Apologies for the delay in updates, the rainy weather here caused some issues with the internet connection where we have been staying.
Over the past two days the team has enjoyed the opportunity to practice in a local gym in the mornings. It has been a great time for them to continue growing as a team.
The afternoons have been spent running clinics for students and a local team. The guys have been doing great and connecting well. It has been great to have a covered gym and not have to worry about the rain.
A highlight from Tuesday was the opportunity to travel to a nearby city and play a game against a professional squad. It was a great learning opportunity for the team and platform for sharing their faith. Pray that the last two days go well and for strength to finish strong.
(Pic is with the professional team)
Sundays are often a highlight day for trips as the opportunity to experience worship with fellow believers in a different culture is a wonderful one. The team enjoyed the opportunity to sleep in a little before attending a morning service. It was a very wonderful time of worship, with the added blessing of a translator for the whole service. The team then returned to the hotel for lunch and the team devotional time. A highlight during the team devotional time was hearing the testimony of Thiago and Denise, PTR Brasil staff. The team enjoyed hearing more of their story and how they came to be a part of the ministry and then gathered around and prayed for them. After some relaxation time the team loaded up again and headed up for an evening service, which was again an enjoyable experience as they got to hear a visiting missionary from Mozambique that the church supports speak.
The rainy weather continues however we are thankful for the opportunity to use a gym for clinics the next few days so the weather will not affect us.
The team had a long day on Saturday enjoying more of the beauty of Brazil. After an early morning and breakfast we loaded up into the vans and drove 1.5 hours to the town of Monte Verde (Green Mountain). Monte Verde is a unique place; it is at a higher elevation than where the team has been so it was cooler weather. It is also an entire town laid out like a Swiss village. The team spent the morning exploring the town and shopping. We then enjoyed a buffet lunch at a local restaurant. The after was spent taking a “family stroll” to the top of a nearby peak. When we got to the top, after some slip and sliding in the mud, the normally beautiful view was all clouded in. However, in the words of one of the team members, God flexed his muscles and parted the clouds like a window just in front of us and we were able to take in the beautiful view. (below is a picture of the team at the halfway point)
This morning broke with much better weather than yesterday. The team enjoyed a nice breakfast and once again showed their flexibility when the original plan for the morning, visiting an orphanage, had to be changed. Instead the team went to a local gym, one where they will hold clinics and play a match next week, and was able to have a practice session together. After lunch the team returned to the AECA property to run a clinic, this time with much better weather. The team enjoyed a larger group of students and were able to teach volleyball skills and share testimonies. Now they are settling in for yet another great meal followed by a time of “Team Time” continuing our study in the book of James.
The schedule for the trip is continuing to face challenges with much of the area being on vacation; pray for continued grace and flexibility from the team and open opportunities to teach and share.
The team welcomed the New Year with a 5-hour hike. We hiked up the “Pedra Grande” (Big Rock), with an altitude of 2,500 meters, so it was not for the faint of heart! There were some great views along the way but the overall view from the top was breath taking! After a full morning of hiking we enjoyed another great meal and spent the rest of the afternoon together recovering and resting, including some friendly competitions in the pool.
Continue to pray for good rest and energy for the team. Also pray for tomorrow as the first clinic with kids will happen in the afternoon.
After a full day of travel, driving to the airport and the 9 hour flight, the team arrived safely in Brazil. There was a short wait for the vans to arrive before the team drove just under an hour to Atibaia. The rest of the day was spent getting settled into the housing, eating wonderful food, getting to know the PTR Brazil staff and enjoying fun time with each other. Despite it being a long day, the team is awake and waiting to bring in the New Year as this post is being written.
Please pray for a good night of rest tonight.