We arrived in Sao Paulo on the 26rd June, less than three weeks after we got married. We were hoping for a relaxing time in Pedro’s home town of Itupeva before heading to the YWAM base in Bahia. Of course that’s not what happened. Our time turned into a crazy three weeks of hastily visiting the cartorio, the policial federal in order to sort out my visa. We also spent a lot of time with family and in churches. Pedro was invited to preach a lot! In one week we preached 5 times, which was honouring but also very tiring for us both. In at least 2 occasions he was invited on the day to preach. The more spontaneous nature of Brazilian culture is taking a while for me to get used to. I was also called to give a “palavra” before Pedro preached many times. Here, if you are a missionary you are expected to be prepared to preach, give a word, or pray in front of a church at a moments notice.
Pedro’s parents kindly organised for us a celebration for our wedding which was a churrasco in a chacara. Despite being probably the coldest day in the world, it turned out to be a really lovely day, full of family friends and lots of meat!
We flew into Bahia on 23rd July and arrived at the YWAM base the same day. Despite what I have told everyone, the base is actually in the city of Santa Cruz Cabralia and not Porto Seguro. Our neighbourhood is about ten minutes in the car from the centre of Porto Seguro, so maybe I can be forgiven. The base for YWAM Porto das ondas turned out to be a lot bigger than we expected. A local church in Coroa Vermelha has loaned the base free for 5 years, however the base is very basic. Really, YWAM Porto das ondas is looking to buy somewhere bigger of their own to accommodate the ever growing team. The base is 5 minute away from the beach and the neighbourhood contains 2 indigenous villages both from the pataxo tribe. The community project, which is called Projeto Porto das Ondas, is mainly involved with the pataxo people, teaching music, guitar, dance, and circus skills to children and young people, a class in sewing has just started for adults as well. I will be teaching English there but I am more involved in visits to the families whose children are involved in the project. This week I will also start teaching English to the base.
Pedro has been busy in the multimedia department of the base. Currently, he is making videos about the different projects involved here, as well as making devotional videos. He is learning a lot about editing and filming. He has been invited by the leader of the pataxo tribe to make a video about their way of life, which he will start next week.
We are visiting local churches, promoting the project and growing relations. We were looking for a church to go to on Sunday, we passed an “assembleia de Deus” that was completely empty apart from the pastor who was knelt on the floor praying. I commented to Pedro that it was the saddest thing I had ever seen. We decided to enter and got talking to the pastor who explained that the majority of the congregation were away at a conference and his wife with whom he normally leads the service with, had just had an operation hence wasn’t well enough to attend. The moment we entered he had been praying and had asked not to be alone. He opened the service with a prayer and then invited Pedro to preach, who preached with the same vigour as if there were a hundred people in the room, not 2. The pastor was extremely pleased at our presence and requested that Pedro return the following Sunday to preach again.
Last week, we travelled to the policial federal in Porto Seguro with the expectation to get my permanent residence visa that day. Unfortunately, they sent us to the cartorio saying we needed to get a brazilian marriage certificate. The cartorio was however having a strike and was bombard with people for the few people that were working that day. The lady who served us proceeded to say that our request was impossible and that she refused to do it due to the differences between a English and a Brazilian certificate. After much tears and fear, the next day we went to a different cartorio that wasn’t in strike to see what they would say. The news here was much more positive. Despite not being able to enter the building because someone had lost the keys. A group of employees discussed our case with us outside as they waited for their keys to arrive. They assured us that it was actually really simple and the other cartorio was wrong, we just need an updated birth certificate for Pedro and we are all set. We have decided to keep living at the base rather than renting somewhere until my visa is sorted.
Our first few weeks in Bahia have been busy but good in spite of me accidentally drinking impure water which made me rather poorly for a couple of days. We feel a lot of peace here and God is giving lots of ideas and things to do.
Please pray for us:
- That we would develop good relationships within the base, churches, and the local community. In particular, we want to gain a good relationship with the leader of the pataxo as we are praying to start a discipleship group within the indigenous village.
- The start of various English classes. That the classes on the base would inspire and encourage missions, and the classes for the children would inspire them to dream big. To encourage the relationships with the local church to be healthy and varied.
- Finances and sponsors. Unfortunately, some promises of sponsorship haven’t materialised.
- Health and security. That me and Pedro would be able to work hard without getting poorly. Also, for safety as we work, Coroa Vermelha has two gangs active here and has a lot of problems with drugs traffickers.
- The internet. It seems a superficial thing to pray for but actually he are finding it really hard to be able to speak with our friends and family which takes a tole on us.