Saturday, August 9, 2008

Day 2

Boa Noite!
Good Evening!! I forgot to mention yesterday that every single one of our bags, personal and vacation bible school, made it here. :)

We had a fantastic rest full day. We were able to do some sightseeing and shopping at the local "prison". All the cells were shops; it was very interesting. We spent a good majority of our day with our "buddy", visiting and goofing around as we walked through the mall. We met some kids from Coelhos favela; Coelhos favela is a favela that VFC worked with five years ago. Some of our members from the team hadn't seen those kids in five years. What a blessing this work is!

The highlight of the day occurred in the evening. We had supper at a tasty Chinese food restaurant where we met our translators, a group of about fifteen Brazilians. After supper, we visited a downtown Presbyterian church, where Lecio was hosting his workers from the July camp. We rocked out with a band and about 100 youth/adults who had worked with him. In Psalm 149:3, it says "Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King. Let them praise his name with dancing..." We praise his name with dancing! God is so good. Our Israel is Brazil, and we are glad in our King. We get ready for the week tomorrow. Please keep praying...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Day 1

Bom Dia!!
Good Day or evening from Brazil! We arrived in Recife at 4:30 p.m. (almost 24 hours from the time we left DFW). God is so good! The flight from DFW to Sao Paulo was uneventful - lots of sleeplessness, movie watching and partial dozing.

But, the flight from Sao Paulo to Recife was extraordinary! Joseph Sansanelli sat next to a Brazilian woman named Maria Jose, an attorney and professed communist. She seemed pretty disconnected and eccentric. He struck up a conversation with her, trying to find a "common denominator". They talked about family and eventually she asked what he was doing in Brazil, which then led to talking about her Catholic upbringing. He explained that he was one of thirty people from Fort Worth coming to Recife to love on and spread the gospel to the children of the favela. She seemed intrigued. As the conversation progressed, the crux of her separation from God was primarily due to her misunderstanding why there was such a disparity between the rich and the poor of Brazil. Why would God allow this? Joseph professed that God does not define value in a worldly sense; He looks straight to the heart of man to determine who is rich and who is poor. In fact, rich people have a greater responsibility to mankind. He explained that Jesus tells us it is easier for a poor man to find the kingdom of heaven... and she remembered having learned about the parable of the rich man years ago. Joseph also presented the verses found in Ephesians 2:8 and John 14:6; and after 2 Corinthians 5:17, she felt a weight lifted from her. She came to Jesus, knowing His freedom. When we arrived in Recife, we connected her to Lecio and the ministry in Coque favela, where she lives nearby. What a great day!

Thank you for your prayers. Keep praying. We love you...