Praise the Lord... finally a rain-less morning!
Another great day in Sol Nascente... such a blessing to be able to have spent a day and a half with the people here and see the ministry that the Lord has created in Sol Nascente using Erika and Vanderley. A highlight this morning was when our friend Becky was able to reconnect with a friend, Junior, who she had met during the time she spent here this summer. Her testimony had a profound effect on him in July and he promised her then that when she returned next, he would be "a Christian like her". When Becky saw Junior again this morning, he made the decision to turn from his old ways and trust Christ in full surrender. Twas such a sweet moment for her and for all of us to be reminded of the freedom that the gospel gives.
VBS was a grand 'ol time as always! There are some pretty sassy kids here... a brother and sister pair, Cida and Yudi, made me almost feel bad for their parents if they hadn't been so dang cute. Once again our boys and Julie acted out the nativity story for the kids, but with a little twist for today... the Dentist's daughter Annabelle as baby Jesus. Really gave the story a validity that the creepy baby doll was unable to provide in past performances. Then more picture coloring, painting t-shirts, and passing out goldfish, fruit snacks and candy. Those kids wear ya out...
It was really important to Erika and Vanderley for some of our team to visit the homes of those who are a part of their church to encourage them to continue to grow in their faith and also to challenge them to become leaders in their community. Erika and Vanderley need for their church to step up and begin serving and helping the people of Sol Nascente. Overall, the team was exhausted after a long morning in the village.. and terribly sunburned.
Rosey and Ross are feeling much better after their little sickness of sorts and were able to rejoin us in the village this afternoon! Erika also asked us girls to talk to the teenagers about their struggles... finding their identity in the Lord, purity, self-confidence... all issues that transcend culture as things we equally battle with. Our American girls were then able to share their testimonies of how the Lord is able to give us freedom from those pressures. The kids enjoyed the playground, the soccer game, and the attention the crazy Americanos showed them.
All day we spread news of the church service we would hold at Erika and Vanderley's house at 5. We began with a skit that depicts the many worldly things that distract us from the Lord, even though He is there through it all. Becca followed with sharing her story of how God has worked in her life and Catherine presented what we call the "sin solution"... an illustration much too confusing to explain in a blog... spoiler: the secret is clorox and iodine. John then spoke and shared the gospel with the people, informing them on how their eternity depends on what they choose to believe. Then praise the Lord, back to the boat for a much needed shower (a baby peed on the both of us) and one of the best dinners I've ever had here. Chicken with some sort of Ramen-ish noodle, beef, beans and rice (duh), and Shannon's fav dessert... key lime pie perhaps? Not really so sure...
And now it's almost 11, playing games on the boat after alligator hunting, snacking on nutella and peanut butter pretzels. All around, life is good. We're happy... and best of all, the boat's still floating.
New Year's Eve tommorrow, yay! Missing you all, but can't say we're dwelling on it... all the same, we are so very thankful for each of you and for what you have done to help us get here. Thank you for your prayers, we are beginning to get tired and need them so!
Shannon and Lauren