Brazil is really an incredible place. It is absolutely beautiful down here. As Ken Haab would put it, Brazil is lush. We are at the tail end of rainy season and everything is in bloom and a beautiful green. The different plants and trees tell you that you are definitely in a tropical zone. Right now it is winter down here but you would never know it. It is very warm (90’s) and rainy during the day and a bit cooler (70’s) at night. Rod Myers noticed that the water drains opposite down here when he washed his hands! Last night we were in search of the Southern Cross constellation, but were unable to find it (you can only see it in the southern hemisphere). Since we have been here we have found a large variety of frogs, lizards, spiders (even tarantulas) to go along with our tree monkeys. We have photos of all to prove our tales too!!! We have also picked and ate several native fruits down here. I really question the first people that discovered that they were eatable; they must have been starving to death!!! Ugly as they are, they taste really good. Some are sweet while others are very tart.
The Bible camp is located outside of town and is in a small village. The people who live around here are very poor, and the roads and small markets remind me of Honduras. Most live in single room houses made of an adobe type brick. Some have plaster and white wash while others do not. The children here are so cute and friendly!!! They are clean and well groomed and it is obvious that they come from families that take care of them. Most are barefoot and the boys are constantly kicking soccer balls around. Imagine that!
They have really enjoyed the VBS this week. VBS started Thursday and today is the last day. We have constantly had between 60 and 80 children each day. We begin out VBS with some games and singing (Nayane and Francisco have done a wonderful job!!!). Then we have done a couple of my patented, slightly off the wall skits. Thursday we did a skit on the Good Samaritan (John Wallace). The Levite was played by Kyle Masey and the priest by George (AKA Jorge, Georgie) Bosche, one of the summer interns down here from Texas. The bandits were played by Kevin Cline and Scott Townsend (can we say stereotyped). Danny Bracher was the victim and was robbed right down to his pants and shirt (he had on shorts and a t-shirt in case you were worried).
Friday the skit was David and Goliath. Scott and Kevin combined to make a 9’ tall Goliath, draped in bed sheets and towels. He wielded a pvc pipe spear and a machete sword. A cooking pot made his helmet. King Saul and his mighty men (???) ran in fear at the sight of Goliath. The children screamed, 2 cried, and some laughed at the sight. But when Goliath made fun of David the children booed at him. When David killed Goliath (the fall revealed Kevin, causing much laughing and relief for the children) the kids cheered like Brazil beating Argentina in soccer!!!
Today we did a puppet show and showed a Vegi-tale video. They have been playing games all week (soccer, baseball, kickball, volleyball) and have had craft time. Kevin Cline brought coloring books of Bible stories in Portuguese. The kids have loved them and have created masterpieces worthy of a young Michelangelo. Snacks have included chips, popcorn, sandwiches, and drinks.
Wednesday afternoon we went to a children’s hospital in Recife. It was quite large, 6 stories tall, full of kids suffering from a wide range of serious diseases from Aids to cancer. We got special permission to go in after general visitation hours were over so that we could spend more time there. We stayed for about 3 hours giving out toys, stuffed animals, and candy. We divided into three groups and covered 2 floors. Jim and Irene Casey, from Sarasota, taught children how to say Jesus loves me in sign language. Jim also did a short magic show that brought a lot of smiles to the children and the parents. The hospital was very clean and well kept, very different from Hospital Esquela in Tegucigalpa.
We have been doing a lot of cosmetic work here at camp. I have headed up a painting team that has been working on the first floor of the main building at camp. We have finished the dinning hall and are now working on the front entry area. We have changed the look from a very drab and faded while to Flamingo peach, Ocean blue, and Sunshine yellow. Brian Steffy headed up the team that is doing the fine carpentry work. His crew is assembling wooden benches that look like church pews! They are gorgeous and very comfortable and sturdy. We have also done some landscaping projects but the rain has slowed that team down a lot.
We have been into town a couple of times so far. We went to a Brazilian steak house last night that was off the charts good. We are going to another one on Sunday. Otherwise we have ate at camp and have been working here.
Tomorrow we will go into town for church services at the congregation that Randy Short, the full time minister here, works. We are going to do some sight seeing and shopping as well and then, if weather permits, a sunset devo on the beach.
All is well here. Besides some homesickness and a couple of sore throats, we are doing OK. We are having a blast and can’t wait to see what the new day will bring. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we work down here. We miss you all!!!