton and Lindsay could say goodbye to them, and the students expressed how much it has meant to them to have the four of us here with them. Please pray that God will continue to use my Keynote coworker Dave and me to minister to the students before we leave on Thursday. Thanks
We’re back at the cybercafe. Things have been going pretty well here. People seem to be responding to the classes, and many of the students know some English, so we can converse without a translator.
I think I’m getting used to the heat because I’m sleeping better. There is no AC at the retreat center, and no screens on the windows (just shutters) so it’s like sleeping outside. The mosquitoes love me, but for some reason the bites don’t itch as much as American mosquito bites!
Please pray for my teammates Benton & Lindsay Cole. Lindsay just got word that her 88 year-old grandparents were killed in a car crash. She was really close to them, so this is really hard for her. They are having trouble getting flights back (earlier than the ones we already have).
We arrived safely yesterday around 5pm local time — we missed the flight from Sao Paolo to Recife (and had to take a later one) because of the time it took to go through customs. We are staying at a Christian camp/retreat center outside of the city with all the students and staff. There are about 30 students, 10 of whom are music students. We’ll start teaching some classes tonight.
It’s not as hot here as in Singapore, but it’s very humid. It reminds me a little of the Philippines, both in climate and in the tropical plants. There is a coconut tree and a cashew tree outside our window!!
One of my favorite Christmas carols begins, “Joy to the world! The Lord has come! Let earth receive her King!” These words remind me that Christ’s coming was for the whole earth, for every people group on every continent — including places like Brazil.
Several years ago, a Campus Crusade staff member named Kristin took a summer off from her responsibilities with the Campus Ministry to participate in Keynote’s summer music project. The following fall, she transferred to Crusade’s ministry in Brazil , where she began discipling a professional musician named Janiê Sucupira.
At Kristin’s encouragement, Janiê attended Keynote’s 2003 summer project, using her musical skills as part of an evangelistic band. She saw firsthand how God could use music to communicate the truth of Christ and change lives, and her own life was changed in the process. When she returned home to Brazil , she joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ, with a God-given dream of starting a Keynote-style music ministry. In 2005 she came to Keynote for six months of training and ministry experience, and then returned home to start turning the dream into reality.
Janiê now directs Brasil Música e Missão (Brazil Music and Mission) for Campus Crusade for Christ. And things have come full circle, because she has started a summer music project for college-age musicians! God has provided student musicians for the project band, but for it to become a reality, Janiê needs help. That’s why I’m going with three other Keynote staff in January (which is summer in Brazil) to help Janiê train her students in music evangelism.
Keynote has a growing number of international partnerships, so I expect to have similar opportunities in the future to train international students and staff members. The classes that I write and edit for Keynote will be used in more and more countries around the world. In light of this, I believe it’s important for me to stay sharp theologically. I’ve just finished my third extension course from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and plan to take further classes to eventually earn a Master of Arts in Christian Studies.
Please pray for me as I prepare to help Janiê equip her students to proclaim the gospel through music, and for future similar opportunities with other internationals. Thanks so much for what you do to support my work with Keynote! I am so grateful for you! Have a wonderful Christmas!