Christmas gatherings, a whole lot of food and fun, there may not be snow and the traditions might be different, but the festive period offers lots of great opportunities in Sao Luis.
For anyone who might have missed it, our small team has been joined by Pastor Márcio and Maxsianne. Márcio just happens to be Daniel’s nephew who lives nextdoor to the workshop and Maxsianne just happens to be super talented with all kinds of arts and crafts and kids work. We are thrilled about this answer to prayer and God is already doing exciting things through this couple, not least with their massive involvement in our main Christmas event. We used our last fundraiser to raise money for a community Christmas dinner for all of the trainees (practical welders and English pupils) and their families. The evening included a quiz, a wee blurb about the project for folks who were unsure, a short message and the distribution of some Christmas hampers.
We had a Christmas themed night at the English class, and I think I learned as much as the students about where Christmas trees and the Santa phenomenon comes from. We did a “Secret Santa” style game but we had to bring gender neutral home-made presents which we could poach until the last minute!
Christmas is a family time here and people only really travel to be with the main group of family. The main event is a dinner and present exchanging on Christmas Eve which continues over midnight when fireworks are set off and music is played veeeerry loudly to ring in Christmas Day. Christmas Day itself involves eating leftovers and chilling.
It was fantastic to have a few days off over the Christmas break. We enjoyed a few trips out and about round Sao Luís. Antonio’s favourite place is the water park!
The project, Instituto Engrenar is back in full swing, with recent projects including the conversion of an old oil drum into a bench, painting a neighbour’s security gate, wooden benches and decorative items. Behaviour isn’t generally an issue with the trainees but one young man has been a bit troublesome recently so has been asked to take some time out to reflect. We have invited another young man to get involved too, which is great.
Next week sees the start of our first craft course for ladies in the area which we are looking forward to greatly. It is soon to be followed by a Saturday’s kids’ club so watch this space for new ventures in 2018. Praise God for His goodness!