| Home | About Us | Blog | Photos | Links | Webcam | Contact Us |
       Read my archived posts! Click Here

Sunday, March 13, 2005
Hey everybody, Its sunday afternoon here now and I have a few hours to relax here at my host home. As I think you saw from last nights post I am having a great time. We left friday afternoon at 1:00 and we had about a 17 hour trip until our final destination. I had dressed for classes and left 7:30 friday morning and then I ended up wearing the same clothes for the next two days The donnebergs came to meet me at 1:00 and send me off, Jonathan also came along and we had a good time just hanging out for a little bit while we got loaded up and headed out. It was really nice to have all of the family there to wave good-bye to when I left. It made Allie homesick to know I was going to Brazil and she wasn't. I had to make sure to give her a really big hug before I left.

Once the bus left the University we had a very long trip ahead of us. I ended up being the seat mate to one of the guys going to Argentina. We had a good talk regarding spirtitual matters and our own ways of witnessing and things. I also had a little bit of time to listen to my "Portugues in 10 days CD" After we finally arrived at the airport We had to make our way through customs and all the lines all while trying our best to stay together as a group. Once we were on the inside though we ended up having to wait at our gate for about 3 more hours before we could load onto the plane. I just took that time to call my parents, then I read for a little bit. Then finally the moment came. We piled onto the airplane and got situated for a 10 hour flight. It was one of those big jets with 7 seats across and three different Isles. But on the back of every seat was a personal LCD screen so people could watch movies and stuff. One thing I thought was really cool and where I left it most of the time was the "Map" channel It was a direct link to a GPS and it had a diagram of our airplane over the top of a continental map. That was I could know exactly where our plane was at any given time. It also showed our altitude, ground speed, and ETA. That was a really nice perk for the airplane. I ended up being stuck in the middle seat but that was alright, just a little cramped. once we took off and were airborne I started listening to a special CD that Allie made for me with songs relating to serving the lord and mission trip oriented things. A lot of those songs I had heard before but they portray a whole new meaning when your headed into unfamilar territory for the work of Christ. They energized me and got me thinking quite a bit about the many things I will accomplish while I'm here. I then spent some time in prayer and just being silent with God that ended up turning into me falling asleep though. But still I felt good from it all after waking back up. For two hours of the flight I ended up watching "Pay it Forward" that was one of the movie options I had amongst the 5 that they were showing through the programming. Once that was over I listened to Allie's CD again but fell asleep again somewhere after the third song. The next time I woke up we were within 30 minutes of touching down. I flipped over to the "map" channel and watched as we got closer and closer to Sao Paulo. By this time I was getting pretty excited. I really wanted desperatly to see out side of the window but I was in the smack dab middle of the airplane with no way of getting a glimse of the city as we flew over. Then once we landed I didn~t realize how close we were to the ground until I heard and felt the bump bump. At this time I still was not able to see outside and it felt like we were taxing on the tarmac for about an hour before it was finally time to get off. Then after de-planeing I walked into the terminal to find portugues all over the place that was a great sight. It was a good thing our plane came in when it did though because after we found our way to the customs and started to stand in line mass amounts of people came in after us. I think it was like three other planes or something. But if our plane would have even been five minutes late we would have ended up being in customs for maybe up to 2 hours. we fortunatley only had to be in line for roughly 30-40 minutes. That process was very clean and none of us were given any trouble. Then once we reached the baggage claim all of our bags were there and accounted for, so we praised the Lord for that. We worked our way around the airport to reach the main terminal. We had to stop short of going outside though while we waited for the bus to come and pick us up from the church. the short wait turned into a little over an hour though because the van ended up getting stopped in traffic behind an accident. (it was an hour drive to the airport for them) So while we waited we were given permission to wander around as long as we were back in half an hour. I took the opportunity to run outside to get a whiff of brazillian air. As soon as I stepped outside I was surrounded by cigarette smoke and inhaled a big wad. That was pretty dissapointing. After making my way out to the sunlight though it was amazing to see the sky and the trees and the people. Allie told me there was a really cool tree outside I had to go look at too, but I wasn~t sure if I know what she was talking about. I ended up just taking a picture of the one I think she meant and I'll show her when I get back and ask. But I of course had to attempt to climb a palm tree and found out its not that easy. But it was still cool to attempt. Through all of this it was about 85 degrees and since it was about 32 when we left lynchburg I was wearing a long sleeve teeshirt and a fleece jacket. I was actually stll pretty comfortable like that but I took it off because when the other people saw me they said it made them all hot. I also ended up making the first contact with a brazilian man. Come to find out he was a pastor for a church right there in sao paulo but it was difficult to figure out all he meant because he had very broken english. Barely even knew what he was saying. It was fun to work with hand gestures however. Later Talita (our translator) came over and talked to him more so we could completely understand each other. After awhile our bus finally showed up and we were on our way to the church hosting us. On the way we stopped for lunch at a truck stop with a restarunte called a churrascaria. It was fun going to one of those. Its like a brazillian buffet. Then the chefs come around at different times and bring big slabs of meat on a giant knife and if you want some of it you can cut yourself off a slice. Another thing I really really liked was the all you can dring passion fruit juice (Maracuja suco) I was lovin that up very well. Once we had our bellys full we continued our quest on to the church. I kind of fell asleep again on the way there. But we finally arrived at our destination at 3:30 Brazillian time and then we had a concert right away at 6:00 that same night. But first before we did that we met up with our hosts that were to take us home so we could shower and drop off all of our stuff before we returned to the church for our first concert.

Everybody ended up having thier host come and pick them up except for three of us by the time mine had showed up. Turns out the host that they had lined up for me previously was not able to do it after all, so they ended up finding me another family to take me to. It was clearly a work of God how that all worked out though. The family God sent me to needed me a lot more then the other one would have. The new hosts I was given to had a guy who is 22 years old and comes to the church there. He is the only one in the family that knows any english and also the only one that is saved. Every other team member was sent to a house where the family is full of christians involved in the church and knew the Lord on a personal level. Most of thier homes knew english fluently as well. I ended up being put into a family where only one person knows english and I have a great opportunity to attempt to share christ with these people or at least show them the Love of God through my actions and joyful attitude. I am so stoked over this awsome opportunity God has provided to me. At firt coming on this trip I didn't know how God will use me since I am not one of the singers, and my only real puropse was to help out where I was needed. God clearly had other plans in mind. Also because of the 22 year old boy (Felipe/Philip) they placed me with, I then had a link to the rest of the youth attending the church and was able to get to know them as well. Its only been two days and I have made many brazilian friends (I~ve even been hit on multiple times..) It has just been an amazing trip so far. Our first concert that night was in a service where supposedly nobody spoke english so through everything we did we had to use a translator, but the worship time and the singers did amazingly well through it all and the songs they sang in portugues I heard were flawless as far as pronouciation so that was a complete success. Our first drama was a little shaky though but we pulled it through, we just found out where our mistakes were at, and learned from them. After the service we just enojoyed ourselfs relaxing and the church had a nice meal for us. After we ate and were satisfied we then got in the bus and went to sit in on the youth group session that was already in progress back at the other building. we sat in for awhile and then just went outside to munch on some snackes while we waited for our hosts to come get us. I again met quite a few of the teenage brazilians and had a good time attempting to communicate with them. Once Felipe had come by to pick me up again and take me home that is when the good time of relationship building started. The first time I went home with him to drop off things, none of his family was there because they were all at work. But after the church service was over and we went back home the family was all there and I had a great time of getting to know them best I could through the language barrier. Felipe also had his girlfriend over at the time too so I had the great opportunity to meet her as well. Then ended up having a late dinner and even though I had eaten already I wasn't going to pass up a meal like that. I had to try everything. I also tried something called a Kibe (Key-bee) and Esfihas it was all very good. After dinner we took Filipe's girlfriend back home and then we drove around the city for awhile just me and him. Then we also stopped in at the market to pick up a few groceries for breakfast. (He wanted me to cook the family breakfast in the morning so they could try american food) I'll talk more about that in my next post though. But the city is amazing and I had a blast hanging out with him. We ended up being out on the town until around 12:30 at night. then we stayed up until about 1:30 just talking and teaching each other part of our languanges. I'm still having a hard time remembering anything he tells me. I learn a word from him and forget it in an hour. I'm glad he is better at english then I am at portugues or we would have a few problems. But anyway.. its getting close for me to leave again to another concert so I'll just have to stop here and continue on later if I have another chance to sit and write a little bit. But I can surely see the work of God every second that passes. Its great to know that wether I am in Virgina, Seattle, Or Sao Paulo Brazil -- God is the same God any time any place and he is proecting and nurturing and watching out for us. His spirit will guide us through anything. It is a marvelous truth you can't help but see excpecially when you are over 4000 miles from home.
posted by Jeremy Dillinger @ 2:54 PM 

       Read my archived posts! Click Here