Click here to read the previous Brasil Mission: Blog Journal 01. Olá pessoal! So it seems like I will be keeping up this blog as it is way easier to send a link than to type up the same stories a million times to everyone who asks how the trip has been going. Haha! So excuse my laziness/efficiency. 😛 This weekend was a camp with the kids from the favela in the neighbourhood – ages ranging about 6-12 years old. It’s funny how quickly your heart can grow fond of kids who only a few days ago were strange new faces. They all gathered at Casa Semear on Friday morning and we were off in two buses loaded with some about 30 loud excited crianças (children). The journey to the camp site was fairly standard with you usual banter in the bus along the hour or so there, and it was interesting to watch how they interact both with each other and the missionaries. Everyone is “tio” or “tia” to them – uncle and aunty – which reminds me a lot of home. I much prefer that than “sir” or “madam” – though I must admit I think their little voices screaming “tio Tadeu” is going to be echoing in my head for a while…
The camp ground was really nice – sort of reminded me of Victory Heights Bible Camp in Trinidad. Nice open space with soccer field, volleyball court, pool, etc. The kids immediately went wild to the new found freedom! I can imagine how liberating and exhilarating it is for them with the change of scenery from the densely packed buildings of the favela to wide open green fields to run and frolic. And frolic did they!!! I think it wasn’t even 30 mins after we arrived that they were already running around and playing in the mud making mud slides and horse play. It was pretty nice to see them in their glee – they don’t seem to need much to be happy – I think a puddle of mud satisfied these kids more than even the latest gaming system would a lot of North American kids… #theSimpleThingsInLife haha. Camp was filled with the usual activities – pool, futebol (soccer), and some unique games – including a few ones where we had the pleasure of putting on masks and chasing kids in the dark for a sort of “capture the flag” game. haha. The theme of the camp was Jonah – so a lot of the games focused around object lessons based around the story of Jonah – some more directly so than others! lol – but I think the kids enjoyed it and it helped to make the lessons stick in the heads – or at least the memory of being chased by a monkey, V for Vendetta and Darth Vader. hah!
The kids themselves were the highlight of the weekend for me. They really grow on your heart quickly and are quite loving, affectionate and attach themselves to you in no time. I was actually really surprised also how obedient they are! Most times the leaders only have to speak once and they’ll be quiet and attentive to instructions. Quite impressive! I think the missionaries here have definitely been doing an excellent job with them and it’s an accomplishment to see children from the favela so well behaved. You can see a definite love and respect that they have for the missionaries here as well. Everyone loves Tio “Hoberchee” (How they pronounce Robert) and love to joke around and play with him and the rest of missionaries. Keep these faithful servants in prayer! I have the growing suspicion that it’s going to get more and more difficult to leave here the more time I spend with these beautiful kids. Plus, their selfie game is strong! The last day of the camp came all too fast. The final night – my boys wanted to build forts in their bunk beds – so who am I to stand in the way of cherished boyhood memories?! Then one of the most amazing things happened, once they had their forts built, they started reading Bible stories together! It was so sweet – the boys are a rambunctious but amazing group. We did BBQ for them for the final day and built a “Tough Mudder” type obstacle course for them – haha – it was a rainy, cold but enjoyable weekend. I think their moms may have a heart attack when they look at the amount of mud on the kids’ clothes, but I think it was all for a good cause! You can see some of the other pics from the camp at Casa Semear’s blog here: http://casasemear.blogspot.com.br/2015/07/semear-kids-camp-2015.html?spref=fb
Continue to pray for these kids and the mission. I don’t know all of their stories – but I imagine a lot of them come from some difficult circumstances. Casa Semear and ABBA are definitely a great influence in investing in these precious young ones, lavishing love on them and teaching them God’s Word. Also – keep the other projects that ABBA runs in other favelas, etc in prayer. They are also doing skills training for youth to help keep them off the streets and crime and also planning on opening up a Christian school for at risk kids. All this as part of the practical ways to provide a real way out of the cycle of poverty and crime which kids from the favela often fall into. This week we have a few more meetings and also preparation for the next camp this weekend with the Teens. Pray for that! You all know how teens can be – haha. Pray that their hearts would be receptive to what God has to teach them, and for the planning team as we organize the activities and messages, etc. Also – pray for my knee to heal up quickly – I seemed to have aggravated it in all the running around this weekend and it’s pretty sore and inflamed. Getting old! Also – a silly but real request – pray for my sinuses… one of the missionaries here at Casa Semear has 2 cats and my allergies have been going crazy and it’s quite annoying. I’m dying sneezing! Lord put a hand!! haha Thanks for all the love and prayers! God bless.
Read the next blog journal entry here: Brasil Mission: Blog Journal 03
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV)