God at Work in the Publishing of Journey Materials in Brazil
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I am in DFW waiting for my final flight home. My trip began 7 days ago, as I left NWA. The return began 17 hours ago in Curtitiba, Brazil. I am now only a little over an hour from completing this journey. However, the truth is, it has only begun.
Before I write my final entry in our blog, I must say that the vision for our purpose for being in Brazil began years ago in the heart and prayers of a humble American missionary in Brazil. Sam Gill has faithfully served our King through many years of change, and many trials. However, he still stands with his shield locked up with ours, and ready for battle. He is the one who God used to open the doors to Brazil that we have been invited to enter. Let us keep him in our prayers, as he gives the remaining years of his mission life to developing men's ministry in Brazil, using the Journey.
I will not revisit the information that has been put on our previous entries by Frank and myself. I will only share about the last day, for it is an amazing story. I shared before that Sam and I would visit with the publisher of The Journey to the Inner Chamber before leaving Curitiba. What I did not know was the emotional connection the CEO and his staff have with Inner Chamber, as it has become an important project for this company to get to the readers. This man and staff are deeply committed Christians who have a great deal of influence within Brazilian churches. He sees Inner Chamber (Journada) to be a book that churches can use to bring revival, and as well launch men's ministries. He has vision and energy for expanding the Kingdom of God by expanding the readers of this book. Because he has been touched by God to have this passion for the book, I can only say that what we have seen with the network of connections that have been supernaturally linked together, only God could have done. Here is one of many examples:
Priscila is an important member of this publishing company's staff. She first read Inner Chamber and felt so strongly about it, she immediately took it to the committee who makes decisions on which books to publish. While it was being considered, unbeknown to her, the pastor of her church, an influential international church, was connecting with Influencers another way. While in America he came across a copy of The Prayer Cottage and the Sacred Garden, which I have no idea where he got it. He read it, took it back to his church in Brazil, and used it church wide in their Sunday school classes. It was in one of these classes that Priscila connected that I was also the author of this book, along with Inner Chamber. This alone expanded our credibility for Inner Chamber being published. However, there was another connection made, as well. Priscila asked the semi-retired founder of the publishing company to read the translated manuscript of Inner Chamber. He did, and told her he wept while reading it. This man had not only founded the company, he has also been an avid church planter for many years, and has planted many churches. He has a heart for churches, and the book touched him. He in turn spoke to his son, who is the CEO, and insisted that it be published. I spoke to the son, and he is as excited about the book and the impact it might have on churches in Brazil as the original founder is.
In our final moments of our visit, I discovered that it is the intentions of this publishing company to now proceed with the publishing of Prayer Cottage, and eventually our curriculum. Since they will have to have a second printing of Inner Chamber by February, they want to include some insert information that directs the readers to our website, and the Brazilian blog we want begin. In other words, they are joining with us to expand the ministry of Influencers throughout Brazil. Some of you might not know that I will not take the royalties from the book sales, but will leave them in Brazil to be used to develop the ministry there. I spoke with Sam, and we will likely form a foundation to receive these royalties, and to pay for his expenses, and other expenses incurred for helping form Journey Groups in Brazil. It would be our hope that these funds will grow and perpetuate resources to be used far into the future. What a great God we have. Would you agree?
As said before this is my final entry in the blog of our trip to Brazil. However, Frank continues in Brazil for several more days, and he may continue his blog entries. He has moved from the middle-class Brazilian that we have been working with, to the poor. Please pray for him, for he is a hero for us all, and we want him back home safe with his family and with us.
Finally, I thank all of you who have helped fund this trip, and all the ministry opportunities we are involved with. We are always dependent on your faithful giving to support this ministry, as the heart of God inspires you. We have never been without the necessary funds to follow our King to places we would have never imagined He would take us. But, you have been His resource to help us continue our march to go after His men. We will continue our campaign as long as He leads, and it is a trip such as this that confirms He is in the lead and we are following.
To Christ great glory,
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
My fellow brothers in Christ. I want to follow Rocky´s email with an Amen. Yes, my journey here continues and I have not been able to write due to the weather and conditions of the places I have been. I finally made it to my home town of Lorena where the entire town was in a blackout yesterday due to storms and much flooding and rain. I got up this morning and went on an 7 mile walk around this town to see all the places that are dear to my heart such as the home I lived in back in 1975, the home that my father build in 1979 before I came to the states and finally I was able to see some of my uncles and aunts this afternoon. Let me just tell you the my heart breaks for these people, my heart aches because I´m reminded in such a realistic way of how blessed we are in America. Brothers, I visited my mother's oldest brother named Juaquin who runs a little grocery tent in town. I asked for a Brazilian drink named Guarana which Rocky had learned to enjoy, and the cost was 75 cents. Brothers, I gave my uncle a 20 which is about $13 dollars and did not want the change since I felt that it would make up for the past several days worth of wages and the man walked up to me hugged me and began to weep. Let me tell you that my heart broke, and I began to weep as I realized he was weeping because I told him that God is good and that He loved him. Brothers, my heart is broken and I ask you for your continued prayers for I need them now more than ever. I will continue on my journey the rest of this week and know that God is having me plant some very important seed that I truly believe I will get to see became beautiful flowers for the Lord. Thanks again for your support, thanks for praying for Rocky and I and for Abiding in Christ with us as we share what an intimate relationship looks like to men around the world. Not sure when or if I will have a chance to write again but I thank you so much and look forward to coming home. For His Glory. Frank
More News From Brazil
Monday, November 15, 2010
I cannot express how good this conference was and what may come from it. We had several testimonials at the end, and several men shared that they were profoundly affected. They also said they intend to begin Journey Groups upon returning home. I was surprised by how many men traveled far distances to attend the conference. One man even flew in from Bolivia.
There were several pastors, but by in large, they were businessmen and leaders in their churches. Ages ranged from the 20's to 60's. Brazilian men are very cautious in displaying their feelings. But, something came over them, and they were freed up to be transparent. (Guess Who showed up?)
Frank did such a magnificent job. His communication skills were exceptional, and the men related with him, as he did with them. I grew to love him as a son, and I believe we will see a great work for God through him with follow-up work in Brazil. It just feels like something amazing is about to happen here. He has definitely become one of my heroes.
We had an interesting discussion with the Brazilian men who are excited about starting Journey Groups. We all came to see how a blog that allows these men to create a discussion group with each other, and with our men back stateside, would be a great addition to our website. We can see how this would allow us to reinforce our DNA in Brazil. It would be great to sponsor this blog on our website using the Portuguese language. Frank volunteered his brother to respond to posts while using our guidance and his language skills. We could even build a Brazilian database so that our scriptures and devotional can go to the men in Brazil using their own language. All of this would require very little expense, as we have our website already in place.
This has definitely been a God thing, as we saw the men touched by Inner Chamber after reading it, and as well in working through the manuals with little confusion. They are the closest I've seen in a cross culture that thinks and responds like our men in America. There is great opportunity here, and one we will want to respond to.
I was blessed to have only one night of discomfort with my leg, as swelling increased after standing a long time. Otherwise I hung in there with the men. Even this provided great ministry opportunity. But, it was not Frank and me with them, but rather some of the Brazilian men with me. I was anointed with oil and prayed for, as scripture guides. They came after me to do this, as they saw me in pain. It was the most wonderful intercessory prayer I have ever experienced. After it was over, Frank said he wanted prayer from these men as well. I asked him if he were in pain somewhere. He said "No", but he didn't want to miss out on the opportunity to be prayed for by these men. I told him I didn't want to waste their prayers on someone not in pain, and they needed to stay on point with me. But, he would have none of that, as he hurried to the chair these men surrounded. (Ha). Like I said, it was great experience for both of us.
I will be here until Tuesday, before flying home that night. I will be meeting with the publishing company who published Inner Chamber on Tuesday morning. They initially printed 3,000 books, and they now have only 800 left, after being with the retailers only a few weeks. Hopefully this will encourage them to publish the other books, and royalties can fund our ministry in Brazil. This is an exciting thought, and something to pray for. It is always an encouragement to a publisher to see their books sell.
God bless you all. I'll see you upon my return, and after the holidays.
To our King's glory,
Brazil- Day One
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Hello dear brothers. The first day of our conference here was nothing short of God's mighty Grace and love overflowing the hearts of the Brazilian men. I'm not sure that I have the right words to describe what God has begun here. Rocky and I started the day by meeting with Sam, the missionary, and one other young man who met with us at the airport to ride over to the conference center together. Let me just say that there was a Divine Orchestration happening right from the start. The young man, Daniel, began asking questions and a few minutes into our conversation, you could see the hunger in him to want to know and understand what this Abiding relationship with Christ is all about. God is with us in every way, and Rocky and I want to say thank you for praying. We had our first night setting the table for these men, and it was nothing short of Gods amazing Grace moving through the room. We also had a time of worship and words cannot express how incredible it was. You would of thought that Rocky has lived here all his life and new the language well. It was awesome. Please continue to pray that as our time continues through this weekend these men will begin to understand that this is more than the head knowledge about the Lord, but that this transformation begins with the heart. Thanks again for lifting us up and the men here. We will keep you posted in what God is doing and we give Him all the glory and praise. To His mighty Glory.
Made it to Brazil
Thursday, November 11, 2010
You may already know that two of our dear brothers, Rocky Fleming and Frank Khalil, are on a mission to bring the Influencers' message to the men of Brazil. They will be speaking to a group of ministry and business leaders, much like the men who were assembled when we brought The Journey to Egypt. Please be in prayer for them on this very strategic trip.
We'll be posting updates from our travelers as we receive them. Here is a message from Frank today:
Rocky and I had a great trip getting here. We both got great seats to start with and Rocky was able to rest during the flight. He slept so well that when he got up, we were landing. This was an answer to prayer right off the go. I could not sleep, but I guess God was already at work since I had to step in and intervene for a flight attendant who had problems with a drunk subject. Anyhow, all is well. We had an amazing breakfast and are both resting and praying in preparation for what the Lord is going to do this weekend. Rocky feels really good- no jet lag and excited to see what God is going to do. Well, rocky and I are going to get a steak tonight in celebration of my 35th B Day. Thank you again so much for all the prayers and support. To God be all the glory.
God is bringing The Journey to Brazil
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Exciting news about how God is calling for translation of The Journey curriculum into Portuguese to take to Brazilian men:
In 1982 I had the opportunity to speak to several Brazilian churches in Rio over about 2 weeks, and share about the benefit of embracing discipleship training into their churches. At the time I was using a popular discipleship program in my ministry as a businessman in the USA. I didn’t have a feel that it would work cross-culturally in Brazil. Therefore, all I could do was speak about the benefit of drawing near to Christ. I was shown several things during those two weeks about the Brazilian people, as I shared my heart with them.
First, I was surprised with how open and welcoming these people were about drawing near to Christ. However, they wanted more than a simple message from the pulpit could give them. They wanted Jesus Himself! They are open and ready to come close to Him.
Second, I discovered that the religious culture in Brazil only gave them a taste of what it means to have a genuine intimate relationship with Christ. There is “good soil” in the Brazilian people that is ready to receive the truth, and this kind or fellowship with the Person of Jesus Christ can be found and enjoyed. But, the current religious/pagan culture works against the truth of what it means to have a real relationship with Christ, and this often carries into the Protestant churches that seek to lead these people to intimacy with Christ. As we know, church programs, no matter how good they are, can lead their people to think that behavior modification is the only thing required of them, especially if they come from a religious culture that promotes it. For this reason, I conclude that the discipleship program I was using then, and even promoting when I was in Brazil, would not have worked with them. It would have created another example of performance-driven Christians who are still missing out on the deep, intimate relationship Jesus invites us to. When in Brazil, I grew to love these people and the Portuguese language. We now have the privilege to return to their land and to sow The Journey in the healthy good soil there, and we need your help. Let me explain:
A couple months ago, I received a contact from Sam Gill, who is a missionary in Brazil. He had heard about us through our friend Dr. Gary Oliver, who was speaking in Brazil to a conference. Sam requested a sample of The Journey curriculum, reviewed it, and determined that it is exactly what he had been looking and praying for, to reach Brazilian men. Like all cultures, but more so there, Brazilian men are the key to reaching families, communities and cities for Christ. However, the men there are passive, uninvolved and are not accepting their roles as spiritual leaders. Sam saw quickly what we have seen over the last 9 years. When a man gets into close proximity with Christ, Jesus will transform the man. This transformation will also raise up a spiritual leader. The Journey has one single objective. It is not to create behavior modification by introducing another set of rules to follow. Rather, it is to get a man into close proximity with Christ. When this was realized by Sam, he immediately sought to translate our curriculum to Portuguese, and introduce it to the Brazilian men. We want to join him.
As before, we are invited to go and join another work that has already laid a foundation, and is ready for The Journey. As before, we must do it by faith, relying on the generosity of our Influencers to finance the project. Therefore, we invite you to help us go after the men in Brazil, and we need your help. To support this project, we have established a Brazilian Translation Project account, that will receive your gifts for the purpose of funding this project.
We are being invited to one of the most fertile fields in this world. Like Jesus said, “Look around. The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Will you help us go to this harvest we are being invited to, and raise up “laborers” who will then go after their own people? Jesus can make a difference in Brazil, if we can get His family into close proximity with Him.
Click here to go to our "Support" page and select "Special Translation Donation" under Donation Type.
To our King’s glory: