July is vacation month here in Brazil. The PAZ base here in Santarém always kicks vacation off with a blast: Congresso da Paz — 3 nights of lights, cameras and action for the Kingdom of God! Praise and worship, preaching, huge sets, choreography, drama, dance — it’s like a great big Christian olympics! This year Ministério Paz (our worship team) had the privilege of leading worship at this great event. Watch the video I made to see how it went, but I’ll give you a little bit of a teaser: 647 lives were changed forever!
Our worship team has been traveling more and more, ministering all over Northern Brazil. In July our team led a praise and worship conference in the MDA vision in Fortaleza. Not only did we minister praise and worship, but Pastor Welson and I ministered 2 sessions each (for a total of 4 sessions). In addition we held workshops and several other practical sessions. My friend Pastor Welson is responsible for praise and worship at Central Church in Santarém as well as the youth. He also plays acoustic guitar with us on the team. He is a small guy of humble origins (a river community) with a HUGE God! Under his covering there are more than 900 cell groups (that’s almost 10,000 people)! He inspires me so much.
Then this last week our worship team led worship for the week-long MDA Conference in Southern Brazil. This conference is based off of the conference we have in Santarém every October that teaches the vision of cell-groups and one-on-one discipleship. Interest in the MDA Vision is just exploding all over Brazil. For example, last year (the 2nd year of the MDA South Conference) there were a little over 200 people signed up. This year there were over 800 pastors and leaders from all over the South, hungry to learn.
I was able to share our testimony of losing our first daughter Anna Rebecca and how God worked so powerfully in our lives when we continued to seek and humble ourselves before Him. Our testimony is directly tied to the song “Uma Vida” (One Life) that is on our church’s CD. It is based off of the powerful phrase Ruth’s grandfather Melvin Huber used to quote:
Only one life to live, ‘twill soon be past;
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
I finished the song two days before we lost Anna Rebecca, and it stood as a prophetic message to me to keep going on no matter what.
It’s been so wonderful to see people respond with open hearts to the vision that burns in our hearts — that making disciples of the nations is the priority of every believer, whether pastor, teacher, musician or groundskeeper — then ministry in your field comes next. When this vision catches on, your regular “Joe Blow” Christian can do all things as he is equipped with the Holy Spirit to testify to the nations and make disciples! How exciting! It’s easy to get caught up by how people respond to the big Congressos, events and conferences, but they all exist because of what’s happening on the daily basis — regular people, filled with the Holy Spirit, leading cell groups, winning souls, discipling — growing the Kingdom of God. It’s the bread and butter of what we do, all stemming from a healthy time along with God.
While I travel, Ruth stays home with the girls. It’s always so wonderful to get back to them and hug them all! The girls are growing so fast and learning new things every day. Life with them has been a little bit of heaven with a lot of work! But it’s all worth it!
This coming week I prepare to head out on the rivers with our team from New Life Christian Church which is here to minister to a local river village and help build a church! So please pray for us while we minister and pray for Ruth while she stays at home to take care of the girls. We couldn’t do what we do without your support and prayers, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We appreciate that so many of you give, even sacrificially, so that the work of God can continue in Brazil while the Spirit is moving so powerfully. Those of you who are reading and not yet participating financially — we would love to have you join us with a simple donation. We could really use the gift, as the dollar has dropped significantly and we are at about 60% of what we were originally. We love you and appreciate you,
Nate — for Ruth, Rebecca and Anna