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.
I did my devotions in the first half or Acts 20, took a shower, and went to breakfast. This day I got a yummy hodgepodge of breakfast foods: granola with coconut yogurt, fried cheese with guava jam, papaya, and hot milk. It was really tasty!
We had one last missions session with Uncle Jim, and today we talked about finances in missions. Branching off from that, we talked about various types of missionary strategies for being supported on the field. We were able to talk about several good concepts related to missionary finances.
Next we had our second and final meeting with Uncle Byron, and once again we laughed for at least 30% of the time. He was just so funny! I have been so blessed to spend time with so many fun men this summer. From Stephen to Uncle Jim to Renato Costa to Uncle Byron to Uncle Doug…most of the time it is just puns and smart remarks, but that is the kind of humor I love, so I have been constantly laughing this summer. ALL the good medicine for the soul!
Lunch consisted of lasagna, rice, garlic bread, and grapes. We left shortly after lunch to go to the Expo Crato, something similar to the county fairs in Iowa with which I’m familiar. The exposição is located in Crato and attracts many visitors all day long. They have several farm animals on display, lots of food stands, and many informational booths.
We looked at a lot of the cattle, watched sugar cane being processed, and watched a short video that told us about the Cariri valley. They also had lots of farm and construction equipment on display, and among them were the familiar John Deere tractors that made me proud to be an Iowan. Yes, even Brasil has quality farm equipment. 🙂
After looking around we went back to the entrance where we looked around at all the things that were being sold there. One lady was selling necklaces that had grains of rice in them, and she would write up to six names on one grain of rice. Uncle Jim ordered a couple of them, so I watched the lady inscribe the names on the rice for him. I’ve seen these things on TV on the Travel Channel or something, but I’ve never seen it for real, so it was neat to see.
At about 4:30 we finished and drove back home. At night the Expo is a place where believers should not spend their time because it almost becomes a huge nightclub with lots of drinking and worldly music. The Leonard’s said that it gets so loud that the animals have a hard time sleeping through it, so by the end of the week they are exhausted and not much fun to go and see.
We spent rest of the evening relaxing and preparing for our trip the next day. Friday was our last day in Crato and most of the next week will be farther south in Petrolina. For supper we ate leftover pizza from the Hope Encounter, mixed vegetables, and cajuina.
Now I cannot keep telling the Brazilians and the missionary kids that pizza should not have ketchup and mayonnaise on it unless I also try it myself, so I did. I put both condiments on my pizza and swirled them together. The result…was less than satisfying. It wasn’t nasty, but it wasn’t that great either. It tasted more like a hamburger than it did pizza. So now I can officially say that it’s weird. Pizza has enough tomato sauce under the cheese- leave off the ketchup. Mayonnaise…ugh.
After supper we had one last Rook game. We taught Destiny and William how to play, and we broke them in with five rounds of five-hand Rook. Beth came over to watch so that she could also learn how to play, and it was an enjoyable night of fellowship. After the game, Danae brought out her laptop and William grabbed his guitar, and together with Destiny and Beth the four of them sang several songs in Portuguese and English.
What a great way to end the day and to end my five-and-a-half weeks of ministry in Crato and Juazeiro! I’m sad to leave, but I’m also excited to move onto the next phase of ministry during this trip. Saturday we travel to Exu, Sunday we minister in Exu and Ouricouri, and Monday we head several hundred kilometers to Petrolina where we will spend our last week together.