More News from Brazil

Day 4, Monday, 6/19

Woke up, very early. Stayed at a “camp,” had a prayer meeting at 7 AM with 40+ people, and went to an indigenous tribe mission (school). We split into two groups, visited classrooms, and took turns giving testimonies. Our leaders, Gezer and Gustavo, gave the gospel message, but not sure, as was in Portuguese 😳. First cold (50•F) and rainy day, and we were all in shorts!  Our meteorologist was wrong. Had lunch at a church family’s house and visited a boys’ prison in the afternoon. Gezer gave a message and prayed for a boy who asked. PTL! A few testimonies were given. It was sad as boys were leaning on prison bars to listen.

Day 5, Tuesday, 6/20

More awesome cafe (coffee) and new favorite fruit, papaya!

We went to The Happy House, Casa Crianca Feliz, a Presbyterian mission, run by a German, who came with his wife 27 years ago. Amazing godly man. He started this children’s mission from scratch in the “Hood.” The mission is surrounded by shacks, brick or sheet metal houses, and tarp shacks; we drove through it. Many drugs and some murders here, but it was safe for us. Don’t worry. We played with one group of children, ages 5-12, in the morning and another group in the afternoon. Gezer spoke, and a few testimonies were given. Americanos were a hit. We had many kids holding our hands and following us around, great kids, smiling, laughing, having fun, despite their circumstances. They have next to nothing. This is an awesome ministry that Klaus heads up. Sad to leave them.

Dinner at a burger place, where owners donated the meal. So nice, mega huge burger sandwiches, nothing like it in Estados Unindos! Once again, we were joined by Brazilian friends.

Day 6, Wednesday, 6/21

Last day at The Camp. We drove around to see other nearby indigenous people. Very poor living conditions. We stopped at a school with no prearranged meeting. They were gracious enough to allow us tour the school. The guide took us into a classroom. Gezer spoke (who knows what he said) and Brooke, too. Turns out they were seniors. The guide took us here purposely as most students have no goals at all, and many youth don’t attend school at all. She hopes we gave motivation to some. This school was a mix of 3 indigenous tribes. Their arts and crafts room was amazing with talented students. They also had a garden. A farewell lunch was provided for us at The Camp. We then toured the site where Gustavo’s church’s new church will be built, a cornfield now. They have built an athletic complex (soccer, beach volleyball) and pavilion type facility. Also have many fruit trees.

Day 7, Thursday, 6/22

Spending day in Bonito. Went to see somewhat the equivalent of Lewis and Clark caverns. It was called Blue Lake Cavern. Stalagmites and stalactites (do you know the difference?) and a small blue “lake” at the bottom which we descended to, on stairs, one at a time, slippery stone stairs, many slippery stone stairs. This required hair nets and hard hats. Yet we did not go in caverns, caves, or tunnels; OSHA must have a presence here. Lewis & Clark Caverns do no require helmets, yet more dangerous. You figure it out. After lunch, we went to swim with the fishees, hundreds of them. Carp. Make sure you look at some pictures of our event. Words can’t describe. Being in the crystal clear river with hundreds of fish within feet of you and your friends throwing fish food at you from shore, let’s just say it’s an experience you will never forget. We have videos, too, and a recording of Leah’s screaming, in joy of course. She’s a trooper.

Bonito should have made the international news as economy was boosted in the evening by a record number of reals (hey-ice) spent, courtesy of Mone-tana Americanos .

News from Brazil

Oi from Brazil. We are alive and well.
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We survived our 36 hour trip south of the border. It was very long, especially the 9+ hour flight to São Paulo Brazil. We all actually made it through customs with no hitches. It was nothing like on the Jason Bourne movies. Bummer! Our first feet on the ground were in Compo Grande, Brazil where we got off the plane, deboarded onto the tarmac, and then into a very small airport. Smaller than Helena believe it or not! A big van then picked us up with a NASCAR driver and took us to Dourados, our destination. And I thought East Coast drivers were bad. Wow!

We were taken to a house where an awesome American meal awaited us, hosted by awesome Brazilians. Did I say it was awesome? We were blown away.

Next day was meeting people who worked at the church, going over our itinerary, and meeting two English speaking assistants who would be working with us. Then the highlight: Brazilian BBQ , known as Churrasco. Oh my goodness. Nothing like it. Can you say “meat heaven”? Beats American BBQ hands down.

After mandatory nap time, we met about 30 teens at a private English school for a great get to know each other, play games, eat food and gathering. I’ll just say that Brazilian girls find American boys …..interesting:)

Day 3: Went to a street market and handed out tracts and ate food of course, what else; amazing fruits, some never heard of; watermelons the size of watermelons; like ginormous; and food of all kinds. Of course then we HAD to get ice cream. The owners got pictures of all of us with them, as they never had so many Americans in there. So cool.

Slight 1 hour break and then FUTSOL. Many of us played 5 on 5 soccer for hours. So amazing. It was with other church members. Well, some Americans scored, and I don’t think the Brazilians were quite happy. Fun time. Next, we were split up and went home with host families. Reunited for an awesome church service titled the “American Connection,” with the youth/young adults of about 200 or more. You are right, we were featured. Matt Weaver and Brooke were in the rocking band, four of us gave our testimonies, and Gezer spoke. All was translated into Portuguese as we spoke. So cool. It’s like we are on a mission trip in a foreign country or something. About 100 went to a Brazilian pizza party afterwards to further interact with us. These people are so nice. Bananas and potato sticks on pizza. YES !

A special thank you to Gustavo, Gezer’s best friend(pastor) and his wife, Marianna, who accompanied us on this all. And thank you all so so much for your prayers and support. It is working and still needed. Please keep praying as we are reaching out to many unbelievers.

New Series begins on March 19th

Our Building Relationships series will conclude this Sunday.  The topic to be covered is workplace relationships as we examine Ephesians 6:5-9.  The Bible gives some very important principles about how we relate to the people who work with us.

On March 19th we begin a three week series titled Together.  In this series we will look at God’s plan for the church – to worship, grow, and share.  The church in the book of Acts impacted the world.  We are called to do the same.

This Sunday we also have baptisms and baby dedications.  I trust that I will see you as we worship God together and celebrate life as well as new life in Christ. 

Don’t forget that Daylight Savings occurs Sunday morning – turn your
clocks ahead.

John