Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Volunteer Team Log - Day 4

After a long day and night on Monday, the team had a quick turnaround to start another full day on Tuesday. We met at their hotel 8:00 to head out to the neighborhood of Rubem Berta on the North side of Porto Alegre. The church we were working with was planted just a few years ago and experienced a bit of a slump after the much beloved founding pastor left to assume a new ministry.

Leandro is the new bivocational leader of the church. Leandro's enthusiasm, love for the Lord, infectious smile, and obvious sincerity more than make up, for his lack of time and formal training. Leandro scheduled a number of visits for the team and left several church members to guide us to where we needed to go.

The day was cold and windy with a persistant soaking rain, but we all struck out on our visits anyway. During the day we evangelized, discipled, encouraged, and prayed for the sick and had the privilige of seeing a number of people come to Christ.

After a snack of bread, jelly, and Gaúcho Chimmarrão (green tea drunk out of a gourd)at church that night, we assisted Leandro and his team in a worship service. Both the local church praise team and the volunteer team led worship.

My son Blake (11 years old) actually played keyboard for the first time in a church service along with the volunteers (yes, I was quite proud of him!). Several of the volunteers gave their testimonies and Pastor Chris preached on bringing people to Christ through our everyday influence in their lives.

At the end of the service, I had the privilige of seeing a couple that I and one of the volunteers visited come forward and reconcile with the leadership of the church after having gotten their feelings hurt and leaving some time before - it was a beautiful moment!

After the service ended, Pastor Chris, Brad, and a bunch of local church members had an informal jam session up front - it was cool to see brothers and sisters communicating across cultures through music.

After a long and cold, but fulfilling day, we headed home for some much needed rest!

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