Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Good Day

Today was a good day. Usually on Saturday nights the jovens (young people...which means age 14-26) get together around 6:30 for a weekly Bible study. However, today they wanted to meet a few hours earlier and go around the church's neighborhood to collect non-perishable items for recent flood victims in surrounding interior cities. I don't stay caught up on local news, but I know that for the last several weeks there have been a lot of prayer requests for people whose homes have been destroyed by ceaseless rain.

So, although I had no idea what we were going to do, (they used a word I don't know when they invited me...I just accepted and decided I'd figure it out later) I showed up at the church building at 4 and we set out. I had done this type of thing a few times before with my youth group in Oklahoma City, but I wondered what kind of experience it would be in Brazil. Turns out, not that different! We got a few rude "No!"s, a few "Um...not today"s, a few "the lady of the house is at the store right now..." and one "we eat out every meal...but would you take sugar?" It was a great experience and I enjoyed getting out and getting to know the surrounding area a bit better. Plus, I spent a fun couple of hours with friends whom I usually don't have any one on one time with. When our group made it back to the building, we had three sacks full of rice, sugar, corn flour, and all kinds of odds and ends. We dumped our loot on top of the ever-growing pile, and I was proud of what our little group of jovens had accomplished today. It was your run-of-the-mill service project, but those aren't all that common here. I was proud to be a part of it. Later on during the Bible study, one of the jovens, Andre, even commented that they had gone by several really nice houses where the people didn't give anything, and then got to a street of very poor homes. He felt like he should be taking the things out of the sack and giving them to the people inside! He went ahead and asked anyway, and the first woman he asked sent her son to get beans, apparently a very expensive item right now. Andre reminded us of the story of the widow who gave all the money she had to the temple, and how so many of us could have given so much today but brought nothing. Definitely a lesson that never loses..potency? (My English is terrible these days...please disregard.)

So, it was a good day. I'll leave you with a picture of our fun day yesterday, a dune buggy ride through the famous sand dunes of Natal. We accompanied the Jewells while Samantha's brother was in town from Ft Worth. If this doesn't make you want to come visit, I don't know what will!

Our group for the day in front of one of the buggys (buggies?)

My friends Jonah (left) and Andy (right). Andy had a rough time and got a lot of sand in his eyes. They went home after 30 minutes but fully enjoyed those 30 minutes. And who wouldn't want to start out the day with no pants? They had the right idea...

Punting across the river on rafts for a mere 12 bucks

1 comment:

lhall said...

WEIRD!! Yesterday was 'no pants day'!!! I'm not lying! I thought that information would prove to be completely useless, but thank goodness there were at least two little boys in brazil that were celebrating!

Seriously, google 'no pants day'.