Thursday morning: It’s a typical overcast morning here in Curitiba. Last night’s service at Christ Community of Curitiba seemed to go well. I reckon around 500 adults gathered, with some folks coming from other churches in the city as well. I spoke on being a friend of the bridegroom, and at the end a good number of folks came forward to present themselves to the Lord. Then I enjoyed fellowship afterwards with the founders of this church, a couple that came to Brazil in the 70s from California and have raised up a powerful ministry here. They hosted Costa Deir here years ago, and know many of the west coast people we know, such as Ernest Gentile, Leonard Fox, Violet Kitely, Frank Damazio, etc.
I leave at noon today for the airport, arriving into Brasilia around 6 pm tonight Lord willing. I’m looking to share briefly with the church leaders tonight, then we start a weekend conference, Fri/Sat/Sun meetings. My host church is Manancial de Vida Church, they were the ones to extend the original invitation to Brazil. This will be my third visit with them, actually.
Tuesday midnight: Greetings from charming Joinville, Brazil. The kind of place I would have never dreamed I would get to, in my lifetime. This is the largest city in this state, around 700-800,000 people. The host church moved into their current facility just 3 weeks ago. It’s a massive building that was previously a department store I believe, something akin to a WalMart. Talk about spacious! They have lots of room now to grow.
We fought with the sound system at the outset. We tried to get the in-ear monitor situation to work, and my translator was able to get his to work to a satisfactory level, but I was unable to do so. So I pulled my ear buds out of my ears, and we pulled over some floor monitor speakers to try to make them work and give me vocal feedback. It was dicey, but we finally got it to a setting that could work just barely, and off we went. I taught on the secret place. They hung on every word. It’s amazing to see 500 people gathered on a Tuesday night to hear the word of the Lord. At the book signing that happened after the time of altar ministry, several came up with books worn and marked up, wanting me to sign them. It’s so humbling to see how my books have impacted lives here in a place I thought I’d never visit.
It’s now past midnight and we’re hitting the road for Curitiba. We should arrive around 2 a.m., the Lord helping us. Wednesday night I’m speaking at a church in Curitiba called Christ Community.
Thursday morning: I’m leaving our place around 9 a.m. today to make my way to Brazil. I’m scheduled to arrive Sao Paulo around 6 a.m., and then grab an 8 a.m. flight to Curitiba. I’m scheduled to minister in Curitiba from Friday to Wednesday. This trip was originally built around an invitation to Brasilia, to a church I’ve visited like three times now, and since I was coming to Brazil I opened my calendar to do some additional Brazil ministry while there. Dwayne Roberts put me in touch with this ministry in Curitiba to which I’m now first going.
This will be my first time to Comunidade Vida Plena, Curitiba, Brazil; vidaplena.org.br. Dwayne has spoken very highly of this church and ministry. And I also understand that they’ve used SECRETS extensively in their church, so the door for ministry opened very easily. I’m scheduled to be with them for Friday through Sunday morning. Monday will be a day of vocal rest. Then the pastor at Comunidade Vida Plena arranged for me to minister at two other churches in the region, one on Tuesday and the other on Wednesday. Then Thursday I’ll zip up to Brasilia.
Friday afternoon: I arrived safely and on time to Curitiba. Working my way through the Sao Paulo airport was “interesting,” as I had to collect my bags, find the right counter to get booked onto the domestic flight to Curitiba, leave my bags at the counter, and then find my way to the domestic departures gates. But I had enough time and it all happened smoothly enough. Now I’m settled nicely into a hotel that is very near the airport. And already I’ve been treated to a churrasca restaurant for lunch. Only one word, WOW. The pastor is a delightful young man, already I’m enjoying our times of fellowship.
Saturday morning: Strong launch last night. I spoke about the river of God in corporate worship, and at the close the altar filled with eager saints seeking a greater measure of the Spirit’s flow upon their life and calling. My translator Vinny is from the Florianopolis House of Prayer, and he did a fabulous job last night, he really preaches as he translates. His wife Ami led worship, they’re a great support to the weekend of ministry. The fruit from the impact of Dwayne & Jennifer Roberts in this church is evident everywhere. Really marvelous.
Saturday midnight: Tonight’s message on the secret place seemed to come forth with particular strength and clarity. Impactful. The kind of night that can actually make a difference in a church.
Sunday afternoon: I’m just back from lunch. They asked my interpreter Vinny to preach this morning, and I heard great reports. After lunch they took me on a tour of their construction, they are in process of erecting a 3000-seat sanctuary. They are hoping to be able to occupy it next year, which is a very aggressive goal, considering they’re doing everything on a cash basis. Quite the amazing facility!
Monday morning: Last night was the closing meeting of our weekend at Vida Plena, and we had a high time together. Good spirit in worship. Strong anointing in the ministry of the word. At the close I gave a salvation appeal, and I’m guessing around 10 people responded. It’s harvest time in Brazil. The Lord gave me vocal strength and I was able to finish. Now I have today for vocal rest, smile.
Tuesday: I’ll check out of my hotel, and we’ll drive 2 hours to Joinville, where I am scheduled to minister Tuesday evening. This is a large church, but Tuesday night is not a typical meeting night for them, so we don’t know how many will gather. My host here thinks perhaps 500-1000 people. I feel drawn to speak on the Secret Place. And I’m extra encouraged that I have copies of the book to make available to the saints. I always love when I can leave a written deposit that will continue to sow seeds long after I’m gone. Then we’ll lodge Tuesday night in Joinville because of the late hour.
Wednesday: We’ll drive back to Curitiba and I’ll check back into my hotel. Then I minister Wednesday evening at another large church in Curitiba called Christ Community of Curitiba. The pastor is affiliated with a ministry group in the USA called MFI (Frank Damazio is the leader). These two meetings were arranged by my host here in Curitiba, pastor Marcio of Vida Plena. He’s a young man aged 42 with a very strong gift and call on his life, just a fabulous servant of the Lord, I’m so enriched to know him.
Thursday: I’m leaving early this morning for a church in Asia. I’ll be with them for their 5-year anniversary as a church. The church is comprised mostly of young adults, I’m told. And I was told that I am the first outside speaker they are bringing in as a guest. So this is special for all of us! I think they may run around 250 in attendance, give or take. The invitation came because the pastor was at a workshop that I did once in Hong Kong a few years back. Apparently they do all their services in both English and Chinese. I think the pastor preaches in English and uses an interpreter.
The schedule of meetings is:
Saturday morning worship team meeting
Sunday morning/afternoon (2 services)
Friday night’s service went well. I basically just talked through my story, and told stories. It seemed to be especially fitting for certain ones in the room. It was a good start, and a good way to keep me awake in the new time zone. By the time I got to bed at 11:30, I hit the bed hard and had an excellent sleep, thank the Lord.
Saturday 2:00 pm: I’m just back from a morning worship workshop at the church (which was very graced of the Lord, the attendance was stronger than anticipated), and from an amazing lunch. The cuisine was simply amazing. You choose one main dish, and then everything else that is served is their choice. By the time it was done, the meal had included lamb, chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, and fish, as well as various vegetables, mushrooms, etc. The dessert croissant was delightful, I asked my host to ask them what the stuffing was, cuz it tasted to me like rose, and sure enough, it was a rose filling. Fabulous.
Saturday 11:30 p.m. I’m just now back from tonight’s meeting. I spoke on the secret place, and at the close it seemed like everyone wanted to receive laying on of hands ministry. The worship team continued long after everyone had been prayed for. I love their commitment to staying and soaking in the presence of the Lord.
Sunday 9:30 pm: I’m back to my room after a very full day. The 9:30 service was great, and went till noon. Then they took an hour break for lunch. Most of the people ate at the church, and many of them stayed over into the second service, which started up at 1:00 p.m. That service went a little past 4:00. In first service I spoke of God writing a story with our lives, in second service I spoke on an eye covenant. We had precious ministry afterwards, and a great time of just basking in the Lord’s presence. Then they took me out for supper tonight, and a good sized group joined together, 13 of us in all. Once again the meal was spectacular. The fellowship was sweet, these are premium quality young people. Hanging out with kids in their 30s gives me the illusion that I’m still 35, ha.
Tuesday: This morning I’m traveling to Seoul, Korea, and then it’s a 3-hour car drive to our destination. It’s my second time to the King’s Highway Conference. I was with them last year, and now am pleased to return. We’ll arrive Wednesday evening, and then ministry will begin on Thursday. I’m scheduled to minister once daily, Thursday through Sunday morning. I said “we” because my travel companion is Ed Hackett from IHOPKC. Ed purchased a ticket to be identical with mine, which makes the transport for our hosts so much easier. So Ed and I are on the same planes all the way to Seoul and back. Ed is a fabulous brother in Christ, and I’m looking to some great fellowship.
I have felt drawn in my preparation to tell stories. Thursday I expect to share from my own story. On Friday I expect to tell Naomi’s story. And then on Saturday I will tell how God writes a story with our own lives. Thank you for blessing this conference in prayer. Ed will also be sharing, as well as a couple others.
Thursday morning: Greetings from overcast, drizzly Korea. Had a good trip here, a decent nap last night, and now am heading into the day here. I asked our hosts who collected us at the airport last night, how the crops are doing this year in N Korea, because I had heard last year that N Korea’s crops fared woefully. My hosts told me that the crops are doing very poorly this year again, this time to flooding. Too much rain, too many clouds and overcast skies. These kinds of weather conditions are predicted all week long, just at the height of the growing season. Lord, may You have mercy on N Korea and bring that nation to repentance. S Korea is not as dependent as N Korea on agriculture.
I mentioned the N Korea tensions to my hosts, and they said for them it’s not as big a deal as for the rest of the world. For them, it’s N Korea just being N Korea. Again. So they’re actually dismissive a bit toward the whole thing.
Thursday midnight: My first session this evening seemed to go very well. We had an agonizing time getting the sound system to work. The meeting was to start at 7:30, but at 8:00 pm we were still trying to get the sound check to work. Finally at 8:00, I told them to go ahead with worship, and I went up to the sound booth to see if I could help. They were novices who didn’t understand what to do, and I was able to help them. So when I went down at 8:30 to commence speaking, we were able to go. But for a while it seemed like the sound would never come together. The Lord helped us. I shared personal stories from my own journey, and the Lord seemed to grace it with His help and confirmation. Now I must get to bed, we’re being collected at 9 a.m. for tomorrow’s morning session.
Friday 5:00 pm: This morning I spoke on Naomi’s redemption story, and the Lord graced it in a clear way, I really enjoyed telling the story. Koreans are so eager for the Lord, eager for ministry, after every session there are long lines for prayer. Sweet.
Something that is striking about Korea is the proliferation of construction. Cranes are literally everywhere. Buildings are going up everywhere. I can’t recall ever being to a nation where I saw so many cranes dotting the horizon. Seoul is expensive, and so lots of people are spreading to outlying areas where the cost of living is less. The government has intentionally designed to build entire cities. Similar, I suppose, to what they do in China.
Saturday 9:00 pm: We’re back from a Pho restaurant, I had a spicy pho that made my nose run like crazy, it was a bit embarrassing actually, but I loved the meal. This afternoon’s session was a strong ending to the conference. At the close, the whole room wanted prayer, so we were praying for folks for quite a while. And then dinner. Now we’re finally back to our room and resting up for the morning meeting.
I brought a couple suitcases with me, intending to bring a bunch of Korean books back home with me, but lo, they have all sold. So I hauled two empty roller bags with me to Korea, all for nothing.
Sunday 2:30 pm: We have now hit the road for the Seoul airport, a 2.5-hour drive. We’ll make it in time for our 6:35 pm flight. We had a great time this morning in the Lord’s house. They use an acoustic grand piano only on Sunday mornings, with a small choir. We sang a few hymns, including the Lord’s Prayer. I enjoyed great liberty in preaching the word. Then we had an ordination service for an elder, the first elder to be ordained in this church in their 30-year history. Then Ed and I had a chance to pray for everyone. Then they took us out for Korean BBQ, and I wasn’t expecting to be fed a lunch before hitting the road. So now we’re absolutely stuffed as we hit the road for the airport and for home. We have been treated to extravagant hospitality and have been the delightful recipients of so much affection. The family of God is THE BEST.
Saturday afternoon: Good afternoon from lovely Kansas City, where we are being cooled nicely by a marvelous August rain. Temps in the 60s all day today, smile.
In the morning I will be making the 80-minute drive, Lord willing, to Sedalia, MO. This will be my second time to Antioch Fellowship. I was with them a couple years ago, and now am looking forward to this return visit. They were so open to the Lord and eager to hear the word at my last visit. Their Sunday service is at 10:30 a.m. I’m planning on making the trip solo.
Sunday evening: I had a lovely road trip to Sedalia MO today, and enjoyed the ministry with Antioch Fellowship. The saints in this church are so responsive to the Lord, I think most of the congregation came forward at the end to express their response to the Lord. Sweet spirit. Afterwards I had a delightful lunch with the apostolic father of the church. I’m sure we’ll be getting together again.
Saturday 10:30 pm: Tonight’s session was graced of the Lord, with strong impartation. I went a bit long, but the Lord gave me strength, and I made it all the way through. “Unrelenting Prayer” It was also good for me to get it cemented firmly again in my own soul.
Sunday 3:30 pm: Greetings from Raleigh airport, where I’m boarding my flight in a minute. This morning’s message was strong and challenging. A call back to the secret place. I’m not sure how inspired everyone was, but I think we were challenged. They expressed appreciation for the ministry, I’m grateful to God.