The following are some texts here during Carnival in Rio, between our family, and also some are notes I asked a few to send of their days to summarize what was happening so I could send you a sense of what is going on here. I hope you can appreciate some of what goes into these things.
A few notes after ministering today in Rio De Janeiro during the Carnival (Marti Gras) events. Feels so different than a few years ago when we were in this city mainly because we can now speak fluent Portuguese and communicate extensively, in depth with anyone. Took tremendous work, but now a great blessing and privilege.
So I could share so much from today, all of us were out for 9 hours sharing the gospel nearly non stop to literally millions of people. The image of Carnival and Brazil is not at all the reality. the fancy costumes and crazy sleazy people are in a stadium secluded mostly for the rich. We were on the streets where there are the masses of very poor, but very together and normal people. Semi trucks blare loud samba music while people drink and dance. Put yourself in chaos to imagine it all. But no ordinary chaos of America hard hearts.
Our massive signs took over the scene very quickly and became the center of attention. People were not upset or disturbed, but the vast majority were desperately intrigued and hungry for some sense of hope or life. Thousands came up to get our flyers. Tens of thousands actually. No exaggeration. Hundreds of individuals and small crowds came to up to share and hear more.
A young man, 25, told me “You don’t know my friend, this city has descended into hell in recent years. The crime and violence are out of control. Our children are being killed. 7-year-olds are being given guns and told to shoot and kill. You can’t imagine. We need you, we need men like you to do this, to tell us about Jesus. The “churches” offer us nothing. The greedy pastors just beg for money, the rest do nothing.”
Carnival 2018 Sat. FEB 10
Glory to Jesus!!!! Quick update to share our joy: just incredible, couldn’t be more grateful and estátic to be here! Just in the first couple of hours of the kick off of Carnaval gave out tons of tracts, tons of responses, just lost empty people everywhere, search by for something that matters, for someone who cares, and precious precious Jesus has us there to meet them with his love
Just overwhelmed with compassion, no matter how evil or empty, it not the American spirit at all
Were just so worried we couldn’t be effective, wouldn’t get to the people, would just be lost in the crowds….then the signs went up. Nuff said. No worries.
This is all way better than I imagined. Not at all the image we feared. Mostly normal, lost and very, sad people. Lots of families, dads moms. Even the whackos in costumes coming up for tracks, dead serious, stop everything and listen. Endless tracks and openness. Very poor catholics mostly. Wanna cry… so beautiful.
I love brasil. I Love brasil. I love brasil.
Thank you Jesus! So amazing He brought us here.
Just the look on their faces when they read my sign and then you see a little spark in their eyes that maybe they found something.
“Precious” is the right word. Can’t tell you how many times we’ve used it to describe them. “Sheep without a shepherd.” Seeing the Fathers love flow through us toward them is overwhelming, just so beyond the natural
Hallelujah! Sorry I could not communicate at all earlier just non stop. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so needed . I was giving out tracks with both hands of people coming out of mobb to ask and talk. All grateful and listening . I couldn’t keep up with demand. I really had goose bumps and wanted to cry . More than I imagined. Me abe and eliz have been out and got just mobs and waves leaving and everywhere
Just been phenomenal… the ideal event to bring the gospel, poor people sincerely grateful that you would come to share Jesus
This lady said look, there used to be all kinds of churches here but where are they? They have all given up and don’t care. Just you guys.
Hey beautiful people, your prayers and fasting broke down huge strong hold and gave us one of the best days of ministry we have ever had. The Word went forth so powerful and personally it was beyond words.
Your prayers sent angels of protection and caused the Lord to open up so many tender hearts it make me want to cry. Just magnificent. After today I realized why the Lord has us here in brazil. Sharings and heart to a depth that would surpass Colombia. We all have such great ministry in this country.
A guy came up mocking Jesus, I just shrugged and said “this is so serious my friend” he came up again ten minutes later and still mocking wanted to talk. I decided to give him a chance. I said; “Look at that ocean my friend, look at those clouds, feel that warm sun on your shoulders, look at your beautiful face. Do you really think this could all be an accident? I know you hear about God and Jesus and don’t understand, you’ve heard pastors talk about him, but they are insincere, I am sincere. I have spent thousands of dollars and worked very hard to be here because I sincerely care about you.” He said he completely changed his attitude. He became sober and we shared heart to heart. He was a graphic designer and said “I can tell by holding this track, it is very high quality, this thick paper tells me you put a lot of work into this, it wasn’t cheap or common to get something like this. I will consider this carefully when I get home”.
On the main beach; Copacabana, which is usually full of upper-class snotty people, was now packed with 1.5 million poor people. Most of them were 18-30 range. I could not believe the attitude of these young people. They were so different. Humble, broken, eager to listen, making an effort to come up for tracks.
Many of them tall, muscular, intelligent kids with broad shoulders and dark sunglasses or clear eyes, not that it matters but to give you a picture. Many African-Brazilians, who suffer extreme racism. When I would share with the groups about how it is all nothing, all the beer and “sex, drugs and rock and roll” just don’t cut it when you’re looking for purpose… and they listened and agreed. One kid was just like “I know man, I know, you’re right, what are you telling me about Jesus? What is this”. The look in his eyes was that he was about to cry.
Here these kind of young men and women live in “Favelas” which are massive slums that go up a mountain, full of garbage, sewage, and crime. The majority were not “punky” but deeply wanted to hear and know our message. Two kids in camo shorts came up asking for a bunch of tracks, I was skeptical, but gave them each a pinch. Then they walked up and down the beach and just passed them out saying “you need to read this, this is profound”. They were sincere. They gave them to all their friends and just wanted to be apart of it.
A young couple listed to me share for a while asked a lot of questions and had some understanding about the gospel, but limited. 2 hours later they came up again and asked “I’m sorry, would you mind telling me again where you said to read in the bible, I don’t know how it works.. you said the fourth book of the New Testament.. can you show us?”.
Later in the evening, about six young guys formed a small crowd and we shared for a while, all about 24-30 range. They came from a Catholic background and wanted to understand about Mary and if she was divine, we laughed about it and I explained what the Scriptures teach. They said there is a massive brand of Pentecostal “churches” here in Rio.. Universal. They are very evil. It is like a giant cult that teaches that the sacrifice of Jesus was not enough, each person must make a continual sacrifice in the form of a “tithe” and give them loads of money. It was clear to them the scam behind it all, but the city has been affected by it because the mayor comes from this cult.
This group was thrilled to hear that the American dream and money was not at all where life is at. They agreed that in their suffering, they could see that God was giving them character. They said they were just talking among themselves that heaven and hell are real, that they need to think about these things. I pressed in to share how much they needed to ask Jesus for salvation, each individually. The listened very soberly. It was beautiful.
Our first party today I went to was like Afro, black and younger .
This big black guy with Dred-locks up on top of the big truck singing, stops, reads my sign over microphone to the millions gathered and then shares good word with crowd about how our only hope is Jesus not a religion and we need Him. I was blown away. Not in a “Christian” like presumptuous way at all but normal, pagan-like sincerity. He salutes me and smiles.
Sorry. We were in action. Walked Copacabana with flags. Packed. Tons of foreigners and open people. Just amazing. So many tracks and interactions. Then did music on boardwalk. Not a lot of people stopped but those who did were really special.
Two ladies gave us all hugs at end in tears said they were really moved and we were there just for them. Said every word touched their heart
Talked to some really cool people on Copacabana beach. Cool lady got up and jogged out to me just so excited. She had a masters degrea from NYU and had lived in Albany NY. Knew how wrong churches were but really listened personally when I brought it home to her. Then Elizabeth talked to her again after . Her name was Allesandra
On the beach this big African guy calls me over for track, then like 7 or 8 other cool black guys crowd around and all just really listen. Shared a lot about what it is to be man and a leader and give their life to Jesus.
Talked to a couple cool tourists from US and Germany
Met two twin ladies in their forties who had seen us yesterday downtown and were blown away by our witness wondering what had motivated us to this, very unique attitude. They stayed a long time to watch us
Shared with a girl my age on the beach who was from D.C she had a cool and honest attitude and actually just wanted to hear what I could share with her about the Lord, not hypocritical at all. I had some tracts in English for her she was really grateful.
We Unsuspectedly walked into huge homosexual section of beach. Guys runs at me to tackle me and another grabs sign to pull into water. So grieved. They were furious and threatened next time if we do it they’d be violent. But God delivered us without any harm to sign or us. Really vile.
Talked to this one older guy who was open and saw the fake church but after talking for a bit honestly admitted he never even opened a Bible and said he would start to read. Gave him a gospel of John and he started to read as I walked away.
Group of massive black guys. All muscular playing soccer. Walking right in their game and they all stop full respect. Listening. All take tracks. People running across beach to share and get tracks. People from Russia were cool. Spoke english.. guy from Netherlands arguing for church but open.
Early lady listening in crowd as I share just crying. Said “you were here for me today” four or five people filming sharing on phones.
They have just never ever heard the
We up against so much.
I Found out today mayor of Rio is a Pentacostal preacher who helped found that universal church. So the influence is obvious. lots of fighting to break through
Those guys filled you in at the beach but it was so blessed to get such an international witness talked to so many from all over Chile, America and Argentina. So many Brazilians puzzled and stunned at such a witness and boldness. Many reluctant at first because of so much bizarre hypocrisy of this city but after a few words explaining one on one they gave such a warm interest.
It’s really a perfect opportunity because they’re sitting there completely board and we have that awesome Eagle track to plant in there hands. You look back and see some many reading it right there.
Shared with two different groups of guys from England that were actually sober and listened to me, really grateful I had English tracts for them.
Three young cool Brazilian guys who spoke perfect English , lived in Chicago , cubs fans ,had just amazing respectful attitude and really listened. Grateful for a bible i gave them.
African guy named Raphael ,came to me tonight and showed me put away in his back pack, a Gospel of John I had given him in the morning . He was so excited to see me again , like I was his long lost friend.
So many people asking for tracks.
A middle aged guy who had lived in States and spoke English walked behind me a while in a big party and was just blown away by our witness. He said “I just can’t believe the response of the people toward you, that everyone wants to hear you. You bring them hope. I can’t believe what I am seeing.” He said God is using you to answer questions for so many people . ”
Another young man in a crazy devil costume named Tiago, asks if he can talk and is really serious. Says he was into a church but is now atheist. He asked good questions about sin, the law …after really sharing the Gospel with him he said “well I’m really gnna think about being atheist and about all you said. He said he would start to read the scriptures ”
When it was mobbed a guy told me that he was raising his son to obey the Ten Commandments. It was really loud and people rushing everywhere but I just quickly shared about salvation through faith and in the perfect work Jesus accomplished on the cross. It was like the first time he had ever heard this and a dawning came on him. Hour or so later he came back and asked which chapters in Romans I told him to read and said it back to me that he was going to.
Two men followed me and talked for a while worked on ships off shore and had the day to come to land. So grateful for daddy’s testimony and a cd.
Some people that looked ridiculous in crazy costumes were just really cool simple people and when we didn’t judge them or react for their appearance , but just shared with them, they felt really loved. Shared with just waves and crowds of people that would stop, listen think then all want tracks.
Guy ran up from beach to turn my sign so his whole group down by the water could see it.
This guy that looked real together, just wanted to take a lot of pictures of my sign that said, “to anyone who is hurting, don’t give up, Seek Jesus”. Said it really touched him and spoke to him.
Was sharing with a guy on a bike when he stopped and was like when did you drink water last ? You need water . He calls a seller over and buys me a big water.