Our time in Brazil is coming to a close. This is a familiar feeling of being torn, torn between wanting to stay in a place that I have grown to love and going home to a place that is familiar. I so deeply love and miss my family, and that means I will gladly return home!
I just pray that God will allow me the honor and privilege of serving here again!
Yesterday some on our team did evangelism, self esteem and team building classes with the AMO team while others worked in the garden and prepared for the afternoon activities.
In the afternoon we went to another Shantytown community. We wound up in a bar! These two older (but very hip) gentlemen invited us in. I referred to one of them as a slightly older Brazilian version of Jimmy Buffet. David started singing and playing the guitar and this guy started dancing. I've led about fifty mission trips to date, and I still have these surreal moments, when I am in a place with such unlikely circumstances.
This was definitely one of those moments!
Here we were, in a Brazilian bar, with these delightful men, with one of the pastors from my church singing and playing guitar with a picture of The Last Supper hanging over his head. To top it off Jesus in the painting was lily white, with blonde flowing hair and blue eyes (which no one in Brazil has)! This is a pet peeve of mine, because if anyone understands where Jesus was born and where he was raised, blonde hair and blue eyes were not his characteristics!
So we are in the bar, and the man is dancing, and a little girl from the neighborhood wanders in and curls up in my lap and starts playing with my hair. That's when I became super comfortable!
After the music, Pete, the director of AMO started asking the men about their relationship with Jesus. The men were very friendly and receptive. We were about to leave and I asked Pete if these men might need glasses. We were well equipped with reading glasses in various strengths, due to a precious friend in Paducah, donating the money to buy the glasses.
Pete gave the men glasses after trying several different strengths, then he handed them Bibles to check out what strengths worked best.
One of the men asked if he could keep the Bible, and Pete said that they could both have one.
The woman who was operating the bar saw that we were giving out glasses, and she ran out the door. All of a sudden, people were rushing in, all to see if we could help them to see better!
God was bringing people to us, right there in the bar! Lots of people got glasses and heard from Gods word, it was one of the most genuine and laid back, easy times of sharing the gospel, that I've ever been a part of.
We told our new friends "ciao", and proceeded on our way, visiting with small groups of families and friends along the dirty streets of this rough community that is home to so many precious children. They are all Gods handiwork, no matter their age, their sins or their socio-economic status.
My prayer is that we can see them with His eyes, and love them with His heart!
After the home visits, we met up with about fifty children on a soccer field for hot dogs, watermelon and Bible study.
Members of the AMO team do this with the children there every week. The kids know that they will always be fed on Fridays, both physically and spiritually!
We are the ones who are blessed by our service here in Brazil. But, it's the same way in Paducah, and the other places we serve. Service is a blessing!