Hello from Brazil! It has been a crazy week full of blessings and new experiences for all of us! On Tuesday eight of us were able to join a Brazilian church planting conference with pastors from around Brazil. The rest of us went to see the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in the heart of Rio De Janeiro. There we learned how it truly feels to be in a country where you know very little of the language. It was both funny and frustrating to try to find our way around, but the team kept a good attitude and in the end we were blessed with views of Rio and the opportunity to see a historical monument significant to Brazil. Originally the mountain was named the “Pinnacle of Temptation” but now it is the home of a statue of Jesus Christ for the world to see.
Tuesday evening we headed to Buzios to begin the restful part of our trip. We arrived late in the evening at a beautiful home that was rented for us by a friend of Jay. Although we were tired and it was a little rainy, we all went to the beach for a swim. The cool water was refreshing; the mountains in the distance were awe-inspiring; and the fellowship encouraging. It was perfect. Once we were back at the house we tried our hand at water polo in the pool. Our beds that night were a welcome sight.
On Wednesday morning we woke up to have breakfast and a time of study and worship before heading out to the dock for a day on the boat in Buzios. Buzios is a picturesque little tourist town full of shops and restaurants right on the shore. There a boat was waiting to take us on a short tour of the beaches in the area. The captain of the ship was very accommodating - making us feel right at home with the soundtrack of “California Girls” by Katy Perry sailing from the speakers of the ship as we set out to sea. He took us to two beautiful beaches and stopped occasionally to point out landmarks on the shoreline. That evening we went out to eat some delicious Brazilian food and shop for souvenirs. All in all the day was wonderfully exhausting.
This morning we left for Niterói to the church that we worked alongside for the mission trips in the past. As soon as we were off the bus we were taken to one of the favelas in the area for VBS. Children were already waiting for us and they were excited and eager to see the “Americanos” and learn and play with us. Although there is a language barrier, it is beautiful to see how children respond to a friendly face or a fun game. We had so much fun teaching the kids about creation and God’s sovereignty. It is our prayer that the time we spent with them would be fruitful and that they would never forget the love of Jesus.
This evening we ate dinner at the church and stayed for the mid-week gathering. They sang worship songs in Portuguese and we sang in English. Eric Papp gave a message from Ephesians on finding our identity Christ and some of us were able to share our testimonies. Before we left we prayed for each other and embraced with the love that is found in the body of Christ, even when you are thousands of miles away from home.
Now we are on the bus back to Rio de Janeiro to get a good night's sleep before we go back to work in the City of God tomorrow. Please continue to pray for us as we reach out to the people of Brazil. Pray for safety and open hearts in all of those we meet. Pray that our team would remain unified and place the will of God before our own. Thank you all so much for your love and support. We thank God for you.
In Christ, Catherine Edic