Monday, June 11, 2007


One of the most interesting things about Brazil is its vast size. Brazil is bigger than the continental USA. It really is surprising how different Brazil's reality differs from region to region. Traveling throughout Brazil leaves one wishing it were possible to live in five or six different cities at the same time. It is never boring here.

This past week I visited a city that is new to me but famous to all Brazilians. I was guest speaker at the annual pastors and leaders conference held in the northern Brazilian city of Fortaleza. What a city! What a conference!

Fortaleza is home to over 3 million and it has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. A mix of beauty and poverty, Fortaleza is home to the Central Baptist Church led by Pastor Armando Bispo. For the past 24 years this dynamic man of God and his dear wife have seen God gather a congregation of nearly 4,000 in weekly attendance. The church is among the finest I have ever seen on any continent. Their energy and passion for Jesus is truly inspiring.

Each year the church hosts a leadership conference and over 500 pastors and leaders come from all over Brazil. The year the theme was "Leaders that Abide". I fit right in! What a privilege it was to preach for hours and hours to this hungry team of leaders.

Fortaleza has become the home to many, many Europeans who are taking advantage of the strong Euro and the excellent weather in Fortaleza. It is amazing to see how "small" the world is becoming day by day. One can see the day not far into the future where Brazil will be seen as a key player in world affairs.

Fortaleza is worth a visit. I, for one, will be going back and wishing I could call Fortaleza home, too.

Pictures from top....
First--Bud speaking at evening session
Second-part of Central Baptist Pastoral team
Third --Closing service of Conference
Fourth--Conference leaders Orlando and Chris
Fifith--Conference theme--Leaders who Abide
Sixth--Evening sessions
Seventh-- Senior Pastor Amando Bispo and wife with Bud

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