Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Volunteer Team Diary - Day 3

7:00 - I'm on my third phone call of the day, and I've just found out that the interstate highway which is the only good way to get to the city where we will be working, is blocked off with a major accident. It's also raining.

8:00 - The van leaves for Novo Hamburgo, and we only end up being about an hour late to the mother church because of the accident. We hurriedly try to get organized with Paulo and Luci, the evangelists who are starting the new church in the slum. We get slips with addresses and names of the people whom we will be visiting distributed, pile back in the van, and head down to the Marrocos neighborhood. Despite a good bit of standing around in the rain on the dirt road, everyone finally ends up paired up with a church member who has at least a vague idea of where they are going, and heads out to try to get in a visit before lunch. Paulo and I go to negociate a better price for lunch, and we get the manager to cut us a deal, and to throw in 10 liters of soda for free.

12:30 - The team has their first experience in a Brazilian buffet, where we eat for $2.25 a person, with free drinks - can't beat that!

14:00 - We hit the streets agin for our afternoon visits in the Marrocos slum. Because we had more visits than volunteers, I go out with my colleagues Bill and Cheryl, and we had the privilege of leading a family to Christ during our first visit (see picture), and a mother in the second visit. After emphasizing the importance of being on time, we end up being one of the last teams back to the house which is our home base because I talked so much - so much for being a good example!

19:30 - The home evangelistic service is supposed to begin.
20:00 - The service actually does begin, with several visitors, including two children from the family that we lead to Christ just a few hours before. We met in a covered, but somewhat open-air living room area that opens out into the street. Since we had no music or agenda, Paulo introduces us and the whole service falls to the team. I quickly organized a praise team made up of three translators and we teach the assembled group the songs "God is so good" (in English and Portuguese) and Celebrate Jesus (in Portuguese). Two volunteers give their testimonies, and one preaches. I give a closing invitation, and 3 people respond saying they want to recieve Jesus. In all, the team made 27 visits and had 38 people receive Christ on a wet, cold day in the Marrocos slum.

21:30 - Dinner at my favorite Brazilian pizza buffet, including 4-5 different kinds of ice cream pizza!

23:30 - Return to hotel

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