helllooooo dear friends!
I have settled in to the place I will be staying for the next few months – my sweet Brazilian home. My arrival has been filled with rain… wonderful, tropical rain. (none of that cold freezing rain that was going on in Idaho — puhhhhraiiiisee!)
It’s hot and humid and I can’t seem to stop sweating (I know — gross) but it is beautiful here. The nature is a whole other realm from the deserts of the middle east, or the frozen tundra I left in Idaho— it is so green! every time I look outside I squeal a little bit. It seems near every wall is splashed with color bringing its own personality to the city.
I was greeted at the airport by my friend who I will be staying with, as well as a few passionate young people from the church who have learned the majority of their english from Bethel worship music.
I was too excited to sleep much, so after a brief nap we hiked up to a nearby waterfall where i had my first encounter with the huge spiders living in the jungle… and after being laughed at by my new Brazilian friends I decided to play with all the street dogs instead.
We then went to the evening service at the Church (I was 30 minutes late from waiting for the bus, but it’s okay because most other people were even later… #braziliantime) this church is filled with passionate people hungry to see Jesus move in their nation. A revival came in 2012, and they haven’t stopped crying out since.
The next day I walked about the town looking for a bicycle and a bed (what else does one really need in life?) and then was invited to someone’s house for a night of prayer and worship. Now my Portuguese vocabulary includes words like: fire, passion, faithfulness, glory, love… and some other words called shouted out throughout the night.
Yesterday was so great! I was able to go to Gramacho’s Garbage dump- which is where we do our main outreach. (sadly I didn’t get a picture)
Thousands of families have built lives on picking trash there, and since the recent closing of the landfill have lost their way of living. Many live without structure— exposed to diseases and living with pigs and vultures (I’ve heard the kids like to ride the pigs like horses!)
A lot of families have been disrupted by gang violence and far too many are consumed by drugs and alcohol…. and because of the problems and filth that surrounds them they live as outcasts- ignored and near invisible to the government and outside world.
These children from these families are PRECIOUS. They all have lice, many have worms and scabies too- some even have tuberculosis or HIV from walking around on hospital waste… but they are precious. They give really good hugs, and know how to have fun with whatever they are given. I picked them up from their houses and we trampled and slid through the mud and trash – a child on each hip calling Auntie and talking to me in a language I don’t yet understand. We sang songs together, ate some food together, and listened to a story about Jesus- and the kids loved it.
Another group of kids, a bit older, then came to continue in learning English (learning English helps when looking for jobs and it is our hopes that this program will get the kids off of the streets and keep them out of the gangs that have divided so many of their families) They laughed a lot, sang worship songs, and prayed for their families all together.
So this is life for the next 4 months. Serving a revival in and helping it to reach into the neediest parts of the nation… and being so blessed and refreshed in the process.