Posted by: vision360ministries | January 30, 2011

TRAVELS IN BRAZIL

On January 20th we left on a road trip to southern Brazil. We drove 8 hours the first day. The roads were ok and they got better as we entered the state of Sao Paulo. Then the tolls started and boy did we pay some expensive and numerous tolls! We spent the night at an “interesting” hotel where  we had previously made reservations  in the city of  Ribeirão Preto (Black River). The hotel was not what we had expected, nor what we should’ve had for the price we paid. But, once we were in the bedroom, we didn’t want to move, so we decided to spend the night right there and to never come back again.

The following day we traveled about 4 hours and arrived in São Paulo (an hour earlier than we had planned). So, we decided to venture into the METROPOLIS of Sao Paulo by ourselves, with the help of the “GPS lady”. She helped us a little in the beginning and we were able to find this beautiful and chic shopping Mall (Iguatemi). We went in there to have  lunch, look around and move on.

We had some very expensive “baked potatoes” for lunch. Walked around just for a little while and took picture in front of the “expensive” stores.

Then we got in the car and set up the GPS to take us to the address where we would be meeting our friends. Well, to make a long story short, it took us 2 and 1/2 hours to do a 1/2 hour trip. Needless to say that Bruce was VERY upset with the situation. Each time the “lady” told us to turn, we would have 2 or 3 options in the same direction. When we took the wrong turn it took us farther to get us around and back on the right direction. But, we finally made it to a mall and our friend picked us up there and took us to his home. From then on, we always had someone with us in the car to tell us where to go. We  bought an Atlas and… retired the GPS lady. Hahaha.

On Saturday morning, the 22nd, we started ministering a Module on “The message of the Seven churches of Revelation  to the church today”. On the picture above, we pose with Pr. Claudemir and his wife, Pr. Adriana. In the afternoon we rested and got ready for the wedding in the evening. The wedding was nice and it was good to see our friends, Colbergs, again, as well as the bride’s family (who we hadn’t seen in quite a while).

Sunday morning and afternoon we worked through the Module material. God blessed us tremendously and spoke to us in a very powerful way. We believe the Mustard Seed Church in Sao Paulo was very encouraged to begin this “year” on the right path.

Sunday evening came with another joy: the Packer’s victory!

On Monday morning, the 24th, we headed on to Southern Brazil, to a city called Joinville, in the State of Santa Catarina. We drove for 7 1/2 hours, through beautiful mountains and scenery.

Pr. Mauri and his family welcomed us into their home and treated us like king and queens (or prince and princesses).

 On Tuesday morning we walked through the beautiful, not so big town,

 did a little shopping, rested, baked cookies for the family and got prepared for the evening. In the evening we started presenting the same Module. It went very well the first night.

On Wednesday Mari and Marllon took us to the beach (about 50 minutes away from their home). How nice to see God’s creation!

We had a wonderful lunch at a beach restaurant and then went back home in the afternoon for some much needed rest. In the evening we presented the second part of the Module. People were very open and hungry for God’s word. Neide blessed us with a song that closed the evening and left us desiring more of the Lord.

On Thursday morning we went to visit Pr. Mauri’s house at the “Bay”. Beautiful, cozy, little house, about 1 hour away at a different direction.

We had lunch at another seafood place and went back home to rest. In the evening we had the last portion of the Module. The worship time was wonderful and the message touched our hearts.

 Victoria blessed us with her beautiful and anointed voice.

The church in Joinville is growing beautifully. We had a chance to pray for 2 families that have been going through some tough times: one of them lost their house due to the heavy rains. The other one (who is housing the first one), got their car stolen on that week. The following day they got a rental car, while they buy a new car (insurance) and that one got hit by a truck. The enemy sure is unhappy with what God is doing in those familie’s lives. They felt encouraged, despite the circumstances and so did we.

On Friday morning we took off after breakfast. We drove a long 10 hour day to arrive in Ribeirao Preto, but this time, at a different, nice, new hotel. We got something to eat and just stayed in the hotel for the night. On Saturday we drove 8 hours and arrived back in Brasilia. We praise the Lord for the wonderful trip and for having used us to minister to our brothers and sisters in Sao Paulo and Joinville.

Tomorrow, Monday, the 31st, Victoria starts back to school (reluctantly, but obediently). Bruce and Neide pack their suitcases again and on Tuesday they take off on a mission trip to Europe. This time Pr. Iran Bernardes and his wife, Neuza, will go along to help in the ministry. Please pray for safe travels and blessed ministry for the Christians in England and Germany.

Posted by: vision360ministries | June 7, 2010

Community of Worshippers

The theme of our Module this past weekend was “Forming a Community of Worshippers”. It was taught by Pr. Daniel Rincon,  Julio Siqueira (who studied at Emmanuel School of Religion for the past 4 years) and Bruce. It started last Friday evening with a little over 100 people participating, including several young people. It was an in-depth study on the book of Revelation. We were able to understand a little better John’s vision of what worship is supposed to be here on earth based on what the scriptures say about what it will be in heaven.

Besides the good solid teachings, the Holy Spirit visited us in each and every session with powerful times of worship and some of the participant’s sharing  testimonies.

At the final session the Lord spoke powerfully through Bruce and we were led into “Communion” and then an awesome celebration time. What a great weekend of spiritual growth and strengthening of the leaders of the church. That’s what the School of Ministry is all about! PTL!

But our weekend was even better and busier than that! On Saturday evening we had the graduation of our Married for Life Class. It was a very blessed time with the testimonies of the 5 couples that took the class. One of the couples got “engaged” (they have been living together for 20 years, and now, after learning God’s principles for marriage, are going to “make things right”) and another couple who had only been married by a Justice of the Peace 19 years ago, had their “church cerimony” at that event. It was a very joyous time! PTL!

Today and tomorrow it’s preparation for Bruce’s trip. He leaves Tuesday night (June 8th) to the States on our Furlough. Neide, Jonathan and Victoria will be leaving on the 25th (as soon as they finish their school Exams). Bruce will be having cataract surgery in Rochester,MN – his daughter Heidi will be taking care of him. He will also start contacting and visiting different churches.

So, as you can see we have been and will be very busy around here. Please pray for safety in travels, for the kid’s end of the semester school exams and papers, for everything that Bruce and Neide have to do in organizing for these trips. Looking forward to seeing many of you soon and at least talking by phone to others.

Posted by: vision360ministries | May 28, 2010

Memba Project Update

I am always amazed at the way God works. I shouldn’t be at this stage in my life, as I have often seen Him work in powerful and marvelous ways, but it is still amazing. Let me relate one of those ways we experienced recently. We have been in the process of forming the team to go to Mozambique this fall. We had an idea for the agronomist and the agricultural technician, but had no idea who might help us in the area of public health. This is a major concern since life expectancy is so low (37) due to poor nutrition and related health issues.

Mike Wells came from Colorado to lead us in our most recent training module on “Living the Abundant Life”. On the day in which the module was to begin an opportunity came up to interview him on a Christian radio station. Logistically this was not working for me and it turned out that I was the only one available to translate for him. We talked about cancelling the interview but everything was set up so decided we needed to make it work.

Daniela is a member of another church here in Brasilia. She has a doctorate in public health and teaches at the university. She heard the interview on the radio (totally unrelated to our project) and felt led to participate in the module. She told this part of the story to Neide and also mentioned her interest in Africa. When Neide told me this I thought we should contact her and share about the Memba project.

We went to her apartment this past Sunday afternoon and shared the plan and need for a health professional to help in the project in Mozambique. Then she shared with us her story. It began several years ago when her church decided to pray in front of each Embassy here in Brasilia. To which Embassy was she assigned? Mozambique! While praying she sensed God telling her that he wanted to use her in Mozambique. So she prepared her biographical sketch and took it to the Mozambican Embassy. The people there were enthused with her interest and said that when an opening came about at the university (in Mozambique) they would call her, but they never did. She tried other avenues of going to Mozambique, but each time the door closed. God kept confirming that she would go, but only in His timing and by His strength.

Both her and her husband became very excited when we told them about our plan to help the Makua people in Northern Mozambique. The story is much longer than this little bit I have shared here. We believe she is the right person for the team. In God’s perfect timing he put the right people together in His mysterious ways. PTL.

Many of you have both given toward and prayed for the construction of the women’s dormitory in Nampula. We are glad to report that the walls are going up. There are currently 19 girls living in Nampula who will move into this dorm as soon as it is ready. Thank you for your gifts and prayers which have made this possible. Please keep praying as God continues to work in His amazing ways.

Blessings, Bruce.

Posted by: vision360ministries | April 16, 2010

Trip to Europe 2010

“There’s no place like home!” No matter where you live or how good the trip was “there is no place like home”. We arrived home yesterday from a great and blessed trip to Germany and England, but it is good to be home. Once again we want to thank you for your prayers as we saw the hand of God working during the whole trip. We recognize that there are two people extremely important for the success of each trip, i.e. God and you, our faithful prayer warriors. We recognize the truth of Jesus’ words in John 15:5 “apart from me you can do nothing.” So even though we are still in the process of learning how to live daily this truth, we are learning how to depend totally on Him for all of life and ministry.

Last week we shared a little about our trip to Germany. We were, once again, impressed with the work Armando and Anita are doing with both the Spanish and German speaking people in Hannover. They have a very transit church with people constantly coming and going, but they are committed to reaching and teaching those people to be true followers of Jesus. As we drew near the close of our time in Germany, Armando was already asking what would be the module for next year. We shared together a few ideas and now put it in God’s hands for conffirmation.

Then, last Monday we went to Birmingham, England. We had a great time of fellowship with Jim and Sandy Bunch. They cleared their schedule and opened many opportunities for ministry. On Tuesday night we participated in the fun time that they have with the international students at the Globe Cafe.

On Wednesday morning we participated in the prayer meeting for the ministry that they do with the international students.

We followed the same theme as in Germany and taught on Spiritual Warfare. We shared with the Married For Life group over dinner on Wednesdat night,

 we spoke to a noon luncheon with about 20 people at Jim and Sandy’s home on Thursday,

 a group of pastors on Friday afternoon,

 the international cell group on Friday night,

 and preached at 2 different churches on Sunday.

We were able to sandwiche in a day in London to do some sight seeing on Saturday (some say that it was the best sunny day of the whole year – we felt blessed by God!).

 Monday provided a welcomed day of rest as we prepared for our trip home.

I am amazed at the international community in Birmingham. This is reflected in the neighborhoods, the work with international students that Jim and Sandy are involved in and the churches we spoke at. We encountered political refugees who were forced to flee from their countries or suffer imprisonment or even death. Some have been separated from their families for years. We worshipped with churches that are seeking how to reach both the British and the many families from around the world. The Saltly Baptist Church, where we spoke on Sunday morning, is trying to be a light for Jesus in a predominantly Pakistani community. They are praying for a break through for that first family to come to Jesus which will open the doors to others. The work takes a lot of work, patience and prayers. We sensed a real openness to our teaching on spiritual warfare as they faithfully serve Jesus in this post Christian nation. It appears that there is an open door to do a module in Birmingham next year, but once again, we will seek God’s confirmation.

Praise God that the trip went well, with no major problems. We even sensed God’s protection over Jonathan as he was robbed by some youth as he was walking to church last Sunday (in Brasilia). They took his watch and some money, but left him unharmed for which we are very grateful. One other item of concern and prayer is for Bruce’s Mom. Shortly after we arrived home we received word that she had suffered a stroke and was in the hospital. The nurse said that we should call the family members because they weren’t sure she would come through this. It is hard to be far away at this time, but we praise God for the opportunity Bruce had last year to celebrate her 95th birthday with her. She is a woman of faith so please join us in prayer that God will care for her and us at this time. We just received word that she is responding positively and even sat up yesterday. PTL

Posted by: vision360ministries | April 5, 2010

From Germany

We are very greatful with what the Lord has done so far. We arrived on Wednesday and had a chance to adjust our bodies to the time difference. On Thursday Armando took us on a train ride where he interviewed Bruce. The interview will be posted in his blog as soon as he can get it translated into German.

On Friday and Saturday we ministered the Module on “Spiritual Warfare”. We spoke in English and it was translated into Spanish and German. Armando invited about 15 people from his congregation who he thought would be more mature and would benefit from the teachings. The people were very open to receive and eager to ask questions. It was great to see the Lord teaching them and revealing new things.

On Sunday (Ressurrection Sunday), the church came together (it is a congregation formed by people from many different nations) Bruce preached and led them in a communion service.

The church then had a fellowship time with pizza and some went out to have ice cream. Here is Armando’s family and us.

Thank you for your prayers. They are working. God is working. Please join us in prayer as we go to Birmingham, England.

Posted by: vision360ministries | March 19, 2010

TRIP TO GERMANY AND ENGLAND

As many of you might remember we went to Germany and England last year. That trip was very fruitful and the Lord opened up the door for us to go back there this year. So, we have made the arrangements and are leaving for Germany on Tuesday, March 30th. We’ll arrive in Hannover on the 31st and stay there through April5th. In Hannover we will be presenting a Module on “Spiritual Warfare”, preaching at the church and doing any other ministry the Lord would have us do while there. We’ll be staying with Armando and Anita Contreras in Hannover.

Then we’ll go to Birmingham, England on April 5th and fulfill a nice full schedule that Jim and Sandy Bunch have put together for us. We’ll have opportunities to share some of the same teachings of the Germany module with different groups of pastors, international students and also share about the the Married For Life ministry in Brazil with other couples who are heavily involved in that same ministry in Birmingham. We should be back in Brasilia on April 13th.

We would like to ask that you join us in prayer both through the preparation process and the trip itself. Pray for our hearts and the hearts of those who will receive the teachings. Also pray for protection and good health for Jonathan and Victoria and for Neide’s Mom as she will be taking care of and “driving” the children around to their many activities.  

This trip will take place right after a busy weekend when we  will be involved in our first module for this year. Dr. Mike Wells from Colorado will be teaching  on the theme “Full Life” here in Brasilia. We have invited people from the whole evangelical community in Brasilia and are praying for 200-300 people to participate.

We appreciate your prayers concerning our “hijacked” email account. We have not heard of anyone falling for it for which we praise God. If you have not already heard we have a new email address. Please use colson360@yahoo.com from now on for all correspondence 

Thanks for your prayers and support!

Bruce & Neide Colson.

Posted by: vision360ministries | March 9, 2010

We’ve been “Phished”

Yesterday we made a mistake of responding to a “false” yahoo alert on “updating our account”. The person got a hold of our password and has been sending emails saying that Bruce is in the United Kingdom and has been robbed. If you respond to that email, then they will ask for money. That is all false! Our email account has been blocked and we are working on getting it unblocked.  Please pray that we get this all straightened out!

Bruce & Neide Colson.

Posted by: vision360ministries | February 21, 2010

FOLLOW-UP ON NEWS

Since some of you might’ve prayed with us for the three items of last week’s post, we thought it would be good to follow-up on them and let you know what transpired after a week.

CARNIVAL

For us, in Brasilia, things were calm. We had friends over for lunch on Sunday, then Marcos & Tammy on Monday and on Tuesday we got together with our church people for a picnic. The day was very hot so the kids enjoyed the swimming pool. The adults enjoyed the shades, chatted and ate a lot (what else can you do, right?).

As for the rest of Brazil and a lot of non-Evangelical people, it went as usual: lots of partying, drinking, dancing, etc. And, among the many visitors that Brazil received at this time of the year, we had Madonna and Bionce. You might want to check the following sites for more news (from the New York Times):

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/02/11/arts/AP-LT-Brazil-People-Madonna.html?scp=2&sq=weather%20in%20Brazil&st=cse

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/02/10/arts/AP-LT-Brazil-People-Beyonce-Alicia-Keys.html?scp=1&sq=Bioncee%20in%20Brazil&st=cse

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/02/12/world/AP-LT-Brazil-Carnival.html?scp=4&sq=Beyonce%20in%20Rio&st=cse

THE WEATHER

It has been hotter than usual in many places around Brazil. We heard that in Rio temperatures reached 111 F. We cannot imagine how hot that is!

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/02/10/world/AP-LT-Brazil-Heat-Wave.html?scp=3&sq=Heat%20wave%20in%20Rio&st=cse

POLITICS ARE ALSO VERY HOT!

The Brasilia’s Governor was put into prison as of last week. There is still a group of people who are trying to free him and see him back to “work”. His Vice-governor is going to leave his post also. We need to keep praying for the “peace of the city”! You may read more on this site:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/02/11/world/AP-LT-Brazil-Corruption.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Arruda%20in%20Brasilia&st=cse

LIFE AFTER CARNIVAL

It is a fact in Brazil (sad fact) that life really only starts after Carnival. By that, we mean, after the Christmas holiday, people start vacationing and they only get back in business (normal day-to-day activities) after Carnival. Of course the kids started school at the beginning of February, so we have slowly gotten back into our routine. Then there is this break for “Carnival”. Today we are back into our routine (up at 6 AM to take the kids to school):

Bruce teaches English (each day to different students) in the morning and some nights. Neide and the kids will start teaching new students in March. Victoria is taking voice lessons with a great teacher. Jonathan is doing soccer at a different soccer school and is enjoying that. Hopefully the Scrapbooking business and the “cookies” will also pick up starting March.

Besides that, we are really excited with all the ministry that is ahead of us: teaching Modules, leading a Married For Life group, leading a Women’s group and the possible mission trips that are still in the planning stages.

How are your lives going? Please, remember to send us an email once in a while to let us know how can we pray for you. (colsonusbr@yahoo.com)

Posted by: vision360ministries | February 10, 2010

News and Prayer Requests from Brazil

VALENTINE’S DAY X CARNIVAL

February 14 is coming up. Some of you might be getting prepared to “bless” someone or several people with “acts of service” or “gestures of love”. That is wonderful! God did that and we should try and do that as often as we can. Actually, we should be doing that every day – showing love to those around us, especially the non-Christian people that we run across on a daily basis.

Well, here in Brazil, people are expectant of this coming weekend – Friday, February 12th   through Wednesday, February 17. Some will extend the “holiday” all the way until the following Saturday. They will be celebrating “Carnival”. Many plan nice trips to different parts of Brazil where Carnival is “special”. Many spend all year preparing their costumes to dance down the streets with their organized “samba schools”. Then, again, many do not wear much to dance down the streets. It is definetely a party of the “flesh”. It has been proved that 9 months after this time a lot more babies are born as a result of all this “partying”. Very sad!

We share all these things so that you pray with us for our people. If you desire to learn more about the history of carnival you may look up this link:

http://www.afropop.org/multi/feature/ID/33/History+of+Carnival+in+Brazil

RAINS X DROUGHT

No doubt the weather all over the world has changed a lot over the years! While some of you have had more snow than ever, some parts of Brazil have had more rain than ever. The big city of São Paulo has suffered from too much rain and not enough drainage to take the water out, therefore, there has been much suffering from “homeless people”, damaged houses, cars and even deaths.

On the other hand, in Northeastern Brazil it is the dry season that afflicts many families.

If you want to see some graphs on Brazilian rainy and drought seasons check the link bellow:

http://www.v-brazil.com/information/geography/rain-graphs.html

BRASILIA

We live in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. Brasilia sits on a high plateau, in the central area of the country. If it wasn’t for the man-made lake, it would be unbearable to live around here because during the dry season it gets extremely dry. But, this is the rainy season and we have had a nice amount of rain thus far.  The city looks beautiful with so much green. Because of its flat surface, there are many grass areas that look a lot like a carpet.

We still need a lot of prayer for the Brazilian government. These last few months we have been very saddened to see the news of corruption in the government. It is blatant! Some representatives, who call themselves “Christians”, even pray after receiving large sums of bribes. It is on “YouTube”, TV and newspapers for all to see:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6943424.ece

God have mercy on us! But we continue to pray for the authorities (I Tim.2). They do need salvation!

Have a blessed week!

Posted by: vision360ministries | February 1, 2010

GUARD YOUR HEART!

I had been pondering about Pv.4:23 lately and last night Pr. Wilson preached a message based on it. So, I “think” God is speaking to me… or to our family… or to all of us… maybe????

Pv.4:23 has been a very powerful verse that has stayed with me ever since I read John Eldridge’s book, “Waking the Dead”, a few years ago. It  truly impacted my life and brought much healing from the past. I believe God has more to say to me these days through it and I would like to share some thoughts with you. Perhaps God might want to speak to you too this week.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

Water-Heart1.gif water heart image by bitewing

So, the Bible says that the heart is the wellspring of life. What does that mean? To me, it means that within my “heart” (at least through the way we westerners see it) I hold my life. Literally, it is the heart that pumps blood to my entire body. And, it is my “heart” that “pumps” good stuff or bad stuff through my entire body also.

As I read the whole chapter this morning I noticed again that he mentions the word heart two other times:

“Lay hold of my words with all your heart;” (v.4)

“Do not let them (the father’s words) out of your sight, keep them within your heart;” (v.21)

And the Word of God also speaks a lot about the heart. I will mention just a couple of verses that are so special to me:

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38)

“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” (Mattew 15:19)

So, my first conclusion about the heart is that I DO want to take good care of it. I DO want to “filter” everything that goes into it because everything that comes into my heart will spread through my entire body.

Back to Proverbs chapter 4, it also speaks about “life” two other times:

“Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.” (v.10)

” Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.” (v.15)

The first verse contains a promise. Another good promise form the Lord that I very much want to see happen in my own life. I intend to have a good full life and serve the Lord through it.

The second verse tells me that I need to “hold on to instruction” “for it is my life”. That’s where the “Word of God” comes into my “daily basic necessity”. I need to have big portions of the Word of God daily, much like I “think” I need to drink water and eat every day of my life.

Pr. Wilson says, often, that we can’t really “pluck out” our eyes because we need them and he is right! The problem is, we live in a society where we are constantly bombarded to look at things that we should not. So, what are we to do? We need to MAKE A DECISION to choose what we want to keep within our hearts, throw away the bad stuff and fill up our minds with the Word of God. It is His Words that will cleanse us from all filth.

So, this morning (first school day for Jonathan and Victoria),

our family started a new habit (we already read the Bible and pray at breakfast time): now we are going to be memorizing Bible verses each week. Actually this is a habit that we lost over the past few years (ever since we quit homeschooling) but we are working our way back into it. Pv.4:23 is the first one.

We are excited with the Kid’s school year, the plans and projects for their lives. And we hope that the Word of God will guide them throughout their lives as we know that we will not be around each and every day and for the rest of their lives. But we know, for sure, that God will not forsake them and the Word of God is what can keep them going in the right direction.

Praise the Lord for His Word and what IT does in us!

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