June 29, 2006

Do You Have Vision?

I was happy to see Dan Phillips, one of the Pyromaniacs, take on the correct interpretation of Proverbs 29:18: "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he".

If you have ever wondered what type of "vision" this is talking about, or whether or not you have "enough vision", you need to read Visionary truths.

Posted by Andrew at 1:32 PM
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June 28, 2006

Gooooooooooooool

We watched Tuesday's game (Brazil 3, Ghana 0) at our pastor's house here in Juazeiro. Using our projector, we projected the action up onto the wall. My wife happened to be filming when Brazil scored one of their goals.

Posted by Andrew at 5:12 PM
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June 27, 2006

Not So Fast

I talked to our real estate agent today, and there is a very good chance that the offer on our house will fall through. I should have some sort of an answer by next week.

Please keep praying!

Posted by Andrew at 4:01 PM
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June 26, 2006

Please Continue to Pray

Tomorrow (Tuesday) we find out more about the potential sale of our house.

Posted by Andrew at 10:57 PM
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June 24, 2006

Missionaries Have Hobbies

Mine happens to be electric trains. For the past several years I have not had the space to really develop this interest, but now I do. We brought some equipment with us from the States, and the F.O.C.U.S. team brought some more with them a few weeks ago. I spent a little time today doing some preliminary preparations.

One of the challenges is going to be the complete lack of hobby shops in this region. Anything I do (buildings, landscape, etc) will have to be done from scratch. This will be an adventure.

Already this afternoon Mikey and I had some serious father-son time working on the trains. I have set up a little blog to chronicle our progress.

Posted by Andrew at 7:42 PM
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June 23, 2006

A Deluge of Goals

Some of the more spectacular moments from yesterday's Brazil-Japan game.

This was the first goal of the game, scored by Japan. This was the best thing Japan could have done for Brazil. After this, Brazil woke up and started playing like the Brazil team of old.

Brazil's first goal came just before the half, with this brilliant play culminating by a head-in by Ronaldo. The look on Ronaldo's face after the goal is says "I'm back in the game."

This goal by Juninho came out of nowhere. When he kicked, the guy sitting next to me screamed "No! Don't do that!" Then, when the ball went in the net, he went out and set of a firecracker.

This shows the depth of the Brazilian team. Both Juninho and Gilberto are second-string players.

Ronaldo's final goal against Japan. Ronaldo has gone "from zero to hero" in one day here in Brazil.

Posted by Andrew at 7:04 AM // Comments: 1 //
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June 22, 2006

Computer Issues

Well, my laptop is down until at least the middle of July, and possibly down for the count. There is the possiblity that someone in Fortaleza might be able to fix it, but for now I am confined to the desktop.

Which is not all that bad, actually. I am getting to know the Mac system better, and am enjoying it greatly. In fact, I am already dreaming of my replacement laptop.

Hey, everybody's gotta have dreams!

Posted by Andrew at 8:21 PM // Comments: 4 //
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June 20, 2006

We Have an Offer on the House!!!

Right now it is just an offer, but it is progress. Please pray that everything will go smoothly, and that soon we will be free of this burden.

Posted by Andrew at 10:56 AM // Comments: 4 //
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June 19, 2006

Victory Parade

Here is video of the victory parade that took place in Exu after Brazil's 2-0 victory over Australia. The camera is a little shaky at times, as I did not have time to get out my tripod.

If you have trouble viewing this, you may want to check it out on youtube.



Posted by Andrew at 9:14 AM // Comments: 2 //
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The American Mansion

While in Exu, Edson took me to see a house that was built by some Americans who came to Exu in the first part of the 20th century. Nobody was quite sure as to their purpose for being there. The build a huge complex, lived there for a short time, and then abruptly left, taking nothing with them. They even left a car, according to one old man we talked to. Theories abound as to who they were and why they were here.

My theory: Mafia people on the run.

You can see more pictures of the house here.

Posted by Andrew at 9:07 AM
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Photos from Exu

As mentioned in an earlier post, we spent this last weekend in the nearby city of Exu. Exu is an interesting town, with a colorful history. A few interesting facts:

* One of Brazil's most beloved singers--Luis Gonzaga--was born and raised in Exu.
* The name Exu comes from one of the most powerful deities in the Candombl (voodoo) pantheon.
* There is a family feud (Hatfield and McCoy style) that has been going on in Exu for over a century.

Below are some interesting pictures we took during our time in Exu:

Some of the beautiful scenery one encounters while descending the mountains, just before arriving in Exu.

One of the first things you see as you approach the city is the tower of the Catholic Church.

An old-style police station still in use in Exu.

Exu, like all of Brazil, is in full celebration mode due to the World Cup.

For most who live in Exu, interior plumbing is a luxury. The majority of homes have their water delivered to them on mule carts, like the one above.

If you don't have a mule cart, there are other ways of getting water.

Public laundromat.

Kids at Saturday kids club.

Seminary student Edson and his wife, Marli, go to Exu every weekend to minister in our small congregation there.

Marli preparing lunch.

We watched Sunday's World Cup match (Brazil 2, Australia 0) at the home of one of the believers in Exu.

After Brazil's victory, there was a sponaneous victory parade through town. I will be posting a video of this spectacular event shortly.

I was able to preach in the evening service. As I mentioned in the earlier post, one person accepted Christ during the service!

The church family at Exu.

Sunset in Exu.

Posted by Andrew at 8:29 AM
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June 18, 2006

And While We Are On the Subject...

How about the US against Italy! I was very pleased with the performance of my homeland team against the Italian machine, and am more than a little hopeful as to their chances against Ghana. Check out the stunned looks on the faces of the Italian players after the US scores (the second goal on the video).

Posted by Andrew at 10:18 PM
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Brazil 2, Australia 0

We watched the Brazil-Australia game this afternoon in Ex. I was much more pleased with Brazils performance against a strong Australia effort. Hopefully this trend will continue.

Here is video of the first goal:

And the second:

Later on I will be posting pics and footage of the post-game celebration we witnessed in Exu. That was truly amazing! Stay tuned.

Continue reading "Brazil 2, Australia 0"

Posted by Andrew at 10:10 PM
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Weekend in Ex

We just returned from our weekend in Ex. We had a marvelous time of ministry, and there will be many videos and photos to come. But the most exciting news is that a new soul was added to the kingdom this evening. We are pumped!

Posted by Andrew at 10:03 PM
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June 17, 2006

Graduation Night

One of the best parts of living and working on the foreign mission field is the association with a special group of people--the MKs (Missionary Kids). Last night we celebrated the graduation of three of the MKs from our region: Joy Anna (Photographic Memory) Leonard, Jeremiah (Real Men Play Flute) Willson, and Stephen (Itzak Perleman) Lounsbrough. All three were home-schooled, and all three are planning on college in the US. Their departure will leave a huge hole in the ministry here.

Last night was a special night. I will be putting together a little DVD of it later on, as soon as the others who took pictures send them to me. For now, here are some shots I took last night.

The graduates.

The Lounsbrough family during the ceremony.

Pastor Srgio and family.

Stephen in the reception line.

Refreshments!

Posted by Andrew at 10:59 AM
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June 16, 2006

Mission Trip Video

Shanna, one of the members of the F.O.C.U.S. team that visited us earlier this month, has made a video about their trip. Here it is.

Posted by Andrew at 9:51 AM // Comments: 1 //
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June 15, 2006

Welcome Matthew Taylor Comings!

Just to let you know, Matthew Taylor Comings--my newest nephew--was born in Indianapolis today at around 12:15 pm. Congratulations are in order to my "little" bro David and sis-in-law Judy.

I have not seen a picture yet, but he cannot but help to have the natural Comings good looks.

Posted by Andrew at 7:55 PM
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Trip to Vacarias

Vacarias is a small community just east of here. When I say small, I mean really, really small. It is just a gathering of farms and houses. Itacyara and Mikey went there today with a group from our church (today is Corpus Christi--a Catholic observance that is also a national holiday here). I had other things to do today, so I stayed behind. Here are some of the pictures they took.

This is "downtown Vacarias". The church looks like it could be Roman Catholic, but it actually is one of our Regular Baptist churches. Thanks to the efforts of our early missionaries, most of the people in this community identify themselves as believers.

The entire public transportation system of Vacarias can be seen in this picture.

One of the main highways leading into town.

To get to where they were going, the group had to do some old fashioned river "fording".

Another look at road conditions in Vacarias.

A good time was had by all.

Posted by Andrew at 7:36 PM
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Prayer Request

Pray for my brother David and his wife Judith. As of last word, they are at the hospital in Indianapolis preparing for the birth of their fourth child.

Posted by Andrew at 10:56 AM
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Satelite Images of Our Area

Thanks to enhanced technology at Google Earth, it is now possible to get some detailed satelite images from where we live. Here are a few pics I grabbed real quick this morning.

This is our neighborhood. If you click on the image, you will see the notes I added to the photo which show you exactly where our house is.

The Cariri Baptist Seminary, where we work.

A more complete view of the seminary. The large building on the far left is the cafeteria.

Peace Baptist Church, where we work and worship.

No photo essay of this area would be complete without a shot of the Padre. He looks a lot less intimidating from the air.

Posted by Andrew at 8:07 AM // Comments: 3 //
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Brazil's Goal Against Croatia--Second Try

It would appear that the link I provided in the previous post no longer works. We will try a different approach:

Posted by Andrew at 6:58 AM
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June 14, 2006

Brazil's Goal

Somebody has set up a video blog of all the goals scored in this year's World Cup. Click here to see Brazil's goal in Tuesday's game.

Posted by Andrew at 10:14 PM
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World Cup Mania


As the Brazilian team makes it's way throught the World Cup, our town is virtually bathed in green and yellow. I am posting some pictures here of the more interesting decorations and demonstrations of copa spirit I have seen to date. One of the best ones has to be this mural that graces the wall of my son's school. It is composed of hand and foot prints of some of the
students there.




After I dropped Mikey off for school, I happened to pass this shoe store. The employees there were more than happy to show the world who they were cheering for.

Blogged with Flock

Posted by Andrew at 4:18 PM // Comments: 1 //
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June 13, 2006

Brazil 1, Croatia 0

I just got back from watching Brazil's debut match in the World Cup against Croatia. Brazil won, but the coach cannot be too happy about the victory. The Brazilians will have to step up their game if they want to win against more formidable foes ahead.

Posted by Andrew at 5:28 PM
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Prayer Blog

A friend of mine has recently started a blog where he posts prayer requests from around the world. He has been kind enough to include some of the requests I have posted from time to time. If you have a minute, do yourself the favor and check out Prayer Blog Requests.

Posted by Andrew at 1:09 PM
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World Cup Fever

Today is Brazil's debut in the 2006 World Cup. You can feel the exitement building as gametime nears. Today all the kids at Mikey's school went decked out in Brazil's green and yellow. I thought about having him wear something red, white, and blue in homage to his other nationality--however after the US' painful 3-0 loss against the Czech Republic yesterday, I decided against it.

Of course, many of you reading this in the US are totally unaware that the US even played yesterday.

In a couple hours we will be going over to the Seminary to watch the first Brazil game on the big screen. Should be lots of fun--unless Brazil happens to lose.

Posted by Andrew at 12:11 PM
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Megan's Pictures

Megan, one of the members of the F.O.C.U.S. team that visited us last week, has just posted all her photos from the trip. You can check them out here.

Posted by Andrew at 7:56 AM
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June 10, 2006

Funny World Cup Ad

This is one of the funniest ads I have ever seen. It starts out with the Brazilian players singing the national anthem before a soccer game. As the camera pans over the players, we suddenly see Argenine star Maradona among them. Then the scene switches to his bedroom, where it turns out he is having a nightmare--which he blames on the fact that he has been drinking too much Guarana Antartica--Brazil's national soft drink.

Posted by Andrew at 5:14 PM
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More F.O.C.U.S. Pictures

I just posted some pictures of the F.O.C.U.S. missions team that visited us last week. This one shows the team gathered together on a rock on one of the mountains which surrounds our valley. More pictures of their activities can be seen here.

Posted by Andrew at 10:38 AM
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June 9, 2006

F.O.C.U.S Slideshow

Here is a slideshow of the pictures recently posted on the F.O.C.U.S. team's website. I understand there are more on the way, but this will give you some idea of the activities and ministries in which they were involved.

Posted by Andrew at 5:41 PM
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June 8, 2006

We Are Back

After ten days of hosting the F.O.C.U.S. missions team from Fellowship Baptist Church, we are slowly settling back into what vaguely resembles a routine. I will have some pictures up in due time. Meanwhile, you can check out the teaser that they have posted on their blog.

Posted by Andrew at 1:47 PM
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June 2, 2006

The Wheels on the Bus

...are thankfully going 'round and 'round. The bus pulled into the seminary, fully fixed, at noon yesterday. We did not have to cancel any of our activities for lack of transportation. Thank you for your prayers.

Posted by Andrew at 6:10 AM
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June 1, 2006

Start the Bus

I just wanted to leave a quick update this morning on the progress of the missions team from Fellowship Baptist Church. The young people and their sponsors are doing an outstanding job. Last night in prayer meeting--and at a special afterglow session we had, they all interacted very well with our Brazilian teens and adults. We are looking forward with great anticipation to today's ministries.

We do have one BIG prayer request. Last night, as we were leaving the "afterglow" time, the bus developed a problem with one of the rear axles. I had to take our kids back to the seminary in my pickup--in three separate installments. This morning the word is that it will be done at "about noon". Our first need for the bus will be at about 1:30, so please be in prayer that the repairs are actually done by noon.

Posted by Andrew at 7:25 AM
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