Sunday, March 20, 2016

Pictures from the week in Brazil

Spring Break 2016: The Mission to Brazil

The 2016 Brazil team has successfully and safely departed to and returned from the Amazon region of Brazil.  Below are their blog entries from the ministry week.

Manaus, Brazil March 2016

March 12, 2016

The 2016 Spring Break Adventure to Manaus, Brazil started this morning. We had a little delay on our Springfield,Mo flight, but we have made our flight in Charlotte,NC and on our way to Miami, Fl. We are in the air again, two out of three take offs complete. 

Flight to Manaus
The entire team made it onto the flight from Miami, Fl to Manaus. The flight started off great and everyone was enjoying the flight. Then around 9:30 we had a medical emergency on board. The team members who were around sprang into action. Soon the flight crew and a physician who was on board helped this lady. She was ok by the time we got to Manaus, but it was an eventful last few hours of the flight. Everyone involved did a great job.  We must be ready to do what God asks of us each moment of everyday. We are going to have a great week. 

March 14, 2016

We woke up this morning on the boat and got to see the river and the rainforest for the first time. We arrived at the village Bacava around noon and began our different ministries. The evangelism team went door to door to invite people to church and pray for them. One house we stopped at the man was in his fifth marriage and had twelve kids. We talked with him about how God will return soon and afterward prayed for reconciliation for his family.(Matt)
The day was spectacular and really put things into perspective for me. We played soccer with the boys of the village and despite the language barrier, there was a sense of brotherhood. In actuality, the Holy Spirit has no language barrier.  He was ever present and at work amongst us. Because of that language barrier for us, however, it forced me to maximize everything else and really hone in on the details of the conversation.  To cap off the night, three people of the village accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior! God was definitely at work in and through us today and we're all excited and expecting him to continue to do amazing things in the next five days. (Ken)

March 15, 2016

This morning when we woke up we could see the end of a beautiful sunrise as we traveled the rest of the way to our first village of the day, Mirituba. We arrived at the village just after breakfast and started with our assigned teams. This was a very small village with only 8 families living there. Because the village was so small we only stayed here for the morning. I was working in the clinic this morning and got to work with a couple patients who were very kind and very open to all the information we were providing them with. It was so wonderful to be able to work with our translators to help the people work towards less pain.  Right after lunch we began to travel to the second village of the day, Bom Jesus Dopudoerri. We were told this was a very large village but because we arrived so late in the day we were unsure how many people would come to the clinic. However the Lord brought a small number of people to us at the end of the day. With each of these people we were able to improve their pain from when they came in the door and had the opportunity to pray with them. During our down time we learned some practical skills for in the clinic and gained a much closer relationship with our translators. The Lord really showed me the kindness of the people in this village through the patients we saw today. All of theses patients were so appreciative of what we had done for them and they willing to open their hearts to us. I am so thankful for the opportunity to come here and learn from the Brazilian people. Often times people think mission trips are only to help the people you are serving but really the opposite is true. (Ashley) 
I spent my day in the villages this morning and afternoon. The word for the day was flexibility. Since the village was so small we did not have any homes to visit with the people. The Lord provided though! We spent the morning with the teenage kids. This was such an eye opening experience to see how much this age group goes unreached. And the theme carried as we went to the next village and went to visit some of the families. There was a Christian family that shared their struggle of their teenage children falling away from the Lord. My heart breaks knowing that this falling away from the Lord is not just Brazil, but the USA and all over the world. We were able to pray for the family. Ultimately, on the opposite spectrum, our translators are all younger than us, and the trust and faith they have in the Lord is contagious.  I know and can cling to the hope that Christ is faithful to His people. (Morgan) 

March 16, 2016 

(Paden's Birthday!!!) Today we stayed in the same village as we arrived in yesterday afternoon since the village was so large. I was able to be in the clinic for the first time which was very exciting! We had a variety of patients come through the door. We had a child, someone who had a stroke, a few patients with knee pain, and some patients with back pain. Overall, we saw 11 patients today. I'm so glad we stayed today because more people were able to hear about PT and what we can do to help decrease their pain. Our goal was to decrease the pain and increase their function. With every person we were able to meet their physical needs, but most importantly we were able to meet their spiritual needs. We prayed with every patient that came in and most of them needed prayer for better health. I could see the frustration on their face from pain they have had for years, but I was surprised with their ability to still trust in God and not run from Him. (Josh)
Over the past couple of days I have been working with the VBS group. It has been really fun working with the kids; my favorite part is singing "who is the king of the jungle". There are a bunch of fun motions to do with the song. I also had the opportunity to join in a discussion with the teenage boys of the village. We discussed what it means to be a man and the struggles of sin. After the discussion we were challenged to a game of fĂștbol. We got killed.... But I had a really fun time playing the beautiful game in Brasil. Finally to wrap up the day, I invented a game that has changed the trip for the rest of the week and for future teams. How the game is played: everyone writes their name on a clothes pin and throughout the day everyone tries to clip the clothes pin onto each others clothes without them noticing. It may sound stupid, but it's hilarious! Time to sign off for the night, keep it classy San Diego. (Bryce)

March 17, 2016

Today the spirit moved on and off the boat! We started off as normal with breakfast and a devotional lead by Paden. The Spirit was heavy as Paden shared his story and encouraged us to share with the people in the village. Then Pastor wanted us to let the Spirit move as He was calling us. Even though it took extra time, several people came forward to be prayed over. I am very thankful for being with a team that is so spirit-led that we can pause the day to listen to God. 
Today, I was on the painting team. Being in a village where most of the houses are painted, it is such a great service to be able to provide to that family! Even the evangelism team was able to come join us for a while, and it definitely made things more interesting that's for sure! It is also encouraging to hear about how the other teams are impacting the village for God's kingdom.
Another exciting part of the day was getting to swim in the river!! Though it was a little unsettling at first, it was totally worth it! You only have to out swim one person, right??  Also, as we continue through the week, we are able to learn and teach each other so much including language, games, and life in general. I'm not sure that any of us are ready for the final day to come! - much love! (Kate)

Paden's testimony today was very moving. I was very thankful for his willingness to share and be transparent with his story. Like Kate said, the prayer afterwards for people wanting to do missions was very moving. 
We were in the village Aracari today and I was on the VBS team. We went to the church building and taught the kids some songs about how much Jesus loves them and how he is in control of the whole world. Then we colored pictures with them and I learned how to say 'very good!' in Portuguese - "mointa bom." They laughed at me a bit but I think they understood. I could see God working in them as we sang the songs with them and colored. They started opening up more and having fun. They knew the answers to the questions we asked afterwards so they must have been listening! We had shoes for them so we helped them try them on to see if they would fit. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they weren't upset if they didn't get shoes and they didn't fight with each other or us to get them. They were all such good sports about it! 
We had women's ministry after lunch and then the church service. Ashley and Mike both gave their testimonies. I am thankful for both of their willingness to share. I know that their testimonies touched the people there. It was a very good witness. 
I am delighted to be in this trip with so many good people. I feel that I can grow more in Christ through this trip. I don't want it to end! God is good - (Hannah)

March 18, 2016

As the week almost comes to a close, there seem to be mixed feelings all around. Of course, you hate to see such a powerful week end, but I think we're ready to take legitimate showers and be able to flush toilet paper again! :) Regardless, there will be some very difficult goodbyes tomorrow. A week's time is just enough to develop close bonds with people before we're split.
Today started with April sharing her testimony, talking about walking in the Spirit to avoid gratifying the desires of the flesh. It seems like such a simple concept, yet it's more difficult than it seems. I worked my 2nd day in the clinic and learned so much. We saw more neck and back pain patients, most of which we haven't covered in lecture, but I am slowly becoming more confident in the thought process of performing evaluations, regardless of the problem. I'm so thankful for this opportunity here in Brazil, both in the clinic and out in the villages. God has been moving all week and I am constantly reminded of all the prayers being sent from all of you, so thank you! They truly do mean more than you realize. I have been blown away by the Lord's provision this week, giving us exactly what we need when we need it. 
Last thing, we petted pink dolphins today! It almost fulfilled a part of my bucket list. I will swim with them one day; I am determined, ha! But it was still a blast, and who knew that there were pink dolphins in the Amazon River!? (Jill) 

March 18, 2016

It doesn't seem real that this should be the last day on the boat and that we leave tomorrow. These great friendships are just starting, and it's already time to say goodbye to them. I think we are all going to struggle when the final goodbyes happen. The members of the medical team, translators, and boat crew have all been amazing all week long. Although the goodbyes will be extremely difficult and many have mixed feelings about going home, we all have things that we can't wait for again like having our own room and seeing other family and friends. 
Just like every other day, we started with a devotion time. April shared her story which I had heard part of earlier in the week, but it was still an inspiring testimony to trust the Lord's plan because even when we don't include Him in our plans He is ultimately in control of our lives. I was part of the painting team again today, but I was able to avoid the epic paint Armageddon that broke out within half the painting team. The Armageddon ended up being a bit of a mutiny since half the team (the white team) turned on each other instead of the other half of the team (the blue team). Some of the team had a chance to use a soccer game and playing with some cute kids a.k.a. little monkeys to invite them to the church service. Seeing them at the church service caused many of the team become really excited and point it out to each other at the beginning of the service. We ended the day being tourists, doing a little shopping, ice cream (big deal in the Amazon), and petting pink Dolphins. Pink Dolphins sounds weird enough, but pink Dolphins in a river sounds crazy. Some of the reactions to the Dolphins popping up near them were priceless! As far as spring breaks go, this one was a pretty amazing experience for me personally, and I'm sure the whole team feels that this was an incredible week as well. (Vicky)

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Travel Day

The Brazil team left BoMO early this morning. After a couple of stopovers along the way, they left the US as scheduled. The should arrive in Manaus around midnight Saturday night.

Everyone is doing well and super excited. Pray for continued safe travels and that the team will serve well as the Lord directs this week. 

The Brazil Team is off!