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Saturday, March 19, 2005
Thusday morning started off fairly normal. I didn't really eat any breakfast though, i just had a peice of bread with peanut butter on it because I couldn't chew anything still. So Felipe and I headed to the church to meet up with the group. Our first stop yesterday was at a school sort of like a Technical Institute. The people there were either college or older age. The place we setup at was in a little foyer area that was like a glass room. It was fully surrouned by glass except for the floor. It was really cool looking. The room was kind of small though, so once we got the music started it was kind of difficult to fit everyone in the foyer. The crowd seemed to really enjoy what we did there though. At this place quite a few people knew english, so a bunch of us mingled around and tried to talk to some of them. I was able to communicate to the few I talked to where we would be this sunday and invited them to come along. We are trying to push Sunday morning to the people we talk to because we will be able to do our full presentation of the gospel and all of our songs, ect. So I hope to be able to see some of those guys at the service then. Once we finished up at the Technical Institute we headed to the downtown area for our next presentation. The Bus was only to take us in so far because he wasn't allowed to take large vehicles in past a certain point. So we hopped out as close as we could get and started the walk to the Mall in the middle of town we were going to have the concert at. It was a cool experience walking through all the little shops that lined the streets on our 5 block walk to the Mall. Upon arrival, we helped finish up plugging in the instuments and Microphones because the Sound guys from the church here were running a little behind. The presenation went very well, it was cool to play right at the entrance to the mall. We had a pretty good audience by the time we had got in a few songs. Just random people that came to shop ended up stopping to see what was going on. We had lots of Portugues tracks we handed out as well, and some schedules in portugues of the other places we would be this week in hopes we could get some of them to come. Once the people started to disburse we hit the road again and headed to Lunch at my favorite Churrascaria we went to on Wednesday. Unfortunatly this time I could barely eat anything and I just had to eat noodles and rice and things like that. But that wasn't going to last much longer. Once the group got done eating, the girls went off to a womens bible study that the english church puts on Thursdays. Then the guys all headed to the missionsarys house for the rest of the afernoon. I however went with Tom to the dentists office.

Surgery Time
The time had come for my tooth of wisdom to come out. Now I was very nervous about this whole thing and I hadn't sweat the entire time I've been here that I know of.. but by now I had a nervous sweat. The dentist that was going to do the procedure, goes to the church that Tom Turley had planted here. It also turns out he is one of the best dentists here in town. The Dentists name was Theo and he actually was the one that came to pick up Tom and I and bring us to his office for the extraction. I was able to get a picture of Theo in front of his office building before we went in. Now the dentists office here in Brazil are quite a bit different then in America. There was a little reception area like you would see back in the states, but there is only one room where the dentist does the work in. This room with the dentists chair was also the Dentists office room and he had his desk with all his books and computer and everything right there in the same room. Then also there was a few seats in there extra so Tom was able to come in and sit in on the surgery to watch while it took place. It was good about that though because Theo is still in english school and he didn't know how to explain some stuff very well in english. Theo started out with taking some x-rays. In america they make us wear a lead vest when they take the shot. This time he just put the machine right up to my head and clicked the button. He did however make Tom leave the room at the time. (Kinda makes you wonder about why he had to leave, but its ok for the machine to be right up against my head) Anyway that was a cool expericene and he let me see my X-ray when it was done. He also let me keep the picture as well. In America they wouldn't have let me take it home, they have to keep it on file or something. Anyway once the x-ray was done the next thing he did was shoot me up with novacane. It was good he had that but still it was interesting staying awake through this operation. In the US they would usually gas you up and you would be asleep during this time. Here in Brazil that was not an option. So it was in a way a funny thought when I picture it again in my head how this operation looked from my perspective. First he did a little bit of teeth cleaning then he grabbed the plyers and started to pull on up. This little guy was in my jaw very well. Just using his arm strenght was not enough and he had to push off of my chair with his feet a little bit. Then in the middle sometime he even had to stop and take a break and breathe a little bit and wipe the sweat off of his forehead. He had given me three shots of novicane stuff so I wasn't feeling a thing pain wise, but I could still feel all the preasure, he had to pull, and twist a little to get this thing out. When it finally gave way I physically heard a pop sound and a thunk and then I could taste the blood on my tounge. I had to spit quite a bit before the blood flow started to slow down a little. Thats another thing they don't have here in Brazil is those little sucking straws to get the saliva out of your mouth. Anytime you need to spit you just have to sit up and spit. After that it was time for my first stiches I had ever recieved and again... right here in good ol brazil. He had to do two stiches and I saw the string go in the mouth and then saw him pull it back out as I felt the pressure of him pulling the string to make it tight. That was a sensation I don't think I'll forget anytime soon. Theo let me keep the tooth he pulled. In america I don't think they let you keep those either. I will have a picture up once I get back home of the size of this tooth. It looked like a shark tooth or something. Anyway, I had to leave gauze in my mouth for the rest of the day to catch the blood from it. Theo also gave me a prescription drug for Anti-Inflamatory and anitbiotics. The antibiotics was what Jacob told me I had to take. Theo didn't think it was necessary for those but since Jacob is in charge of me I went ahead and got those. This whole experience was actually quite amazing in how it worked out. I would have needed to get this done anyway whether I did it here or waited until I got back to the states. Truthfully though I think it was all of God for why I had this tooth ache while I was here. Jacob said I was such an encouragment to him and the rest of the team for enduring this pain but still keeping a joyful attitude. He had mentioned that any time we were out doing a performace they wouldn't have even known I had a major headache/tooth ache. I can't take all the credit for that however. Becuase anytime I was out the Lord helped the pain go away for the most part. Sure it still hurt a little but, God made it bareable anytime He wanted to use me. Also as I look back and recall now when I was witnessing to the gentlemen on Monday night I don't even remember the slightest bit of pain. That in itself shows the power of God. But thats not all, this story gets even better. Normally in the states having a tooth pulled could cost anywhere between $400 and $500 American Dollars. Well Theo decided he wanted to do this for me for free as a gift. I had tried to give him money but he refused to accept it. Come to find out later Jacob told me he was going to pay for me anyway so it was good he didn't take the money because Jacob was going to pay the expense for me. Jacob tried to push more to get Theo to take the money but still he would not do it. Jacob instead told him to take the cash as a wedding present and he decided that was ok to do. Jacob also bought all the medicine for me and told me that the sponsors of this trip (That means all of you guys as well) took care of all my expensense to have this operation done. I am now pretty much completely pain free and I can chew food just as I could before. All basicly expense free and complication free. Hows that for Gods work in my life here on the trip. That shows how he protects, provides, and teaches us more about him through our trials. God is good isn't he?

After my surgery I actually felt pretty good, but Jacob didn't want me to go with the team for the rest of that night. He told me to just stay at the Missionaries house for the rest of the evening. I was dissapointed that I coudln't go with them thrusday night though because they were going to have a concert in the middle of the food court at the mall that night. There was a big stairwell there and they were going to setup the stage right on the stair well. It would have been cool to see that. Anyway, since I had to stay back I ended up working on quite a few computer issues for the missionary. He had a new laptop he wanted setup with everything he needed it to do. And I also had a chance to clean up the computer he was using from a few viruses and spyware kind of stuff. Then I used the time to fast and pray for the team over what they were going to do that night. (I fasted because I wasn't allowed to eat anything anyway for 24 hours except icecream or yogurt). Then I used the time to nap for a little bit also. After the concert was over at the mall The missionarys had come home and they told me the wonderful report of what happend that night. The Lord worked in a marvelous way there. The mall was packed out with people that were seeking/courious/ or just wanted to hear. When it was all over the mall administrators had nothing but praises to say about us. The lord worked though us in a marvelous way that night. I have to tell you a little bit of background to show you what happend. The church we are here with is in the process of doing a big easter production. They are going to have it shown at multiple churches as well as this Mall over the next few weeks. Well that Mall said they would be happy to have them come and show thier easter presentation at the mall but they didn't want to cover any of the expenses it would take for them to do that. So basicly they said sure you can come if it doesn't cost us anything. Well the mall administrators were so impressed with us they said if your easter presentation is anything as good as these singers were, we want to help finacially to get it to come here. Well I've seen some of the ability of the church and the singing and acting skills they all have so I know they will be just as good if not better then us. So the Mall gave the church 20,000 $REAL to help out with expenses. Turns out that was basicly what they needed to get it to happen. (Plus or minus a few hundred). So God answered the prayers of this church and he used the team to do it. Because of what we did the church will then have another opportunity to share the full gospel with this city in a setting where people who would never go to church will see. Pretty cool how that works out huh? Anyway once the missionaries got back we talked about that and I also had the chance to talk to them a little more about being a missionary. Tom actually lived in the Amazon for 14 years before coming to build this church, it was cool to sit and talk about all that he had done and what it took to get here. Felipe didn't end up coming to pick me up that night until well after midnight. But it was worth it alright with me because I had that opportunity to talk to Tom about everything. Its not everyday you get to spend quality one on one time with a missionary.

Friday was our buisiest day we've had so far. We had five concerts spread about all over the city. I know the Lord worked in peoples hearts we sang for that day a lot. But what I noticed most Friday was how much the Lord worked in us and gave us energy. I know as a team we grew closer together and learned to rely on the strenght of Christ more then our own strength. We first went to another school and did a concert, followed by another concert back at the mall we went to on Wednesday (This is the one we did out front and not inside). We were pretty pressed for time between these two and we were rushing all over the place. So far we were all still doing pretty good though. Then we had a short break for lunch and after lunch it kind of hit everybody. The drowzyness came on and our bodies told us nooo we can't go. But we fought through and made it to our next two locations. Both of them were english schools and some of the people could understand us. Unfortuantly by this time we all were very exahsted incluing me, and it was difficult for us to engage in conversation with them to build that needed relationship. We didn't complely fail however and I know at least the few I talked to were touched by what we had done. Our day was not over though because we still had once more place to go to that night. By now we had pushed out bodies to the limits and all we had left to rely on was God to strenghten us. We had a time of prayer for the entire trip to our next location that night. As soon as we surrendered ourselfs and gave up everything to God he strengthend us even more then we were when we had started that morning. Our presentation that night was one of the best we had done all week. There was a huge response that night and lots of people wanted to come to some of our other concerts. It was a shame that this was a late show because we only did three songs at the time because it ended up going until 11:00 at night since we had so many shows that day. It would have been nice to share a few more songs that would touch thier hearts. I really think a lot of them will come to some of our other concerts however and then we'll be able to do a full evangelistic service. But what I did see initially that night was the amazing power of God that gave us the energy to do the entire show. I think truly three of the singers wouldn't have even been able to do one song without that. Thier voices were weak and one was even starting to lose thier voice from exahstion. But when it came time to start, thier voices were strong and you could clearly see the strenght of the Lord flowing through thier bodies and joy on thier faces. It was amazing the change that took place.

After our final concert was over Tom took us out to another Churrascaria at 12:00 at night. We hadn't eaten since lunch because our schedule was so full. It was funny to see how full the restarunt was that late at night. But the food was awsome. It was like a standard churascaria with barbecue beef/pork/chicken stuff that they bring out to you on giant sword looking things. But it also had an all you can eat seafood buffet. I ate lots of shrimp, salmon, trout, halibut, and an entire lobster, crab meat, plus a few other things I wasn't sure what it was. But it was soooo good. It was my first time I could actually eat normally and enjoy my meal for once. Man it was good stuff!! WE didn't end up getting back to our host homes till about 1:30. Felipe and I pretty much went straight to bed after getting back I was pretty tired. But it sure was a great day and it was great to see how God worked today.
posted by Jeremy Dillinger @ 11:32 PM 

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