This past week we had the chance to go to the community of Paracharuba, which consisted of 10 families. Instead of taking a boat like last time, we all piled together in an old van and drove about an hour away. The interesting thing about Brazilian roads is A. Everyone drives like they are all crazy and or insane and B. There are pot holes. Many, many, many pot holes. So swerving is a necessity. Mainly it’s best to just to not look in front of you while you’re on the road. Although we give the driving situation a hard time, we truly love it here. The people are incredible and inspiring through their willingness to give everything they have to people they hardly know. The country is so green and beautiful, and fresh fruit is always around. The food is soo good, and they have an amazing soda called Guarana that we can’t get enough of. We are blessed! Back to Paracharuba.
When we first got there, the church was just a wooden platform that was located off the side of the road. While we were there, we took that platform down, dug trenches, put rebars in, poured concrete and rocks in the trenches, laid bricks, and leveled out the inside of the church. This time the work load wasn’t as intense, but it was still hard work. I don’t think any of us will ever take each of our home church buildings for granted anymore. (Church before)(Church as we left)This is a little bit of what our schedule looked like this week- Wake up at 6:45, breakfast at 7, leave the guest house at 7:30. Arrive around 8:30/9, work from 9-12:30. Go swim in a local creek from 1-1:30, lunch and rest from 1:45-2:30, and then work from 2:45-7 (sundown). We were able to visit almost all of the homes in the community and pray for a couple of them as well. This week the home visits were geared more towards stopping by, introducing ourselves, talking to them, and inviting them to the service we were putting on Friday night. The service Friday night was incredible. As a team whose job 90% of the time is to do manual labor, it is hard to see the fruit that is coming from the work we are putting in. We come to the construction site everyday, work with a couple men from the village, but other than that do not have the chance to meet the people we are building the church for. So, at times it can be a bit discouraging.
That being said, seeing all the people that we visited in the homes come out to the service, and observing how much what we were doing impacted them- there are no words. It made all the hard work we had put into the church that week beyond worth it. These people were crying they were so grateful, hugging us, and shaking our hands. And at the end of the day, when you all come together as one community- white, brazilian, hispanic, black, old, young, poor, rich -praising God together under the stars, you seem to grasp what is more important. Just living out every part of your life for Jesus.(Church Service- in the backyard of the pastor’s house, since we were in the middle of building the church)And that has been our week! We head out tonight at midnight for our final boat trip to Fordlangia, so please keep us in your prayers. Please pray that we stay strong in team unity and that we would listen to the call of God in all that we do.
From our sunset to yours!-Rachel, Callan, Joel, Stephen, Victoria, and Katherine