Thursday, October 2, 2008


It's been a while since I have told you any reader stories, so I thought it was about time I let you back in on my day to day conversations and friendships. We're lucky, because this week was a particularly great week in terms of my studies. Every once in a while I (well, really, we) have one of those "yes!" weeks, where so many readers have an aha moment. Even when it's not an aha moment, sometimes they say some really great stuff that's worth sharing.

Since August I have been studying twice a week with a reader who we will call Marcos. Marcos began the LST program because one of my other readers invited him. This other reader, who we will call Carlos, is a reader I have told you about before. I read with him in 2006 when I first came to Natal, and at that point I was 100% sure that Carlos would never, ever, EVER, have an interest in the Biblical content. Well let's all be thankful that Cris is really good at being wrong, because last month Carlos began a Portuguese Bible study with one of the missionaries! Our studies are going so well, and they are only reinforced by his studies with John. But wait...I started out this story about Marcos. So Marcos has believed in and even followed God for a long time but credits his LST Bible studies with completely revolutionizing his faith. He now talks about his life in two segments, before he knew Jesus and after he knew Jesus. He says that reading the Bible in English has turned everything upside down and he understands Jesus in a way that was never clear to him before. He has begun praying more, evangelizing more, and reading the Word more, all in search of his role in God's kingdom. Marcos is an absolute joy to read with. In each session, I read the text first so that he can listen to my pronunciation. After I am done, he always compliments my reading and says "Very good, Cris." Thank you, Marcos. It's always nice to be recognized for something that comes so naturally. :) Earlier this week I asked Marcos to tell me the definition of the word "remember." He looked at me like I must be joking and matter-of-factly said "It means to member again!" When I asked him to tell me what "to member" means, because I sure didn't know, he got a little confused and we went over what the word remember actually means.

This morning I had a fantastic session with one of my new readers, Cinthia. Cinthia comes from a very strong Baptist family, and so her knowledge of the stories we read together provides for some really interesting conversations that go quite a bit deeper than with most other readers. This morning as we read the story of the temptation of Jesus in the desert (not dessert, which is a mistake I hear often!) I asked Cinthia what we learn from Jesus in that particular story, expecting the seed-thought answer "Jesus was as human as we are." But Cinthia will not conform to pre-determined seed thoughts, no she will not. She replied "Jesus was trying to show us that the spirit is stronger than the body. The devil could only tempt Jesus's body, but Jesus knows that his spirit is bigger." And that, my dear readers, is the best explanation I have heard to date on fighting against temptation.

Go here to see pictures of our fun get-together last weekend for a few select readers and church members. It was a fun, relaxing day, and was very meaningful for the readers who participated. Please continue to pray for the readers and for our studies with them. Some of them are approaching critical points in their studies where they will have to ask some tough questions. Pray that the Lord will use us to guide them to Biblical truths and that their eyes will be opened!

Next entry: my first Brazilian election. (It's obligatory.)

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