Brasil Countdown

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

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"What a Friend We Have in Jesus"

Hello again, one and all. The second half of this week has been a busy, but very good one. Thursday was a great day that started very well: with a prayer meeting at 8. After that, the guys came over for soccer and basketball (for the record, I scored 3 goals against actual Brasilians that day). In the afternoon, Bill and Erika came home! Praise God for Bill safely coming home to his family! After spending some quality "family" time together, later that evening I joined Patrick, Evair, Thiago, and Fabricio to go to Pastor Eudes' house. Later, Bill came and I attended the weekly men's meeting, consisting of Pastor, Bill, Thiago, Evair, and I. Bill talked to them (mainly the teens) about responsibility and leading the community. It was quite a blessing.

The next day, I woke up early and left with the gang to drop them off at school. After I got the 10 cent tour from Jordan, I went with Bill and Erika to a cafe for an amazing 2nd breakfast (although it was only 8 at this point). After breakfast, we traveled to their nice apartment in Fortaleza. I got a nice tour of the place, and then Bill and I were off to run some errands. We went to Claro (a phone company) to get Bill's replacement phone, and were there a good 1.5 hours before he finally got it. We ran from there to the local electronic store to get an iPhone case for Erika. While there, I got to see the National Anthem played for USA in their game vs. Slovenia. From there Bill and I went to the mall. While he ran his errand I got to watch more of the USA game, and Bill was kind enough to get me a Top Sunday from McDonalds. After picknig up the gang from school, we went to a local buffet-style restaurant and saw USA tie up the game 2-2! USA, USA!!! Later that day, Jordan and I spoke on submission to authority at the teen meeting at the church. And again, by God's grace, I think the kids really understood! Actually, I know some did (more on that later).

Saturday, once it got going, was quite a busy day! After helping out some for time at a function for IBC (a large church in Fortaleza), I met once again with Elo, a translator I became friends with last year! Her, Jordan, and I caught up for quite some time! Later, we went to a wedding. How do I know some kids got our lessons on submission to authority? Fabricio said the only reason he would go is because Erika said he should, and he was said he was going to submit to authority. Praise God!! At the wedding, the bride came out of a sweet, classic, blue car and the Bridal Theme was "schredded" out on a Gibson Les Paul and then it led straight into the band playing Yellow by Coldplay!!! It was nuts!!! After the wedding, we all went to a girl's birthday party right down the street from Groupo CEO. It was nice hanging out with the guys and just enjoying each other's company.
Keep praying that God uses Jordan and I and the Moore's however He'd have us be used for his glory. And keep praying for everything! Big and small!

"What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer."
God Bless!
Rob Lauter

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Voce Tem Um Valor

Hello one and all! The title of this blog is the name of a song in Portuguese I'm learning that talks about the value you have to God and how the Holy Spirit moves through you, which is a very appropriate title for this post!

Got to sleep in on Sunday and then spent the morning shooting hoops with Jordan and watching the World Cup. After talking to my dad and watching more World Cup games, I played with Patrick and Renan out on the basketball court, although I'm sure "basketball" is what you would call it exactly... After we finished, I got ready and went to church. Before church started, some of the teens asked me to play Prince of Peace and Reign in Me (two songs they know in Portuguese) so after some practice I got into church and got to play in front of all the people! It was really neat! After a sermon by Pastor Eudes, the night ended with a delicious dinner.

Monday was similar to some of the other days down here. Started off with great fellowship time with Pastor Eudes and the boys. We sang, had a quick devo on humility, played basketball, and swam! After swimming, I lost to Pastor Eudes in arm wrestling (picture Arni Placencia but smaller, not built as well). After the gang got back from school, Douglas and I shot some hoops while the tutor was with Jordan and Patrick. At 4, I played some soccer with Patrick out at the field. After soccer, Jordan and I planned out our lessons for Tuesday and Friday. After that, we shared a time of worship and hitting our knees for prayer. It was hardcore! I praise God daily for what a great sister in Christ that I have in Jordan.

Tuesday was a very good day. After doing a devo on anger with the boys and Pastor, we had our usual hour of shooting hoops. Once the gang got back, we watched Brasil win unconvincingly 2-1 over North Korea. It was quite crazy every time Brasil scored, just ask Erika. Anyways, that night at the Bible Study, Jordan and I spoke on being a rebel against the world and the ways of this world. The Holy Spirit was very present as many kids and adults alike signed a paper at the end signifying that they were choosing to be rebels and were holding themselves accountable for it. After another great night of worship and prayer with Jordan, I got some good sleep.

Things are going so much better here than I ever could have expected. I have a real opportunity to be used by God to change people's lives! As one of my favorite songs says, "The strength to follow Your commands could never come from me.Oh Father, use my ransomed life In any way You choose. And let my song forever be my only boast is You."
God bless!
Rob Lauter

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Off to a Great Start

Welcome one and all, live from Brasil! Well, I didn't leave a laptop on a plane or make any "Rob Lauter Guarantees", so I'm already off to a better start than last year. In all seriousness though, it's been a great start! On the first day, Almost immediately I got to be in a prayer meeting at Groupo CEO (the church right next door to the house). Pastor Eudes, its pastor, led the group. We spent a good 25-30 minutes praying and singing. It does a man's soul well to pray and sing, because we all need to learn to depend more on God and less on ourselves.
After playing some guitar and a yummy dinner, we all watched the World Cup opening ceremonies! Quite exciting! Afterwords, we went over to Children's Worship Hour at Groupo CEO and had a blast dancing around with all the kids. That night, I learned what my job was going to be in the morning most days. From 8-10, I'll be hanging out with a small group of teenage boys, having a short "Bible study" and time for singing, and then either play basketball, soccer, or swim.
The next morning, I did just that. From 8-12:30 (yeah... we ran a little over), I met with Thiago, Evair, Bejamin, and Fabrisio. The 5 of us played guitar and sang and played a couple of different basketball games. Just as they left, the gang came back from school and Jordan and I played some more basketball. Later on, we played some soccer and I played with some kids on the playground shortly before going to Children's Worship Hour (for different age group). After that, we showered up and went to a Chuhaskeria (a brasilian style restaurant, like Fogo de Tchau in Chicago) for a kid's birthday party. I didn't know anyone other than Jordan and Patrick, and therefore couldn't speak to anyone, but the food was good. The one person Jordan and I did talk with was the English teacher at Jordan's school. He was a really nice guy.
Anyways, I did the same thing the next morning with the guys (and Pastor Eudes this time too). Later that day after the crew got back from school, we watched USA tie England in the World Cup 1-1. Not great, but ties are better than losses I suppose... Very soon Jordan and I will be starting to teach our lessons with the kids.
If you want to pray for me, pray for a few things:That Jordan and I will be an example with the mission field we've been given (me with the boys, her with her school, and both of us with the teens overall). Also, pray for protection from temptation and distractions. With the potential of what can happen down here, Satan's gonna try to be all over this next month. Don't worry though, our God is greater!!!
Well, I'm going to try to post every Sunday and possibly Wednesday or Thursday depending on the schedule.
God Bless!
Rob Lauter

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This Is Not a Test!!!

Well, Praise God I'm safely here! This is more of an introductory post for the next few weeks. I arrived safely in Maracanau, Brasil this morning around 6:30 in the morning. Jordan and I, along with the Moore kids, Patrick, Douglas, and Amanda have spent the day enjoying time with each other. You see, the World Cup starts today, which is basically a national holiday in Brasil. For the record, I totally beat Jordan at h-o-r-s-e, or c-a-m-a-r-ã-o is what we really played (the Portuguese word for shrimp).
Anyways, I'll be trying to post twice a week, possibly more or less depending on how the week goes. Also, check out my good friend Jordan Placencia's blog (rom1136.blogspot.com) for a more informed opinion of things since she knows this community 100x's better than me.
Anyways, thanks for following me and I'll be telling you of all the wonderful ways God is Oh So Good soon!

Your friend, brother in Christ, son
Rob Lauter

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Countdown: Day 0

That's right, it's finally time. After waiting and preparing and praying, it's finally time! I'm so happy that today I will be flying down to meet with the Moore family, including my good friend Jordan Placencia! Please pray for our ministry down there as these kids have unbelievable potential to lead their community toward Christ! Please also pray for traveling mercies. Most of all, I ask you'd pray for Jordan and I to be protected from the attacks Satan will be throwing at us while in Brasil... Satan doesn't like God working in peoples' lives.
Anywho, for anyone who actually reads this blog, today I had an idea of sorts. I think I'm going to try to write a group of songs, an "album" if you will, based upon a story line, writing from the character's perspective. I see it as an opportunity to write from a different point of view. One idea I had was to write of a man trying to leave the Mob/Gangster scene of the late 1800/early 1900 in Chicago. What are your ideas? Comment here or send something to my facebook.
Most importantly, I hope for you, dear reader, to have a wonderful summer. If you're a follower of Christ, take this summer as a grand opportunity to minister in one way or another to those around you. It can simple, it can be big. If I know you, let me know what your summer plans are and I will make sure to pray for you! God's got plenty of soldiers doing plenty of things for His Will around the globe! I will tell you of my travels and first few days shortly. Please keep me in your prayers!

Your friend, brother in Christ, son,
Robert Lauter