There has been so much happening and many highlights over the last week or so that I think sharing the photos will say everything much more succinctly than my rambling.
It was great to celebrate Easter here in Brazil and see the type of things that take place. The celebrations started at Antonio’s school before they broke up for a short break. (Most places just take Good Friday off here.) During Holy Week, the kids learned about the Last Supper and had a special snack of bread and grape juice! On Thursday every class performed something for parents. Antonio and his nursery school age accomplices sang, danced and, in Antonio’s case, jumped to an Easter song. The school is based on Christian philosophy but, even so, I was impressed by the importance placed on the true Easter story. The freedom to talk about God and the bible is a great benefit to living in Brazil, but as the Easter performances were taking place, one of the harder realities was also visible. On arriving at the school, armed policeman were casually walking along the road the school is on, wearing their bulletproof vests and very visibly carrying their rifles. Several police helicopters flew overhead as the police closed in on a local criminal. Fortunately, it didn’t take away from the show.
On Good Friday all the family got together for lunch, the rain sadly started in the middle of food but it dampen the spirits! The church put on a superb performance of the Easter story at two packed services on Easter Sunday.
On Easter Sunday it was an encouragement to bump into Adriano (above) at church. He spent many years on the streets and in out of recovery houses and Daniel has had contact with him over many years. Daniel has seen Adriano at his worst, appearing on his doorstep literally beaten to a pulp by dealers and unrecognisable, as well as at better times while living in J.Lima recovering from illness, only to return to the streets months later. However, today he is training with JOCUM (YWAM in English, or Youth with a Mission) and certainly looked well and was optimistic about the future. We pray he’ll remain firm this time and not be tempted by the draws of street life and drugs.
It was the “Dia do Índio” or Indian Day on 19th April and there were many children leaving schools and nurseries dressed up as indigenous people. Antonio was in his element and the headdress is still requested every so often!
In terms of the project, it is great to see the outer walls nearly finished and the interior taking shape.
Daniel has had no end of hard work picking up materials in the trailer we invested in for the project and making sure everything is running smoothly with the builders we are using for this part of the work. But things are moving at pace and it is a race against time for the area to be looking presentable for a second-hand sale and mini fun day we are organising for Saturday. The idea is to let the community see what we doing (lots of people think the building is going to be a church or even five-a-side indoor football pitch) and share the purpose of it all while raising some funds for the project and having fun. We have received many donations of clothes and items and have already got a team of helpers, both for which we are very grateful.
Daniel also had the privilege and challenge of preaching at the Primeira Igreja last Sunday. The message on being an ‘Authentic Christian’ was well received and we trust God was speaking through his word.
I’m sure there is more for me to share but I’ll call it a day for now. Thanks for your interest and support, as always.