I am undecided if there is something quite refreshing about the lack of health and safety here or if it’s plain frightening. In between showers and tropical rain, the team have been welding the beams for the roof of the workshop across the side columns. The beams were lifted in place in the rain and secured until they could be welded. You can see from the photo that it’s not easy to navigate the low hanging cables in his city. Our internet cable at home was already knocked over by a big lorry once. It was fixed the next day which impressed me. Still, no double deckers expected in these parts!
We’ve seen all types of things going on this week to delay things. Between our volunteers having to resolve disputes with neighbours at the police station, to others starting uni or sitting driving tests, routine doctors appointments and the rain, it’s a wonder any of the welding has been possible. The “scaffolding” is quite rickety to say the least and Daniel is not a massive fan of heights. It’s also not easy to keep your balance and control a welding machine so there have been a few nervous moments but they got there in the end with various folks pitching in to help.
The roof tiles have arrived in São Luís so Daniel will arrange collection now and and we can’t wait to see them going on soon!
On a different note, a photo caught Daniel’s eye on social media recently. It was a “before and after” shot of a former street kid whose life appeared to have been radically transformed at a Christian recovery house. Daniel recognised him as Marcos Antonio who he has known for years from working with Mez. Curious to know more, and find out about the credentials of this recovery house, Daniel got in touch with those looking after him and paid a visit. Marcos recognised Daniel straight away and was asking after all the folks from Mez’s time. He has spent a few years in one recovery house and is now helping at this new one. It is not easy to judge a place on one visit but it did not appear particularly structured or entirely biblical. Many recovery houses are opening to make money and it’s pretty tragic. We hope that’s not the case where Marcos is living. Daniel was really encouraged to see him doing well anyway and see seeds from years ago coming to fruition.
There’s a nasty virus/flu bug going round São Luis which left our small group quite depleted this week but, since our group is large snyway, it was still very worthwhile holding it. The topic was prayer and we were all encouraged to think about our prayer lives and how we pray, remembering God is not a genie who answers prayers the way we want but how He sees best. He wants our time and for us to know Him more than a list of requests.
We also managed to get round to visiting the Department for Transport and it was a welcome relief to know I, Linsey, do not have to sit the Brazilian practical driving test. I can just apply to convert my UK licence into a Brazilian one. It’s a more documentation, a few trips to the registry office and to see a registered translator but all should be manageable, albeit at a cost. Hurrah!
Antonio continues to enjoy his nursery school and is already chatting more naturally in Portuguese.
Now and again, the obligatory game of football is required. Daniel played a match last weekend with a team of guys from his street and the area around the workshop. They are not committed Christians but would naturally pray before the start of the match. They didn’t get a win but we enjoyed the entertainment and free mangoes, picked freshly pitch side.
There are some days of national holiday this week for carnaval so we we will try to take some time out. We are going to a conference of Monday and will see what we do Tuesday and Wednesday. I’ll post something about carnaval soon. I’m still trying to work out what it’s all about!