This past week everyone has been talking about the US election. Like the result or not, it was the result of a democratic vote. Here in Brazil, democracy only functions partially. This country was run by the military dictatorship as late as 1985 and I don’t think they’ve quite got the hang of democracy yet. Previous posts have mentioned corruption in this state and there are various councillors and MPs being investigated for swindling money. Born into wealth with, arguably, little regard for the poor makes Trump similar to many Brazilian politicians!
It’s busy as ever here and we’re conscious how much more we’d like to fit into our weeks (like working more on raising supporters and partners here, spending more time at the recovery houses or even on the streets) but we have to be grateful that things are happening and everything is in God’s timing. Daniel and Rafael sorted the problem with the drainage in the neighbour’s house beside the workshop and some other neighbours have helped clear some of the rubble with the help of their donkeys! It’s quite normal to see donkey and horse carts going down the road here, sometimes even the main roads!!
We are so pleased that various people have stepped in to offer advice and help. The guys have been sourcing materials for the construction and taking time to make wise decisions and get the best prices. Antonio even tried his hand and being extra cute to try and get a discount in this shop (below).
We continue to study the bible with a young couple who asked for help. We believe they can only find real help if they seek to live according to God’s word. What relationship wouldn’t improve if we all practiced these words?
” Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14
Even in the work we are doing here, if we don’t have compassion, kindness and love, we won’t get very far. In the eyes of the world, we are already wasting our time. But we believe we can make a difference here, basing our lives and work on God’s word. Daniel used this chapter of Colossians at his neice’s wedding last Saturday. He was asked to bring a message for Mayara and Genilson (and ended up pretty much leading the informal ceremony!). I enjoyed being at my first wedding in Brazil (which wasn’t my own!). The start time was 7pm on the invitations. Weddings are normally just in the evenings here. Everyone knows the bride will be late so drinks and snacks are served to the guests first and the proceedings eventually started around 9.15pm. The ceremony took place and then there was more food and drink, photos and the cake.
It’s good getting to know folks at the Primeira Igreja and I (Linsey) enjoyed a baby shower for one of the Pastor’s and his wife. The games at such affairs are not really my thing so I was relieved not to have to guess the ingredients of the baby food or feed porridge to someone blindfolded. It was still good fun though and great to chat to other mums.
It was lovely to visit the newest member of Daniel’s family a few days ago, Daniel’s great nephew baby Benjamim. His parents, Ramon and Eva, hadn’t had the easiest pregnancy so it was great he arrived safely and on the hefty side! Eva is also from another state but her mum has been staying with them for a while which is a big help. Antonio was not too sure why the baby couldn’t walk, and he was more interested in playing football, but he seemed to warm to him.
I think that’s enough news for now. As always, feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or just want to drop a line. We so appreciate it!