New Jerusalem!

New Jerusalem Church built January 2013 by our intrepid team from Kansas. It is done but this was a hard one. Because of airline schedules we started a day later than our usual Monday morning and we were up against a hard schedule of being done for our Saturday dedication celebration. Our usual Pastor/builder and our Brazilian mechanic had both left town on other assignments. Which left us with our new head pastor, Pastor Francinaldo who is a great friend and translator but a novice builder and me [Steve Butcher] who was born with two left thumbs, to show our Kansas brothers and sisters just how it is that you really can build a whole building in just five days. But we really CAN do all things through Christ that strengthens us! Thank you Kansas team. You were a model of enthusiasm, good humor and an unwavering dedication to the cause of Christ. Now that I think about it, there was no way we could have failed!
Brazil 2013 064

Pray for New Jerusalem Project!

In some ways this upcoming tip [1/13/13] will be a big challenge! Because our team comes from Kansas and New York we could not manage to all get there together on a Sunday as per usual. We ordinarily start building on a Monday A.M. and finish sometime on the following Friday. Then we have the big inauguration party on Saturday night with church congregations from up and down the river attending. It is so much fun! But the celebration must be on Saturday as the people can’t leave their own churches on a Sunday. Because of our late arrival we will not start construction until Tuesday but still must be done by Saturday for the party which eliminates one whole day. Saturday is a hard deadline leaving no room for bumps in the road. Also our trusted Brazilian, Edimilson will not be with us for the first time. I know God is adding these variations just to make it more interesting. He can not allow it to be too easy–where is the fun and growth in that? So I will say two things with equal fervor; “Thank you Lord for all of Your attention!” and to you, dear reader, “Please pray for us!”

Are you an Overcomer?

I can’t tell you how many times people look at me with a  sick pitiful facial expression and with a visual measure of apparent pain meant, I think to justify their words when they say, “Oh I could never go to the Amazon, I am too afraid!”  I know the Amazon is kind of scary and I don’t mean to minimize that but don’t they realize they are essentially saying I don’t care enough about “those people” to risk myself to bring them God’s message of salvation? Really? After what God has done for you?

In Revelation Chapter 21:8 at the very beginning of the list of those who will not inherit a place in the New Jerusalem with Jesus are “the cowardly” followed by the “unbelieving, the vile, the murders etc…”

Ok admitedly I am having a tough day, it is the 5th anniversary of my son’s death in the Iraq war. From all that I still hear from his men, he was a courageous warrior. In fact if he hadn’t placed himself out in front he would have survived the bomb like so many others did that he kept back from the blast.  So forgive me if I sound impatient with what is I am sure a normal reaction to the unknown, {I was scared my first time.}

Brave people aren’t immune to fear they just value something or someone more than themselves. Brave people do the unusual and the sacrifical. Jesus expects that of me and you. He expects that we will be willing to die for him if necessary.  He expects us to value him and his gospel more than our self interest.

Notice that in the above scripture that “cowardly” and “unbeliever” are separate categories, so I deduce from that you could be one without being the other. Certainly there are brave unbelievers and so there are conversly, cowardly believers. 

You must not allow that to be true of you. Rise up brothers and sisters and show yourselves to be who you were designed to be in Christ, overcomers!

“They overcame by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony, they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Rev 12:11

Make a plan right now to be brave. He will be proud of you!

Kansas goes to the Amazon!

All I know about Kansas I learned from Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. God however knows and loves Kansas and the people in Pastor Philip’s Kansas church. I know this for sure because they have agreed to partner with us and build a church on the Moju River. And what are the chances that such a thing would happen without divine intervention? So perhaps our jetting to the Amazon Jungle to minister off of a river boat is not as spectacular as a “twister transport” to a place over the rainbow, but I find it glorious none the less!

New Jerusalem [?]

It is too early to say it is a fact. But a pastor that I trust recently told me that he and his elders are believing that their church will send a team to build a church at the New Jerusalem site on the Moju River in November 2012.  Pray with me that the seed grows!