I have my very first moment of free time since we arrived in Brazil. Matt 'suggested' (mandated) that I stay at the hotel tonight instead of going to the last worship service of the day. Not sure why, but I haven't been able to get a good grip on my sugars while we've been here. Maybe it's the 789,000 degree temps or humidity or busy schedule or the fact that some of of the foods I'm putting in my mouth are a mystery to me or a number of other things. It's left me feeling a little out of sorts, and I'm hoping after this bit of rest, I can hit the ground running again tomorrow.
We have had an awesome trip so far. The Shiloh kids have absolutley amazed me with their readiness and boldness in sharing the gospel. We have been doing VBS with the neighborhood children and door-to-door evangelism as well. There has not been a single day that the kids have not led several people to the Lord. The Brazilian people invite us into their homes and are grateful for our visit. They want to talk and listen and are extremely kind and hospitable. I have already made several Brazilian friends, and I am going to be extremely sad to them leave behind.
There is so much to tell, and I am so tired tonight... but I will try to give a quick snapshot of some of my favorite moments so far.
* One of the girls, T, walked into one of the local outdoor bars (along with an adult and translator) and shared the gospel with the woman behind the bar. Certain the woman was more bothered than interested in what she was saying, T asked the translator to ask if the woman would like to accept Jesus into her heart. T was already walking away in her head when the woman behind the bar nodded and said, "Yes." T was so shocked and caught off guard she said, "REALLY?!" The woman nodded again, and T prayed with her to accept Christ right there in the bar. How. Awesome. Is. That?
* Another of our girls, H, has begun a relationship with a local little boy named Etson. Etson is 4 years old, and roams the streets alone. We have yet to see his mother or any supervising adult, although I think that is common here. Wherever H goes, Etson goes. He sat in her lap, coloring, throughout the entire church service last night. He came alone, found H, and just settled in. Today, H spent about two hours doing door-to-door evangelism, and Etson held her hand and went with her to every house. If I had to guess, I would say that this little boy has never been 'loved on' or felt as special as he has this week. His moments with H may very well impact his life forever.
* Today, Matt, my new Brazilian friends, Suemmey and Juliet, and I met a young man, probably about 25, while doing door-to-door. Matt shared the gospel story, and the man listened closely but afterwards told us he believed in Jesus and wanted to completely give his life to him but did not want to stop living the way he had been living. He said he knew it was a life changing decision that he did not take lightly, and since he knew he wasn't ready to change his lifestyle, he wanted to "wait." We stood in his doorway for an hour, sweating and talking, building a relationship. I told him that I didn't want to push him, but that I didn't want to walk away, seeing in his eyes that he wanted the things we were telling him about. He told us that we had "planted the seed," but he just wasn't ready. Matt prayed for him, and we left. I can't get him off my mind tonight. He told us he was empty and wanted to be filled. He had tears in his eyes, but just could not take the step of faith. I cannot pronounce his name (or write it), but if you're reading this, please pray for this man in a tiny purple house in Brazil tonight. I told him we would be around until Tuesday and that if he changed him mind, I wanted him to come and find me. Pray that he does.
* Today was the first day I was able to do door-to-door evangelism since I have spent most of my time with the little children doing VBS. I was a little jealous that almost every had been able to lead someone to Christ except for me and the others from VBS. I was praying today would be my day, and it was. We met three young women who said they knew Jesus and were going to Heaven, but when we asked how they knew, they said, "Because we are good people and do good things." (By the way, this is the mindset of most of the people we have spoken with.) We explained that 'good works' is awesome but only Jesus can get them to Heaven. They listened and asked questions, and before we left, I was able to hold their hands and pray the prayer of salvation with them as Suemmey translated. It was such a beautiful thing. As much as I miss my babies (and I mean DESPERATELY miss them), I wouldn't trade that moment for anything in the world.
More later. Please pray for our team, especially the kids... for continued health and boldness and annointing from above. They need all of them and more.
3 days ago