Monday, September 29, 2008

Carnaubas and Santana

Throughout the entire time in Santana and Carnaubas, we definitely got to know Marconi and Katiana (his wife... or Queen Bee). Before a "get together" in the church in Carnaubas, Katiana was encouraging Evan to shower, but he refused. Being the mother of us three, she wasn't having this. A large argument turned into a gigantic argument. It was comical to say the least. Evan told her that he would take one the next morning. The children of these towns labeled Evan as "Wolverine" and this is what got all of us going. We were trying to explain who Wolverine was to Katiana in broken Portuguese and sign language. This became Evan's nickname, which brought up a whole new ball field. Katiana continued to persist with this whole shower thing, which gave her the name, "Queen Bee." All the time she would come by and fold clothes and clean and remind us to bathe and brush our teeth and quite honestly be the... Queen Bee of the house. So, she would run the show- and we had a blast with it. You can imagine us three guys trying to have conversations with Queen Bee in the 12 Portuguese words we know. Along with this, we taught Marconi a cornucopia of slang that resulted in more hilarious conversations.

Our four-day weekend in Carnaubas and Santana was the time of our lives to say the least. Words cannot describe the relationships we built and memories we have.

Carnaubas was short but good. We spent our first complete day (Thursday) there touring and meeting up with Marconi's friends. Basically during our free time before church we toured and went over all the WPCC's youth trip; hiked a mountain over-looking Carnaubas, visited shops, friends, and enjoyed ice cream at the local (but should be world famous) ice cream parlor!!! It was incredible to get to look at all what the team did and got to do. We visited the now-completed church in Carnaubas. The team from WPCC youth group worked and built a church in Carnaubas- and we had the honor of seeing it and the people who attend it now. We were able to see the product of what that team had created. We were going to do a "trip testimony" later on there, so we headed over to the school. The school gathered around as we played songs and invited them to the church to hear what we were all about. Church was a major success. We shared from the beginning of the dream two years ago all the way up to Haiti. We spent time with kids, like Tabitha and Ramonie- who the team earlier in June built relationships with. We got to visit and play more songs in the church till late. That night after all the fun we drove to Santana in a compact car with Marconi, Katiana, Christian, Andrew, Evan and our host in Santata, Veridiano. Not to mention the addtional two guitars and two drums, our clothes and such. You can imagine this! We got to know eachother:)

Santana is a beautiful and quaint town of 2800. It was life-changing. Major transformation happened in every one of us. Another trip testimony was planned for us at the local church in Santana, so we had to get the word out. During all Friday we went to the school and played "Light of the World" and invited them to come to the church to hear about why we were in Santana and what we were doing... "traveling the world." At the end of the night, 50+ people gathered around to hear us share our trust and love for God. Again, we shared some about our trip and enjoyed talking with the locals in the little Portuguese we knew. Somehow it was settled that we were meeting some guys to play Futsal (indoor soccer) at 8 am. That next morning was amazing getting to "Joga Bonita." (I think that's correct; probably not). Later on we went out even further into the country and did an outreach. There was a "suburb" of Santana of eight families in one small area. We gathered them together, sang worship and gave them the Good News about Jesus. We prayed over this area and headed back to Santana. It was Veridiano's (our host we stayed with) birthday the next day so we celebrated that night: truly a celebration. We all gathered at the church, about 40 in all, and basically had a few hour long church service. A few different people gave thanks and talked- and encouraged Veridiano. We gathered around for cake and it got interesting here...

We decided that the best way to establish relationship- break the ice- with people that we've met is to make them laugh. As we were discussing this method we noticed all the children... CHILDREN were standing in two lines. All of the parents and other visitiors were standing around the outside of this 12 and under group. Evan spontaneously decided to jump in and cut the line for chocolate cake. He jumped in and clapped for joy because of his success. People laughed- which broke the ice- but not because of what we thought. Evan was in the girls line. You can imagine the chaos of a few ONLY Portuguese-speaking mothers trying to explain to Evan that he was clearly in the wrong line... and all the little girls FREAKING out! This increased the laughter, especially watching the ladies trying to explain why Evan needed to move. He did, and yes... we all got chocolate cake:)

The next day was Sunday, truly a day of rest here in Brazil. We relaxed and enjoyed getting to know our host and hostess, Veridiano and Jacqueline. This was our last full day in Santana- and it was a day of bonding. We told stories and laughed all day. As evening approached, it was finally time for us to go to the church to give our testimonies. It was this event that we invited the students to. Since we gave our trip testimony a couple nights before, we gave different parts of our personal testimonies. It is hard to communicate this writing, but we could feel God in the church. We invited others to sing with us in Portuguese as we sang in English. The church body was one. Each one of us shared whatever we were being urged to. It was not us however that did anything remotely amazing. Something happened Sunday night that brought all of us as Gods children together. We had the honor of encouraging the church, and the pleasure of being encouraged and prayed for by them. There is something powerful about a group of people coming together- disregarding language- and praying. There is something powerful about having only one thing in common, but it binds us together so closely that the one thing is all we need. Nothing else mattered in Santana.

Our time in Santana was a God-size adventure. We grew and saw the Glory of God. It was beautiful.