The Gospel Under the Southern Cross (3)

23 August 2011 by Wes Bredenhof

Street scene in downtown Recife.

Yesterday morning my colleague Ken Wieske and I got together and spent several hours reviewing my Power Point slides.  I’d translated them into Portuguese using Google Translate, but this is still an imperfect technology, so we needed the eyes of someone who actually knows the language.  We tweaked about half of the slides for the first course.

In the afternoon we headed to downtown Recife.  Ken had a dentist appointment, so he dropped me off at a nearby shopping mall.  It’s interesting to see what shopping malls tell you about a culture.  This area of Recife was rather upscale and this mall reflected that.  On each floor was a little McDonalds outlet that served only ice cream products.  Across the street was  the Brazilian equivalent of Wal-Mart, Hiper.  I walked over there and checked that out as well.  Grocery stores in other cultures will tell you a lot too.  I learned that Brazilians (in this area at least) have a thing for salted, smoked/cured meats and fish.

But the definite highlight of the day was the Reformed Reading Room.  This is a place in downtown Recife where people can come and buy good solid Reformed literature.  They can also regularly hear free guest lectures on different theological topics.  Last night I began my series of lectures introducing the subject of apologetics.

The room was packed.  I’m guessing there were at least thirty people there, mostly on the younger side of the age scale.  I’m told that not many of them are Reformed Christians.  I lectured and Ken translated.  It seemed to be well-received, but the material is quite “heavy,” so it will be interesting to see how many come back this evening.

The Reformed Reading Room is doing important work here for the cause of the gospel.  Many are being drawn to local Reformed churches through this avenue.  Did you know that you can support it quite easily and with some spiritual profit for yourself and others in your life?  You can purchase my colleague Peter Holtvlüwer’s book on the first chapters of Genesis, FoundationsYou can find information on it here.  You could also purchase We Believe, a compilation of the Reformed creeds and confessions designed for outreach purposes.  With both books, all proceeds go to support this valuable work being done here for the glory of God.

Front area at the Reformed Reading Room. The RRR is located in a busy area of downtown Recife. Just down the street is the central train station.

Lots of good Reformed books!

Some of those attending last night's lecture.