It was a new experience for me: as I walked up to the podium in Águas de Lindóia , Brazil, at the 19th Annual FIEL Conference, accompanied by Eros Pasquini, my tremendously talented translator, the entire gathered group of over 1,000 pastors began to laugh. Now, I’ve spoken to some tough audiences before (like the mainly Roman Catholic attendees at the Tim Staples debates in Fullerton, California), but they’ve normally not started laughing until later. I looked at Eros, and he looked confused as well. It took a moment for it to sink in, but we eventually figured it out. Later in the week we decided to give the gathered folks even greater reason for laughter. Here was the result, and by this you can understand why they were laughing:
I had to lend Eros a bright tie, since, well, Brazilians just don’t have bright ties. At least not at the FIEL Conference. Once Eros and I figured out why they were laughing that first day, I began,”Can you believe it? I come all the way to Brazil, just to find my long lost brother”! The hundred or so pastors who could speak English laughed. Then Eros translated what I said into Portuguese, and the other nine hundred pastors laughed (all jokes worked that way: two-step laughter). Working with Eros was a true privilege. He is a tremendous translator, and a wonderful brother in the Lord. I hope I get to visit the saints in Brazil again in the future. I am thankful to Jamie Howell for sending me these pictures. Here is one of the entire gathered group prior to one of the sessions. Some of these folks traveled for days to get to the conference!