Crying as I pitch historical documents

I’m up to my elbows in paper, going through old files and crying as I throw away tons piles of historical documents relating to the work and the church in Brazil over the years. I have material in English and Portuguese starting from the 1960s and 1970s.

Months ago, I moved from my office space, which I had rented for 17 years, to a home office. There’s not room for everything, so most of the files must go. I have boxes of papers and files scattered around the office and the bedroom, and it’s past time to pare it down. Continue reading “Crying as I pitch historical documents”


“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” (Philippians 1:3 NKJV).

The last Monday in May is recognized as “Memorial Day” (formerly “Decoration Day”) in the United States. This national holiday is intended as a time to remember and honor those who died while serving in the armed forces of the United States. Many will also take time to remember other departed loved ones by visiting grave sites or in other ways.

Such events, along with monuments, statues, plaques, and designated sites serve to help us keep events and persons of the past alive in our consciousness and relevant to current times. They are made valid and effective by memories, and serve to help us recognize the importance of memory. Continue reading “Memories”

A Garden Carol


The garden was dead, to begin with. No doubt whatever about that. The bent black stalks of the Mexican Petunia stood up like crooked doornails, or like so many legs of a dozen giant spiders fallen on their backs. The icy shrouds of dead crinum leaves were draped gloomily across the ground.

Every chance to do something better in the garden was now dead, along with summer’s delicate  blooms.

This month I was visited in a real way by the ghost of gardens past. My ancient laptop’s operating system had to be updated, but there was not enough storage. That meant deleting the hundreds of garden photos. Continue reading “A Garden Carol”

A few thoughts on completing 30 years on the field

Thirty years ago, on Nov. 28, 1984, Vicki, Micah, and I arrived in Brazil, with three other families, to begin our life here, and to kick off our work on the south side of Belo Horizonte. Ten years after that, our family, now five in number, moved to São José dos Campos, the only Americans in the church, to contribute our efforts to a recent beginning. In that time, we’ve started two congregations in this highly populated region and helped with a third beginning.

Our work has included print publications, Internet ministry, Christian youth camps, Christian orphanage and child care, missions consulting, spiritual workshops, Bible seminars, leadership training, and lectureship speaking.

Today, Vicki and I are empty-nesters enjoying our life together and looking foward to new challenges.

Some months ago, I wrote out four questions to serve as a daily journal exercise. I use them below to base my thoughts about our 30 years of continuous presence in Brazil. Continue reading “A few thoughts on completing 30 years on the field”