Saturday, December 19, 2009

YWAM Brazil Conference!

Last week, Felipe and I, along with 80 other staff who work with YWAM Belo Horizonte, took a LONG 12 hour bus trip to the city of Caldas Novas, which is located near Brasilia in Brazil. This was the destination of our YWAM BRAZIL conference!

The purpose of the conference was to bring together all of the YWAM missions bases in Brazil for a time of focusing on God together through worship, prayer, and teaching. During the week, it was also a time of focusing on FAMILY. We had opportunities to spend quality time talking with one another in our YWAM family. It also was a wonderful time - like a family get away - for the many many families serving in YWAM.

Below is a photo of Felipe and I at a special photo booth celebrating our family in YWAM. The sign below us says "FAMILY in YWAM." Some of the photos on the decorated wall include Jim Stier (the founder of YWAM in Brazil), Loren Cunningham (founder of YWAM organization), and Johan Lukasse (the founder of YWAM Belo Horizonte)...

So here we are on the wall with these old photos, because now we are part of the story of YWAM in Brazil. We are making history as we serve in missions here in Brazil!
We are part of the YWAM Brazil Family!

A beautiful dance/drama presented the opening night of the conference. The people are physically making the YWAM symbol, which is also painted to the right on the art easel.

We all enjoyed the great teachings of the week by various speakers. On the last night, Loren Cunningham, the orginal founder of YWAM spoke to us via internet. The main speaker was an American YWAM leader named Danny Lehmann. He has a huge heart to see people come to know God in a personal way.
Danny and his translater! She did a great job translating into Portuguese, but I really enjoyed hearing the messages in English!

A Brazilian couple that are amazing worship leaders. I really enjoyed being in times of worship during the conference.

Here is a clip of a fun and up beat song this couple wrote.

On the last day of the conference, a HUGE map was laid on the floor and we spent a whole morning worshiping and praying for the world.

Praying for the world together in groups.

Listening to Jim Stier, who founded YWAM Brazil 30 years ago, teach and pass much wisdom and passion on to us... Jim still serves with his wife here in Brazil. YWAM Brazil has grown SO MUCH over the years with currently 53 YWAM bases AND sending out many missionaries into the world!
Out of the 16,590 missionaries serving through YWAM, there is a total of about 1,300 Brazilians working full-time as missionaries. These Brazilians are not just serving here in the nation of Brazil, but they are also working in 171 of the 238 countries of the world. Incredible!

YWAM Belo Horizonte's information booth. Hanging out talking with other missionaries and the director/founder of our base, Johan Lukasse.

Our week was not just full of intense meetings, but we also enjoyed being able to spend time with our YWAM family - during meals and free times!

Here is photo of Felipe and I are enjoying our breakfast. Felipe is just waking up with his coffee!

We were eating with our good friend Ian...

Me with my friends Vanessa and Rosangela. They are hard workers here at the Light House!

In our free times we would enjoy talking and spending time together in the pools. There are natural hot springs in this area of Brazil, so the pools were all heated with natural fresh water. It was a relaxing treat! It was like we were swimming in a huge bath tub! It was great when it was a little cold outside.

Overall, it was a great week!
Reflecting on the week, a major thing God was speaking to us through the conference was the scripture from Matthew 22:37-39 to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind..." AND "Love your neighbor as yourself."

I saw during this week we did this. We took time out to just LOVE God and FOCUS on Him and what He would want to speak to us individually and as an organization serving here in Brazil. We also spent time loving on each other, investing in our relationships, and just being together...

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