June 30, 2011
Dear Family and Friends,
Today has been a most amazing day on the mighty Amazon River. The A Team from Eastwood Presbyterian Church of Montgomery, Alabama (with one transplant from Texas and one from Georgia) is happy to report that our deepest expectations were met today, and we are most thankful to God for the many blessings He has given us. The team is thriving under Jay Hinton's leadership. He makes each team member feel important, and he brings joy to the team. The team is very close and bonding is growing deeper each day. This blog is being written jointly by Sue, Emily, Sadler, and Walker Lee.
Today we visited two smaller villages, Maranhao and Paraiso. Maranhao is a very unique village that is in one of the most remote areas of the Lake Carara region. The houses are built on the side of a hill. This village has families that are mostly nonbelievers. Paraiso is one of the most beautiful villages. It is the one with the steep stairs that used to be green, but now they are pink. The view from the top of the hill is breathtaking. Paraiso now has a generator, so electric lights line the outdoor paths. Both villages have new municipal areas with school rooms and restrooms (that were locked). At both villages we had medical and dental teams, ladies minsitry, and VBS. At Maranhao 56 patients were seen in medical and 14 patients were seen in dental. At Paraiso 52 patients were seen in medical and 12 were seen in dental.
Walker Lee (8 years old) - Today I played soccer with some Brazilian boys. We were just playing for fun. I also went to VBS at both villages. I thought it was a lot of fun. I liked how the children made the craft that showed how Jesus is our bridge to God. The kids glued a red strip of paper on a piece of card stock that had each kid's name at one end and Deus (God) at the other end. The word pecado (sin) was under the bridge. They arched a red bridge over the pecado and wrote JESUS on the bridge. Then they decorated their papers with fun foam cross stickers.
Sadler - Today was a great day. My grand-father and I finished putting the last pieces of the baptismal font together. Also, we put placks on the rocking chairs and the font that dedicate these things from Eastwood to the Presbyterian Church of Sol Nascente where these things will be place. I've had a lot of fun working in the villages. Hopefully the next week will be eventful.
Sue and Emily - The following people worked in a morning VBS at Maranhao and an afternoon VBS at Paraiso: Sue, Chris (translator, guitar player and song leader), Jordan, Georgianna, Emily, Becky, Nathaniel, Jonathan, Eleanor, Sonja, and Walker Lee. At Maranhao we asked the children if they knew Jesus or if they knew anything about Him. Not one child knew anything at all about Him! So the team spent the entire time focusing on evangelism stories and activities. We used the Evangecube, the Wordless Book, and the illustration of how the blood of Christ covers our sins (white t shirt, red marker to write words for sins that the kids dictated to us, tulle or net to show how we try to cover our sin ourselves, and red cellophane that represents the blood. We also sang fun songs and had a Big Book story about miracles of Jesus. Most of the children were young (from about 3 - 12 years old). There were five older teenage boys standing outside the open window. They were very cool dudes. They seemed very curious. After a while we coaxed them into the room, and they participated in all that we were doing. When VBS was over, they stayed seated. They had questions. We invited Pastor Raimundo Jose Barbosa to come in to talk to the boys. The five boys accepted Christ as their Savior. They received new Bibles, This thrilled the team because they will be the future leaders of this village. At Paraiso we did much of the same activities. Dr. Jack brought toothbrushes and toothpaste for all the kids. We can hardly wait to do VBS at the rest of the villages!