Brazil 2018

Monday, July 02, 2018

I just returned home from my 7th trip to Brazil (over the last 8 years).  To say that I love Brazil would be an understatement.  Ten years ago, the idea of traveling on a boat into the remote jungle, swinging the nights away on a hammock on an open deck with no AC would have not even crossed my mind.  Regardless of whether I go 18 more times, or never again, it will always be one of the highlights of my life that I was given the opportunity to serve with the Brazilian people on these shores.  
Each trip is unique.  Some years we struggled up the river, and sometimes it's a trip with double rainbows and villages full of baby monkeys.  This year the team I traveled with were mostly new to me, which is always a little scary, but they were INCREDIBLE.  Everyone worked hard without complaint, despite some injuries and illnesses-everyone was all in, which makes all the difference.  We traveled with some of the translators I've been with in the past, and new ones I met this trip.  One morning, the pastor performed Baptisms in the Amazon River-a first for me to witness.  

Our focus this year was the Bucket Ministry one of our trip members began the ministry about five years after realizing the river is the source of water for these villagers, and their lives are gravely impacted by this.  He began working with a company to provide filters and buckets for the families.  We work with established missionaries in the area who utilize these filters to help improve the lives of the people in these jungle communities, and open doors to start building relationships.

I've thought a lot about how to sum up this year, and the truth is, I think the stories are still being written, so maybe I'll bring them back in pieces from time to time.  Or maybe I'll let the pictures tell the stories where my words can't.  
Another highlight of the trip-I finally held a sloth!  Most of the folks who travel to Brazil a lot of have done this before, but they have never been a part of my trip.  This little guy was a pet to one of the gals at a store we stopped at on the last day.
One of our amazing translators (Lia) offered a few of us a ride around her city (Manaus) while we waited on our airplane on the last day.  The World Cup was going on, and something I have learned about Brazil (and South America) these last 8 years is that they LOVE their soccer.  Lia took us to a street totally decorated for the world cup from top to bottom.  Each building was playing the soccer game (not even a Brazil game at the time).  We see this over and over.  No matter how remote the village-they find a way to hook up a satellite and a generator for these events and gather around a small tv.  I didn't have cell service for over a week, but I was always apprised of how Brazil was doing on the soccer front!
This trip will be one of my favorites and I can't wait to hear from the missionaries we got to love and left behind and hope to see them again soon!  

1 comment

Msheepers said...

Sounds like it was a great trip!!