Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Great, Great Day

Yesterday in an email to my mom, I asked her to pray for me because I had a feeling this week would be a "Cris, you really live in Brasil" week. I got this feeling after a few less-than-desirable things happened in a period of two days (two scary car accidents on my street, and I thought my friendly neighbhorhood bakery was going to be robbed while I was in it...it wasn't, thankfully, and I know these are things that happen in the US, but they are much scarier when you don't speak the native language fluently to figure out what is going on....). (That was a very long parenthetical aside...my apologies.) When I got this feeling, it wasn't a good one. It meant that this week I would struggle, and really be reminded that I am here, living alone, in a foreign country, away from the luxuries and conveniences of my life in the US.

Well, I am here to tell you that God has done an amazing job of reminding me today that "Cris, you really live in Brasil," and I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful day. You weren't expecting this? Neither was I. Let me explain. This morning I had my group class for advanced speakers, (pictured below,) and it went marvelously well. Although the readers may not agree, for there was quite a bit of heated debate, that's precisely the reason I wanted them to all get together to talk about their faith...but in English. When we talk about things that are important to us (faith) and other people don't agree, we become passionate about defending/proving our point. In order to defend/prove your point, you must search for answers within the Bible, therefore making us all better readers of the Word, and further deepening our belief and our faith. This was my first objective when I formed this group, knowing full well that we all come from different Christian backgrounds and therefore believe different interpretations of Scripture. However, as we all are Christians already, I knew that we would learn a lot from this time. And we did! (Please let it be known, however, that I'm not saying you should always passionately and heatedly PROVE your Christian points to others at all time. I'm saying that within the context of this particular group, where we all believe in Christ and the Bible as God's Word, we are able to do this in a constructive manner.) So I felt good after this class, and I thanked God that He brought this group together.


Then, this afternoon, God blew the door right open for me to very openly and boldly talk with two different readers (I'll call them Tiago and Jose, although those are nowhere near to their actual names) about the message of Christ, what God wants from us, why I believe, how much God loves us, etc. They were the types of conversations where, as you're talking, you get goosebumps as you listen to the words coming out of your mouth because you realize they are not your own. One of my biggest fears in this job is that I will cross the line, be too bold, and scare my readers to the point where they don't come back ever again. But today they both responded with even more questions, and it only allowed me the opportunity to talk further. At the end of the conversation with Tiago, whom I have talked with about this kind of thing several times, but who says he does not know if God exists or not, I asked him to just think about what we had talked about. He looked at me and said "I think about this every day..."

And that is how God reminded me that I live in Brasil...and that this is exactly, without a doubt, where He wants for me to be.

Would you please be praying for Tiago and Jose? Although those aren't their real names, (people here in Natal read my blog, so I want to respect their privacy, sorry Carol e Sergio!) I bet God will know who you're talking about. I told Tiago that I pray that he will open himself for God to work in his life, so that he can have certainty that God, the God of the Bible, exists. Will you pray this too? Yes, that was a bold thing to say to him, but faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains, right?

3 comments:

Justin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justin said...

Cristof,

I just wanted to tell you that even though I have not been a frequent commenter, I am a faithful reader of "Living & Loving...".

You probably already know this (though it doesn't hurt to say it), but you have a bunch of people around the world pulling for you and cheering you on in your adventure.

God has a way of providing for us exactly in the way that we need, but sometimes in the most unexpected manners. I'm thankful that I was able to read your testimony to this reality.

All the Best,

Justin

Cyndi Needels said...

Wow, I will be praying for them! God is blessing you with His boldness. That is amazing!