I am sitting in my first preparatory meeting for the World Methodist Evangelism Institute Brazil Seminar. We are assigned to do journal entries so I want to use this journal entry to discuss some thoughts and reactions I have as I learn about Brazil and its culture in regards to Christianity and this seminar.
I think I would like to try to do a Wesleyan Fast/Prayer on Fridays. This requires me to not take solid food from sundown Thursday to mid-afternoon Friday. I am supposed to fast and pray for this trip. Fasting has always been hard for me because I work out a lot and love to eat. This is why I think I want to try to make this sacrifice for the benefit of praying for this conference.
Dr. de Souza is discussing how Atheism is the fastest growing “religious” group in Brazil. Much of Brazil is culturally Christian and Atheism is now growing among the people. This strikes me as interesting. I guess I just figured this was an American anomaly. Also, the Prosperity Gospel is rampant in Brazilian churches. It’s interesting to learn Christianity is facing some of the same difficulties as the American church. Oddly, I feel a real bond as the holy catholic church in learning this. If one struggles, it seems we all struggle.
I am very excited about this trip. The church I am being appointed to is planning to offer some money for this trip. They want to invest both in me and my views of evangelism. This means a lot to me. But more importantly, I am beginning to feel most at home in my call for ministry both in that church and through this trip. Thanks be to God.