Brazil, Day 7: Immersed in Another Culture5 min read

Went running again this morning at about 6:50am. This time I went up to the seminary and ran on the road that encircles it, supposedly measuring a full kilometer in circumference. So I ran three times around, not even a full two miles (1.8) and I was tired. But I think it was more than yesterday, so hopefully I improved a little. For breakfast we had homemade caramel rolls and cinnamon rolls, papaya, and milk. At 10:40 I went to the seminary where Pastor Jim gave an exam to the student in his missions class. After taking some pictures of them, I went around campus to take a few more pictures, and then I spent some time working on some Portuguese words that Pastor Jim printed for me. Lunch consisted green beans, rice with Brazilian green beans and cheese, and manioc root with cheese and sun-dried meat. Oh, that manioc was SO good! I learned how to peel it just last night, and it’s really easy to do, so I liked doing it. But it also tastes great. In the afternoon I read from Acts 5 and worked on memorizing more of Colossians and Hebrews. I was encouraged with the reminder from Acts 5 that when God’s people are doing God’s work, nothing will stop them from accomplishing God’s will. Then in Colossians 1 I was reminded of the great salvation we have from God through Jesus Christ. We went downtown mid-afternoon to do several errands. First we bought some dog food, then we stopped to buy a couple kilograms of cheese, and then we went to the bank. We also got some medicine for the dogs at a pharmacy. In Brazil you can go to a pharmacy without a prescription and just get what you need. As long as you can tell them you need it, you can get it. All of a sudden, stores and shops started closing down and the streets emptied! As we walked along, Pastor Jim said, “Is it a holiday or something? Everything is closed.” He stopped to ask a store owner who was closing down, and he told us that Brazil was playing Mexico in a few minutes. So when Brazil plays futebol, the whole city begins to shut down and everyone goes home to watch the game! The only places that stayed open had TVs. People gathered in those places to watch and cheer on their team. We couldn’t finish half the errands on the list, so we just drove back to the house. When we arrived, we saw students gathered outside on a porch and in the yard to watch the game. It is finals week and they have big tests for which to study, but they had set up a couple TVs and were taking a break to watch the big game. Soon we heard loud cheering in the streets, and Pastor Jim said that Brazil had scored. He said there would be fireworks, and less than 10 seconds after he said that, we heard them. The game was not even in this city (it was in Fortaleza where I flew in), but fireworks went off because Brazil had scored. Mrs. Leonard said that patriotism in Brazil was watching Brazil play soccer. When they won, it was good. When they lost, well, as Pastor Jim said, they weren’t so patriotic. I went out to join some of the students and watch the second half of the game, and fortunately for the country, Brazil won 2-0. While I was out there I was treated to a Brazilian hot dog. It’s just like the ones we eat in America, but they chop the hot dogs into pieces, mix it with a light sauce and maybe a little corn or something else, and then scoop it into a bun. It was really good, and a nice variation on the hot dogs I rarely ever eat anymore back in the US. We went to a Bible study in a nearby village after supper. It is a weekly Bible study with a family- a couple, their two daughters and a husband, and three grandchildren. They are going through the Hope Bible study, the same one that we’ll be doing at the English retreat later this summer.For supper we had a huge lettuce salad, something I haven’t had since coming here. But it was good, and I had a banana for dessert. Last night they used the laminated visuals that I brought down with me, and that was a big help to the Leonard’s and it helped draw in the attention of the children. So it was exciting to see them use the visuals already! This couple was unsaved for many years, but after some hit men came to their home and shot the man in the stomach (trying to kill a man by the same name who lived a couple houses away), they eventually were saved. The man almost died from his wound because the hospital refused to treat him and he was badly infected. But God spared his life, and he decided that God wanted him to be saved. Now they are slowly changing and the sanctifying process can be seen as they rid themselves of worldly things without the Leonard’s even prompting them to do so. They are just learning more and more about the Bible, and as they do, God convicts them of sinful habits and other things that need to be put off. Amazing! When we got back home, I read a few chapters from some books in preparation for Aventura Brasil later this summer. That’s about it for the day! What a great taste of Brazilian culture in both the seminary, the city, the soccer game, and the Bible study.

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