Post the third in which I confess unfolded laundry.

By this time tomorrow, barring whackiness, we will be on our way to Brazil. I haven't folded all of my laundry yet. I should probably get on that. The truth is, I'm getting wrapped up in both excitement for the trip to come and some nervousness too. I will play a different role on this trip than I did on the last trip.

Last time, I was 19 and surrounded by many people older and wiser than I, so when things got stressful in an encounter, I simply deferred to them. There are fewer people going this year, and many of the people on the trip are younger than I. While I have great confidence in the members of our team, the possibility exists that I will end up taking a real but limited leadership role in some of our encounters. I'm a bit nervous about that to be honest.

If you'll permit me, I'll ask for yet more prayer.

1. Pray for all of us that we would have an attitude of dependence on God as we speak to the people we meet in Brazil. Pray that we will not seek to be eloquent speakers before men, but instead well-made tools in the hands of God.

2. Pray for Dad as he will be preaching multiple times during the trip. Pray that God will give him words to say and bless his preparation.

3. Pray for our whole group, all 30 of us, that God would bring us together and use this time of shared service to form real and meaningful relationships among us. As the trip wears on, we will all be increasingly tempted, to be unkind to one another and fight over petty things. pray that God will allow us all to be disciplined in this area and avoid dissention.

Stories to come soon I promise. I know God has big plans.

Post the second in which I discuss the continuum of hilliness

Hilliness, probably known to scientists as inclination or slope, is the great enemy of walkers everywhere--more evil than Darth Vader, Sauron, and the Voldemort put together. Hilliness kills puppies, robs widows, and eats babies; hilliness is measured with a continuum.

A totally flat place (i. e. west Texas) has a hilliness quotient of 1; San Francisco has a hilliness quotient of 7; the place our team is going has a hilliness quotient of 9. Hilliness increases loigarithmically for you math majors out there( I'm talkin' to you, Ted and Karl).

I have many skills. Alas, aerobic fittness is not among them. It would be amazing if you all would pray for me and my team as we deaal with the terrain in Brazil. I have been encouraged and challenged in this area not only by the scriptures comparing Christianity to a race, but by the words of the late great Rich Mullins. Rich writes: "Let Mercy lead you; let love be the strength in your legs, and with every footstep that you leave, there will be a drrop of grace." It is my prayer that throughout the trip God's mercy will lead us, his lovee will be our strenght and we will leave his grace behind us wherever we go.

If you'll indulge me, some other things need prayer too:

1. Our team leaders, Mark and Wilfred, and our overall leader, John: ask God to bless and strengthen them as they lead us in Brazil. Pray for wisdom for them as they make decisions-sometimes with minimal prior notice or relevant information.

2. Our Brazilian translators: that we would forge relationships with them and work with them as co-laborers even as they serve us by translating our words. Pray for them for words and sharpness of mind and for strength. Eight hours of solid translation combined with the spiritual work of sharing the gospel is enough to make anyone tired. Pray that God would bless their willingness to serve as well, like us they have abandoned their normal lives for two weeks; let's pray that there are minimal repercussions from that.

3. Our Brazilian hosts who are giving sacrificially to feed us: that God would provide above and beyond their expectations that we all might be encouraged.

4. Spiritual Warfare: I'm not a demon behind every doily sort of guy; truth be told, I'd say a solid 99.99999999% of doilies are demon free. With that said, We could potentially run into a more direct spiritual attack in Brazil than most of us see in DFW because animism and occult folk religions are still practiced in large swaths of Brazil. Praise God that he is greater than the evil one. Thank him for his compassion for those under demonic attack, which Jesus demonstrated repeatedly in the gospels, and pray for us that we would trust God to go before us and fight our battles. Even his enemies are under his total control, ask God to bind them.

Two days until we leave.

Thanks for the prayers

First Post in Which I inform you of my imminent return to Brazil

If you read all of that unwieldy post title, you know that I'm going back to Brazil on. For two weeks, I'll be in schools and prisons and homes partnering with Brazilian believers and others from my home church to share the good news of Jesus Christ. We leave on Wednesday.

I am very excited as you can imagine. Brazil is a tropical paradise-even in the winter. All the Brazillians I've so far encountered are kind and generous, and I am confident that God is in control and planning to draw many people to himself in the weeks to come. It is my joy to share what God will do in Brazil with as many of you as will read.

I hope and pray that you will partner with me in prayer. Wherever you are as you are reading this post, if you are a believer in Christ, then you have the ear of the God of heaven. I implore you: pray for us.

In the days to come, we will need prayer in a few specific areas.

1. That God would bless final preparations as there is much left to do.
2. Traveling safety and health.
3. Purity: that God would not only guard us from sin, but point out unconfessed sin in our lives we need to address
4. Opportunities to share the gospel, wisdom to see them, and boldness to take them.

Thanks a lot. I'll post as often as I can from our hotel.