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Thursday, March 17, 2005
Tuesday & Wendnesday of this trip have also been a blessing from the Lord. We were able to sleep in for a little bit later then we did on monday, so that was nice. But we had to be at the church by 9:00 so we could head out and get ready for our first presentation that day. Even though Felipe and I had more time in the morning we still ended up waking up a little late so I just had some cereal really quick and we kinda had to rush out the door. We ended up getting there on Brazilian time (Late in other words) but since we are in Brazil, everyone was late and working on Brazilian time so we were still like the 4th ones there. Our first destination Tuesday was a Public Middle school. The most amazing part about the last days now was how we could openly share the gospel in a public school here. From what I've seen here in Brazil, its almost as if Brazil is more of a free country then ours is. How sad is that for a country that claims to be Based "Under God" yet won't alow the people to talk about God, and a country that claims to be free but won't let the people be free to even talk about what could provide Love, Joy, Peace and Hope to a group of people who truly need it. No wonder I like this country. Maybe America should just say our motto is "Order and Progress" and Brazil should claim to be the free Nation. It would be more correct. But anyway, back to our awsome day in the City. Tuesday we ministered to these 7th and 8th graders in a school of about 2-300. This school had a blind student and the school administrator informed us that he knew how to play the piano. In Brazil the schools aren't really that great and they don't offer any kind of special training for blind students, so he was one of those kids that was always made fun of and oppressed in this school. Well we had the opportunity to help bring him up to the popularity ladder a little bit. Before the team even got up on stage to sing, we let this blind boy go up and play some things on the keyboard. He had a huge applause when he was done. The blind boy was so excited when we let him do that. It was awsome to see a big smile on his face, maybe the only one he's had in quite awhile. We gave him a free CD also. After that the team then came up and sang all of thier songs, then we also did our Drama and shared some testamonies as well. The students really enjoyed have us there. They cheered quite a bit for us. After it was all over, the students mobbed all of us and wanted all of our signatures. A lot of then knew enough english to tell me I was beautiful/handsom. Then some of the girls were even like "Kiss Me" Of course I didn't do that but I at least gave them a hug. What saddens me about that is how they missed the point of why we were there. They were too preoccupied with us as people then they were of the message we had just showed them through Drama and Song. During all of this I would have had some good opportunitys to explain this to them and share with them more about Jesus and what he has done for us. But it was almost painful to see this mass of children who needed Christ and not be able to share it with them. It wasn't just a Longing to tell them.. It was more of an Urgancy to tell them. I however was helpless it seemed at the time. When it all was over I realized that I was wrong about our helplessness our presence there today still made an impact even if indirectly. The Missionary Tom Turley mentioned to us after we had finally made our way through our "fan club" and girls wanting our "autographs" and wanting to Kiss us that he told us what had actually happend there. Tom told us that he was approached by many of the children and they told him what we did there today opened them up and showed them it is still possible for them to evangelize to thier friends there at school, and our message encouraged them to start doing just that. So maybe we won't see our fruits from that visit right way, but down the road I know God will use what we planted there. After we finished up at the school it was time for lunch. So we headed to another churrascaria and everybody chowed down on as much meat as they brought to us. It sure was good stuff, I was still having trouble with my tooth however and I could really only nibble on the stuff. It was dissappointing; at least I could still taste everything though. After lunch we had some free time again so we headed back to the Missionarys house for the afternoon. I used that time to have my devotions and then I ended up falling asleep for the rest of the free time. It was defenatly a good nap. Diane (Toms wife) then made us Taco Salad for dinner and that was some pretty good stuff too. So far the Food is one of the best things they have here.

Our next spot to go to after lunch was a small english school right in the middle of the city. It was a really cool building and they wanted us to setup in the courtyard area in the middle part of the building. The only problem was it was raining here on Tuesday for a little bit. When we got there we had to stand around before we could go out and start setting up. Then before we setup we had to go around and dry everything off. But the Lord ended up stopping the rain for us and we managed to get the concert started only slightly late. One thing that happend that was kind of a downer was the projector we use to display all the lyrics to everything we sing broke down on us. So we had to do this concert without that to emphasize the words they were singing. I think it all worked out pretty well still though. The view from the courtyard was amazing. I tried to take a picture and I hope it worked out, but looking up from inside the courtyard you could turn in all directions and you would be surrounded by skyscrappers. Some were buisness, others were just tall appartment buildings. YOu could see all that with a nice veiw of a palm tree in each way you looked. That was a very nice setting. We were glad it stopped raining. The crowd actually turned out to be a fairly small one but I think the impact on the people was just the same as it would have been a bigger group. I don't remember if anyone on the team was approached and asked more questions about Christ because of it though. I do know the director of the School liked us very much though and he wanted us to come back again if we could. Before we left the director wanted to give us all a gift though. So he had us all go on the stage in front of the crowd that was there and he presented us with our gifts. You'll never guess what he gave all of us. He handed us each a bottle of very fine Brazilian White Wine from Rio De Janero. We of course all excepted it acting greatful so we didn't offend him. But once everybody left the building, our team leader (Jacob) collected all of our bottles of wine and he said he would "dispose of them" I never did figure out what he did with them though, he wasn't going to tell us. But to make up for the taking of our gift he ended up taking the whole team out for Icecream at a cute little icecream parlor that was just down the road. I ended up having some Passion Fruit flavored Icecream. Man I love that stuff. We then headed back to the church to be picked up by our host homes. On the way back with Felipe that night we both tried to teach each other some language stuff and that was a pretty fun time. Then that evening I had a great time getting to know his family some more. I showed his mom and sister some of the pictures on my website and I was able to communicate to them a little bit by way of pictures. That was a lot of fun showing them my family, and virginia, and all of my friends. They really seemed to like that too. I also ended up giving them each a $1 bill american money and they were excited to have them. They had never seen one before and through felipe said they would treasure it and never spend it. Anyway I had a good time with that and Felipe and I ended up getting to bed a little past midnight.

Wednesday we had the pleasure of going to two public schools. The first one we went to was a school of about 600 children ranging from 7th-12th Grade. The area that was sectioned off for us to perform is was a little small though and it was hard for all the kids to pile in, we weren't able to do our drama for them because of that. There just wasn't enough room. I know we were still able to effectivly present the gospel to them through the portugues songs that they sang. Two of the guys from our team shared thier testamony as well, and the kids seemed to listen fairly attentivley to them as they spoke. Once the concert was over this time, we ended up rushing out fairly quickly so the kids wouldn't try to mob us and get our autographs, It was a good thing we did to because after we all got on the bus they kids had the bus surrounded and they were trying to jump up to the windows. We did open the windows and give them High 5's but all of us refused to sign autographs for them. If one of us would have, then they all would have wanted one and there would have been mass chaos. I was able to get a few pictures of this crowd of kids around our bus.. its a pretty cool looking scene. I was called Beautiful/Handsom quite a few times again, but this time (after finding out later) some of the boys were calling me homosexual. That was nice to find out. I however forgot the portugues word for it, so if I was called it again I would be clueless. I wished again I had the means to communicate to them and give them some kind of hope in thier lives but with this language barrier I just had to surrender and leave that in the Lords Capable hands. I was just glad he used me to at least start the process if anything.

Right after we left that school we headed over to another one in a different part of town. This school was a very poor school in a fairly rich neighborhood. The Government decided they were going to close it down and relocate it in about a year so they could make the rich neighborhood still look rich. I guess they don't care what happends to the kids... its kind of sad. In the past this school had the highest rate of teen prostitution in the whole state but God had put some teachers in place there at the school a few years before now and God used them to bring these students back to morality. This school now had some of the nicest students I've ever seen all in one place for the age group. God was preparing this school for us years before we came. It was pretty cool to hear about how that all worked out. These students loved us immensley and went we got done with our concert we didn't have to rush away. it was a pleasant time sitting and hanging out with these kids. I even was able to talk to a few of these students in a little bit of english. I was hugged by many of them as well. (Girls and boys) It was so fun being able to just spend time with these children even if you could't completely understand them. I think the rest of the team enjoyed singing at that school too. After awhile we did have to leave though and our next stop was another churrascaria for lunch. The churrascaria we went to this time was very upper class and it had very nice tiling and glass windows all around. It also had designer chandelers and fine china to eat on. It was defenatly an awsome place to eat. It was my favorite place that we have gone so far. I had to be very careful with eating again though because my tooth by now was causing quite a bit of pain. We ended up eating there for a little longer then I would have liked. It seemed like everybody was done but we still just hung around. I guess it was nice though because I had to eat really slow so I was able to eat more. Anyway we had a little bit of free time again that afternoon so we ended up going to another Mall that was quite a bit bigger then the first one. I wandered around for awhile just looking at all kinds of stuff, but I didn't really see anything I wanted. Then finally about 20 minutes before we had to meet to leave I ended up finding two cool stores that I ended up buying things in. I found a very nice authentic brazilian leather jacket for 85$REAL that turns out be something like $30 american dollars. I figure that was an awsome deal and I couldn't pass that up. I'm pretty sure everyone back home will think its nice too. Then I also found another Brazil teeshirt that I really liked and had to get that. Once the meeting time came around the bus came to pick us up and we headed to the missionarys house again for a few hours. I ended up using that time at the missionarys to fix the projector that had broke on tuesday. I had to disasseble the entire unit, but I managed to get it fixed and back up and running again before our next concert later that night. I also started to work on some of the computer issues the missionary was having and I also needed to get a new computer setup that we had brought him from america. I wasn't able to finish all the computer work, but at least the projector was working wonderfully. Diane had made us all sub sandwiches for dinner that night, but it was just impossible for me to eat anything at the time with my tooth causing so many problems. I was only able to eat a little bit of cheese and then I had to head out to the next concert with the gang.

Our next place to go was to the wednesday night church service over at the international church. So we were again able to do one of our presentations in complete english. I was excited for this one because the two guys we had ministered to on Monday night had told us they would come by for the wednesday night church service and we would be able to talk more. Turns out they didn't show up and I was pretty dissappointed. But despite that the service did go very well and we had another great time of mingling with the crowd afterwards this time since they could all speak english. I didn't have the privledge this time of being used by God to communicate the Gospel to an unsaved individual, but one of our singers did actually have the chance and she managed to walk the woman all they way through to a desision that night. So Heaven was rejoicing with us that evening. It was great!!. Felipe ended up meeting me there at the church that night and we headed back to his place just a little before 10:00. It was nice too because usually we get back around 11:00 or later and we aren't able to really do very much and still get to bed at a decent hour. This time though we were able to still have a bible study (and a little longer at that) then pray together and still managed to get to bed a little before midnight. It ended up being a pretty full yet productive day.
posted by Jeremy Dillinger @ 8:18 PM 

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