I came to Brasil hoping that I would also find time to exercise and get in shape for my last season of futbol at Faith Baptist Bible College this fall. So I woke up this morning and ran for almost 20 minutes, hating every minute of it. Running is the worst. But I did it, and hopefully I’m in much better shape at the end of the summer than I am now.
Today I also found out that the Leonards just started a diet, so maybe that will work in my favor too since I have gained a little weight since soccer ended last fall. Anyway, that’s how the day began. For breakfast we had homemade granola, papaya, and milk.
At about 9:10 Pastor Jim took me to the campus proper of Seminario Batista do Cariri (the houses are suburbs to the main campus, but on the same property). In English this school is known as Cariri Baptist Seminary. I got a quick tour of the place and the history the property.
The place is SO beautiful! But it’s not because of all the exotic foliage and the mountains in the distance. Yeah, the palm trees and such are beautiful, but take them out, and the place is still a wonderful sight. The buildings are nice too, but what I really love is the stone landscaping.
The seminary is built on a natural incline, and rather than paying to pour concrete for sidewalks and such, they went the cheaper route of buying and laying stone trucked in from 600 kilometers away. So everywhere you look there are terraces of steps leading from one place to another, constructed of huge, rectangular stones.
Most of the rest of the ground is covered in stone with a few flower gardens and some areas of grass here and there. Running down the middle of the campus is a large fountain system that runs during special events, and it runs into an ampitheater that sits in the middle of the campus.
I really don’t know how to explain how pretty I think it all is, and my pictures are too narrow and unrealistic to really communicate the beauty, but they kinda give an idea of what it’s like. Anyway, the layout and design really impressed me.
I met a couple students who knew English fairly well, and one of them, Junior, sat wit me in chapel. He did his best to translate all the Portuguese for me during the service. Chapel started at 10:50am and lasted until about 12:20pm. I was kinda put to shame as I thought about the 40-minute chapels at home and how I often wish the speaker would let us out early.
Chapel started with a congregational song, two songs accompanied by sign language (so I was trying to understand both languages at once!), and a quartet vocal. The message was given by a man who just earned his doctorate degree from Central Baptist Seminary a few weeks ago. He talked about Lamplighter’s Intentional Discipleship method of Bible study.
As we went along, I started to understand more and more of what he was saying, mostly because I could read it on the screen, and I was able to make sense of a lot of the Portuguese writing. Junior also did his best to translate for me and a few times went across the aisle to a friend to ask how to say some words in English.
Pastor Jim’s mom visits every Tuesday, so she came to chapel and then ate lunch with us. We had fettuccine with California mixed vegetables and alfredo sauce with ham on top. For dessert we ate some pina fruit. I learned that you can crush up the papaya seeds and use them as meat tenderizer.
I spent the afternoon sorting through pictures from school the past two years. In the evening I was going to speak to AMEN, the student missionary group at SBC. A rough English translation for the acronym AMEN is the