Brasil Countdown

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A.W. Tozer Download!!! DO IT!!!

I first off need to thank A.W. Tozer for what he means to me. I know he's gone to be with the Lord for quite some time now, but he is the reason I am who I am today. His book, The Pursuit of God, opened the door to practically the entire library of book that have deepened my understanding of God and His Word!
Anyways, that book is a free download of the month, and everyone should download it, listen, and learn! Here's a link to my sister's blog, which you should also check out (simplifiedsaving.com). Thanks once again for anyone who reads this thing!
God Bless!
Rob Lauter

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Blog

I've been thinking a lot lately, and this time my thoughts have lead to a series of short "thoughts" that I've taken the time to write down. If anyone is interested, visit glory2come.blogspot.com. Thanks to anyone who actually reads this little blog!

Family Reunion!!!


First off, I just have to say that I LOVE MY FAMILY!!! As always, our reunion was a blast. We had tons of food, spent lots of time catching up, played some football (The "Old Guys" beat my team, the "Young Guys" mainly due to the fact that Brian slept through the game!), and lots of other fun stuff. This year was different because it rained on and off, so some of the day was spent indoors. Either way, everyone had a ton of fun! It was a great day I will always remember! (by the way, some of this picture is cut off, so CLICK ON THE PICTURE!)

Brasil Wrap Up

Howdy one and all! Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were some of the best days of the trip so far and I'm so excited for what God is doing and is continuing to do in Brasil!
Tuesday started off with construction yet again. I talked to the guys about trials and how they each can overcome them because of 2 things: the fact that Christ is with them through it all (because we serve a God who knows suffering!) and because our current pain is nothing compared to our future glory! In the afternoon, after pouring lots and lots of concrete to the floor, we finally played some USA vs. Brasil soccer. Needless to say, we lost about 17-4 (maybe worse, I'm not positive). Either way, it was loads of fun! That night, Jordan and I taught our last lesson at church over Communicating with God. I spoke on the importance of prayer: talking with God as our Father. Jordan spoke on the importance of reading The Word: God's love letter to us and the way He speaks to us. It went extremely well! That night, we (all the white folks) ended the night with some much-needed worship to a greatly-deserving God!

Wednesday was beach day! We all went early in the morning to Future Beach and the nice restaurant there, Atlantis. During the morning I swam, played both kinds of football (yeah that's right, there are two kinds. The American is the better kind though), including loser to Pastor Eudes and his team 4-2. After a shower and some yummy lunch, we were off to the Central Market. Picture a ginormous mall consistent of flea market-esque shops. There, I found jewelry for my mom, jerseys for friends (including one for Pastor! Love that guy!) After a while of hanging with Jordan, Dougito, and Patrick, we went straight back. We were going to see the sunset, but the sky was super cloudy :( So after getting back, we went to the Wednesday night study, where J.T. (Copperfield's youth pastor) spoke very nicely about murder and the redefinition of murder (by Jesus himself). He's a real good speaker. That night, I gave Fabricio a Tiery Henry jersey (his favorite player). Earlier in the week, he gave me one of his favorite jerseys. He was really touched by the gesture.

Thursday from start to finish went extremely well. At 7:15, Thiago, Renan, Fabricio, Manuel, Evair, and Toim-Toim were here to learn, sing, and pray... and that we did! I gave them 5 things to focus on in order to grow and become men of God, all with scriptures (Encourgae, Lead, Love, Pray, Serve). Around 8, we started praying for each other and the community for a good 45 minutes! I knew at this point I hadn't just made friends, I had made disciples! We even laid hands on Evair and prayed . Something was troubling him, so we laid hands on him and one by one thanked God for him and prayed for his needs. It was so cool. By 8:45, breakfast came and we all went to eat. After breakfast, I played some basketball with the guys before packing up my stuff. Then we all (including the guys from Brasil) "rated the week". We talked about what we learned and our high points. After a great time of sharing and encouraging, we circled up and prayed for one another. After a great lunch, Jordan and I had our lesson over being lukewarm. We had Julianna, Benjamin, and Renan taste 3 things, the last being nasty. Julianna spit out the stuff, making the illustration perfect (thanks again!) We talked about what is lukewarm and why God hates it so much. We then had a time to share testimonies. On the bright side, Evair, Michael (brasilian), Fabricio, Renan, Fatima, Josh, Juli, Blaise, Alyssa, Jordan, and I all shared our testimonies. There still are many who didn't, so I pray God continues to write His story in the kids' lives and gives them the strength to tell the story well. In the afternoon, Bill told me Pastor Eudes and his family could use some money (they just found out his wife is pregnant!), so whatever extra money I have I could give to him as an "offering". After rounding up some money, Bill informed me this was 4x's more than Pastor even prayed for! I was brought to tears realizing I was used by God as an answer to prayer. I got the amazing opportunity to give him the gift and to pray with them about their ministry and their family. After a final time with the kids in worship, we ate and showered up and were on the road. I did get a final picture with the guys, something I treasure very much! Anyways, after a sad busride to the airport (with thoughts of my time still running through my head), we arrived. After a good Bob's milkshake, I finally had to say my goodbyes :( Oh, how I look toward the day when I will never say goodbye again! Anyways, thanks for all the prayers and all the encouragement. I'm excited to see what God has in store for me in the near future!

Signing off for now but never done,
Rob Lauter

Monday, July 5, 2010

What Can I Boast About?


Hello one and all once again. This will in all reality be the 2nd to last post of my time in Brasil! Needless to say, this Saturday-Sunday have been some of the best days of my time down here- hands down! Saturday started off with a baptism where 5 people got baptized. 3 ladies from the community did, including one who once was the leader of witchcraft in the community. Jordan got the privilege of baptizing her good friend Joyce and I got the incredible opportunity to baptize Fabricio, one of the guys I've got very close to while being down here. He got saved a few months ago through Groupo CEO, and he is loving God big time! It's so awesome! After singing a few hymns altogether (in English and Portuguese), Jordan and I spoke to the teens about missions and why we do it. After some hangout time and lunch, we traveled with Copperfield and some locals to VQ, an inland town 3 hours away from Groupo CEO. On the bus ride there, I caught a little nap and got to plan stuff with Jordan for Monday and Tuesday. During our time there, we got to minister to kids by doing a story and a craft. Also, Drew and I got to play some music for the group as well. At night, the service went as followed: Everyone danced with some sweet Brasilian kids'songs. Mark told a short story that very precisely explained the Gospel! We followed that by singing Prince of Peace in English and Portuguese. It was the coolest little snapshot of heaven. As J.T. says, it "geeks me out". Bob then spoke about how similar the Americans and Brasilians are because we are all under one great God! We ended with testimonies by some different people and prayer! The walk back to the bus was amazing because of the picturesque starry night there was! On the busride back, Jordan and I talked about a lot of different things, one of which I call the "Broken Mirror"(something I'll blog about eventually). That was all one day!!!

Sunday was slower but still awesome! Happy 4th of July everybody! Started off with church at IBC (a large church in Fortaleza) with a sermon about Jonah and God's mercy. After lunch, Douglas, Evair, Hallie, Alyssa, Josh, and I went on an hour-long prayer walk around the community, stopping and praying with many Christians and non-Christians alike. After getting back, we all got to go out to eat to a local chicken eatery (if you really want to know the name, check Jordan's blog... cause I don't care that much really haha). I had some great Brasilian food and Guarana! The service Sunday night was Groupo CEO's 1 year anniversary celebration! There was singing, dancing, skits, and Drew and I got the opportunity to play a few songs to be sung bilingually! After Pastor Eudes spoke, one man, a relative of Toim-Toim and Evair, got saved right there and then! The two guys were very emotional about it all! Afterwords, I got another glimpse of heaven as we ended the service singing Prince of Peace in English and Portuguese with well over 100 people present! Afterwords, I spent some time singing and playing songs in the street with the guys before coming in to swim with the Copperfield group. This was also all on one day!!!

Today is Jordan Lee Placencia's 18th birthday, something I'm luck enough to be here for this year! The day started off with me giving her her gifts from her parents, her sister, and myself as well, which got quite a smile out of her. After breakfast and a devo on Miriam, the boys and I were off to work. After a devotional about praying without ceasing, we prayed (duh, right?) and went to work. We got almost the entire roof done in just 2 hours! After coming back, grabbing a nap, and lunch, I went off to construction again. After doing very little besides moving a little tile, I came back for Jordan's surprise party, which I was unaware of also... probably more unaware than Jordan (surprise! haha). A few girls choreographed a dance for her and the kids wrote her a card. It was a very emotional time for many of the kids. After cake and a prayer, guys went to basketball and girls went to soccer (a switcharoo of sorts). Later, Jordan and I, along with Alyssa and Blaise, about being a missionary everywhere you go. This was follwed by some knockout and some great prayer by a few of the kids, including my boy Evair!
Please be praying for my last few days here, that God will use me, Jordan, Copperfield, and the Moore family still for His Glory and to advance His Kingdom!

Image of invisible God
Stretched across a tree
And all to take my place
Oh, the divine mystery
A savior who turns tragic endings
into love stories
This is the God I know
You have overcome, You have overcome deathʼs sting
Celebrate the rising of a king
You have overcome, You have overcome, letʼs sing
The power of an everlasting king

God Bless!
Rob Lauter

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I Serve a Risen Savior!

What a week, what a week! Saturday was Jordan's going away party (since after that Saturday, all the Saturdays would be busy). We went to the beach for the day, a day filled with 4-wheeling, eating ginormous shrimp, downing Guarana, and watching USA lose 2-1 in overtime to Ghana :( After the game, we went to Tequila's for a pastel (think elephant ear, but instead of sweet, filled with meat and cheese)! It was delicious!
Sunday was rather uneventful until church, where Pastor Eudes decided out of the blue to make me sing Voce Tem Um Valor (a song I kinda know in Portuguese). Anyways, it was fun and church was good.
Monday started off bright and early by working on Evair's house. In the afternoon, the family and I went to the site of the retreat Lakewood Park is going to host with these kids. It was a beautiful beach-front property! After, we went to Erika's parents house to watch Brasil beat Chile 3-0! From there, Bill stopped to get ingredients for his world-famous chocolate-peanut butter-banana milkshakes! Jordan and I downed those suckers down before another great night of worship! It's a great way to end a night, you should try it sometime!
Tuesday was a work day in preparation for Copperfield. Later that day, Bill, Douglas and I went with Va (a guy who tends to the property) to get his cow from his house and transport it to Bill's house... That's right. We transported a cow in the back of Bill's truck! That night, Jordan and I spoke to the community at the Bible study about idolatry and how it's a worship disorder we all suffer from. Think about this: what are you putting your everything into??
Wednesday came at 5 in the morning as Jordan and I went will Bill and Erika to the fruit market to get supplies for the incoming weeks. After that, I went and worked at Evair's house again. It was good to hang out with the guys yet again. Wednesday ended with some children's worship and Jordan and I having our own time of worship!
Thursday was the day that the group from Copperfield, a church from Texas, came down. We went to the airport at 5:00 to pick them up and, because of my chicken dancing skills, we all got Bob's Milkshakes! After picking up the group and taking a nap, some of the guys went to the construction site. After dinner, we had children's worship and the men's meeting. At the meeting, every man, both Brasilian and American, gave a testimony. It was great to hear the same story repeated over and over in the life of all of us guys: "I had a problem and God came into my life and saved me."
Friday, Douglas and I went to the construction only to realize no adults were there. So instead, I took the time to do a devotional with the guys and then we played Ninja. Later, we prayed at Evair's house as a group and got a tour of his old house (which was totally crooked). After some great time with the kids at the playground, we watched Brasil played Holland. Brasil looked good going up 1-0 at halftime. And I made a little song making fun of Holland and those who supported them (Fabricio and Douglas). However, the 2nd half was tragic. Holland scored two goals and Brasil played awful. Long story short, Brasil lost 2-1 :( After lunch basketball and lunch, Copperfield (along with Jordan and I) did some pre-teen VBS stuff. It was fun to be able to show these kids the love of Christ. From VBS came soccer, where I picked a stellar team with Fabricio, Evair, Cece, and Thiago 2 on it (2 other guys from the community). We went 2-1, the best record that day! That night, Jordan and I talked about worship with the teens. It was neat to see how many of them seemed to get it. Afterwords, the group of us played Ninja for practically an hour. Once we went back home, Fabricio, Michael, Renan, Patrick, Douglas and I spent the evening talking about dating, relationships, and marriage. It was pretty awesome hanging out with the those guys!
Needless to say, I've been super busy and have been super blessed! I'll do a whole different post about Saturday-Monday (Lord Willing I have time). Keep praying for the lives of the people down here that God would send people to minister to them.

I serve a risen Savior, he's in the world today;
I know that he is living whatever men may say;
I see his hand of mercy; I hear his voice of cheer,
And just the time I need him, he's always near.
He lives, he lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
He lives, he lives, salvation to impart!
You ask my how I know he lives?
He lives within my heart.

God Bless!
Rob Lauter

Friday, June 25, 2010

"When I Survey the Wondrous Cross"


What a week, what a week! Welcome, one and all. Sunday was another relaxing day that mainly consisted of watching Brasil beat Ivory Coast 3-1 (although Kaka got a red card) and I also planned lessons for the rest of the week with Jordan. In the evening, Pastor Eudes gave another sermon in the Family Series the church is going through on Sundays.
Monday started off as normal (which is a pretty awesome "normal") of me hanging out with the guys, singing, doing a devotional, and playing basketball. After that, I watched The Passion to prepare for Friday's lesson on the cross. It was unbelievably moving to me to see all the pain and suffering the Savior went through for me and my sin! Anyways, Jordan watched the last bit of it with me and then lunch came around. Monday's lunch consisted of cow guts and rice... Yummy! Soccer was later in the afternoon, another good time to fellowship with the guys. After Jordan helped me write a devo for the guys, we shared a great night of worship and prayer!
Tuesday was yet another blessed day! Started my devotional series through James (a 3 parter) with the boys and then we played some basketball. After, I watched a video by Mark Driscoll on the Immergent Church and what the Bible says. I also got a good nap and some good studying done for the lesson that night. We had soccer, followed by Tuesday night study. Jordan and I spoke on the relationship between God and man and how we were once sinful and depraved but are now redeemed and worshipers of God. Jordan then talked about God and how He is worthy of Praise and a live devoted to Him. By God's grace, people really seemed to understand (through the Holy Spirit, of course). Jordan and I ended the night yet again with a great night of lifting our voices through prayer and song!
Wednesday marked the day I normally leave, but thanks to God's Will, I'm here another 2 weeks! Did another devo on James and Pastor, the boys, and I cleaned the soccer field for an hour. Afterwords, we celebrated by playing on said field. I scored a few goals (no really, I did!) After soccer, I came inside to watch USA play Algeria, and we won 1-0! In the 91st minute! That means that we qualified for the next round and won our group! When the gang got back, I watched a Mars Hill video on the Trinity before church.
Thursday started off with the weekly prayer meeting at Groupo CEO. After a good 45 min of prayer (mostly the on-your-face kind) we went to play basketball and swim over at the house. Later that day, there was Children's Worship Hour followed by the Weekly Men's Meeting. At this one, we talked about following God's commandments and about following through well. I had some of the strongest coffee I've ever tasted (some that Bill said will "put hair on your chest"). After the meeting, the men traveled to Beto's house, one of the other men in the community. He sliced the tendons in his ankle, but praise God they sewed them back together quickly enough that it should heal. We conversed at his house about the World Cup and then prayed for him. It was neat seeing the older men of the community caring for one another like that. Thursday night ended the was most good days end, with my wonderful sister-in-Christ and I giving it all back to the One who deserves it!
Today, Erika's somewhat crazy family came over to watch the Brasil game (I only say crazy because I come from quite a crazy family!!). Brasil tied Portugal 0-0, somewhat of a dissapointment. After a nap, I got my hair buzzed in honor of Clint Dempsey and the USA World Cup Team (which plays Ghana tomorrow!) After the new "Dempsey doo" I played some soccer and did Children's Worship Hour 2 before the Teen Bible Study. Tonight, Jordan and I explained the foundation of Christianity, the cross. Not the "Sunday School, Jesus died on the cross (and that's it)" cross. The cross that is brutal, excruciating and that is a death we all deserve.
Praise God for sending His son to die for us. Praise Jesus for sending the Holy Spirit, that we can even understand the mysteries of God. God is good. All the time. All the time. God is good.

God Bless!
Rob Lauter