Moving Day?

Moving day? No, not for me and also I won’t be doing the lifting either. 🙂

My Ukrainian friends were so generous donating used furniture for one family before the family came here that they had more than they needed. So off to my church to get the church pick up this morning. It will take two, maybe three trips, to take the furniture to a donation place. I will only be the driver. The teenage sons will load it and the donation place will unload.

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What will be my pay for my labor today? Lunch at my friends’ home after we are done. I am looking forward to some delicious Ukrainian food for lunch. That and knowing my friends will be able to use their garage.

The fellowship during lunch will be my reward as well. This family is the one I know the best out of the Ukrainian families I have gotten to know. Then it will be time for English class at the Ukrainian church. It is a Ukrainian Friday for me.

Tomorrow afternoon will be a time to hang out with some Brazilian friends. Sunday morning will be a time with my Hispanic friends and Brazilian friends.

3 different cultures, 3 different languages in 3 days means more than just having fun. It means sharing the love of Jesus with the world.

What are your weekend plans?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Sharing Easter Sunday Dinner

Camila and Diego are a young couple from Brazil with a sixteen month old baby boy. They invited me over to share Easter Sunday dinner with them and some of their friends. It was a blessing to join them.

Camila cooked some delicious food she called Cod. It was fish with potatoes and other veggies. It was so good that I had two plates. Double blessing she sent some home with me. 🙂

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Before we ate, Camila shared that the food was her grandfather’s favorite and that she wanted to share it with us. She also shared with us that Easter Sunday is a day her family gets together for lunch, but since she is here she cannot meet with her family, so she wanted to share the dinner with us. As she shared, her eyes teared up.

My response upon hearing that was, “eu estou feliz estar que com voce minha irmazinha.” I am happy to be here with you little sister.

The other guests were a married couple, wife from Brazil and husband from Ukraine, their two children, and a dating couple the man from the USA and the woman from Brazil.

As we ate the wonderful fish dish, I thought about another meal with fish. We read about in John chapter 21.

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.  Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.  This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Jesus had a breakfast of fish and bread with his disciples after his resurrection. The significant thing that happened during that breakfast was Jesus restoring Peter in front of the other disciples. Peter had denied Jesus three times just as Jesus predicted. That morning of the breakfast, Jesus asked Peter three times, “do you love me.” When Peter would answer yes, Jesus would then say, “then feed my sheep,” meaning take care of my followers.

When we fail, when we falter, Jesus is faithful to restore us. He does not abandon us when we fail, He does not give up on relationship with us when we mess up. He is ever faithful to us.

How was your Easter Sunday?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Jesus Changed My Life by Katy Nicole

In my post yesterday, I shared a bit about my teen years and being a runaway on the streets. My upcoming book Lifted Out Of The Pit/Called To The Nations will go into more detail. Yes I have two upcoming books. I can definitely say that Jesus changed my life.

Just yesterday God gave me little reminders. My morning group at church was fun. I translated Portuguese to Spanish and Spanish to Portuguese and then joked my brain hurt. One of my Brazilian friend’s gave me some brigadeiro a homemade chocolate.

Worship service was wonderful with communion and baptisms and awesome worship songs.

After church my friend Luis from El Salvador went to lunch with me. I was planning to buy his lunch but he paid. Chicken fajitas hit the spot.

Teenage Matt would have never thought these things to be possible, but Jesus knew it would come to be. Jesus changes us and changes our lives. He loves us so much that he accepts us the way we are but loves us too much to leave us the way we are.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Breaking News- I Did Not Burn My Eggs

With the cooler mornings, I started thinking about how scrambled eggs would be nice for breakfast. The problem is that my misadventure in Brazil one morning in July 2015 was in the back of my mind. That fateful morning I started cooking eggs and then checked my Facebook. I had a message from a young person from Vietnam who had been in my weekend group when she was in high school. She wanted me to look at the essay for her medical school application. I forgot about the eggs until 45 minutes later when my friend and I finished. The result? Eggs burned so badly I had to throw them out and the pan needed to be soaked five times to get it clean.

Photo by Annushka Ahuja on

So this morning, I had a revolutionary thought of what if I stood there at the stove top while cooking the eggs. I tried it this genius idea and it worked. I was able to enjoy scrambled eggs even putting salsa on them. I thought I should share this good news to help my readers.

The ultimate good news is the gospel of Jesus. Gospel comes from the Greek word that literally means good news. Romans 5:6-8 says:

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus died for us, for all of our sins. That is the best news possible. God loves us so much that Jesus came to die for us, so we could be forgiven and receive eternal life. For those of us who have been Christians for a while, it is a truth we need to remind ourselves of, the simple yet most profound message that God loves us, Jesus died for us, and because of that we have eternal life because of faith in Jesus.

If there are further breaking news stories about my cooking, I will share those. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- What A Beautiful Name in English, Spanish and Portuguese

Yesterday morning was such a blessing in my morning group. Pastor Lucas Gomes and his family were visiting my church. They are from Brazil. Pastor Lucas and I both shared brief messages with our Hispanic friends in Spanish. His wife Lizi led us in singing some worship songs in both Spanish and Portuguese. One of our Hispanic friends Samuel from Honduras also led us in a song in Spanish.

As we sang one song, one of the women was crying. She is a single mom from Venezuela trying to make a life for her and her son here. All of our Hispanic friends felt blessed.

We started with a devotional based on John 1:1-3:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

The Word is one of many titles for Jesus. We focused on the fact that Jesus created everything, so he has the power to help us in our lives.

So this Music Monday I am sharing the song What A Beautiful Name in English, Spanish and Portguese.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Greeting In Heaven

One of the things I love about teaching an ESL class at the college is what happens before class and during the short break we take. It is an opportunity for me to walk around and greet students from all of the classes in their languages. Interacting with them is such a blessing and has allowed me to learn to greet people in thirty languages.

Photo by Maria Tyutina on

Perhaps in heaven I can have a job as a greeter for new arrivals greeting them in their languages. There won’t be a need for a missionary since everyone in heaven will know Jesus already. There won’t be a need for a language teacher.

Sometimes I think how cool it would be to greet someone upon their arrival in heaven in their language. Can you imagine entering heaven and someone greets you in your language?

Of course we have little understanding of what our eternal lives will be like other than it will be way way better than the best life we could have in this life. But I still like to entertain the thought at times.

This morning I am going to church where we will have a fellowship time in Spanish with friends from Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Venezuela with some Americans as well.

Hope your Sunday is blessed.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A Spanish Ministry Idea?

My weekend English conversation groups at church have been going for twenty years with the exception of one year during the COVID shutdown. Over the years people from diverse cultures have come, but after the COVID shutdown I felt release to try something, which is to focus on Spanish speakers. I speak Spanish at an intermediate level and use Spanish to help them understand English.

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on

A dream I have had for future ministry is for my church to have a Spanish club that meets regularly. It would give my Hispanic friends a chance to help people with Spanish and also give an opportunity for people from church to practice Spanish.

If this happens, it would also give American high school and college students studying Spanish a place to invite friends from Spanish class to come practice Spanish.

This week my church is hosting a visiting pastor from Brazil. Portuguese is the language of Brazil, but my friend also speaks Spanish. He emailed me asking if I thought we could have a time of worship. Of course I replied YES. We will try, He is here for a short time, so not sure if it will come together. But his email encouraged me to keep dreaming about the potential.

Gracias por leyendo. Thank you for reading. Dios te Bendiga. God Bless.

A Doctor In Brazil

In June/July 2015, I had the privilege of teaching English for a private university in Rio du Sol in Santa Catarina Brazil. I love being in other countries and Brazil is one of my favorites. I love the people and their culture. I taught three classes in the evenings with one of them being an Advanced English class.

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While I love being in other countries, flying is a bit boring for me. Flying internationally presents a specific problem for me. Because I have asthma, being in an airplane for prolonged periods of time can cause me to have bronchitis. Such was the case for that trip.

Photo by Gustavo Fring on

So there I was trying to teach and coughing because of bronchitis. One of the students in the Advanced English class came up to me after class and asked me the same questions my doctor in my city asks when I have bronchitis. She came back to class the next evening and handed me a small bag that had medications with instructions she wrote in English in it. She told me that she is a doctor. The medications included and antibiotic and prednisone both of which my doctor prescribes for me here when I have bronchitis.

After a few days, my cough was gone. and I was ready to go for the weeks I would be there teaching. God knew I would have the problem and placed someone who would have the solution in my class. It brings to mind what Jesus said about God knowing what we need before we ask in Matthew 6:8.

I hope to return to Brazil in the future, but wherever I go, my international trips have underscored for me the truth of Matthew 6:8.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Burgers with Fabi- “Really A Dream Come True”

Yesterday evening I had the privilege of having dinner with my filha Fabi. Filha is daughter in Portuguese. She was my assistant in my morning class five years ago and we have kept our friendship over the years. She calls me Papa Bear.

We had not seen each other for quite a while because of the pandemic. She went to Brazil early in the pandemic to be with her family. She is back in my city working on her Phd. We had a great time catching up and eating burgers.

The quote in the title is from Fabi. After sharing about her grandmother dying while she was in Brazil, she commented that she remembered me saying I did not want to be too old to do anything and that I would rather go to be with Jesus before I got to that point. Then I shared that perhaps the best way to go would be in my sleep and waking up in heaven. That was when she said, “that would really be a dream come true.”

Waking up in heaven would be awesome. But for now, Jesus has a purpose for me in this life. The older I get, the more I appreciate what Paul said in Philippians 1:

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!  I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;  but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

Burgers and friendship are a wonderful combination.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

When The World Seems Crazy

When things get crazy in the world, the first thing I tend to think about are people I know. Through them I feel connected to many places around the world. The public school system where I live has children from over 160 languages just to give you an idea of the possibilities there are for meeting people from around the globe.

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The recent troubles in Canada had me thinking about my Brazilian friends living in Winnipeg. I connected with them through a woman who used to live in my city when she was a graduate student here. The situation also had me thinking about bloggers I connect with in Canada.

Russia invading Ukraine has me thinking about my friends from Ukraine and the Ukrainian church I have helped. I might go visit there this weekend to show support.

China threatening Taiwan has me thinking about my former students who live there.

I have a new student from Afghanistan who is a newcomer refugee.

The list could go on but as for me, my small part, I can only be a listening ear and supportive friend and of course pray.

When I see the troubles in this world, in my spirit I say Maranantha, come quickly Jesus.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.