Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Caleb Mission Training

“Your talk will be in the afternoon. You will have 30 minutes.”

I was shocked when the Youth Pastor told me this on Sabbath morning. I was going to give a palestra on being a missionary in different countries (This is my first official missionary place. People usually do not understand when I say I went to Thailand but not as a missionary). I had never given a talk on that, and to make it more shocking, I was going to do it in Portuguese! It was for a youth-evangelistic training (700 people), Treinamento Missão Calebe 5.0, on Sabbath November 27th at the Central Pernambuco Mission (MPeC), which is part of the Northeast Brazilian Union Mission (UNeB), where I serve as a volunteer for this year. Playing viola and singing was definitely OK for me, but talking!?!?

Treinamento Misssão Calebe - MPeC
I was a little scared and had no idea what to say or where to start. I prayed and asked for guidance because I knew God had planned something for me that day. I knew I was there for a special reason. After praying, ideas came to my mind on what to say. God put the words in my mouth to talk to all those young people. And, what about my Portuguese? God can make us fluent in a language when it is used for His purpose! And as the Brazilians often tell me: da para entender.

With Pr. Andre Lima (MPeC Youth Director) and his son, Andres.
The little boy is so cute! The pastor would say "I am.." and he would complete the sentence "Caleb!"

I know it was not me but God who talked that day, and I pray that the impact in them was not of a ‘traveler’ or a great girl who has lived in other countries, but of a servant who, just like them, loves God and wants to share that love to others through missionary work.

*Missão Calebe is a youth evangelism project by the South American Division (SAD). It started five years ago and  thousands and thousands of young people in all the countries of the SAD spend their summer holidays (January) doing missionary work, giving Bible studies and having evangelistic meetings. According to the Division, Missão Calebe is one of the biggest, best and most important projects in Youth Ministry in recent years. In the Northeast Brazilian Union Mission, 12500 young people will participate in this project in January 2011.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Missão Brasil – The first month

In Salvador, Bahia, on my way to Recife
The adventure began 2 months ago, in September 16th when I landed in Recife International Airport. *Well, it actually started in Mexico, by collecting EFL books a lot of orchestral scores.*

I was welcomed to the 4th-largest Metropolitan area in Brazilian (according to Wikipedia), but not as crowded, polluted and developed as Sao Paulo. It is colonial, historical and nordestina (that would be like a southern city for the USA and Mexico), but most important, it is a coastal city :)
Boa Viagem beach, Recife
I work as a volunteer in two different places. On weekdays I live and work at the Northeast Brazilian Union Mission (UNeB) headquarters. I teach English to pastors, staff and PKs. I like my classes very much, though they are very unstable and varied.
UNeB headquarters

UNeB staff members

My second job is conducting an orchestra and giving music lessons on weekends in a church in Cruz de Rebouças, a small community 25 kms away from Recife. That church has a great music ministry: a choir, two singing groups, and an orchestra of around 20 people. Sometimes the orchestra is bigger, but most of the times it is smaller (please pray for us, as we face challenges every week).

My packed weekends are like this: on Friday evenings we have orchestra practice, on Saturday mornings we practice before church service and then play for the Divine Service (hymns and offertory), and then in the afternoons we practice with the Conjunto Joven and with the choir, all that before AY. On Sundays I teach music (violin, viola, flute and clarinet –I know what you are thinking!!! Sendy teaching clarinet/flute?!?! It’s been all by God, not me!!).
Cruz de Rebouças

Cruz de Rebouças church

Orchestra @ Cruz de Rebouças church

Playing for a Publishing Ministries Annual Meeting

Thank God life is not only about working :) and though I am the only SM in this place, which means I do not have a travel partner or things like that, God has given me the chance to visit some nice places with some families from the Union.

I have been here for 2 months, and I have got more holidays than I could probably get in a whole semester in any other place. Brazil has a big amount of holidays and of that I am grateful! :) And living in the litoral nordeste brasileiro mans that the best beaches of the country are just within a few hours driving. What make these beaches so beautiful is the clear and warm water pools naturally formed by coral reefs during low tide. There are a few things that Brazil has changed in me, and one of those is that now I like the beach. I do not mind the sand anymore, nor the salty water either!

Boa Viagem beach, 15 mins walking from where I live

Praia dos Carneiros

Maragogi, Alagoas (another state, 3 hrs driving south of Pernambuco)


Snorkeling @ Porto de Galinhas, the best Brazilian beach according to a well-known Brazilian magazine

Food is another great thing that I have been enjoying here :) It basically includes arroz e feijão (rice and beans) all the time, but it is still great! But the best part is the wide variety of fruits (which means delicious juice!). Oh, and now I drink coconut water, and I eat papaya (fruits I used to say I did not like).

*Just the way Memphis helped me to like bananas, Brazil is doing it with coconut. Who says we cannot learn to like something? lol *

Pão de Queijo... I loved it even before I got to Brazil.

Maracujá = Passion fruit :) Love it! esp. the juice!

Pinha = Sugar-apple