This will be the last blog entry for the Mixed Nuts 2013 trip. The last several days were busy.
We visited the villages of Divino (which means Divine) and Paraiso (Paradise). There were many similarities between the two towns that had about 30-32 families in both establshed villages, both with one church, Catholic. They fish and farm Mandioca, a root that they grow, cut down peel then dry out and cook over large skillets. It's crunchy farina when finished.
The morning we visited Divino, it poured right up until when the time came to enter the village, it stopped raining and didn't interfere, but it did provide a cooler day for us. This village was welcoming and the people friendly. We did the normal services , dental, medical, men and woman's ministry, teens and of course VBS and eye glasses. It is nothing short of amazing to watch our group of 5 different states and 3 different denominations come together and work like a well-oiled machine. Nothing but our Lord can bring stangers together like He has on this trip. And of course, we can't forget our Brazilian crew and Interpreters, who are now our brothers and sisters. What wonderful examples of love and service they have been.
Yesterday we were able to take a break and Captain Nilo found us a great spot in the cove just outside Paraiso (if you saw this place you'd know why they call it Paradise!) for us to swim. All the teenagers and young adults did their best flips and dives off the side of the boat, no pirranha in site (LOL). Part way through the swim a herd of amazon buffalo decided to take a cool dip as well right off the shore.
At the end of our day in Paraiso we had to say our good byes to Pastor Willer, his wife and their 3 little boys, along with Fernando and Socoro the matriarch and patriarch of the family we were encouraging in Sol Nascente, they came to Paraiso to join us for our last day. There were tears and hugs and long good byes to our new found friends and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Our team gave the crew and interpreters the night off, Gary (our resident chef) took over the kitchen, the teens and young people decorated the boat and we had a party of thanks for our wonderful crew. We talked and laughed until we finally had to go to our hammocks for our last night sleep in this beautiful place.
As I write this blog we are cruising west toward Manaus, we plan to visit a floating souvenir store we have come to call "Stuckeys", and then to Manaus. We will have some time to visit the local shopping before heading to the airport about 9:00 p.m. local time. We leave Manaus 11:30 p.m. and we will all be back home Friday. We had a sweet time of sharing and worshiping on the boat this morning, with many tears and words of what God has done on our trip in us and through us.
To God be the glory for the great works He has done.