Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Mission Trips


Got to go on a couple of trips—one in December and one in January. More like what you think about when you think of missions in the Amazon. Small plane landing on a little landing strip or vacant airport, sleeping in hammocks, riding on boats, etc. Andy, a friend who is with the IMB graciously took me along. The first trip was to the "island" (size of Switzerland) of Marajo. We’re planning on going there for our High School Mission Trip this year and Andy will be helping to lead us. I got to help judge an English competition where students from the public schools had worked on worship songs in English to present (pictured). Yes, worship songs! The person who invited James (another teacher at AVA) and the rest of us and organized the event is someone who attends the Sunday Service at AVA when he is in town. He’s a music teacher in a town called in English "Peter’s Point" and also teaches at a school on the river. This town has traditionally been Catholic though perhaps nominally. There is a radio station there that was eager to interview us—almost like aliens arriving in the town by plane. But the priest was a bit wary of having evangelicals in town (pictured in black). After spending the night in the school (pictured--very cool with a nice strong breeze all night), we rushed to get back in time for the Sunday Service—I had to preach and James had to lead the music. We hitched a ride on an Acai (local seed made into purple drink—Whole Foods may have some if you’d like to try it) boat until we realized that it was not going to make it in time and were finally able to flag another boat to get us back to town and then to the plane.
The other trip was down to a strong Catholic (Bishop's "house" pictured) town called Braganca. We met with the pastor, gave resources, and helped to initiate an Experiencing God study with the leaders. I was pretty much just along for the ride with my limited (very) language abilities, but it was cool to get an idea of what these pastors have to go through (it’s an older Baptist church that has struggled but is seeing some growth now) and gain some experience with the missionaries. The pastor would like for Karina and I to come sometime to work with the young people about dating and relationships. There’s not much to do in the town other than drink and you know what. Something wild, this is town that we talked to you about that Karina’s friend Tatiana’s dad has land nearby and he knew about these social problems as well. Posted by Picasa

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