Thursday, September 15, 2016

What in The World?

As I sit in the chapel. I stand amazed at God’s grace. While here in Rio I feel as if wherever I walk, whether intentional or not, God has guided my steps. Likewise, whoever I speak with seems to have been appointed by God, Himself. As the days go on and the body tires, God gives me the strength to continue on. But as I sit here I think, it is as if we are in a bubble here in the Paralympic village. The world is trying to show us that we can come together through sports. The village is attempting to show how good and clean Brazil is, but outside this bubble lies many problems. In Brazil there is a scandal in politics, the economy is not doing well.There are signs of poverty all around us, yet in the village they portray all is well! The village also tries to show that the world can get together through sports. Though part of that last statement may be true, the fact of the matter is that Brazil (and for that matter the rest of the world) needs God.

The neat thing about coming down to Brazil is you get a glimpse of how God loves Brazil and how He is sharing the word with all of Brazil. It is as if God is moving His servants to the place they best fit, to serve. In the hotel I am staying at there is a group of people who strive to serve God and share His grace through sport. This groups name is Athletes in Action. These people have spent their own resources to come here and share with the athletes and the spectators. I met one of them whose name is Daniel. He comes from the north of Brazil and during the torch relay, he was one of the people chosen to carry the Olympic torch. He actually brought that torch that he carried to the athlete’s village. He used it to begin witnessing to some of the athletes. Very effective tool for evangelism. Little did I know that Daniel actually went to same church as one of the athletes who I've had the privilege to get to know over the years of doing this ministry. There are so many stories I could share how God is moving, but I will take the time to share 1 more story This story has really touched my heart.

There are so many stories I could share how God is moving, but I will take the time to share 1 more story This story has really touched my heart. There is a farmer's wife and mother, who came to Rio because she believed God called her here last December. She told her husband what she felt God
called her to do. Her husband said no you cannot go. Two to three weeks later, they were sitting in church and the pastor was sharing the story of Jesus at the wedding of Cana. After hearing that message he turned to her and said, you must go! So she asked her church for some support and they gave very little. Needless to say, she bought a round trip ticket to Rio. When she got here she had no money for food or hotel room. But she insisted God wanted her here! She has been a big help to us and others by simply doing what she feels led to do. I asked her, "how do you pay for the food and hotel expenses?" She simply responds, "God will pay it". Somehow everyday she gets the food she needs. I have seen it with my own eyes and am astounded by her simple faith. I am just waiting now to see how God pays the hotel for her. It's amazing to see people with that type of simple faith.

 All of this leaves me with a simple thought and a simple question. The thought is this: The world can show us an illusion of "everything in this world can be solved if we get together and strive for peace." "Um Mundo Novo" (A new world) the slogan of these games. It will take much more than that, it will take a lot of help from God through Jesus and his followers. But there is one hope that is and will always remain with us. That hope is Jesus. As a fellow brother in God I am convinced He is at work! He is changing this world one soul at a time. NOT ONLY IN BRAZIL BUT THROUGHOUT THIS WORLD. He is using people like you and me to change those lives. The simple question I face is this, "Why can't I feel God all the time, like I do here. A feeling that my every step and conversation is appointed by God. When I go home why can't I feel these divine appointments? Is it a simple matter of living a simple faith? Maybe you can answer that question. God Bless!

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