April 30, 2008
Challies Book Giveaway
Blogger extrordinaire Tim Challies is having a book giveaway this month, with the prizes being a whole passel of great works.
Click on the banners above or below to enter the contest (and--full disclosure--increase my chances of winning!)
April 29, 2008
Brazilian Baloon Stunt Ends Tragically
Brazil's navy has ended its search for a priest who vanished more than a week ago while floating over the Atlantic with a cluster of party balloons.
She said several private fishing boats were still looking for the Catholic priest, but said chances of finding de Carli alive in the ocean are "very remote".
Yeah, I know the blogging has been sparse of late...it's because I have been very busy. Of course that means that there are some pretty exciting things to report about, so stay tuned.
April 23, 2008
And Speaking of News
This is my brother Joe doing a report about train safety for WBNG, Binghampton, NY. You can see the video here.
Of Flying Priests and Earthquakes...News from Brazil
Here are a couple items news items from here in Brazil that I felt compelled to share. This first one takes lack of foresight to new heights.
Rescuers reached a cluster of brightly colored party balloons floating in the ocean off Brazil's coast Tuesday but did not find the Roman Catholic priest who had been using them in a bid to set a flight record.
Rev. Adelir Antonio di Carli remained missing after lifting off from the port city of Paranagua on Sunday strapped to hundreds of helium-filled balloons.
Di Carli, who has taken jungle survival and mountain climbing courses, was carrying enough drinking water and cereal bars to stay alive for at least five days, Coelho said, suggesting the priest may be adrift in the ocean or resting on a beach or forest-covered mountain along the coast.
The priest embarked on a similar adventure on Jan. 13, when he used 600 balloons to carry him on a four-hour, 17,390 foot-high voyage from the town of Ampere to neighboring Argentina, where he landed safely.
CNN has a video of the priest taking off in the balloon. As of yet no confirmation as to his status.
As I was quickly checking my e-mail last night, my Twitter account came alive with people from São Paulo talking about how they were feeling tremors. Nah, I thought. Earthquakes don't happen here. "Deus é brasileiro," remember? A few minutes later, however, the news reports were picking up the story:
Geologists say the temblor occurred at 9 p.m. local time (0000 GMT) and was felt by residents in several southeastern states, including Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
One Brazilian blogger I read frequently who is based in São Paulo had this to say:
We already have so many problems… and now an earthquake...decided to hit São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Paraná and Santa Catarina. Somebody please send the coordinates for Brasilia to the responsible party.
To which one commenter--presumably from Brasilia--replied:
We don't need earthquakes, the politicians you send here do a good enough job.
I love Brazil!
April 20, 2008
Some Upated Pics
This is Clan Comings, Brazil. Right handsome family, if I do say so myself.
The Comings Boys.
April 16, 2008
Is it a Sin...
...to envy your brother who gets to go to the T4G conference in Louisville, KY and hear the likes of John MacArthur, John Piper, Al Mohler, and R.C. Sproul, live and in person? (Not to mention that he gets to rub shoulders with celebrity bloggers like Phil Johnson, Centuri0n, Abraham Piper and Tim Challies)
I posed the above question to Pastor Almir, our theology prof. He put his hand on my shoulder and said "Andrew, I can make this easier for you to bear. Just remember that your brother is going to be much more accountable to God than you are."
Not sure that helps.
April 11, 2008
Phil Vischer's New Project Includes...Missionaries!!!
Oh this is exciting stuff! A while back I blogged about the world view behind Phil Vischer's work, and the exciting project he is developing. Over the past few weeks he has been tantalizingly removing the curtain on his new "user-content-driven project. He even went on vacation in the middle of it, just to keep us in suspense. That was just cruel.
Anyway, now that the curtain has been almost fully removed from his "Jelly Telly" project, we see that a big part of it will involve missionaries and their kids.
This from Phil's blog:
If you know a missionary family with kids living in the field with them, ask if they can shoot an interview with their kids. We want to meet them - have their kids say, "Hi - my name is ____ and I live in ____ with my family because _____." We want to show kids in America what it's like to be a missionary kid living in Africa or Europe or South America - how cool it is to be "on mission" with God. Shoot as much footage as you want - show us your kids rooms, friends, lives, neighborhoods, and then send it to us. We'll edit your footage into 2-3 minute segments that we'll air on JellyTelly.
Well now. I'm a missionary. I have kids. I can make videos.
It is not often that the results of prayer are immediate. At least, that has been my experience. In many instances, God is glorified when He demonstrates His sovereign power over a period of time. However, in some cases He moves so mind-bogglingly fast that it leaves us with just enough breath to gasp "thank you, Lord."
Such was the case a week ago Wednesday.
If you have been following this blog for the last couple months, you know that we have been trying to re-vitalize the youth-group prayer time at our church (click here to learn how all this started). On the particular Wednesday in question, I asked the youth group to pray for specific people they knew who were without Christ. It was electric to hear them bring name after name before the throne.
In the course of evening, I mentioned to the Lord the name of a man who was visiting that very evening. I had just met him briefly before we began to pray.
Let me back up to give a little context. For the last several weeks I have been dealing with a severe toothache. So severe that when it throbs into action I can do nothing other than lie down and wait for medicine to take effect. Just as we finished praying, that Wednesday, the tooth started throbbing again. After everybody dispersed, I did not stay for the message but went outside to the car, took my medicine, and waited.
Ironically, this Wednesday my tooth was throbbing just before prayer meeting. Itacyara, Mikey and Nathan went in for the opening while I popped a pill and lay back hoping it would start working before the prayer time. I put in a CD and prayed that everything I had read about the healing powers of classical music was true. To my great relief, within twenty minutes my toothache had retreated to tolerable levels. Whether it was the medicine or Tchaikovsky's Concerto in B flat minor--or both--I will never know. The important thing is that I made it into church just as prayer time was starting.
As the young people gathered in the room we spent a few minutes quieting our hearts before God, as is our custom. The I asked if anybody had any reports of the conversion of anybody we had prayed for.
There was a silence, and then someone said "Oh, you weren't here for the announcements last week, were you." They then informed me that while we were praying for the visitor, one of our deacons was leading him to Christ!
How awesome is THAT!
If only my tooth medication worked that fast.
April 5, 2008
Does This Even Need a Caption?
Cidade Feliz Puppets on E-Bay
It has been a while since I have posted anything about our Cidade Feliz puppetry program. We are still working on new filming dates, hoping to get something set up for next week. In the mean time, we are working hard to raise funds to buy a professional camera so we are not dependent on others whose schedules are just as full as ours.
One experiment we are trying is offering some of our puppets (the kind we make available to Brazilian churches) for sale via e-bay. We currently have three puppets listed: a blue rod-arm puppet, a green (actually kind of a greenish-yellow) rod-arm puppet, and an orange rod-arm puppet. Each puppet is shipped in plastic for protection, comes with a copper rod and a cloth bag for transportation.
As can be imagined, shipping from Brazil is a little "heftier" than domistic shipping would be. Still, even with $17 in shipping, the total cost (using the "buy it now" price) comes to $47--which is very reasonable for puppets.
Not only that, but you have the knowledge that all profits (every penny) goes toward the Cidade Feliz puppet ministry.
These are the same puppets we use in our ministry--and churches all over the northeast of Brazil are using them as well. As time goes on we will offer more varieties, colors, sizes, hairstyles, etc.
We had a special honored guest at our house this week. Check him out...
In case there is doubt as to his size, check him out next to my hand...
Right now he is in my office (having sadly deceased shortly after visiting our house) where he will soon go on permanent display.
Happy Birthday Itacyara!!!
Ok, so her birthday was yesterday...but it's the thought that counts. Right?
The blog has lain a little dormant for the past few days as I have been playing "catch-up"...but now it is time to get you, our faithful reader(s) up to date. And what better way to do that than some pictures from a surprise party Itacyara's English students put on for her.
Here the conspirators plan their surprise. All was done in complete secrecy. Notice that they are pointing to the candles, which form the number "40". Itacyara wants me to make it very clear that she is NOT forty.
As the secrecy was complete, so was the surprise!
Everybody gathered 'round to sing "Parabens" (Happy Birthday).
The students went all out on the cake. I had some afterwards, and will attest that it was delicious.