She asked what makes me feel safe.
In reply I say: To have beside me
The Almighty God. No circumstance will chafe,
External factors will never trouble or guide me.
I do not say that God is in my pocket.
He’s no one’s personal genie, idol or charm.
I fear his holy Name — let no one mock it.
But under his wing his people come to no harm,
For they possess what even death can’t touch:
No human can destroy eternal hope.
And this, my friend, is no religious crutch,
But true reality to help you cope
And — more than cope — to flourish, grow, enlarge
Your sights and borders. First, to him we must kneel
And know the Lord of all the earth is in charge.
Security like this we all can feel.

Friends and relatives have asked about our well-being, after seeing news about the rains and mudslides in Brazil over the past week. Most of the mudslides and deaths are occurring in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Earlier last week, however, five people died here in SJCampos after one neighborhood was buried in a mudslide, on the other side of town.

We ourselves are well and apparently in no danger. Thus far, we’ve only been inconvenienced by the rains, drying clothes and getting around.

This afternoon, however, on our way to Taubate, we arrived in the city immediately after a strong storm had blown through. Large limbs were strewn across the avenues, blocking some lanes entirely. The school where we’re meeting this month (we lost our location at the hotel, which closed down) was inundated, but we were able to meet in a corner where no leaks were dripping. Though the sound of water in another corner was present throughout our meeting. UPDATE: see pics of downed trees in the city.

We’re not aware, at this point, of any Christians having lost lives or property, though that may change any time.

We thank you for your kind expressions of concern and, as always, covet your prayers for our family and work.

(BTW, you can now sign up for email notices whenever this site is updated. See in the right column under “Subscribe by email.” Insert your email and go for it.)

Several people have asked us if we are OK after the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Chile during the night.

We’re on opposite ends of the continent from the earthquake, something like the distance between California and St. Louis.

The earthquake was between Concepcion and Santiago, in the lower left of the map above; we live east of Sao Paulo, in the upper right.

We felt nothing, though we might have slept through some tremors.

It appears that only some who live in high buildings felt it here in SJCampos, according to one news report. Seems the tremors were moderate in the capital about 65-70 miles to the west of us.

We pray for the victims and families of the deceased in the aftermath of the earthquake. We’re seeking news of the churches there as well as channels for aid to share with the brotherhood.