My dear friends....after being years away from the Lord I came back through the music and christian musicians I met at a rehab center in São Paulo in 1983. What is interesting is that I left the church and all in the late 60s, early 70s through and because of music as I got to gigging and playing with rock and jazz musicians in the greater Boston area and into the world of sex, drugs and rock'n roll real deep and fast.
I began to study clarinet as a kid when I was about 8-9 years old in the Boston public school system and some private lessons. I then went on to saxophones at about 14-15 yrs olds. I was a good kid....good church kid in the Nazarene church but I was too curious for the world and the legalism was killing me.
Soon enough I didn't want to play in the school band but just have private lessons and JAM!!!! That got me to Berklee school of music and to the ghetto called Roxbury just a few blocks from Berklee....the ghetto became my school of jazz and life with the drugs and all. We moved to Brasil in 1975 and I tried to go straight and get back to church but the music scene was intense and I began to play for money and the drugs, sex and all were very present.
But by 1982 and after going back to the USA for 2 yrs 1980-82 trying to go to Berklee again but getting on the road to TX and the west coast with some crazy bands I headed back to Brasil and tried living and playing in Rio/S.Paulo and was really wasted by now...physically, mentally..my soul and spirit defeated...so I tried Rehab, church musicians helped me back to God and I have been working in some kind of church ministry ever since 1984-5.
In 1985 some friends and church musicians began a contemporary group that used Brasilian and Latin styles as well as jazz and jazz improvisations. We were pioneers and paid the price to be but we evangelized all over the country and in 3 years we
travelled over 90,000 km doing this and in some real rural jungle areas as (that´s me
back there with glasses and the tenor sax) well as the urban cities.
(The strip mines called “Serra Pelada = Naked Mountian, the 2 trips we made there playing for over 80 thousand men in the middle of the woods really impacted me to go to seminary)
The bus I rode in over 90,000KM with the band AQUA VIVA = Living Water; John 4:13-14, no AC and below our orignial van which was sold and with dontaions we got the bus)
Below the cover in our tape recording with pics from various trips and presentations. Life inside the mines….”hot and nasty”…….really!!! The “white” guy is a missionary from Germany who had just come to Brasil…no tan yet. On the road in the Trasnamazon Hwy…..does this hwy really exist…or is it a BIG trail!!?? And the “big, bad” strip mine again!!!!!
I came back to the states at the end of 1990 to Atlanta GA and this old yankee became a member at FBA (Dr. Charles Stanley) and played in their orchestra with our director and great friend John Gage, who eventually introduced me to Camp Kirkland and www.globalmissionsproject.com and we have done and still have many projects to do in Brasil.
In the meantime in the USA I started to study psychology again (I had studied 2+ years of psych./language major in the great Boston area: Eastern Nazarene College and UMass/Boston State) via Long Distance Learning at Liberty U. in Lynchberg, VA.
At FBA I became active in the international ministries as we evangelized students from different countries who studied in the colleges and universities in the great Atlanta area. I met Dr. Dennis Mock who had written a course for teaching basic theology especially for foreign countries (www.bibletraining.com) . I did this course and went on to study at
Luther Rice Bible College and Mid-Atlantic which unfortunately went through some very hard times as they tried to expand and relocate to Roanoke, VA.
Then by 1996 I felt I had done enough studies and had enough experience to come back to Brasil and get involved in church ministries. Dr Mock asked me to remember his course. So in 1998 I contracted a good professional translator and with my experience as an English teacher/tutor we translated and edited the printing of the 10 book course (2500 pages) from English into brasilian Portugese.
I was BTCP/L's (Bible Training Center for Pastors and Leaders) main partner/missionary in Brasil for over 10 yrs and still am their principal partner here. I have trained/distributed and gotten this course into the hands of hundreds of churches and seminaries for thousands of people here to be trained as leaders and pastors.; WHAT A PRIVILEDGE!!!!!!!!
At that time (1996) Andy Stanley had begun his contemporary church and wanted to get involved in missions and began by helping Dr. Mock and myself print BTCP/L Portugese language books. Andy had been good friends with Dr. Mock as they were both on the staff at FBA in the early 90s. So Andy and North Point Community Church helped us and helped support me as their "roving" free-lance missionary...more pioneer stuff!!! One the oldest Presbiterian churches in Brasil where we had our first training/intro course of BTCP/L in Brasil in Campinas, SP (pics).
Pr. Eros Pasquini our fine translator and his family.
Below preparing for the first training/intro of BTCP/L in Brasil (what a divine moment)
The brasilian director of Haggai doing a “mini-class” demonstration on the second day of training.
Below several of our first training/intro courses in the early years (2000-2) in and around S. Paulo city.
Me doing a little sweating also…..!!!!
Below some of our first graduations, leadership courses.
With North Point Community Church we began a model church in the southwest of Brasil (2003-4) as I traveled and moved around the country telling folks about NPCC and of course working with BTCP/L lecturing and training teachers in the use of the books/manuals.
Finally around 2006-7 we began translating the book of the first NPCC ministry www.startingpoint.com. We got it edited, published and printed 3 more Andy Stanley books here as I started getting churches interested in these ministry, the model church here (www.capeladagraca.com.br) and NPCC in the US.I still distribute and work with all this.
The pics above show 1). Jason Malec, Tom, myself and the director at the Imprensa da
Fé printing co. where we went to finalize the printing of Starting Point books in Brasil.
The second pic is the first group of trainees in Starting Point Ministries in Brasil.
Again below at the Imprensa da Fé printers as we had a partnership with
www.bibletraining.com and GlobalX at www.northpoint.org to print books.
I started working with www.globalmissionsproject.com around 2005-6 as we got
orchestra musicians form churches around the US with Camp Kirkland ad John Gage to
play, evangelize and do workshops/master classes for the church musicians here. This
has also been a special blessing and the concerts have been “HEAVENLY”; really great
music and musicians for the LORD!!!!
Musicians make great PR folks as we travel and play in many churches all over the country. But the Lord is REALLY convicting me about opening a "HARDCORE" contemporary church here before i get "ancient" (I'm already old but still sort of cool.....I mean I get along well with the younger generations....musician thing again).
Sometimes I still sit in on gig and I see the artist/musician crowd all crazy and strung out on drugs. So many young gays and lesbians, some many tatoos and peircings in all kinds of strange places and all. So many young girls strung out on crack becoming prostitutes and the guys criminals and vice versa. So many shanty town "FAVELAS" and drug trafficers, so many kids on the streets and gangs, poverty, illiteracy, corruption, sex and violence in a sensual tropical society full of superstitions and cults.
Please pray for me so I have the Lord's blessing and guidance, for His strength and wisdom, financial support and a very good staff, to be surrounded by people with the same vision and convictions, simple but profound folks like the Bible itself, brothers and sisters in the Lord...together like an army ready to do battle.
Your bro IN Christ,
Abraham Gomes Gamboa....call me Abe!!!!