Dear Friends & Family,
I just returned from Brazil and this trip was a special one in many ways. Not only did Jesus touch the lives of thousands of teens, but I had the opportunity to spend time with some friends I had not seen in many years. We were ministering in the state of São Paulo in the city of Sumaré. This city boasts one of the biggest conference centers in the country. This is the annual destination for the Jump Conference, hosted by my friend, Pastor Rene Teranova. Four thousand teens and young adults received ministry from some of the nation’s premier worship leaders and communicators. It was an honor to be included in this year’s events. The theme of the conference was Intense Fire, and it was a fitting title after seeing God’s grace poured out in each service. I was scheduled to speak at two of the services, and in typical Brazilian fashion, I ended up speaking at four sessions. I did not mind the schedule confusion, as it gave me even more time to speak face to face with a generation that is struggling to find the truth in a world of lies. I was requested to do the “snake” sermon and the message exposed the weakness in the heart of many people and revealed the goodness and mercy of God to the crowd. The time of prayer after the service lasted for over an hour, with kids lined up around the altar wanting prayer for their lives and families. It was hard to hold back the tears.
“It was hard to hold back the tears.”
I had the opportunity to bring my friend and senior producer Paul Black with me. Although we have traveled the world for the past 12 years, he has never been to Brazil. Having him with me for this event gave me the opportunity to not only document what God did in these events, but to begin recording video interviews from some of our original team members, explaining what God has been doing the past eight years with our outreaches.
The last night of the conference was memorable. After the closing session, the crowd moved outside into the sizeable parking lot for a final worship service. It is currently winter in Brazil (lows in the 50’s) and each teen was bundled up like it was below freezing. Following the theme of the conference, Intense Fire, a large wooden altar was constructed in the parking lot, and a huge fiery ball of wax and paper was dropped from a 100 foot water tower into the wooden pile. The dried wood exploded engulfing the fuel into a bright blaze, which towered over fifty feet in the night sky. This strategic prophetic act was designed to release “a fire” into a generation of young believers. Considering the crowd and the spiritual fire that was ignited in the hearts of the kids, I would say it was as fitting end to a fiery four days of heaven on earth. The worship and prayer time continued until early the next morning.