Wow, what a CrAzY, long, exciting, bittersweet day! Once again, it began shortly after 4am with the crowing of the rooster and lots of prayer until the sun came up. I walked around on the beach for awhile, looking around and enjoying the island. It was really cloudy all morning, so the sunrise wasn’t anything too spectacular. It was barely even noticeable aside from the fact that my surroundings got lighter as the morning progressed.
For breakfast we ate bolo (cake), bread with butter, cuscuz with eggs, and mamo. We had our fourth and final chapel service after breakfast, and the gospel was presented one last time. Well, I think it was. It was in Portuguese so I didn’t understand it all, but that’s what I got out of it. 🙂
Afterward we had our last activity time, went swimming one last time, and signed the Ilha de Tesouro guest book. We had a scrumptious lunch of rice, black beans with sausage, pasta, lettuce salad, and guarana, and soon after we packed up to leave. We took several pictures together and then I climbed some huge rocks with the campers. We looked around the island one last time, wishing we could stay but thankful for the memories we had made together.
It wasn’t long before we loaded up the Noah II, boarded the water vessel, and waved good-bye to our beloved camp. As we sailed around the island and saw the parts of it that we had not explored, I looked on with sadness, wondering if I would ever return to what had quickly become my second camp. We watched as storm clouds covered the island and poured rain on it behind us, and soon a rainbow appeared. Wow!
Soon I heard singing down below the deck, so I went down to see what was going on. There, Mrs. Atha was leading the kids in songs that we had sung on the island that weekend. The kids sung as loud as they could, chasing away the sadness of our departure. The smiles on their faces were so big that it was easy to tell they were genuinely worshiping God. It was SUCH a blessing! I stood down there and watched, took pictures, recorded a few videos, and almost cried with joy at the sight.
Unfortunately the trip ended, and we arrived back at the mainland. We unloaded the boat quickly, and I could barely say good-bye as the campers drove away, back into the harsh world. But there was no time to ponder the significance of the moment as Danae, Destiny, William and I were quickly whisked into another vehicle and taken back to Sobradinho.
We had a youth activity that evening, so we had to quickly change gears and prepare for our next ministry. We went to a facility that houses a deaf church, but tonight it was holding a youth activity for three different churches. Neto and Joy led the group in singing and then Danae, Destiny, William, and I shared our testimonies and told the teens a little bit about our lives (similar to what we had done at the Hope Encounter). Uncle Jim and Aunt Julie met back up with us again, and they translated for us when we spoke.
Then, we split up into different groups and did a scavenger hunt in the dark town around us. The clues they gave us were written in English, so we Americans were in charge of helping them know what to find. Fortunately, some of the people in my group knew English well enough to help the others figure out what they were doing. It was a whole lot of fun, and we laughed a lot along the way.
Back at the church, we ate hot dogs for supper. I talked to some of the students who spoke English and then Uncle Jim told me about the history of the church and its property. It is always exciting to hear how God works. When the activity was over, Uncle Doug and Aunt Renate took us all to a past restaurant called La Pasta. It was like the pasta version of Subway. We picked our noodles and meat and vegetables and then we watched as they cooked it all together. Man! It was SO good!
The four of us “kids” stayed up late, talking outside in the cool grass. It was one of our last evenings together, so we took advantage of the time together and talked a lot about different things in life. Eventually we did go to bed though because we had one last Sunday of ministry awaiting us.