This morning we went to meet the rest of Uncle Byron and William’s family at their home and to have some fun with William. We ate a breakfast of French toast with mamo (papaya) smoothies and at about 9:30 we jumped in the car to drive to Sobradinho, Bahia, another city in another state about an hour away.
Breakfast this morning was SO good! French rolls, cheese, and some sweet bread with coconut that reminded me of the pan de coco that my family loves to get at China Town in Seattle. Mmmm…it was one of the many highlights of my day.
We left the house around 9:00 to meet up with a friend of the Reiner’s who would take us to a grape plantation. The man’s name is Marceu and we picked him up at the place where he works. He took us to a plantation, and the owner of the plantation, Renato, gave us a personal tour of the vineyards!
Today we left Exu for another city in another state- Petrolina, Pernambuco. It is home to the Reiner’s, but it is my first time outside of Ceara since coming to Brazil. We woke up around 7:00, packed our stuff, and ate a breakfast of French rolls and butter, cheese, goiaba juice, hot milk, and cake. We quickly ate and loaded up, moving on to our next destination which was several hours away.
Today was such a great day of ministry. It started when we woke up, ate a quick snack of bananas, and left the house shortly after 7am. We drove about an hour away to the small town of Ouricouri, the location of our morning ministry.
On the way there we practiced our music for the service. In the back of the SUV, William pulled out his guitar and I got out my violin and we started playing and singing together with the girls. When we had finished practicing our songs, we started playing other songs just for fun, and the Reiner’s joined in with us as we sang “I’ll Fly Away,” “When We All Get To Heaven,” etc.
Today was a sad day for a couple reasons. First of all, it was sad because we left Crato today, my home for the last five weeks. It only took five weeks for me to become fairly involved in several ministries and begin to develop many friendships with both Americans and Brazilians. But the next phase of our ministry requires us to move to Petrolina, so we started in that direction today.
This morning I woke up around 7:00 to go running. I thought about going earlier when it was cooler, but when I woke up around 6:20 and saw that it was really cloudy, I decided to sleep a little longer because I figured it wouldn’t get too hot with the sun blocked. Fortunately, I was right!
Unfortunately it was a little humid due to rain during the night, but it wasn’t bad. It wasn’t near as humid as Iowa is during this time of year. I didn’t want to run for a whole hour like yesterday, so I decided to work on my anaerobic fitness (instead of my aerobic fitness) and do some sprints up the road on the hill. I ran up the hill and back down five times, taking a short break between each one. It was quite the workout.
For the first time in two weeks I woke up and went on a run. I slacked off way too much the last couple weeks, so today I made sure I woke up early (6:30) and got in a good run. It’s so easy in life to stop doing the good things, and once you stop, it’s hard to start doing them again!
It was by far one of the most enjoyable runs of my time here. I decided to push myself much more than I had so far, and I ended up running 10 kilometers without stopping. But what made it enjoyable was that I spent the whole run talking to God. For about an hour I tried to thank God for as many things as I could and offer up a few requests.
After the normal routine of waking up and eating breakfast, we had another round of classes, this time only with Uncle Jim. He talked to us more about missions in Brazil and the theology and philosophy of missions in general. Some of these things I remember from my missions classes, but other things were new, and even the old stuff was good review. It’s always exciting to hear how God works through people to do spread His Word.
We woke up and had a great breakfast of cinnamon rolls with some of the leftover frosting from the cookie-decorating on Friday night. I took SO long to eat my breakfast. Frosting is SO yummy and I put SO much on my rolls, but I also took time to enjoy them, so it took awhile to finish my two.
This morning was the first of four days of classes with Uncle Jim, Aunt Renate, and Uncle Byron. Today we got an overview of the theology of missions as well as an introduction to missions in Brazil with Uncle Jim. Aunt Renate then gave us some Portuguese lessons, teaching us the alphabet and the pronunciations of the letters.
Monday was a really busy day. After a breakfast of granola, coconut yogurt, and milk, all five of us in the house went shopping to get some more things for the three-day Hope Encounter.
Aunt Julie and Jennifer went to Atacadao while Uncle Jim, Danae, and I went to Juazeiro. We picked up several items at the shops in town and then we came back and went to Assai, the new grocery store across the road from Atacadao. There we purchased, some chips, spices, and some doce de leite for Danae and I to bring home.