It’s been a while since I “blogged” and it will be nice to share with you some of what’s been going on with us. Its been a month of addressing the practical details of our new life here. We’ve helped finish part of the bldg that will be our temporary, initial home in Brazil. Our plan is to move to another location in a year or two where we can be used more affectively in ministry. For now, this will be a nice place to adjust and learn language and become part of the missionary team. Days have been spent framing, tiling, painting, cement work, brick work, spreading gravel. All in 90+ degree heat and all by hand. Evenings have been short because I’m out of shape and in bed, usually by nine. Mornings are pretty special. Quiet, dark, cool, feeling rested, no bugs, looking through a window overlooking the Xingu River, which, to me, represents our place of service. It’s here that I most enjoy interacting with the One who has called us to these people. His delight in me and His affection for the people of this area, many of whom don’t know His delight in them, is more evident to me during these precious moments.
I feel a growing distance between my worlds. My former life and its reality is fading, in a similar way that the reality of this place was so difficult to realize when I lived away from it. And yet, I know they are both real places. Its necessary for me to believe and trust what I can’t see. Just like in my relationship with my Father, things can become a bit foggy. He is as real as those I love in the states, and I can see neither.
God has given us a family here. There are 25 adult missionaries, and 22 kids. These people we will spend our lives with are beautiful. We’ve had several sweet Kinships (evenings of worship, prayer, bible study) with the missionaries that seem to have played a role in drawing us together. God seems to be doing a uniting among this group. As we push forward in difficult work in a difficult place, we will need unity of heart and knowledge of support with each other. God seems to be doing something in this regard at this time. I look forward to what he has ahead for this group. One Kinship involved us washing each other’s feet and praying , as a group, for the one getting washed. It was pretty sobering, pretty intimate, and pretty special.
We’ve visited several churches; two larger (> 100), two smaller (<50). Over the next few months we will choose a Brazilian church family. We’re asking God to lead us to a family where we can be a blessing and where we can build relationships that He can use to encourage us, as well. The people seem quite warm and welcoming. The services are somewhat difficult, especially for the kids, because we understand nothing. They’ve done well, however, and we go for ice-cream afterwards, which is fun for all.
We purchased a truck-a ’96 Chevy D-20 which is made in Brazil, so repair is inexpensive. And repair it needs! I also bought a dirt bike to help in getting around and going on short ministry trips in the bush (less than 1 day). We also hope to have our other furniture delivered this week and after I build some shelves, perhaps, our initial efforts toward getting moved in will be behind us. Then its on to language, language, language! The more we interact with the people here, the more motivated we are to learn to communicate with them. My desire, both to encourage them and to tell them of the God they can know and that so cherishes them, grows daily