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I saw the sunrise before it rainned…

It was a very hot night and the mosquitos bugged me all night long.

As I didn’t have anything to use against them (the mosquitos) I had to
cover myself and get suffocated under the blanket so those mosquitoes would not
carry me to the other bedroom.

I just could not get back to sleep so I decided to get up, take my bike
and go for a ride.

There was nobody on the streets, it was still dark and I started cycling in the city center. I thought
to myself as I went around the blocks “how funny is it that the whole town is sleeping and so quiet and within a few hours those streets would get busy with cars and people and all that…”

Suddenly I had an idea!!! I think I will go to Jabaquara…

Jabaquara is a beach in Paraty on the other side of the hill. To get there we pass the city hall up the
hill go pass the cemetery and go down the hill. When I got there I realized how
calm the sea was, there are no waves on this beach and the surface of the water
was so nice and flat.

I put my bike by a tree that is starting to get nice and new green leaves which is showing spring is on
its way and sat on the sand. I had some snack in my backpack and started to
nibble having my breakfast right there.

So then the great phenomenon started…

It was around five fifty in the morning and the birds were singing as if they were announcing what was
about to happen.

It was a bit chilly being the end of our winter here. The weather in Paraty is really nice because the
town is between the ocean and the mountains.

The color in the sky started to change slowly and few seconds after a bright reflection of the sun
was shining on the water all the way to where I was sitting.

Everything happened so fast and while I was watching it I was thinking that this happens every morning and we usually take it for granted.

The sun rising announces a new day that is coming and with it an opportunity to start again, a hope that
the present is a present we have to build our future.

God the creator works while we sleep. He takes care of us and loves us unconditionally.

I hate mosquitos but yesterday I had to thank them, after all it was their fault I got up from bed so early to watch the amazing sun rise…

Rediscovering BRAZIL – Paraty – Rio de Janeiro

Founded in 1667 its buildings of great old houses and churches show the style of that time. Paraty makes us imagine how it would have been to live in Brazil back in the old days.

Walking around the Historical Center of Paraty is like travelling back time, you have to walk slowly due to the big stones which pave its streets.

Cars are not allowed inside the Historical Center which helps maintain the way it was hundreds of years ago.

Paraty has its own style where the urban language articulates the landscape; the city is situated between the ocean and the mountains with lots of waterfalls with crystal waters.

On full moon nights the tide gets high and goes forward invading the city’s streets. Paraty is the city where the roads and the sea meet.

This is for sure a city full of opportunities for those seeking quality in life, a place surrounded by nature where the love of God is displayed all around.

Brazil is my country. Paraty my new home…

  

Is this an apple or would it be an orange?

 

You cannot judge a book by its cover. You don’t know what goes within a person by his appearance.

Many people make decisions about someone else base on:

Appearance: Beauty is everything in this world. If you are pretty you’ve got it all. We judge people by their appearance by their look and the way they dress.

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.Descendent: We judge people according to their race, nationality and their ethnic ascendants.  

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3.  <!–[endif]–>Age: Your age sometimes will dictate if you can or not be part of something or do something well.

<!–[if !supportLists]–>4.Realization: our society worship winners and the losers are left out. Success and status are key words.

<!–[if !supportLists]–>5.Wealth: We judge people by what they have and their economic status.

 Next time try doing differently, don’t judge, get to know the person first…

…it will make all the difference!

Going to high places

High places bring us fascination since always: kids climb on furniture and window, men risk their lives exploring mountains and inventions to take the sky, societies construct huge monuments just to show their importance. Maybe because the view from up there goes beyond what we could ever reach with our small perspective. And in reaching the top, a privileged point where few take risks to get, we become powerful: temporarily, we are secret owners of that world which is ahead of us.

The funny thing is that, by “climbing the Everest” or being at an overlook place by the road, everything happens so fast.

Because that is the other curiosity regarding high places – it takes us longer to climb up there than to appreciate the view.

I remember the hills I walked up to, the trees I climbed until the very last branch and the steps on touristic places.

The arrival is such a relieve just as much as the achievement.

After taking deep breaths, maybe some photos, a 360 look around, I feel like going down.

And so one may ask: “but why so much effort only for that…?”

Maybe this person is afraid of heights. Maybe this person does not take risks in life. This person may even be scared of the unknown.

I say it is worth it, taking risks, exploring the new, going where no one has ever been before.

Because the most important thing about high places, and whoever climbs them would agree with me, is that it is not necessarily the view itself which these places provide us but the sensation of being able to get there…

Having a very different Easter this year…

People from 3 different organizations got together to take the message of Christ to those hit by the floods in Parana. During a whole week of hard work we were able to visit several schools and areas in Antonina and Morretes giving them hope through Jesus Christ. Many people heard the message of peace and salvation, received donations and were reached by the love of Christ as they gave their life to Him.

With a team of more than 85 people from Brazil and the United States, three buses equipped with sound system went around the cities inviting the people to be part of the programs on public areas in the evenings. Not even the rain was able to stop our teams that glorified Jesus in the middle of the wet night.

“When we see with our own eyes what those hit by the tragedies of flood and mud slides go through we must be thankful for what we have…” said one of the Americans on the team.

My role was to translate the communication between Americans and Brazilians, a responsibility that had to be considered at all times. For sure an experience that will leave good memories and great friends for a life time…

The best cities I have been around the World – Part IV

London – England

 London, the capital of England and the largest metropolitan area in the UK.

London is a leading global city, with strengths in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transport all contributing to its prominence. It is the world’s largest financial centre and is home to the headquarters of more than 100 of Europe’s 500 largest companies. It has the most international visitors of any city in the world.

In 2012 London will become the first city to host the Summer Olympics three times.

London has a diverse range of peoples, cultures and religions, and more than 300 languages are spoken within its boundaries.

Top 10 attractions

The best cities I have been around the World – Part III

Cape Town – South Africa

The City of Cape Town is not only the most popular tourist destination in South Africa, but in the whole of Africa. Recognised as one of the most beautiful places on the planet, the city of Cape Town and its surrounding regions offer a paradise full of exciting things to do and see. Cape Town weather with its Mediterranean climate of mild winters and warm summers make the city suitable for in and outdoor activities all year round.

The city’s iconic Table Mountain is a much loved pride of Cape Town. With various hiking trails and picnic spots, as well as breath taking views from the summit, Table Mountain should be high on the list of any nature enthusiast. And if hiking or climbing to the summit sounds a bit intimidating, why not take the Table Mountain Cable Way and enjoy 360 degree panoramic views of the city of Cape Town and surrounding regions while suspended high in the sky.

As one of South Africa’s most cosmopolitan cities, the city of Cape Town features world class restaurants and shopping destinations. Cape Town’s most visited tourist attraction, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is a shopping mecca, entertainment hub, and fully functioning port and harbor.  From here you can also catch a ferry to Robben Island, once notorious prison, now transformed into a museum, where former South African President Nelson Mandela was incarcerated.

With so much on offer in the city of Cape Town, the question is where to begin?  Luckily you’re in the right place.  Allabout City Guides brings you the best of the best of Cape Town all under easy to navigate categories.  So, what are you waiting for?

The best cities I have been around the World – Part II

Rio de Janeiro – Brazil

Rio de Janeiro is located in the Southeast Region of Brazil. With its wonderful beaches by the Atlantic Ocean and Rio is the second largest city in Brazil and the 26th largest in the world.

Rio is the most visited city in the southern hemisphere and is known for its breathtaking landmarks, amazing landscapes and for the unique spirit of its people.

When you arrive in Rio by plane, you see a colorful city that rises among mountains, lakes and the ocean. When you walk through its streets, you feel the energy of the welcoming locals. When you see the sunset on any of Rio’s beautiful beaches, you understand why we are a people with sparkling eyes and singular character.

I lived in Rio for almost two years and I had the opportunity to explore this amazing city in both the good and the bad sides of it. When I think of Rio what comes to my mind is the statue of Christ, the wonderful beaches and the CARIOCAS the local people. I have great friends in this city and it is always nice to return and visit them.

Now with the new 3D movie been released in more than 150 countries and Rio hosting both the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2012 people will be able to experience and get to see more of what this city has to offer.

The film promises to create a fantastic picture postcard image of the city as the characters fly over Rio on a hang-glider, passing over Christ the Redeemer and various other tourist attractions such as the Sugar-Loaf Mountain, the coast and its crowded beaches and above all, portrays the magic of Carnival, culminating in a beautiful presentation of the samba school parades in the sambadrome.


The best cities I have been around the World – Part I

Curitiba – Brazil

Curitiba, the capital of the State of Paraná, a mainly agricultural state in southern Brazil, is indeed the best planned city in Brazil and an international model for sustainable development, is much more than simply the result of a few successful projects. The city’s achievements are the result of strategic, integrated urban planning. This all-encompassing strategy informs all aspects of urban planning, including social, economic and environmental programs.
Curitiba’s strategy focuses on putting people first and on integrated planning, and these influences are apparent in all aspects of the city. The strategy is what underpins the individual projects system-wide that improve the environment, cut pollution and waste, and make the quality of life in the city better.
A clear strategy and vision of the future in Curitiba has meant that decisions large and small made over the course of 40 years have added up to a city that’s public-spirited and eco-efficient. Strong leadership resulted in successful, long-term implementation of strategy.
The city had few outstanding historical or natural features, but its architects and urban planners have transformed it into a vibrant center with good quality of life that draws many tourists. Curitiba’s population has more than doubled to 1.8 million over the past 30 years.
Despite major challenges that came with rapid growth, significant improvements have been made to the city’s quality of life in areas including public transportation, preservation of the city’s cultural heritage, expansion of parks and green areas, and social and environmental programs.
Curitiba has a long tradition of innovative and integrated urban planning geared toward the strategic imperative of making the city a better place to live, as outlined in the city’s Master Plan of 1965.  From the 1990s until today, the city’s main planning focus has been on sustainable development and integration of Curitiba’s metropolitan region. Strong political leadership and continuity has been essential to long-term implementation of the city’s plan.
The combination of core values expressed in the city plan allowed planning for efficiency and sustainability even in difficult circumstances (i.e., during the military dictatorship, times of economic crisis in Brazil, despite high numbers of poor migrants flowing into the city).
A clear strategy and vision of the future in Curitiba and creation of an agency to make sure it was implemented has meant that smaller decisions made over the course of years and in many individual programs have added up to a city that’s a model of ecological, people-centered urbanism.
Although Curitiba is known internationally as a sustainable, ecological city, it calls itself “the city of all of us.” In almost any area of Curitiba’s urban planning over the years, it is possible to see how consideration has been given to people in the big picture–and also to see the associated, system-wide sustainability benefits of integrated planning.
This is what’s most unique about the city’s strategy: it maximizes the efficiency and productivity of transportation, land-use planning and housing development by integrating them so they support one another to improve the quality of life in the city.

I once heard from my English teacher that “to teach is to touch a life forever…” and later she said to me “you could be a good teacher.” That was it, she had put in my heart, with words of encouragement, the desire to do for others what she was doing for me, not only teaching a new language but also inspiring, showing the way and broadening my worldview.

Unfortunately, many people think that teachers are a conduit of knowledge. They take knowledge from one side, chew it and hand it to the students in an easy way. Teachers, on the other hand, see their work in a more purposeful way. To them, teaching is a facilitation of change. Teachers are there to help their students grow and evolve. They are there to help their students design their identity by learning.

It is hard to make a difference in the world by teaching multiplication, but easy by teaching ways to learn, how to learn, where to find the resources. It is hard to make a difference by teaching to read, but easy when the reading is about friendship. For teachers, knowledge is only a tool to teach attitude.

Teachers have that in mind every time they get up in the morning and pack their lunch to go to work. Their students’ well-being and education is far more important to them than the grades on their report card.

At the end of an academic year this is what we tell them: “I wish you teachers who will help you carve who you are and will stay in your memory as someone who meant a lot to you and was there to love you and help you be the person you wanted to be.”

I consider myself lucky, because I have been touched by many teachers, especially when I studied English. The years when I was inspired the most were those when they defined education as a tool to change the world.

My English students from YWAM Curitiba – Brazil

Crazy about mugs…

I never really bothered about them until I realized the variety there is around the world then I could not stop collecting them.

I have given up lots of things in my life, stove, fridge, bed, washing machine among others but there is something I struggle to get rid of and that is my mug’s collection.

This week I opened my suitcase to organize my mugs and I realized I had no more space where to storage them all so my solution was…

…to take some to my parents’ house.

I have all sorts of mugs. With flags from around the world, words from different languages, different sizes and even a huge mug that you holds 4 smaller ones.

Today I came across a website with creative ideas and it just made me want them all.

Check it out: http://weburbanist.com/2009/01/21/more-amazing-unique-hot-cool-coffee-tea-mugs-cups/

Safe in my father’s arms…

Can I ask you a question this morning?……………….. Can we be sure of anything in this life? What do I mean!…………………. Do we have some form of evidence or assurance that:

  • we won’t get cancer or some other terrible disease in our lifetime
  • we will always have great crops each and every year
  • we will have lasting relationships with family…….friends……marriages
  • our children will come to Christ as Lord……. before they die
  • we will even get to see another day!

James said “whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” James 4:14. There is ONE thing in this life that I’m completely sure of and that is God loves this wretched man so much, that He willing laid down His life for my sin! He loves me so much! He assures it with this promise…..“For He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.” So we may boldly say: “THE LORD IS MY HELPER; I WILL NOT FEAR. WHAT CAN MAN DO TO ME?” Heb 13:5-6. That verse becomes very comforting especially after the verse I just read from Jesus’ half brother James……”my life is but a mist here today gone tomorrow”

from: http://pastormikescorner.blogspot.com/

My new home, my new family…

Hello there YWAMers, there is more people coming over.

I have just arrived at the YWAM base in Curitiba where it will be my new home (at least for the next few months). I could not help but feel butterflies in my stomach as I entered the gates of the base with my luggage.

I joined this missionary agency in 1998 when I did my DTS (Discipleship Training School) which made a huge impact in my life. Since then God has taken me to places I would have never imagined and helped me do things all for the glory of His name.

I remember first time I came to visit this base in Curitiba. It was 2005 and the visit was very short, again in 2008 I came with a friend but had the fear that God would tell me to stay (as I had not been in missions full time since 2003).

In 2010 I had the great opportunity to return to South Africa where I rejoined this NGO which has been mobilizing, training and sending thousands of young people into the world to share the love of God to all nations.

After a holiday season with family and friends in Minas (the state where I was born) now it is time to start the new challenges that God has for me.

To know God and to make Him known.

…that is the YWAM statement, that is my mission.

AN ENCOUNTER WITH ASLAN…

What happens when a negative boy goes to Narnia?

Yesterday I went to the movies to finally see the third movie based on C. S. Lewis great book – The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

The movie has got SO MUCH good stuff that I am still trying to get my head around it…

There is a new character on this movie which has caught my attention. His name is Eustace who is Lucy’s cousin. The boy is such a pain and all he does is to complain and for him nothing is good enough.

As he gets to Narnia he goes through a lot of circumstances which make him improve and overcome his fears but before that he gets trapped by his on greediness and is transformed into a dragon.

Aslan then appears and shows his power setting the boy free from his ugliness and that scene is one of the most fantastic parts of the movie in my opinion.

Before Eustace leaves that magic land not only his appearance is transformed but also his heart. The boy becomes someone who will never be the same after having an encounter with Aslan – the lion of Narnia

HE IS JESUS… THE LION OF JUDAH

HE IS ASLAN… THE LION OF NARNIA

Aslan and Jesus were both the sons of powerful beings. Aslan is the Son of the Emperor Over the Sea as Jesus is the Son Of God Creator of the Universe. Aslan was portrayed as a lion and ruled the land of Narnia. Similarly, Christ is often referred to as a lion and lived in the town of Nazareth. Aslan sacrificed himself so Edmund, one of the children, could be spared. Edmund was supposed to be killed by the Witch, even though he betrayed Aslan. Aslan gave himself so Edmund could be saved. Likewise, Jesus sacrificed his own life so that mankind could receive salvation.

Another similarity between the two texts can be seen when both Aslan and Jesus are preparing to be sacrificed. While Jesus was on the cross he was tortured and humiliated by the Roman Soldiers, and had a crown of thorns on his head. Similarly, in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, the Witch’s followers cut off Aslan’s mane and make fun of him. Aslan was bound and put on a stone table and a muzzle was put over his mouth.

After Aslan died the two children who loved him dearly, Lucy and Susan, stayed behind to bury him properly. After seeing more than they could bear, they turned away from Aslan. After hearing a noise, they turned back around and discovered the stone table cracked and Aslan missing. They heard a voice and when they turned around they saw Aslan resurrected. Similarly, a woman who loved and adored Jesus, Mary Magdalene, was at his killing. When she went to visit his tomb three days later, she found the stone in front of it moved and the tomb empty. Later, Mary Magdalene found Jesus alive and well.

Jesus died for all our sins. Aslan, the character in C.S. Lewis’s book, is depicted as full of love and forgiveness, just like Jesus. Jesus loves everyone: even those that have betrayed him. Further, Aslan forgave Edmund just as Jesus forgave those that betrayed Him. In short, many similarities can be drawn between Aslan and Jesus, making this just one the many parallels that connect C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe with The Bible.

Some people say these are all coincidences. But as I watch these movies I can see Jesus being described in a very different and creative way.

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WHO IS HE?

I would like to talk about something that has fascinated me since I realized who he really was…

In the beginning I thought it was just another movie to entertain kids. But once I watched it I found out that it was much more then that.

Aslan is the main character in the Chronicles of Narnia which is a series of seven fantasy novels for children written by C. S. Lewis

Aslan means lion in Turkish. C.S Lewis had the idea when he was visiting Ottoman Empire (now Turkey).

Aslan is a lion which speaks, the king of the animals, son of the emperor. He was loved by the children, the guardian and saviour of Narnia and finally revealed as being the creator of the this kingdom.

But who is he…

(to be continued)

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I don’t know about you but when I was child I would always count down to my birthday and now that I am getting older…

…well, I still do that. You know, I enjoy my birthday and although my hair is getting gray I don’t really care for the fact that I am getting old.

If there is someone who knows how to enjoy life that person is me – but with responsibility off course. December is for sure the best of the months. There are so many cool stuff that happens on this month and plus summer that starts at the end it.

So it is my birthday today!!!!! As you might have realized.

To all my friends and to my dear family I just want to say thank you for being part of my life. I would not be the same without you.

And to God be all the Glory.

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Epitaph*

“I should have loved more, cried more, I should have seen the sunrise…”

This is part of the lyrics of a very well known song in Brazil and every time I listen to it I ask myself: “Have I complicated less and worried less with small problems… (another part of the song)”


Life is short and time flies. Sometimes we are SO busy in life that we forget to “live”.

These last few days I have been enjoying the company of people I love the most (my family) and that is SO good.

As I watch to news I realize that the world is “upside-down”, tragedies happening all over the world all the time and we never think these things will happen to us or with those around us.

Have you said to someone today how important this person is for you? Have you done something extravagant this week? When was the last time you stopped and watched a sunset or even the stars? It may seem poetic or even melancholic but if we don’t stop and do things like these now we might regret when we can do them anymore…

Live life to the full, love and be loved because the future is uncertain…

and life…

…it’s worth living.

* An epitaph (from Greek: πιτάφιος epi-taphios “at,over-tomb” — literally: “on the gravestone[1]) is a short text honoring a deceased person, strictly speaking that is inscribed on their tombstone or plaque, but also used figuratively. Some are specified by the dead person beforehand, others chosen by those responsible for the burial. An epitaph may be in verse; poets have been known to compose their own epitaphs prior to their death, as W.B. Yeats did.

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Onde eu estou e para onde eu vou…

(Translation) – Where I am now and where I will be going to…

Have you heard someone from Minas Gerais (my state) speak? We have a very unique accent. Every time I come back home I realize how unique it is and off course MY accent guest stronger as well.

To be with my family and being able to eat all the delicious food we have here is just great.

I love the fact that I can spend time with the ones I love so much and it has been great to share with them all the experience I got during 2010. So that is what I will be doing in November and December.

January? Well I will talk about that later. For now all I want is to eat all the dishes we find in my state and spend time with my dear family.

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Should I stay or should I go?

What is God’s will for my life… Have you ever made that question? Well I have and many times…

God may want you to leave your Capernaum, but you’re staying. Or he may want you to stay, and you’re leaving. How can you know unless you mute the crowd and meet with Jesus in a deserted place?

“Deserted” need not mean desolate, just quiet. Simply a place to which you, like Jesus, depart. “Now when it was day, He departed” (Luke 4:42). “Depart” presupposes a decision on the part of Jesus. “I need to get away. To think. To ponder. To rechart my course.” He determined the time, selected a place. With resolve, he pressed the pause button on his life.

The devil implants taximeters in our brains. We hear the relentless tick, tick, tick telling us to hurry, hurry, hurry, time is money … resulting in this roaring blur called the human race.

God rested after six days of work, and the world didn’t collapse. What makes us think it will if we do? (Or do we fear it won’t?)

Follow Jesus into the desert. A thousand and one voices will scream like banana-tree monkeys telling you not to. Ignore them. Heed him. Quit your work. Contemplate his. Accept your Maker’s invitation: “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31).

And while you are there, enjoy some blackberries.

From Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot

Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2005) Max Lucado

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Give us today our daily Bread…

Sometimes we forget the simple fact of being grateful for our basic things.

Living in a society that is always consuming we tent to never be satisfied by what we already have and always want more and more.

As Jesus taught his disciples how to pray He included in his prayer the sentence: “Give us today our daily bread…” and sometimes when we have our daily bread but no butter or a slice of cheese we complain…

Is it not necessary to go to Africa to realize how many people do not have even the basic to survive and maybe you ask “how can I make a difference in a world full of injustice…”

If each of us do a little we will be able to achieve great things. But it has to start with YOU having a grateful heart and open to bless and help.

Make a difference in someone’s life TODAY and you will see how it will make you feel good.

Smile at someone, give a word of encouragement or buy someone a sandwich. It is better to give then to receive…

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I am going back home…

8 years ago I left South Africa for the first time after having experienced so many good things. I remember that I did not want to leave, I wanted to stay, but I couldn’t. So I prayed that God would bring me back one day, some day…

Then I waited and waited and waited for the day when I could once again get back to Africa. To be able to share with this people the joy of serving a living God, unique and REAL…

1 year had passed by, 2,4,6… 8 years later I returned.

I could never describe in words what I lived here during this year of 2010. All the great people I met, places I went, the prayers I prayed, the times of worship, the songs I sang, the evangelism, the food, the walks on the beach, the shouts of joy during the world cup.

Today I leave South Africa again but this time different. In my heart the assurance that my mission has been accomplished. The satisfaction of knowing that it was worth coming back. It was worth the sacrifice of being away from my family and friends, the fact of quitting my job, my food, my culture to live another “adventure” with God who is absolutely creative, fun and rewarding.

Now I am going back home. To a place which is mine. Back to my family, my friends, my country – My amazing Brazil…

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On the road – Part 2

So…

…there is nothing better then to be able to explore, to learn and get to know new things. That is what I have been doing in the last few weeks in Africa.

Being here has made me lay down my own culture, my thoughts and concepts of habits and the way things are supposed to be in order to understand how their culture is.

I never stopped being Brazilian and I don’t want to, but can’t say I am not African as well.

I can easily say that South Africa is now my second home and that is ok. I feel at home when I am here. It was like that first time in 2002, it has been this time in 2010 and I am sure any other time I return.

Land of the black and the whites (and the coloreds as well). Land of Elephants, lions and giraffes. Place of little and plenty, country of the happy and hospitable citizens.

South Africa – may God continue to bless you and make you a home to those who chose to live here.

I am in Bloemfontein meeting new people, making friends. I have a lot to do this week before I go to Brazil in November.

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On the road – Part 1

It is time to leave…

I am about to start a new journey.

In the next 5 weeks I will be traveling around South Africa and then back to Brazil.

I am saying goodbye to Cape Town, a city that became my home for the last 6 months. It has been hard to leave this place after so much I experienced and many friends that will stay behind.

My first destination is East London which is about 1.104kms from here.

What is ahead of me is new, good but at the same time challenging.

To be continued…

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The secret to peace with God is to discover, accept, and appreciate God’s perfect timing.

Life is a journey, a course, that we travel, and we go through different times and seasons.  Paul says, in all things, I’ve learned.  Its all about learning, while we are travelling!  The travels would be useless, if we never learned from them!  Its amazing what a little winter time, can teach us!  How to look forward to the Spring times, when things will again bloom forth in our lives!  How to realize, that Winter will not last forever!  We are passing “through”, to get to other places and times!  What are you going “through” today, that may be a trial for you, and may be an experience you can share, with someone, someday, to be a “strength” in their life?  Think of it, what you encounter, may be there, to give you somewhat to share, to someone, someday, that will encourage and strengthen their life, in a season, they are going “through”!  Sometimes, we feel like licking our wounds, and calling it quits.  Sometimes, we feel the season, we are in, will never end!  Don’t give up, don’t give in, keep holding on to God, and He will bring you “through”!  It is we, who let go of God, for He, will never, He has promised, let go of us!  He says in His Word, I am with you always, I will never leave you nor forsake you!  Some folks quote the verse, that God will never give us more, than we can handle, and that is true, but only He knows…when!  He holds the finished result of the patchwork quilt of our lives!  He knows the pieces, that the end product needs!  He knows just how long, the seasons, can, will and should, last!  How can I argue, or question, the Creator of the ends of the earth?  Who is man, the Psalmist David says, that thou O Lord, art mindful of him?  How can the pot say to the potter, what the mold should be, or what its end result should be?  Ours is to trust and hold tight to Gods hand.

To show forth his light, to others who need to know, that they, can make it through their seasons!  The Bible says, “Looking unto Jesus”, the author and the finisher…of our Faith!  He brought me, here and He’ll bring me thru!  He didn’t bring me “to it”, to not…bring me THRU…it!  Hold on today and trust Him, keep your eyes on him!  When we focus on the difficulties, they get bigger!  You’ll make it thru to your springs and your summers!  Flowers will again bloom in your life! Hold on!

Blessings on the journey!

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THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATION

commūnicā´ti/ō -ō´nis f. Imparting
commū´nic/ō -ā´re -ā´v ī -ā´tum vt. Share
commū´n/iō -ī´re -ī´vi & -iī -a´tum vt. Build, fortify
commū´nt/ās -ā-tis f. Fellowship
commūnī´tiō -ō´nis f. Preparing the way
com-mū-ni-ca-tion n. The negotiation of meaning between storytellers

Communication is the primary means we have for connecting with others, for creating and maintaining relationships.  We have at our disposal complex forms of language (which includes both spoken and written), as well as the language of gestures, facial and other physical expressions, non-verbal vocal sounds, and as our choices in clothes, cars, art, furnishings and many other things that reflect our unique personalities and communicate who we are.

It is helpful to view communication as THE tool for building relationships.  The Bible is a record of God relating with individuals and societies and them relating with Him.  It is often called God’s love letter because it is a primary tool we have for learning what He is like and how He relates to us.

With so many tools available to us nowadays it is easy to pass a message, to get in touch, to KEEP in touch.

The question is: ARE WE USING THOSE TOOLS FOR A GOOD PURPOSE?

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AM I A GOOD LISTENER?

I have been talking to some good friends lately who have trusted some very personal matters to me. So then I stopped and asked myself: “Have I listened to my friends as much as they need? Am I a good listener?”

Sometimes we get so BUSY with our own agendas and daily stuff. It is so easy to get distracted and in our I’s. Ipod, Itouch, Iphone, Imyself… and there are so many people around us with a cry for help stuck in their throat.

To be a good listener requeries more then just time and the will. It is an exercise that we have to practice. So I found some good tips that have helped me and I hope they will give you some help as you make yourself available to listen to people around you.

Look at the person speaking to you. If you make eye contact, the speaker feels like he has your undivided attention. If an individual comes into your office to talk, stop what you’re doing. When you continue typing or staring at your computer screen, the person talking to you feels insignificant.
Ask questions. This shows you’re interested and that you’re hearing what he’s saying.
Don’t interrupt. When you interrupt, the speaker feels you’re not interested in what he’s saying and will be frustrated by the inability to finish a complete thought. Take the time to listen – just relax and open your ears!
Don’t change the subject. Changing the subject indicates that your mind is elsewhere. It shows you’re not concentrating on what’s being said at that moment, and this makes the speaker feel insignificant. If you change the subject, the speaker could also get the impression that you’re avoiding the topic and may be hesitant to bring it up again.
Empathize. When someone shares information with you, put yourself in his shoes. Doing this will allow the two of you to discover solutions more easily and will also help you appreciate a perspective different from your own.
Respond verbally and non-verbally. Using an enthusiastic tone shows you’re interested in what the speaker is saying. Smiling helps too! Avoid crossing your arms since this can be interpreted as being closed off. If you’re speaking with someone who’s sitting, you should sit too. Standing over someone is too authoritative and may make the other person feel uncomfortable.

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Why do I like this NGO so much…

God has used this organization to train young people all around the world and these young people are making a difference in society.

An international volunteer movement of Christians from many backgrounds, cultures and Christian traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world. Also known as YWAM (pronounced “WHY-wham”), our purpose is simply to know God and to make Him known.

When YWAM began in 1960, our main focus was giving young people opportunities to demonstrate the love of Jesus to the whole world, according to His command in Mark 16:15.

Today, we still focus on youth, but we have members (known as “YWAMers”) of almost every age and many of our short-term efforts have grown into long-term endeavors that have impacted lives and nations.

YWAM has a decentralized structure that encourages new vision and the exploration of new ways to change lives through training, convey the message of the gospel and care for those in need. We are currently operating in more than 1000 locations in over 150 countries, with a staff of nearly 16,000.

Evangelism

People who encounter Jesus want to tell others about Him. Christ’s love inspires us to use many creative means to make His gospel understood to any audience – large or small. We use tools such as music, performing arts and sports to connect with people of all ages and develop friendships which can lead to conversations of eternal value.

When working in other cultures and among people of other faiths, Christ’s message of peace is our starting point. We believe everyone has the right to hear this message and our hope is to see fellowships of believers, worshipping and following Jesus in every nation, tribe and tongue.

Training

Change your mind. Change your life. Change your world.

YWAM training teaches you to explore and share your faith. A wide variety of specialized training programs equip students with skills that can be applied in many situations to convey the love of Christ and participate practically in missions. Our introductory course, the Discipleship Training School (DTS), is offered in many nations and languages and is a unique opportunity to focus on building your relationship with God and discover new opportunities to work with Him.

Mercy Ministries

If you believe it, you have to live it. YWAM Mercy Ministry teams follow Jesus’ example of compassion to those in need. We operate relief and development programs in over 100 countries, working among people living in desperate circumstances.

Our volunteers serve in areas such as agricultural assistance, health care, micro enterprise development and with women and children at risk. Their goal is to ease suffering and provide hope for those affected by poverty, disease or injustice.

YWAM teams responded to critical situations such as Hurricane Katrina, the Pakistani earthquake, and the Asian tsumani and they remain in long-term community development efforts in these and other places never seen on the news.

Muizenberg – Cape Town – South Africa

Muizenberg is a beach-side suburb of Cape Town, a place where I could live for the rest of my life.

It has a fine, long beach that in effect stretches all the way round the top of False Bay to the Strand, a distance of over 20 km. False Bay, known for its population of White Sharks, also has a shark watch service that operates from Muizenberg, signalling alerts when sharks come in proximity of bathers and surfers. Above Muizenberg there is a line of steep cliffs that is very popular as a venue for rock climbing. However, certain parts of the cliff are off-limits to climbers when birds nest on the ledges.

Muizenberg houses one of the False Bay Collage campuses in the Cinnabar Building, a high-rise apartment tower. The college, a Public Further Education and Training Institution (FET), was established in September 2002 when the South Peninsula College (established 1970) and the Westlake College (established 1954) were merged.

YWAM has established one the bases here. It is a perfect place to train and send young Christians coming from all overthe world into missions.

In Muizenberg I found the answers to many of the questions I had been asking for so long. It is here where God showed me why He brought me back after 8 years waiting for this.

In Muiz (as some would say) I have had the opportunity to work and rest.

Like I said on my last post I have been busy helping AFRICOM ( a communication Ministry of YWAM Africa) to translate a documentary about YWAM Angola. It has been very cool to be able to make the subtitles but many hours of hard work as well.

In a few weeks I will leave this amazing place and start my trip around South Africa to meet my new family and then in November back Brazil. I will be good to see my family and friends, tell them all about my expeirences here. But I will definitely miss Muizenberg.

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BLESSING ANGOLA

This week I have started translating a project for YWAM Angola. It is DVD to mobilize missionaries to go and join the ones that have been there long term.

I never realized how tiring and hard work it is. But it is fun and doing so I will be blessing a nation without even being there.

Please, pray for Angola…

I have started the transition for the World Cup Project in 2014.

From now on I will be involved with the ministry doing my best to mobilize and facilitate the ministry work both for Brazilians and international teams.

If you would like to go to Brazil at any time and take a team with you, please contact me. I will be more then happy to link you with a church or  ONG.

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It is 3am I woke up and just can’t fall asleep anymore. In 2 hours I will be heading to the airport to fly back to Cape Town. So as I can not sleep anymore I decided to write this blog message about my dear friends that I met in these last 4 weeks of the world cup.

One of the things I enjoy the most is traveling and, I travel…

I have traveled the world, seen places and met all sorts of people wherever I go. But there is one place I will never EVER forget and that place is Vanderbijlpark – South Africa.

God gave me the opportunity to meet Sakkie Olivier in a meeting in Cape Town and at that time I had no idea what the Lord had prepared for me.

Coming to Vanderbijlpark at first it seemed just like another place where I was going to minister and make God’s name known (which is enough reason to be happy about) but there was more to it.

In Vanderbijlpark I met people that made such an impact in my life that they don’t even know about. In a week I could see how special these guys were and our connectedness happened so fast and in such a powerful way that leaving at the end of that week just seemed wrong, but I had to go to Jo’burg and continue the work that was ahead of me.

On that week working in Jo’burg I felt in my heart that I should return to Vanderbijlpark and spend more time with those guys and so I did, and how special it was to be able to see them again and worship God together and talk about Jesus love and grace and share meals and laughters and play gold and squash and so many other things we were able to do.

I could not forget to mention the AMAZING MALAGASY team. What a wonderful time I had with them. Their voices still echo in my ears, I can still see them dancing with a smile on their faces. Their love for God is just so real and powerful. Saying goodbye at the airport was very hard.

I just want to give God the glory and honor and thank him for friends and friendship. My prayer is that He will continue to bless and use these Vanderbijlpark people to impact many others that will pass by this amazing place.

There is something about Vanderbijlpark… and that is the Love of Jesus that brings people together.

To all of you my friends continue to seek God’s face, because by doing so you will always be special.


Founded in 1667 its buildings of great old houses and churches show the style of that time. Paraty makes us imagine how it would have been to live in Brazil back in the old days.

Walking around the Historical Center of Paraty is like travelling back time, you have to walk slowly due to the big stones which pave its streets.

Cars are not allowed inside the Historical Center which helps maintain the way it was hundreds of years ago.

Paraty has its own style where the urban language articulates the landscape; the city is situated between the ocean and the mountains with lots of waterfalls with crystal waters.

On full moon nights the tide gets high and goes forward invading the city’s streets. Paraty is the city where the roads and the sea meet.

This is for sure a city full of opportunities for those seeking quality in life, a place surrounded by nature where the love of God is displayed all around.

Brazil is my country. Paraty my new home…

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18 thoughts on “English Posts

  1. jo says:

    Bless you Abel,

    Really interesting to hear about the journey God has taken you on. You may even love South Africa as much as me, it has always felt like home to me since I first went over in 1998. God is continuing to lead me and I am resting in His glorious love and presence knowing he is carving the perfect way for me. Please send my love to Leecia I hope you are having a fab time. many blessings Jo x x x

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