I’ve already left but I did not post much while there. Well, how about a recap?
Rio de Janeiro
I went to Rio to work for six months with Abel Azevedo and also help prepare the way for the Aggies’ visit in mid-July. It was a good time to get a grasp of Portuguese; I just can’t shake that Carioca (anyone or thing from Rio) accent. The Aggie visit was excellent and really lifted my spirits. The opportunity to move to Itu to intern under Mark and Ali Kaiser came up and, with the encouragement of Traci, travelling with the Aggies, I made the move.
Before my time in Itu officially began, I made a trip to Recife in Brazil’s northeast with my good friend and housemate in Itu, Guto. We found really cheap airfare on Azul Airlines. It was exciting to fly – it was Guto’s first flight and Azul is a relatively new airline. Also, they offer unlimited food and drink service; a great airline.
We joined up with the Aggies working at a camp being converted in to a children’s home, painting at a local church/seminary, and putting on a VBS in one of the poorer communities outside Recife. On our last day, Guto and I were able to visit Porto de Galinhas, one of the best beaches in Brazil. It was an excellent visit and thanks to Danny and lee Bratcher for receiving Guto and I.
My time in Itu truly began prior to leaving Rio. I was able to go visit and be put to work immediately. I was invited by Mark and Ali to return to work at the annual bi-lingual camp a few weeks later. It was my first camp experience in Itu and was fantastic – ran in a way completely different from previous camp experiences. Read more about it. It opened my mind to the possibility of working in Itu.
So I made the change to Itu and moved in with my friend Guto. My main focuses were Guto and developing a media ministry, as well as participating with the youth group. From equipping the church secretary to giving weekend seminar on printed material and PowerPoint design, I was put to work, a change from what I had been doing prior to Itu. Mark and Ali were great people to work with and I was impressed with how much their ministry permeates their lives. There home is open to all. You never know who will be there. Beyond, it was a blast being involved with the youth and the Friday lunch for the homeless. Even though my time was rather short, it seemed like it was the ideal time for me to be there.
Continent Connection Conference
My last week in Brazil was spent in Atibaia at a men’s retreat hosted by Continent of Great Cities. It was spiritually refreshing. We had small groups and Mark Abshier was our group leader. I’ve been in some dark areas over the past year and it was like that week just lifted so much off and God started to clean me up.