July 31, 2004

Medical Team Arrives - Construction Team Headed Home

Airport ArrivalThe thirty member medical team from Brentwood Baptist Church arrived safely in Rio de Janerio around noon today. It is not official yet, but this group may have set a record for the largest luggage collection that the Miramar Hotel staff has ever encountered from a group of this size. Medical team must bring in everything that they need: medications, supplies, diagnostic materials, etc. Immediately after checking in, the group met for a buffet lunch at the hotel and soon after began preparing for the week ahead. In spite of the long plane trip to Brazil, all team members gathered in a conference room to begin processing the hundreds of medications that would be used in the days to come. Sharon Fairchild, IMB missionary in Rio, lead the local and cultural orientation session this afternoon and encouraged each team member to make a connection with someone back in Tennessee to pray for them.

Sorting MedicationsThe construction team departed Rio this afternoon and will arrive back in Tennessee tomorrow morning...if these tired-eyed people make it to church, give them an extra hug from their friends and family in Brazil. The Brentwood construction crew may not know it yet, but the Medical team will participate in the very first Sunday morning worship service to be held in the church building that the construction team finished on Friday. Please pray for Vladimir, the new pastor in this church at Rio das Pedras. Pray for the church and their follow up from the evangelistic team who walked the streets of Rio das Pedras last week. Pray for the medical team. They will likely see over two hundred patients each day at the church and the community center... and if history repeats itself, they will leave knowing that there are many more left behind needing the same kind of physical and spiritual help they provided during this week.

Raja Drives Bus...and Raja is NOT driving the bus.

Posted by Paul Chenoweth at 12:26 PM

Construction Crew Mission Accomplished!

Rio das Pedras Construction Celebration
Rio das Pedras Testimony
 Rio das Pedras Full Church
Rio das Pedras Church Sign
 Rio das Pedras Church - Street View

There are many times when words fail to describe the true emotions of an experience. Friday evening's dedication service for the new church building in Rio das Pedras was one of those events. The day was filled with a flurry of activity: setting windows, cleaning brick, painting, installing electrical fixtures, and cleaning up the building inside and out. Just prior to the opening of the doors to the community, the Brentwood Baptist team and the Brazilian construction crew gathered around a huge cake for a brief time of fellowship and celebration. When the doors to the building opened, people from all over the neighborhood streamed in, filling the space to capacity.

Several of the Brentwood team gave their personal testimonies to the crowd. All expressed their warm feelings for the people of Brazil and
the memories of working hand in hand with Christian brothers and sisters in Rio das Pedras. One of the crew reflected on his feelings from the prior days
of laying brick to build a church...and then told the group that he realized that he was mistaken about what he was building. "Bricks and mortar provide
only a space for people to gather. It is the people who gather in that space who are the church."
For the Brentwood Baptist construction team, this project has come to a close. The work at Rio das Pedras,however, is just beginnning.

Posted by Paul Chenoweth at 04:56 AM | Comments (1)

July 29, 2004

Construction Nears Completion

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The people of Rio das Pedras are rapidly approaching the day when they will have a new church building. The construction team from Brentwood Baptist Church has worked hard over the last four days, conquered a new masonry construction method, and is within 24 hours of the dedication service for the building.

The video clips from today show the wonderful spirit of the team. Background music was recorded live in the new building at the begining of today's morning devotional.

There will be a celebration in Rio das Pedras tomorrow evening...the town, the new congregation, and a spirited construction team are looking forward to that time together.

Posted by Paul Chenoweth at 05:11 PM | Comments (1)

July 27, 2004

A very busy week so far...

Here we are and it is already late on Tuesday evening. Actually it is really bed time. However, we just got back from a late dinner and of course we had to have our nightly banana splits! Yes, we do gain weight while we are here.
Since our last contact with you on early Sunday, we have had a very busy schedule. We were able to go back to the church our team from BBC built last year and be a part of their wonderful worship service. Bill and Carol Bedi were on that team and were major players in the construction of the church in Silverstre. But who would have ever thought that in the following year, their son Tim would be preaching a sermon in that same church. Wow! It is amazing to see God work.
Well, on Monday we got off to an amazing start on the construction site after tromping though a lot of mud and such to get there. All 16 members of the team found their place and worked eagerly all day long. We worked the ant line many times in order to get material moved from one place to another in a timely fashion. We all worked muscles we did not know we had... On Tuesday, we all expected to be sore and not able to move, but another miracle happened. We were tired, but not sore. Thank goodness! We put in another very full day and we are ahead of schedule at this point. The Brazilian who is in charge said we were very professional in our work. We work hard and we laugh a lot. Something funny is always going on!
On Wednesday, we will start our day with out with our morning devotion and work like little beavers all day. We still have a lot of work to do. I will not bore you with the details.
Just pray for us--health, safety, weather, and of course that our lives will shine for Jesus!
We know you are praying for us and we thank you for those prayers. They are so important to each one of us.
In Service,

Posted by at 08:24 PM

July 25, 2004

Construction Team Arrives in Rio

Copacabana ViewThe trip to Rio was smooth... no missed connections or hassles through customs. The trip over gave our team an opportunity to get to know one another and even have some conversations with some new friends. IMB missionaries Ray and Sharon met us at the airport and took us to our hotel. The top of the hotel has a beautiful view of the Copacabana beach. After an orientation session, we went to visit Denise, the Blough's Brazilian daughter, to have a cook out ("churrascaria") and celebrate her engagement that evening.

On Sunday (today), we went to check out the place where we begin building a church tomorrow. They have already laid down a foundation for us to get started. We then went to the mother church that is planting the congregation whose structure we are building. I had an opportunity to preach to this congregation through an interpreter.

After church, we arrived back at the hotel, and many of the team went to the "hippie fair," a large outdoor market. Tonight we are going to attend the worship service at the church the Brentwood team constructed last year.

Please pray for us as we begin work tomorrow (Monday). The area where we will be working is a favela, where you see lots of poverty. Pray for our ability to finish the building so that it can be ready for the medical team that arrives next week. Also, today we went to an evangelism orientation, and most of the team will have some opportunities to share the gospel. The Brazillians in our area are very open to talking about the gospel and are generally very receptive. Pray that God would open the hearts of those He is calling to faith and repentence. Pray for the church that will be housed in the building after the medical team leaves. They have already called their pastor; his name is Vladimir. Pray that many of the people in "Rios das Pedras" (name of this area) will be impacted by the ministry of this church.

Posted by at 06:54 PM | Comments (1)

July 24, 2004

Welcome Brentwood Baptist Visitors to The Rio Journal

Rio Partnership - Brentwood Construction Team 2004The construction team from Brentwood Baptist Church is on their way. The smiling faces and tired bodies pictured here will arrive in Rio Saturday morning. Linda Blough will be reporting during the next several days and has already posted prayer requests. Be sure to read Linda's requests in the story below this one.

For first time visitors from Brentwood Baptist Church, WELCOME! The Rio Journal is an ongoing project that started with Belmont University's sports evangelism team, lead by Brentwood Baptist's own Betty Wiseman. Each day while your mission team is in Brazil stories will be posted from the area where the team is working. You are encouraged to join the team in specific requests for prayer. You are encouraged to add supportive comments to the stories that will appear here. Be a part of mission support right here at home!

If you would like to be alerted by email that new stories are online, click the subscribe to the journal button on this page and simply provide your name an email address. For those of you who subscribed during the sports evangelism trip, you will receive notices already... if you would like to discontinue receiving email alerts, drop an email to chenowethp@mail.belmont.edu and your address will be removed.

Posted by Paul Chenoweth at 08:57 AM

July 23, 2004

Today is the day for Departure

Well, in just a few hours our team of 16 will be heading to the airport to depart for Rio! How exciting... Our bags are almost packed and our hearts are busting at the seams with joy and anticipation. We covet your prayers as we board the plane for a very long flight. Some of us have back problems and other health issues--Pray! Some of us have family members that are sick--PRAY! Some of us have job insecurities--PRAY!
God is so awesome! We can't wait to see what He has in store for us for the next ten days. Get ready here we go...
Love and Blessings to each of you!

Posted by at 10:30 AM

July 22, 2004

Betty Wiseman Tells Maria's Story

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Belmont University's sports evangelism team had an awesome experience with the people in Rio de Janeiro. Each team member returned with stories of their experiences and memories of the faces of the urban poor. Betty Wiseman tells the story of sports evangelism and her encounter with a young Brazilian mother named Maria. Watch the video and learn about sports evangelism and Betty's new sister, Maria.

As other Tennessee Baptist Convention groups plan their trips with The Rio Partnership, remember Maria. There are thousands like her who are interested and waiting to hear the Gospel.

The video is approximately 10 minutes long and roughly 8MB in file size...viewing is recommended on high speed Internet connections only. A free Flash Player is available via the Get Flash link at the top of The Rio Journal home page. Windows Media Player and QuickTime versions are available via the links beneath the Flash Player window.

Posted by Paul Chenoweth at 01:39 PM

July 21, 2004

Your Comments are Welcome but there is a Change

Toward the end of this week, The Rio Journal will be telling a new story of the partnership between Tennessee Baptists and the urban poor in Rio de Janeiro. Back-to-back construction and medical teams from Brentwood Baptist Church as well as others will be traveling to Brazil to continue ministering to the people around the new church site at Rio das Pedras.

Your comments of support for the team are welcome (and encouraged). When you complete the comment form (click comment at the bottom of any posted story), your comment will be stored instantaneously. To protect The Rio Journal from unwanted/invasive comments. ALL comments will be reviewed by a moderator before they show up on the page. We are sorry that this step is necessary, however, there are unscupulous individuals (particularly the pornography industry) who take advantage of journals such as this to insert links to their porno sites... We appreciate your understanding.

One last thing: If you post more than once, and we recognize you as one of the good guys... your posts will probably show up quicker. So, let us hear from you!

Posted by admin at 05:18 AM | Comments (1)

July 09, 2004

Rio Journal Upgrade in Progress

The Rio Journal is currently undergoing an upgrade in software and hardware. Some pictures may not be available during this transition, however, we expect everything to return to normal on Monday.

Thank you for your patience!

Friday afternoon UPDATE: Images on The Rio Journal have been restored.

Posted by admin at 02:29 PM