Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Children at streets

Miséria S/A by Flipe SO
When I ever talk with someone abroad and they are interested to know how Brazil is like, they use to ask me regarding Homeless Children, when I was in LA and San Francisco where I could find homeless people, but no one children with them, I could realize how different it is outside Brazil.
Yesterday, I found at newspaper that our city had finished the first serious research about Homeless children, I could find some facts regarding this very sad situation in São Paulo:
  • There are 1842 children living at streets, 1040 live outside their home to get some money
  • 55.9% sell candies at street crossings, 21.6% perform some kind of service like washing windscreen, polishing shoes or juggling at traffic lights and 15,6% begging
  • As people pity situation of very small children at streets, most of the beggers are smaller children
  • Work at streets and begging, at general, generates US$ 12 Million dollars a year, 4 out of 10 cars use to give some kind of tip. Social work people associates directly success at working and begging on streets to perpetuate this kind of situation here.
  • Children leave home because of violence and abuse, they don't like also public shelters because those places do not provide many things to do
  • Monday, August 27, 2007

    Questions from Netherlands

    In a meme played by Paul Abspoel, I asked him to interview me too, here are his questions:
    1. The Church in Europe and North America is going through difficult times. What about the Church in South America in general and Brazil in particular?
    In fact, church in South America is growing. In Brazil, churches that have the highest growing rates are the ones that started from last 20 years through a massive use of media, practicing a charismatic kind of lithurgy and comitted to signs, healings and prosperity. Though, leadership has been compromised by unethical behaviour and also because their assets have been growing besides their churches. Because of this, evangelical church have been lacking credibility. Due to this very quick movement, we are presenting a sourge of a pos-evangelical generation in Brazil too, a great challenge to people who are attaining to a more conservative theology here.
    2. What do you like most about kids and why? Is this a quality that we can still have or strive for as grown-ups?
    I love my children and the possibility of living with them, I have a doutgher of 7 and a son of 2, being their dad has been a wonderfull oportunity to learn and to see life so differently. What I like them most are their quality of being happy as long as they are awaked, they don't wait so much to have fun from a situation and I believe this is the think we have dislearned in our growing up, our concerns has taken our happiness away from us. When being with my children I learn again I should laught and smile much more.
    3. Did you ever hear God or Jesus speaking to you in an audible voice? If so, please tell us about this experience. If not – how do you understand God’s will for your life?
    There was once, in the middle of night I waked up to go to bathroom and a verse of the Bible came to my head "As a father have mercy on his child our Lord have mercy on the people that fear Him", it cames from nothing! This kind of thing happened also once before and I think I was remembered by God that He was with me in all my concerns mainly related to church planting and personal career.
    As this not happens everyday, I try to move myself on the will of God asking him a lot what to do and guiding myself through the common sense that is feeded by Bible and prayer.
    4. If you could suddenly have a talent / gift that you don’t have right now, what talent or gift would that be and how would you use it?
    I recognize there is some people that are extra-sensitive, they feel through Holy Spirit some needs of people and tell things from God that fit very well to people situation, they are called prophets and though we have bunches of people acting as prophets without having such gifts we have to recognize that this gift exists but are not so common. I would like to have such gifts to help people directly in their needs.

    5. Why on earth did God make mosquitoes?
    Great question! It might be to have frogs feeded.

    Thank you Paul for your very wise questions.
    If you would like to be interviewed by me, find below the rules of this meme:

    1. Leave me a comment saying “Interview me.”
    2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
    3. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions.
    4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
    5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

    Monday, August 13, 2007

    An Image worth more...

    I have found on Emerging Grace blog, some posters that I have been found in some emerging church blogs due to their missional church definitions. Messages are very rich and gets richer when besides so interesting pictures like those were taken, the one that I think reflect my moment now is stated below:

    Thursday, August 02, 2007

    My personal DNA

    After 11 pages of tests from a Facebook add in I found myself as a Faithfull Leader. From all tests I have done, this seems to be a very comprehensive test. The good thing of this test also, is that your personality can be tested by your partners, this facility can improve a lot your self image!

    If you wanna know what this means, follow the link.

    Tag - ;

    Wednesday, July 18, 2007

    8 Ramdom facts about me

    I was tagged by Len Evans to tell you 8 Random facts about me, the rules are:

    1. players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
    2. those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
    3. players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

    Here you have:
  • 1. I learned to play keyboard when I was at my twenties, I even bought an Yamaha PSR and played in an audition in a restaurant; I don't remember how I get rid off this keyboard;
  • 2. I could see Miami Heats defeating Chicago Bulls when I was in Miami, that is why I got their uniform when I had to chose an esportive Christmas gift two years ago.
  • 3.I had some loyal penpals when I was a teenager, Georgia Sarla, from Greece; Lisa ###, from Norway; Helena de Fátima Bento da Conceição, from Portugal and Isabelle ### from France.
  • 4.Yesterday was my second time running karts and, for this time again, I finished a position ahead from the last
  • 5. My preferred superhero were Daredevil
  • 6. We did three contests between folks in my office to loose weight, I won all three, but now I am well above my last goal that gave me close to US$ 200.
  • 7. I received from Ken McCord a hole 2 pounds 8 oz of Skippy Peanut Butter when I was in San Francisco, the bottle is getting empty and I don't know what to do after that!
  • 8. I have four e-mail accounts, I use to read them at least five times a day, great sign of anxiety

  • Unfortunatelly all my international folks have already answer to this meme, I might invite my eight friends when I import this to my Brazilian Blog.

    Sunday, July 15, 2007

    Day to be champions

    Today was a great day to sports in Brazil, first at Volleyball World League, we beated Russia (3 v 1) and we won the World League for our seventh time (fifith year in a row). It is amazing to see that we have been producing generations and generations of very good volleyball players, just to remember, we have been won the World League for the last five years, and we won also the last World cup and the golden medal at Athens Olympic champeonship.

    But we had another championship final to watch, it was the Copa America final against Argentina (our biggest sport rival), our team made bad matches in this cup, our best players preferred to be on their vacations (Kaka, Ronaldinho Gaucho and Ronaldo), we started Copa America with a desasterous match when we were defeated by Mexico, but we were keeping a somewhat regular results until we got to final, but Argentina won all their matches, they sent their best players to won this cup. So I thought Argentina would won Brazil easily, but the unexpected happened, Júlio Baptista could score a first goal between the first 5 minutes, we got another goal at first half and another in second half. It is the second Copa America we won Argentina at final in a row! Though I love the Argentinean people and I have very good Argentinean friends, it is just delicious to beat Argentina and even in this kind of situation!
    Tag - ;

    Friday, July 13, 2007

    Great encouragement

    I had a good surprise this week finding a very good post on Emergent Village written by Andrew Hamilton "6 reasons not to quit", it is interesting to see how it repercussioned, this post collected so far 25 comments (one from me), it might seem how church planters are thirsty of this kind of encouragement.
    Andrew shares a little of his experience ahead a ministry in Perth, where they have been ministried for already 4 years, without a single person signing up to follow Jesus. His feelings about seeing himself as a failure was echoed by many people who commented.
    As I have been tried to share here, we have been gathering to plant a church in a North Zone neighborhood in São Paulo, we have been gathering weekly since the beggining of this year with expectations to gather more people around us, we have not succeeded so far, even with all invitations that I have been made, we were unable to bring a friend here yet. My obsession on reaching friends has lots of times turned out to frustration of being unable to gather unchurched friends with us. By the other side, I have been also unable to give up, many frustrated nights has followed some mornings with hope when I weak up expecting a new way to impact some friends with our witness. I have been encouraged thinking that we are just closer to the day we will make it.
    It has been difficult, but we reather stick with a small group strategy than appeal to an impersonal one like a stablished church, I think if we are not able to develop a small group right now, we won't do it in the future, so we have to learn now but it takes patience.
    This is not to raise pity to me, but to share how Andrew's words gave more power to the hope that have been attached me to this dream.

    Tag - ;

    Tuesday, July 10, 2007

    5 things I dig about Jesus

    I was tagged by Paul Abspoel from Netherlands to tell you Five things I Dig about Jesus, I was very honored by this invitation. Yesterday I read in Exiles, from Michael Frost that we, in our churchy culture, have seen Jesus as a man to be worshiped instead a man to be followed; it is wierd when you get so block as to ennumerate what dig you about Jesus, makes me thing how far I put him in my life just to be worshiped and not think he was a man like me too:
  • 1. Availability - He was so available, even when he knew that he became a very public person, so demanded and even when he knew that some people searched him because of food and because of status, he attended all.
  • 2.Focus - Though he was very demanded, he never lost his focus, even when we forsaw his death, when he knew that what would happen to him, would happen due his mission here, he accepted.
  • 3. No prejudice - He knew everything about the people who he was talking with, he knew the kind of life everybody was used to live, but he received all that was sincere to present their fragmented life and rejected all important people that pretended was close to God and wanted to promote themselves over him
  • 4.Balanced - He knew when it was time to act, but knew also when was time to retire and rest, or pray. He didn't get overworked even with all demmand he had
  • 5. Great Teacher - He didn't explained all his purpose and all his doctrines, instead, he let people find it for themselves, his teachings was never long talks explaining everything, he liked to use questions and stories to make us think and realize for ourselves.

  • I will tag all my international buddies that, I thing, would do that: Rick Stilwell, Len Evans, Steve Knight,JR Woodward and Ken McCord

    Here are the rules:
    (a) Those tagged will share “Five Things They Dig About Jesus”.
    (b) Those tagged will tag 5 people.
    (c) Those tagged will leave a link to their meme in the comments section of this post so everyone can keep track of what's being posted.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2007

    Dreaming to pray

    Today, between an snooze in my radio watch and other I was dreaming that I was praying for some folks in my office. It was a kind of weird, my time with God has been so irregular that I thought that, should I pray when I am sleeping because I have been so unable to set up a time to pray? I know I need a lot to pray, today I dismissed my internet in my breakfast to be with God.
    From that time on, I have been dreaming awaked, and now I am dreaming and praying a lot for a Summer Biblical School in my neighboorhood, I couldn't do that in my apartment because it is too small, I would need a house, so I need some prayer partners to be with me in that. I have some time in my holidays in July to do that, a house would help me a lot to start some plans.
    Tag - ;

    Monday, June 25, 2007

    Like a Lion

    Don't ask me how they got to it:

    They started as a great worship ministry of a baptist church in Minas Gerais, their first two CDs were so beautifull, many churches in Brazil used to sing their songs while they shared profits of CDs sold with children mission in India. It was like 10 years ago.
    Today they turned out to be a huge worship ministry, they use to fill parks with hundreds of thousands on their shows at streets, and the scene was from one of their latest shows.
    Tag - ;

    Saturday, June 23, 2007

    The Shape of things to come (resuming)

    I had to go to my doughter musical presentation and, I was wondering that, though my last post was very long, it was incomplete yet. I took so long to identify our reality by the church described by Hirsch and Frost, but I didn't discussed anything on their solutions. The kind of things we had a lot these days, people talking fast about what is wrong with the church without working for their renewal.
    The opportunities of planting churches with encarnatonal, messianic and apostolic approach would not be so far here, we are not so formal in our relationships, but the dualistic culture is very deep in people hearts yet. Our poverty give us plenty of opportunities to engage, though, our approach to social matters is very opportunistic in most of efforts, the act of promoting social justice for a matter of love itself is a thing that we are to learn.
    I liked very much the figure the authors used about a centered set church, against a bondered set church: it is exciting to imagine a church that relationships are not ruled by memberships or culture. Though churches always have a set of relationships that links some folks to them, the idea that these folks will be also church just when they baptise are to be beated. I also liked the explanation of how some churches promote a centered set, presenting very bold non negotiable truths and presenting other doctrines in a way that people theirself would be able to choose by studying the Bible, I liked the idea of teaching people how to build their truth on Bible. I told this to a pastor friend of mine and he admitted how many non negotiable doctrines he had as setting very tigh bondered church to his fellowers.
    I have got a live example of an apostolic leadership since I have know Kairos LA, they also promote leadership as presented by authors with Apostles, Pastors, Prophets, Teachers and Evangelists. In Brazil, our churches are also ruled by Pastors and Teachers. Our Evangelists are resumed to missionary people. We have plenty of prophets also, even more in a country when you live beside such poverty, we have many people daring to preach to serve them; unfortunately, as their voice were silented years ago, their emergence in church made many of them auto sufficient and many times their action is at service to left side political parties agenda, and, with the lack of an apostle leadership, they will remain discoursing against poverty with no actions. The word of apostleship have been related to an apostleship ministry promoted by some neo-pentecostals church, it has been used to give a few, a very high hierarchy at church, because of this, we have to use this word with caution. Indeed we lack a lot apostleship as an entrepreuneur that would plant more churches and set real goals to this planting.
    Might God help us to be bold in action to see real examples like those here in Brazil.

    Tag - ; ; ; ;

    The Shape of things to come

    This is my 2nd post I should have posted earlier, but I had not. I finished "The Shape of things to come" reading in January and published a detailed revision in my Brazilian Blog (it took 4 posts to publish an overall idea of the book and a revision of the writers purposes of an Incarnational, Missianic and Apostolic church). I think it would be useless to have such a detailed approach of this book here, once this book was well accepted in international emerging church community and you will find better reviews like mine in blogosphere. Though, I would like to share what those ideas means in our brazilian field.
    The importance of this book besides, Emerging Church, is that it paves a good way of what our churches should seek when emerge. After reading both, I think Emerging Church as a very good report of how churches have been emerged in US an UK while, this book describe the basis below Emerging Churches practices.
    Actually I am starting Michael Frost's "Exiles" reading, after read all Alan Hirsch's "The Forgotten Ways". It is clear to note that all three book's ideas are constructed on a thesis that while the Christendom mode of society is shadowing, our mode of church is shadowing by the same way, thus we need a new kind of church out of the dominance box that started when Constantine declared Christianism as the official religion of all Rome. I think that is important to have clear that church has not started from these ideas on, I had already saw some early brazilian criticism to Emerging Church that they considered Christian Church as lost from Constantine until now, off course based on misread emerging church books and purposes.
    I think that the Christendom mode detailed by Hircsh and Frost applies very much to evangelical church in Brazil, it has been very Attrational, reflected, for instance, by use of media with preching all day in christian Radio and TVs as a way to invite people to attend services and being blessed, all strategies you see is related to have people coming to the church bounds to be part of them; our church has been very dualistic, when they build a kind of paralell christian world where the label "gospel" tells what would be good for christian people to use and has been also very hierachic when the first thing that all churches do, is to establish who owns the power and a very well career plan of how to get it. With our evangelical growth we started to have a kind or post-evangelical people frustrated by evangelical church promises not fullfilled.
    We have a great challenge to break this kind of religion culture, though people are very free to express their spirituality here, their have been more exposed to express that through spiritualism. They have been exposed nightly to those ideas on TV Soap Operas besides post modernism ideas. But when they go search for spirituality out of spiritualism and budhism they will appeal to a church closed to Catholic culture (a church even more attrational, dualistic and hierarchic), where most of people got the idea of religion when growing up. Yes, they will remain frustrated as long as they find another way of doing church.
    Hirsch and Frost ideas are indeed great solutions to our day, church as it is now will remain just beside our culture, we will need just good people dare enough to have this kind of thinking outside the box and starting making difference. The fact is that we have seen lots of discussions about emerging churches in Brazil, but we have not seen any practical idea because we have seen only discussions. We need concrete examples of emerging communities to foster other examples, so far we have few ones and not enough to establish a good idea of what an emerging church should be in Brazil.
    I think this book should be a good source to give us a way to begin.

    Tag - ; ; ; ;

    Tuesday, June 19, 2007

    March for Jesus in Brazil

    I were out of it!
    The first edition of March for Jesus in Brazil were set up the same day of March for Jesus in US (The Jesus day), but as this march required a lot of work in our already chaotic transit, this event were transferred to our holliday of Corpus Christi. Actually, Corpus Christi is a Catholic holliday, but March for Jesus is very evangelical and were transferred to this day just for a matter of convenience. But the funny think is that, this holliday in Sao Paulo hosted two huge movements in city, March for Jesus on Thursday and the Gay Pride Parade on the follow Sunday.
    We have this kind of schedule from last four to five years, and this my first doubt about March for Jesus movement when they face it like a competition against the Parade to be made on the follow Sunday. You evangelicals abroad know what I mean! The organizers were yelling that March for Jesus would take 6 million people to streets when they knew that Gay Pride Parade would take 3 million. Actually March for Jesus took 3,5 million people to streets while Gay Pride took the same 3 million.
    As you might noted I am very skeptic about this movement, above all criticism we have about this movement is to think that if you take 3,5 million sincere people to streets in the name of Jesus, you wold expect also a very different kind of society and city here in the day by day after the march. Unfortunately this is not the case, worse, the junk that is accumulated after this movement is as huge, that is not a good witness to people that lives around.
    Latelly I have seen this movement as a kind of purified Carnaval that people cannot play because of Carnaval sinful nature. But I have know a fact that made this even worse and I wrote about in my Brazilian Blog.
    The couple that used to lead this movement (an apostle and a bishop) are arrested in Miami because of money smuggling and false witness, they entered US with US$ 56000 and declared US$ 10000 (US Police were already with an eye on them). But all followers of their church are convicted they are innocent and this march was used to claim for their inocence. That was not right for me, that was some reason that I am completely out of this kind of think.
    I think that every movement for Jesus should have a greater impact on city and on society, a day by day with sincere followers of Jesus will have great impact, and we still need this a lot here.

    Tag - ;

    Not Abandoned

    I took a look earlier today at this blog and got ashamed because I could almost see a year of postings here! I have postings about World Cup Yet! Wow! Time really goes very fast!
    I would not like to ramble again how lazy I have been at this blog, but whenever I think about some folks that have been followed my so little posts here, I forget all my thoughts about closing this blog. I ever get so happy when I recieve your thoughts about my posts.
    My Portuguese blog has been nice, I have just completed 500 posts there, people are liking discussions and I think my blog have been a good reference in our beggining emerging church community.
    I think it would be useless to just link my site with a translator, a mere translation would not do all you need to know, there somethings in my blog that need to be explained to people abroad, that is why this blog exists.
    Well, in my effort to not let this blog abandoned, I think I am indebted with you to post about three items that I though about sharing here in this year:

  • My findings about "The shape of things to come"

  • March for Jesus in Brazil

  • My trip to California last month

  • I hope to post them all until the end of this week.

    Tuesday, April 17, 2007

    Virginia Tech

    Through internet I could follow what happened yesterday at Virginia Tech and while I started to ask why, how, I could follow also how this horrible fact impacted some folks in US, not only as a whole people but also as partners in ministry at that University. At this time, blogs are making us nearer to americans sufferings. My simpatys and prayers are with you right now:

  • From JR Woodward:
    - From Virginia Tech: The In-between day
    - In Regard to Virginia Tech Tragedy

  • Rob Williams: Praying for Hokies

  • Rick Stillwell: Virginia Tech
  • Thursday, April 12, 2007

    Popups eliminated?

    After a user friend of mine did the same, with a great sadness, I did take out Nedstat (Now Motigo)counter of this blog and it seems undesired Popups desapeared!
    It's a pity because Motigo is a very promptly counter, it showed visits with a great fastness though with not detailed information as Extreme Tracking has done. My sadness on taking Motigo out is also for my ego interests, as I have been with Motigo very long ago, it was about to show almost 4000 visits. But I can surely live without it.
    My dutch friend Paul has advised me about those inconveniences, and I thank him for his comments about those popups.
    Please, if popups comes out again, feel free to tell me that Motigo is not guilty of that. Thanks

    Tag - ;

    Saturday, March 17, 2007

    Yes I go to Origins!

    This story began May last year when I had mileage expiring and this mileage made me eliegeable to issue an air ticket to United States, from everything I could think about what could I do in US, I chose to go to Los Angeles to attend Origins conference.
    Though everything went wrong with my mileage (the air company were close to a bankruptcy), I kept my "A" plan and, with the Grace of God, I will be in Los Angeles from April 29th on to be at Origins, from Mosaic.
    I was previously in United States on march 2001, when I went to Chicago to attend a conference at Willow Creek, and after to Miami to be with my ent. But now I will go with my wife, and will be great to be in LA with her. We might go to San Francisco on the follow Saturday to spend some days before return to Sao Paulo.
    I think this as a great opportunity to learn a lot and to expand my ideas on our church planting in Sao Paulo. I count on your prayers. I might also, take advantadge to meet some people I have knew in blogosphere, and some churches I have been followed through internet.
    If you have some hints also, it will be very appreciated.

    Tag - ;

    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Emerging Sampa

    As I told on my 2006 restrospectives, we started to gather some people interested in emerging churches and in readings of Brian McLaren, Erwin McManus, Donald Miller etc. After some meetings we decided that we should spread this conversation in order to not let people interested in those matters thinking they are alone in our country, as some people we found recently.
    So we are planning a conversation next March 31st at Projeto 242, the first emerging church I know here in São Paulo. We stated a theme as "Does we need a new kind of church?", and we are spreading the message. I hope to reach more people with this event. So far it has been so good to join so good people interested in Kingdom.
    Also, we started a discussion of "The Secret Message of Jesus Christ" from Brian McLaren, which was translated to portuguese, our people are so excited on join this conversation, buying books and write.

    Tag -

    Thursday, January 04, 2007

    Church made in Brazil

    Visiting Church Marketing Sucks, I've found a familiar ad, it's from Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus, a church that have gotten the higher growth rates in Brazil due prosperity theology, confronting afro-brazilian cults with tools imported from them to a Christian environment. Many teologists are discussing if this church is Christian or not, but this kind of model had also spread in hundreds of other independent churches in my country. I can find at list 10 churches like that in my 40 minuntes way to my job.
    They spreaded not only with buildings but also at TV (Universal has two TV stations) and radio, mostly pirates. Due this growth with buildings and at media, people in Brazil are starting to relate overall evangelical church with this kind of church. This kind of idea has become a great obstacle to plant a new church here in Brazil.
    I kid in my brazilian blog that many people complain that we are importing churching models from US and we have a brazilian model exported! By this time, unfortunately!
    See how Church Marketing Sucks saw this.
    Tag - ;