And here’s the sting in the tale, why I’m in Brazil at all.

Tonight I witnessed a miracle, just your common everyday kind. They happen here too.

It’s around 6pm and the three girls who have been visiting and working with the project for a couple of weeks: Juliana, Priscila and Ally, are here with us in Paul’s kitchen. We haven’t had time to stop and talk to them for as long as I’ve been here. Their time is up; they leave tomorrow. I wanted to do some last-minute interviews with my tiny little camera, and I’ve taken the footage, but the sound quality is pretty bad and might not be usable.

But okay. These things happen. We at least get to talk for a few minutes. They’re all very cool people. Something has drawn them each here to Friburgo. Ally the American girl can’t speak Portuguese (like me), but the others can speak English. I think they’ve been touched by their work here. Juliana and Priscila say they want to come back later in the year.

Rosemberg, one of the local teens, drops in as he does. He’s always hungry and hunts for biscuits in the cupboard. He complains of a twisted neck; he injured it in a football game on the weekend.

Paul puts his hand on Rosemberg’s shoulder and prays for him. The four of us sort of drop into instinctive ‘prayer support mode’, as you do. It’s a Pentecostal thing. I ‘pray in tongues’ under my breath (a weird little gift which used to be the hallmark of the Pentecostal faith. Syllables come, like a mantra perhaps, or some kind of liturgy. There’s a structure to it and it doesn’t come from my conscious mind. I have no real idea what it is. But for nearly twenty years it’s become normal to me. It is a miracle in itself, I think, but one that doesn’t always reveal its usefulness.)

And… how do I explain how this works when I don’t understand it myself?

All I know is that I feel something in my solar plexus… a sort of warmth, an opening. There’s a sense of energy flowing, somehow. Like an invisible rubber band connecting us.

I feel that often when I join a prayer for healing, and sometimes – not always – it means something.

Paul finishes his prayer and Rosenberg moves his head. Cautiously at first, then happily. He stretches his neck. It feels fine, he says. Thanks.

And he goes. He’s healed, just like that. It’s normal to him that you can pray and be healed and go on with life. No big deal.

And that’s just another evening in Brazil.

Brazil needs a miracle. Miracles happen here. I don’t know how miracles work and can’t make them happen on tap. They have their own logic. Sometimes they’re there, sometimes they’re not. But I do know that you have to at least start to try to look for them if you want to find them, and that’s part of what Paul does, and that’s part of why I’m here. Trying to look for a miracle.

It’s not just something in the air in Brazil that makes miracles. I’ve seen the same thing happen in New Zealand. But in New Zealand, we don’t have much of an infrastructure for expecting them. By turning my world upside down and coming here, maybe I can open myself to more, somehow.

But how do you even begin to look for a planet-sized miracle, and how many people looking together does it take to find one?


8 Responses to “Miracles”

  1. wing Says:


  2. wing Says:

    Matthew 18:19

  3. Elizabeth Taylor Says:

    Keep looking for your miracles Nate, both in Brazil and in NZ – it’s a mindset kind of approach.I’m finging you blog so interesting. Elizabeth.

  4. Elizabeth Taylor Says:

    Keep looking for youer miracles Nate, both in Brazil and in NZ – it’s a mindset kind of thing. I’m finding your blog so interesting. Elizabeth.

  5. steve Says:

    that’s neat nate. had a similar experience at a ministry leaders meeting a few months ago and it was just great to be part of it. i love it most when it’s unexpected, not hyped with the band playing soft music !! 🙂


  6. natecull Says:

    Yay – thanks for visiting, Elizabeth and Steve.

    We had a great worship service last night (Wednesday) too. The music was loud enough (teen musicians are very enthusiastic) but there was very strong sense of God’s presence and we were all staggering out into the street like drunks at around 9pm. Poor neighbours! They either must think we’re crazy or know it.

    I felt impressed by the thought that this year, 2009, has a revolutionary feel to it. Like 1969 or 1989. What that means I have no idea but it’s there and it’s building and like all revolutions it will come too soon and with us all unprepared. http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/ makes grim reading about just where we’re at in the global situation right now.

    We watched the copy of ‘Wall-E’ that I brought and that end credits song ‘Down to Earth’ still gives me chills. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTQD0weUTF8

  7. wing Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAhDP2ZIobw ‘Down to Earth’? Absolutely depressing! Here is the antidote, in case you missed it on “Day Five”

  8. wing Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4U-dcnSDPR4&feature=related in other words

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