This week Daniel was finally able to knock down the old structure in the workshop space. Unfortunately along the way, he noticed a few complications beside the nextdoor neighbour’s bathroom which wasn’t plumbed in properly but, with some help from Raphael, the problem is fixed and the space now looks like this. There are other photos I’ll add later when I have them.
It was helpful that the neighbour is a Christian lady who has taken part in the Saturday visits we do. She actually lost a son indirectly to drugs. It seems he had owed money to some dealers and was involved in a shoot out where a stray bullet killed a young girl who was running away. That girl’s father happened to be in jail and ordered guys to go and get our neighbour’s son. He was tortured and cut into pieces while still alive. It sounds like a Hollywood movie but it was a very real and terrible tragedy in the local area. The victim’s mum is unsurprisingly supportive of our plan to work with ex-users.
Daniel has just returned from a brief visit to Arame with the church. I have yet to catch up with him properly but I hear it was a great trip with close to 200 kids coming along to the programme. Daniel was impressed with the behaviour of the kids, a great improvement on the majority of kids in the UK!
We also had to spend time last week sorting out my (Linsey’s) permanent visa. The process itself is actually fairly straightforward, if a bit laboured, but once again, we were at the mercy of staff availability and efficiency. One member of staff initially gave us only some of the relevant information we needed. After 4 visits to the Federal Police and 2 visits to a registry office to carry out such tasks as getting a verified photocopy of every page of my passport (including all the blank pages, oh yes!), I now have my permanent visa. Hurrah!
After a few hours of turnaround, Daniel is now in Sao Paulo at the Fiel Conference where he is enjoying the teaching, fellowship and rubbing shoulders with authors, journalists and, of course, our own minister from home, Mez. Our home church’s ministry, 20schemes, already has parts of the sites available in Portuguese and it is hoped the partnership with the publishing company, Fiel, will help share the common interests of sharing the gospel in needy areas.
Since Daniel is away for most of a week altogether, we decided to take Antonio to the shopping centre last week. Here, going to a shopping centre is a leisure activity and not just for shopping. People go to eat, to hang out, there are rides and games for children, etc. Antonio enjoyed his chicken nuggets and the giant ball pool! There were extra attractions as it was Children’s Day here last week. It’s a national holiday and many children get presents. It was also Teacher’s Day today, so a holiday for some and an excuse for pupils to buy teachers a gift, or perhaps an excuse for teachers to have another day off. Teachers notoriously strike all the time in the state school!
We are nearly finished our evangelistic community visits along the street that was our main area of focus and are now planning the follow-up events and seeing what we’ll do next. We’ve had lots of good conversations and some wanting us to come back to share more about the bible.
Thanks for your attention. We are pleased that many folks are enjoying our updates and haven’t forgotten us!