"Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words." Saint Francis of Assisi

Monday, June 21, 2010

House Church-Soccer Style

We've mentioned before but one of the things we love about house church is that it can change as needed because the bible says we, the people, are the church. It isn't some fixed building with some fixed hour on some fixed day of the week.

The church should be mobile. It should be able to adapt to the needs of the family. I might share more about that later but today this blog is about yesterday.

Brasil played in the World Cup yesterday afternoon. We've mentioned before house the country literally shuts down for 2 hours when Brasil plays.

Yesterday, the house church that meets in our house shifted it's normal routine to have house church around game time.

It's funny how much our family has changed since we moved here eight years ago.

Eight years ago we knew "nothing" about soccer. Nothing. We were, obviously, raised on American sports. I could tell you lots of things about Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Michael Jordan, the Cubs, etc. But soccer.....nothing. We didn't know the rules, the teams, the players. Nothing.

Eight years later it's our favorite sport (except for Benay who still holds on to college football). It's wild. Every day for the last 10 days there have been 3 World Cup games. We've watched as many of them as we can. I've even heard the girls getting frustrated with American people on Facebook who have made disparaging remarks about the World Cup. We've have to remind them that we were those same people eight years ago who would have making those comments.

Living in another country can change your opinions so much about so many, many different things.

Futebol (or soccer) has happened to be one of them.

Yesterday we had an American bar-b-que for our church family.

We cooked out hamburgers. Bronwyn made onion strings. We had a great time and everyone ate a bunch.

We then had our worship time together.

One of the best things about our worship yesterday was that some of our good friends were there for the first time. Machado, his wife Juliana and their kids Lucas and Lara were there with us. They are the family in the picture above. We met Machado a couple of years ago because he was Garrett's soccer coach. We love these guys and were blessed to have them in our house and in our worship time with us.

We don't get to see them as much as we would like because last year they moved to another city which is about a 30 minute drive from our house.

When we have visitors we always like to share with them what house church "could" look like and what they "could" expect. We say "could" because it can change on any given Sunday. We told them it was really informal and we have a good time when we worship.

We like to share because sometimes people come in with an idea of what it may look like.

Who doesn't do that?

It's normal to be expecting, if you've only ever been to a Catholic church or a Pentecostal church, something that might look like a Catholic worship or Pentecostal worship because that's all you've ever known. Other people that have been here have never really been to a worship type of any kind and the only thing they know is what they've seen on television and, to be honest, that normally doesn't shed a good light on God's family. So we just try to take all their worries and/or preconceived ideas away and let them know it's probably not like any other worship time they've ever been to.

If you want to talk, talk. If you don't, don't. If you want to sing, sing. If not, don't worry about it. If you have questions, ask. If you don't want to do anything except just sit and listen then that's great too. We want them to know that we are just happy that they are with us.

True to form, after letting them know how informal we are, we had to stop a song one time because one by one everyone started laughing. Jorge started laughing and that got Benay laughing and then it just snowballed. We don't have enough other people with strong enough voices to continue singing when 3-4 stop. It's not, obviously, like a family that has Pretty soon everyone was laughing. We stopped, finally quit laughing and Jorge started the song again.

Benay then gave a great lesson on Joseph and his trials.

We then shared the Lord's Supper together as a big family.

As soon as we finished it was game time.

As you can tell by the picture above, on game day it's very common to wear the countries colors. Green and yellow. Adults and kids wear them.

Even little toddlers get into the spirit with Brasilian soccer shoe/socks and borrowed bandanas.

Once the game got started Benay brought out some cookies that she and Bronwyn made. Giovanni didn't move too far from the cookie table.

We had a great time together and Brasil won 3-1.

It was a good day. Tiring but very good.

I love how God can use a soccer game to bring people together in His name.

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