A Week in Progress (and one wee boy turns 3!)

One of the exciting things about working full-time in Christian ministry is that no two weeks are ever the same. One week’s frustrations are quickly made up for with many encouragements are new opportunities to serve the people of this needy city. If you are short on time to read on, the highlights are good progress on the interior and electrics for the workshop, a chance to showcase the practical side of the project at the church with the help of a new recruit from a recovery house and one Scottish Brazilian turns 3.

We managed to find some good builders to do the plastering inside the workshop. Daniel “happened” to drive passed a builder his Dad used to contract years ago and asked him to have a look at the workshop. Betinho and his assistant have been working for around 10 days now and, like all people we have contracted or asked to Bebê involved in some way, have agreed to take part in the morning devotionals (short bible study) before the day’s work begins. Interesting conversations are always had and we pray for these guys that they might be considering the big questions of life as they go about their work.

Daniel also managed to arrange for two men from the church to do the electrics. Don’t worry, they are qualified electricians! Geomar and Luís Carlos are part of the men’s prayer ministry and were just waiting in the wings for when we were ready for them to help.

L-R: Jean (more on him below), Luís Carlos and Geomar

Geomar went with Daniel to buy the materials and, as is the norm, to see if the shop would let them share a little about the project. The attendant serving them “happened” to be from São Bernardo, the needy area where the workshop is located, and the owner of the shop, which is the size of a B and Q in the UK, “happened” to be nearby at the time they were all chatting and heard all about the project. It’s quite impressive that the employees listened to Daniel’s presentation for some time, thanked him for sharing, and eventually gave the project a pretty generous discount. As Daniel shared with our small group afterwards, the point wasn’t the value but the fact that they listened, heard something of the gospel and cared enough to act.

While the work carries on at the workshop, Daniel has been pleased to lend his services to the church who are building an extension on to a sheltered area at the front of the building to provide more shade and protection from the tropical rain when it comes. He is working with loyal friend of the project, Pedro, and our newest recruit Jean. Jean has been in and out of recovery houses a few times but has been recently been doing well at the Casa de Davi recovery house. His leader put him forward for this opportunity to train with us to see how he gets on with some responsibility. So far, all is going well with him.

The front of our church- shelter seen being extended to the right
Pedro and Jean
Pedro, Daniel and Jean hiding behind

On 28th May, Antonio turned 3 years old, which is rather frightening. He celebrated with a simple get together at his auntie, Tia Lu´s, house. Tia Janete, another of Daniel´s sister´s made the cake, cousins decorated the terrace, and umpteen folk brought gifts, which is so generous, especially as toys can be pricey here. Although Antonio, wasn´t too keen to join in the party games, he was chuffed with his presents and enjoyed himself.

Antonio has progressed well in Brazil, and we´re proud of how far he has come. He struggled at the start in some ways, more socially than anything else, but he is progressing and now is finding it much easier to find common ground with folk. We are grateful for his good health, his nursery school and his massive leaps in understanding and speaking Portuguese over the time we have been here. It is coming up to a year already!

Here are a few pics below of a recent afternoon off.

Last Sunday morning, we visited the Sunday morning bible school at El Shadday church with Pastor Frank, an old friend of Daniel and Mez’s. We had been meaning to visit this church again and hadn´t quite managed it so we squeezed in a visit before I explode, that is to say, before baby number 2 arrives.

I (Linsey) went back to driving school last week too, an interesting experience which I will post on separately. It is all part of the process to take out a Brazilian licence. Hopefully all is sorted now and my licence should arrive in the post without having to do the practical test…but it probably takes one more visit to the Department of Transport to be sure.