Traffic jams, exchange rates, written prayers

Brazilian Zeal Missions report fresh out of the oven this chilly Monday afternoon.

EXCHANGE RATE. Trading money today, the first time since our trip, gave me a jolt. The dollar has fallen against the Brazilian currency, the Real, from 2.2/1 in April to 1.9/1 today, a 13.6% loss of buying power in less than 2 months.

TOGETHER. On today’s Life Application Twitter: “By joining with other believers to do God’s work, you increase Christian unity & help the kingdom grow.” Those are our thoughts, too, and why we plan on working more closely with some friends for a more effective ministry.

PRAYER AT ASSEMBLY. At times when called on to lead prayer, I write my prayers out. Here’s one I prayed and translated yesterday.

FACEBOOK allowed users to choose usernames last week. Mine is now jrandal. If you’re on Facebook, link up:

WINTER. About the time I returned to Brazil, the temperature dropped, as the seasons move into winter here. Night time temps are in the 5º-9º Celsius range. For home and office without indoor heating, that gets chilly — and no one to snuggle up to.

COUNTRY NOTE. On the eve of a rainy holiday (Corpus Christi), June 10, the city of Sao Paulo broke a record for slow traffic, with 293 km of crawling cars, at 7 pm local time. By that time, there were 187 traffic incidents.

Here in SJCampos, we get bad traffic on the Via Dutra as people leave Sao Paulo for holidays or return afterwards, but nothing like the capital.

COMPASSION. The Taubate and SJCampos congregations, as well as some individuals, responded to help at least one of the two brothers mentioned in the last BZM report, perhaps both. They still need prayers and help, however, so keep them in your prayers.

Both congregations also responded to help rebuild the house of a family related to a Brazilian evangelist in the northeast. He is supported in part by the SJCampos church. Heavy rains pretty much demolished the stick and mud house with a straw roof.

SOMETHING BORROWED. I adapted a sermon by Charles Box, “You Had Better Ask God First,” and preached it yesterday at Taubate. You can read the original version here.

If you’d like to read the adapted version, it’s also online at our area congregational website, here.

At Taubate I also directed the meditations for the Lord supper and for the offering. For the former I used the basic idea of the article I wrote yesterday for Forthright Magazine.

SUNDAY NUMBERS. Our attendance at SJCampos improved slightly yesterday over the previous Sunday, with 21 present. We had several gone from Taubate, so there were only 8 of us yesterday afternoon.

MIDWEEK. As mentioned earlier, I resume our midweek groups Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Pray these will be well attended by our visitors and not affected by our trip.

LONELY. People have asked how I’m doing without the wife and daughter around. Keeping busy to not be mopey, living off paozinhos (bread), pizza, granola and lemonaid, playing radio for noise to chase the quiet away, emailing the wife a lot. In other words, how am I doing? Not.

What do you think?