The last month has flown by and my intention of writing an update every two weeks has not gotten to a good start. These last couple of weeks, I have been particularly bad at keeping in touch as anyone who has sent me a message on Facebook I am sure will be aware of. In part this is due to a terrible accident that happened to my laptop, and by terrible accident, I mean I moved it literally less than an inch across my bed and the screen cracked. It is beyond usable now. For the time being I am using , well, I don’t really know what its called. It’s like a really small laptop. It might be called a notebook and I am just confused because that is the word in Portuguese for whatever laptop. It’s basically the predecessor to the tablet and is essentially awful. Don’t get me wrong I am really blessed to have it. But I can’t open a word document and the internet at the same time. To be honest, I can rarely open up an internet browser without the thing freezing. However, Pedro worked his computer magic and now seems to be working fairly decently.
Me and Pedro have been busy. There was the Dias dos Pais (fathers day) celebrations where the all the kids from Espaco Porto das Ondas did a retelling of the prodigal son using skils they has learn from the community project (dance, circus skills, drama, acrobatics), the kids from the music class wrote a song, and the football project wrote letters for their fathers. We are prayed together and afterwards there was food. It was very sweet, everything was a much higher quality than I was expecting. There was a turnout of around 200 which was a lot more than I was expecting. The majority of the men there weren’t in fact dads but granddads, uncles, step-dads etc. There is a phrase here in Brazil “Your dad is who raises you not who made you” and we encourage the kids to give honour to the men who look after them, clothe them, love them. It was really wonderful to see how much was achieved by the community project within 8 months.
Pedro’s been really busy in the multimedia department, I went to the village Nova Coroa which is the indigenous village within our village of Coroa Vermelha (think a village within a village) with some of the multimedia team in order to film and take photos of a presentation for tourists. Pedro led the day, and at the end we sat and ate traditional Pataxo food with some of the leaders. Pedro has been continuing filming and making videos for the different ministries of the base as well as filming some devotionals.
The base as a whole went to a small town called Guaratinga for a few days which is about an hour and a half away from Coroa Vermelha to teach strategies for evangelism and do outreach at the festival for the anniversary of the city. We were hosted by the Primeira Igreja Batista (First Baptist Church) there. I’ll be honest, I’ve never been hosted so well. I am so used to sleeping on the floor in slightly dirty places, using large amounts of time clean and cooking. But this church organised volunteers to cook for the whole team, and they have a place for groups of people to stay that was immaculate. The pastor who was called Wilton, was really lovely man with a great sense of purpose to show Jesus to his city. During the day there were workshops, the Sunday during morning church Pedro taught about the Biblical basis to missions and evangelism which he followed by teaching magic tricks as strategies to show the gospel. Ceifa (the art company within YWAM) would do acrobratics and various shows to attract people then me and Pedro would go talk to them. Me and Pedro prayed for various people and 3 teenaged boys accepted Christ.
The English classes for the missionaries at the base are now in full swing. It’s such a different experience to teach people who are determined to learn, the beginners class has progressed really quickly, I am really impressed at how good their accents are. The intermediate class is a bit harder as everyone is at different levels with different things that need improving. We have decided to not start teaching at the Community project until after Christmas as the base closes at the end of November until mid January and we won’t be at the base from October 15th until November 15th.
We’ve also continued to be busy with local churches, for example tonight we’re invited to a church to present the various things that YWAM is doing here in Coroa Vermelha, tomorrow Pedro is preaching in another church, and Sunday are preaching jointly. We’re still trying to work out some way to do more evangelism or visiting people jointly with the local churches.
In other news, I had my first experience as a patient in a Brazilian hospital. That sounds dramatic but really it’s the normal way to see a doctor here. I have had earache since I arrived in Brazil. It was completely opposite to the hospital in Belo Horizonte that I went to with Pedro last August. That was like something out of a war film. There were like thousands of people, it was really dirty, there were really ill people with drips in or like seeping blood just sitting on the floor waiting, and only one doctor. We were there for 9 hours, and it just happened to be the day before I returned to England lol. The hospital in Cabralia was spacious, really clean, well staffed, there was also only one doctor, but everyone was seen very quickly. The doctor was lovely, although he did spend rather a lot of time telling us that what kills most people who contract dengue fever is actually paracetamol. The doctor recommended that we go to a private hospital as even the big hospital in the centre of Porto Seguro doesn’t have an ear specialist. We don’t really have the money to do that, so I think we will think for a bit about what to do.
As I mentioned earlier, we are going to be away from the base from 15th October to 15th December. I have been invited to teach at YWAM Sertao in Crato where they are running an English for missions course; I will be the ultimate teacher and will be teaching for the final week. The sertao is the inland part of Brazil that is kind of deserty. Me and Pedro are both passionate about the sertao, it’s often the centre of problems such as water shortages, poverty, prostitution, and trafficking of child as well. The sertao is a place that me and Pedro are passionate for. Pedro has done missions in the sertao of Piaui, vale do Jequitinhonha which a place that I cannot pronounce but is considered one of the poorest places in Brazil, and various other places in the North of Minas Gerais. I also did the outreach section of my DTS in and around the town of Manga in the North of Minas Gerais. After I finish teaching at the YWAM base, we will be evangelising in the nearby city of Juazeiro do Norte for a week. The journey there is long and complicated, we will travel from Porto Seguro to Salvador 15th October, Pedro will preach at a church plant of his church on the 16th, We then fly to Fortaleza on the 17th in the morning, after we arrive we get a coach to Juazeiro do Norte, and from Juazeiro do Norte we will get a bus to Crato. On the return route which will be the exact same journey in reverse, we will stay a week in Fortaleza preaching and evangelising in various places. We are really excited by the challenge God has set us, I am really looking forward to seeing a bit more of Brazil. But I am not going to lie, I feel quit daunted by the task of getting together money. As many of you know, YWAMers aren’t paid but live on faith. The flight from Salvador to Fortaleza and back was R$900 and the coach to Salvador will be R$700. Thankfully, someone has bought our ticket from Fortaleza to Crato and back. However the amount to raise is still big and doesn’t include the money outside of just the journey there and back.
Our other news is that we were asked by the base to be leaders on the first DTS here in YWAM Porto das Ondas, and after much prayer have accepted. DTS stands for discipleship training school which trains and equips missionaries, it’s also the entry course if you want to work with YWAM. There will be 3 months lecture phase where we will assist and run small groups but we also be continuing a lot of the work we were doing before. I will still teach English and we will continue to work with the local churches, to evangelise and to disciple the local community. We will be responsible for a two month outreach aswell. It is very exciting but we equally have been presented with the opportunity to return to YWAM Contagem to do a workshop about working on a DTS. We would both really like to go but have come to the decision that it’s not really an option unless we can raise at least half the cost (around R$500).
We have thought a lot about how to broach the subject of finances and the truth is that it effects the life of a missionary and therefore we want to be honest. Not to beg but to present our needs and intentions. We are really gratefully for our sponsors here in Brazil and in England, as well as St. John’s church, Harborne for their continued support financially, emotionally, and in prayer. As Pedro says, “it’s not money that funds missions but prayers”. We are looking for people who are going to walk alongside us in all kinds of ways.
Healt-: we have both been suffering with a lot of sore and swollen throats, earache, headache, it’s apparently doing with it being rather dusty here. But please pray for us.
For the trip to YWAM sertao- that we would raise enough money to cover the cost of the journey. Also that our teaching would be effective to inspire and encourage missions overseas.
For our work with the local community, churches etc- To continue building relationships with pastors and within the community in general.
For wisdom and guidance with working within Nova Coroa- as it in an indigenous tribe, we have to be careful to remain respectful always.
For the DTS- that we can be effective to support and help the students