Friday, August 9, 2013


We are entering our final day at Kid's Place today.  This week has been eye opening to me (Tim Brock) of the fences or barriers I place in my life.  Every afternoon at Kid's Place there is a group of kids that come and stand at the fence that separates Kid's Place from the outside world.  They all have different stories but similar backgrounds.  In appearance, our background and circumstances, their lives look completely different than mine.  But being here this week I have found that we all have one very fundamental thing in common.  Everyone in this world has a need that nothing in this world can satisfy.  That need is the good news of Jesus Christ.

Yesterday was a great example of The Lord using the body of different backgrounds to accomplish his purpose.  Josh and Amy Burgess are on their 3rd trip to Recife.  Each year they have spoken with a woman named Rita and they have shared the gospel with her and her husband.  While meeting with her yesterday, Rita began telling us that she was just not ready to commit fully to Jesus and give her life to God.  She told us that she didn't feel like she could be good enough or that she deserved heaven.  We agreed with her that no one could be good enough to deserve heaven.  But we shared about the saving power of Jesus' grace. The entire time that we were speaking with Rita, we were talking through our translator Erika.  She we relaying everything we were saying to Rita and giving us her response.  Erika could sense the hesitancy that Rita was feeling and stopped the conversation and looked at us.  She asked if she could say something.  We of course wanted her to.  She then launched into the most beautiful 5 minutes of dialogue that I have ever heard.  I could not understand a word she was saying but I knew what was being communicated.  At the end Rita gave her life to Christ.  The joy on her face was overwhelming.  We hugged, we cried and we prayed together.  A group of people from very different backgrounds rejoicing in the one thing that makes all things new.

There are "fences" in all of our lives that keep us from sharing the one thing that can unite us all.  We are all different and our struggles are not the same.  But if we can just open the gate then we will be able to watch God heal our land.

Too busy to blog!

As a general rule, I like to keep a journal for myself (Josh).  However, I find that during the days I have a ton going on, I don't have time to do it.  I fear that much the same is happening to our team in Brazil.  Our lack of regular updates is NOT due to lack of great ministry and growth.  It's because we haven't had the time to write.  Sorry.

Yesterday was another sweet day.  We were with the kids in the morning and then visits into homes in the favela in the afternoon.

In the morning, during games we had a boy throw a fit.  Not just angry, but in the sense of being a danger to himself and others.  With the help of staff, they were able to get him calmed down.  Later, one of the teachers took a few of us aside to share his home background.  I won't go into details, but suffice to say he has been dealt one of the worst hands a kid can have.  We were reminded that there are likely another 100 stories like this at KP and that for many of them, their hours at KP are a calm oasis of hope away from a home of despair.  Pray for them.

In the afternoon my family visited a family we had seen the previous 2 years.  The father wasn't home, but the mother was and it turned out that she had not accepted Christ before.  After sharing the gospel through a translator with limited success, our translator asked if she could talk to the mom.  What followed was nothing more than heaven shining down on that room as this 17 year old translator shared from her own heart, in Portuguese, the woman's need for a savior, resulting in the woman accepting Christ.  We were there to ALLOW the translator to be there.  She wasn't there to let us speak, She was there so God could let her speak.  So neat to see God work.  Praise God!

This morning we finish up with the kids and then head to a KP camp with the teenagers for the afternoon.

We fly back tomorrow, Lord willing.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

God's intricate plans

I wanted to share with you a wild story of God's sovereignty over decades. It's a story that stretched from Recife, Brazil, to Fort Worth and back again several times.

In the 1950s, an American family lived as missionaries in Brazil. One of their ministries was running Christian camps for Brazilian children. Busloads of children attended these camps year after year in São Paulo. One of those buses came from Recife with a young boy named Homero Lecio aboard. He accepted Christ that week at camp and returned to Recife on fire for the Lord.

That boy's faith grew as he got older, and God called him into a life of ministry. The boy moved to Fort Worth, Texas, to attend seminary at Southwestern Baptist Seminary with the goal of opening a Christian camp near Recife so more children might have the same opportunity he had as a child, and might come to know Jesus as he did. While at Southwestern he developed relationships with many families at Christ Chapel Bible Church and McKinney Bible Church. Those families and those churches supported him when he returned to Brazil to begin his ministry, which eventually took the name Volunteers for Christ.

Pastor Lecio, as he is now known, is the founder and director of Kids Place in the Coque community of Recife, where some of the city's poorest families live. For years the ministry has rented camp facilities for use in the summer to take children from Coque to camp. Rental rates continually rose, and his dream remained to build a camp that Kids Place could call its own. Thanks to the generosity of donors and a favorable real estate market a few years ago, that decades-old dream became a reality. The facilities at Rancho Pitanga were barely ready (and some areas were unfinished) when the first campers to arrived last summer, but the first session of camp in their new facility was a huge success. Volunteers for Christ also has a church in a fishing village on the coast. Kids Place, Rancho Pitanga, the church in the fishing village are the three arms of ministry in Volunteers for Christ.

Fast forward to a grandson of those Brazilian missionaries. His name is Richard Drummond and he and his wife Aimee are on the YCC mission trip with us in Brazil this summer.  His grandparents ran the camp where Pastor Lecio received Christ.  He is now serving alongside Pastor Lecio with us in Brazil.

So here is Richard, witnessing in person the incredible legacy left by the obedience of his grandparents to the call God placed on their lives, followed by Pastor Lecio's obedience to the call God placed on his life. And Richard and Ammie are in Recife this week because God called them here as well.

I'm sure that description doesn't do justice to the chills it caused all around here when Richard connected all the dots for us last night. Josh and I came here for the first time two years ago, and I remember talking with Pastor Lecio about his testimony and how this ministry started. I remember him talking about the camp he attended as a child. So watching that story come full circle to Richard getting to be here and meet a man who was directly impacted by his grandparents' ministry, and be surrounded by children who are benefitting from that legacy of obedience -- it's just stunning. And humbling.

Our group has talked a lot about the legacy of obedience and service this week. God takes the little we give Him and multiplies it beyond what we we will probably ever see in this lifetime. I suspect there are many of these wild connections around us all the time, but we'll never connect all the dots. None of us became a believer in a vacuum, untouched by the ministry of other believers. We are all indebted to those who obeyed God and poured into our lives. God, in His grace, allows us to play a role in the spiritual lives of others when we obey His call to service.

God is putting on the greatest show on earth all the time, weaving intricate stories of redemption. Service puts you in the front row to see His show up close. We are grateful to all of you who helped put us in the front row this week. Thank you. We are being changed, and we know others here are being changed as well. May God multiply this service for His glory for generations to come.

In Him,
Amy Burgess

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tuesday Evening Update

Wow!  What a great day in Brazil.  Thank you for those of you that prayed for us!  Tomorrow (Wednesday) we are back with the kids in the morning and then having the afternoon with the teenagers to do a scavenger hunt and then watch a movie in the evening with them.  The goal will be to build relationships and share the gospel.

Although there are many great stories from the day, I wanted to share a great one for me (Josh).  This afternoon our family went to visit a family in Coque that has a son that attends kids place.  The mother is a Christian, but the father, Rafael, is not.  We had a great visit at their home and heard about life and were able to encourage them in areas of parenting and grace.

This afternoon, we had some of the dads from KP come play soccer with the guys from our team.  By "soccer", I mean that we touched a ball, and they took us to soccer school!  At half-time, I had the chance to share the gospel with the men.  Rafael was there.  While I shared, most of our team was praying -- one guy actually told me he was specifically praying for him while I shared.

Anyway, he stayed for dinner with us and shared that he had accepted Christ this evening!  Praise God.  What was also awesome was that there was another dad there that had recently accepted Christ.  They both had questions about sanctification -- although they didn't use that word.  Several of us were able to share the sanctification process with them so that as they start off on their new journey with Christ they have a good understanding.

More tomorrow.

Tuesday Morning

Bom Dia!

Hello from our team to everyone back in the states! We are so overjoyed to be in Recife with our brothers and sisters in Christ!  Praise God that we arrived safely and with no troubles when traveling all the way from the US to Brazil.

God has been so faithful to us during these first days in the city.  We arrived at the Recife airport and immediately met our friends from the Volunteers for Christ ministry here in Brazil.  They picked us up and took us to Kids Place where we will be spending the majority of our week, teaching Vacation Bible School and sharing Christ with the Brazilian people.  Once arriving on Sunday, we began prepping our rooms for teaching the children and then organized all of the supplies we brought along.

Yesterday, however, was our first full day of ministry with the children and their families.  God greatly worked through us and at the end of the day we could already see fruit from His labor.  I would equate it to an analogy of seeing a shepherd calling out to his sheep who are out in a nearby pasture.  Some of them turn their ears towards him and begin to walk forward, while others are still looking towards him and slowly but surely beginning to inch their way to him.  This is the way that we see God working in the lives of each man, woman and child that hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  You can see their hearts changing, their curiosity rising, as they hear the Good News and respond.  It is an immense feeling of joy to see this taking place and a privilege to be a part of it.

The afternoon yesterday was spent playing soccer and engaging in other craft activities for a few hours until dinner time.  This gave an opportunity for many from Coque to come out to see us, and in turn, hear the Gospel.  There were some that heard the Gospel and responded immediately, while others had already heard the message before and had trusted Christ as their Savior.  We praise God and give Him the glory for those that already know Him!

However, one particular part of the day was incredibly encouraging for me.  A young boy, about 11 years old, came up to me as I was sharing Christ and asked me, "I already know Jesus, and I want to tell my friends about Him, but how can I do that?  Do I have to have a Bible? Do I have to be a missionary?" And my heart leapt for joy, seeing this reaction from him.  I could see direct results from God as He has been working through this ministry and in the hearts of each Brazilian.  Not only was this boy interested in knowing more about God, but he wanted to share Him with his peers!  I told him that we are ALL commanded by Jesus in the Gospels to go and share the Good News, no matter who we are, our background or where we live.  And that he can do that right here and now, with or without his Bible.

My prayer is that I hope this example of a life bearing fruit in The Lord would continue amongst the favela. That lives would continue to be changed by God for years to come, and like a spreading fire, the faith would ignite and continue to move through each heart and each life.

Today is day two, and your prayers are greatly desired.  Thank you for reading and following our efforts as we faithfully go each day.  I pray more will come to faith in Christ today and more seeds of faith would continue to be planted.


Michael Truss

Monday, August 5, Evening Blog

The morning began with long a gentle rain, much needed seeing as our host church collects the water for us to wash our hands with. Praise God, because rain was but a quick prayer yesterday, and an answered one today, twice.

We met as a group to read the word of God and commit our day to Him. We continue to ask for boldness, to share His love and truth, the joy of His salvation.

Day 1 at VBS, Brittany taught for our classroom. We have the youngest kids, and such an awesome co-teacher. Our translator, Yohanna, visited Texas and it's so fun to hear her speak English. She reminds me of a friend back home. The kids are sweet and listen vey well. I'm teaching tomorrow about how we are called to love others.

Answered Prayers: For our bus driver, that the schedule at kid's place would work out, for our translators to have their voices, that the teachers would be empowered to share God's word, for safety as we travel, for unity & peace among our team, that we would have opportunity to share the story of God's salvation, that we would speak up when God shows us those opportunities. . .  & more.

Being in a different place comes with its own unique challenges & I am thankful for how God helps us move past them and learn from these things. Specifically I am thankful for God's sufficient grace; it's enough. God has enough grace for me to be in a different bed, eat different food, spend my hours differently, wear different shoes, and have different family for the week. I am grateful for God's heart for the nations and that He has shared this desire with His people.

Remind me when we get back to tell you about 'soccer under the bridge' and the glitter fest we had with the kids and about the friend I met!

Deus e fiel. God is faithful.

love you mom & dad : ]

- Ammie Drummond

Monday, August 5, 2013

How can I, unless someone explains it to me?

There is a great story in Acts 8, versus 26-40 about God  telling Phillip to go up to an Euthiopian on a chariot.  The man is reading as he rides.  He's reading Isaiah, and Philip runs along side and asks him if he understand what's he's reading.  The man says, "How can I, unless someone explains it to me?"  Great question.  Stephen proceeds to share the gospel with him and leads him to Christ.

Yesterday, at our church service, I met Leondro, a 10-year old boy that had a Jesus  medallian on his neck.  I asked him about it.  Who was Jesus?  Etc.  He was pretty good until we got to the point of "Why did he have to die?"  I stumped him on that one.  He wasn't able to explain that, so I asked if he'd like to learn.  "Yes!"  So, along with a translator, I shared the Gospel with Leondro.  He accepted Christ, willingly and eagerly.  Praise God.  I told our group, they won't all be reading Isaiah asking for someone to explain it, nor have a neckless of Jesus, but wow, when they do, grab that opportunity!

Pray for us today for more opportunity.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

7 a.m., flight to Brazil

It is 7am on the airplane (still 5 am in TX where we left yesterday at 4:45pm).  Josh here.

I am trying  to think of a good analogy for what to compare this feeling to right now.  We have been praying over this trip for months -- for some of us, over a year.  And now, we are "here."  I suppose we'll be "here" when we get to Kids Place, but you get the idea.  Is it like a long-planned vacation?  No.  It's not a vacation.  The olympics?  We haven't trained that hard!  But, we are on the cusp of something very exciting.

Amy and I are leading this team of young couples for the second year in a row.  For family members that entrusted them to us -- thank you.  You should be incredibly proud of these very mature men and women that are coming to do something that hadn't even crossed my mind at their age!  They are taking valuable vacation time to spend their days in a slum.

Why?  Why would any of us do this?  Why would we have asked friends and family to give money so that we could take an 'exotic' trip to Brazil to work among the poorest of the poor?  Because many of these people don't know Jesus.  And without Jesus, they will die.  I suppose I could fluff that up some way, but I won't.

The people of Coque are somewhat forgotten to the people of Brazil.  They are ignored by all quarters.  Many feel they are beyond redemption.  We are here to tell them that we were ALL beyond redemption.  None of us were righteous, not one.  Yet Christ humbled himself to the point of the cross to save us, and he offers them the very same opportunity.

We will play games with children this week.  We will engage in relationship.  We will be changed in our own hearts.  But, as you pray for us, pray for those who hear the gospel, many for the first time.  Ask that it would penetrate their hearts, and like us before them, they will be saved!  Thanks.