It’s about time for an update, you may be thinking. Sorry folks, both laptops were out of action, as well as ourselves, to an extent, with really nasty colds. I (Linsey) am much better and relieved it has passed. Sinus pain is nasty, and I have a new respect for those suffering with sinusitis. Antonio and Daniel are not quite 100% yet but better than they have been.
We have much to be grateful for at the moment, not least for the progress and provision for the roof to go on the workshop and the flooring having been laid. It is amazing how God provides people from various corners to help just when we really need it. Daniel now has several buddies at the construction material shops as he is there so often. Wherever we go, he likes to explain what his material is for, with the hope of getting a discount, of course, but also to share his faith and see what the response is from the employee. He came across one chap, Junior, who is also a Christian and he offered to take a look at the building site. He stopped off one day after work and gave some very useful advice about how to put the roof tiles on and how much weight he felt the columns could support, which essentially changed our plans for the roof at the last minute. It’s not always easy to get good, honest advice and we were thankful for his input.
Once all the materials were collected with the help of a loan of a trailer from our friend, Pedro, from the church, the roof was on before the end of the day.
We we’re invited to a wedding anniversary celebration lunch for Raimundinho and Iraneide, the leaders of the recovery house we often team up with, Casa de Davi, or David’s House. We managed to arrange a day for Raimundinho to come and lay the concrete floor. He happens to be a builder, which is super providencial!
Raimundinho started the guys off, and a motley crew of various helpers did the rest! They were: Daniel (now available for all your building needs), Rafael (long-term friend from Primeira Igreja who has been involved since the start) , João (young man from Primeira Igreja who is from a tough area but has shown commitment to this work, Isaías (a builder who has been through recovery houses and and come out the other side), Manoel (Daniel’s hot-tempered welder brother who makes himself available to help when we really need it), Robson (Daniel’s nephew who pitched in when we were strapped one day), and not to forget Daniel’s teenage nephew and niece, Victor and Vitóri, who have pitched in around their schoolwork from the beginning. They might occasionally be gently encouraged by their mum, Lusione, an integral piece of this growing jigsaw herself, as she gives space in her house for our team to make and eat food, store tools, take showers etc.), but often these two willingly graft away and set an example to their peers. Praise God for so many people being willing to muck in for little or no payment. I (Linsey) often think how hard it must be for missionaries or charity workers who arrive in places without such a support network to tap into easily. We are very blessed in this respect.
In other news, our small group continues to be an encouragement as this new group get to know one another better. The group is in a different home each week. It’s helpful
that the rain has eased a little the past 2 weeks as it meant we could have the group in the houses which are less accessible due to waterlogged roads. There is no comprehensive drainage system in São Luis, apart from in the rich areas, so imagine torrential, tropical rain on a road which is not asphalted. The holes in the road, or craters, are dangerous and highly damaging for your car if you don’t or can’t spot them in time.
There are more posts and bits of news to come soon but hopefully our friends, family and supporters will be encouraged to see your support is making such a huge difference to the actual workshop which is already impacting lives for good.