Thursday, March 5, 2015

TCA Amazon Trip - Day 2

Bom Dia!!! Day 2 of Amazon Trip 2k15 was a success!!

Today was an eventful day because we visited not one but two villages! In
the morning we visited Botafogo, a village with about 30 families. After the
absolutely stunning sunrise, we were greeted by a beautiful village. At
first, the villagers needed a little encouragement to come out of their
homes. The clinic was busy from the get-go, with our wonderful doctor and
dentist seeing patients one after another. A big shout out to them for all
their hard work! VBS was exciting for the little kids, with plenty of
activities (including LOTS of bubbles) to play with. It's great to see their
sweet smiles and have them humble us continually with their generous nature.
Even though they were shy in the beginning, the villagers were all so nice,
and genuinely happy to welcome us into their homes.

Before lunch time, a group from our team went early to the second village,
Aguia (which means eagle). Some of us, including myself (Lili Figueroa)
went door to door inviting people to VBS and other ministries. We were
walking along with our group and we happened to notice three young girls
shyly accompanying us. Priscila, our amazing translator, asked the girls if
they were following us. They guiltily admitted that yes they had been
following us. Guiding us from house to house, the girls led us around the
village. The youngest girl was surprised to see us taking photos of their
village. We told them we wanted to have memories of their beautiful village
and God's incredible nature. That girl formed a sweet bond with Addy Gibson
and they became inseparable friends. By the way, VBS was a huge success and
the kids were super engaged and intrigued by the stories we had to share.
While VBS was occurring in the school, other teams were visiting houses,
door to door.

In the midst of VBS, I (Lauren Roquemore), noticed three young mothers
hesitantly standing outside the door of the school. Each had a small child
in her arms and they seemed quite shy. I approached them, not realizing the
amazing experiences God had in store for me. The women and I began by
talking about their families and lives. I really connected with a young
women named Flavia who was only twenty-two years old yet already had two
daughters. Poppy Eriksen, Monica Choi, and Caitlin Hickney showed up at just
the right moment. All four of us started talking to them about our own
testimonies and their faith with the LORD. We had the opportunity to share
with them the difference between works and grace. We read to them from the
Portuguese New Testament which deeply connected with them on a whole new
level. We formed a day-long relationship by spending time with them in both
villages. They even invited us into their own homes in the afternoon, giving
us new fruits to try and lots of love. Even though these women have such
different lives than us, we really connected with struggles similar to our

In the evening, by some type of miracle, the Americans managed to tie the
Brazilians in the soccer game. Unfortunately, the girls who played next were
not so successful. :( For the children too young to play, it was an
opportunity for us to play with them by simply kicking a soccer ball around.
After the soccer game, we all gathered for a church service. Caitlin Hickney
and Chase Rea led a skit that brought some tears to the audience. This
powerful drama without words illustrated how much God loves and will fight
to protect us from distractions and temptations. It was very difficult to
say goodbye to the sweet people of these villages who welcomed us with such

The night brought new adventures for everyone with the chance to go
alligator hunting!! Groups of seven were put into small motor boats and
spent about twenty minutes each searching the waters. Sizes of these
intimating reptiles ranged from one foot to almost seven feet! However we
were unable to catch the seven footer of course! But it was still
exhilarating to be so close to these creatures in the Amazon River. What an
amazing day this was!! We are so excited for the rest of this week and can't
wait to see all the amazing things God has planned.

Thank you so much for all your prayers and support. We'll see you
soon! -Lauren Roquemore, Poppy Eriksen, Lili Figueroa

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