I have been back from our trip to Portel for a little over a week now, and I am anxious to tell you how it went. Being there again reminded me how much I like the city. It reminds me of one of those beach towns off the coast of North Carolina that I used to go to as a kid. Well, expect its a river instead of an ocean! But it still doesn't lack for charm and sentiment.
Richie and his team have already made a lot of progress in getting acquainted with the city and its residence. They have already started holding a church service on the boat with at least 3 or 4 families attending. There are also several children involved, some of them coming without their families. It was a pleasure to be apart of one of their services, and see how quickly they are growing.
|Church on the Boat|
As I said before, Richie has succeeded in laying the foundation for the school. His first priority is to finish at least one room, which will be used for both our classroom and to hold church services in the beginning. He is currently working on raising financial support of around $10,000.00 to complete the first room. If you would be interested in helping to support this project, you can click on the link below connected to Porto de Moz. You can also contact me or Richie directly.
Richie Bouthillier: firstname.lastname@example.org
|The Foundation for the School|
Manoela, Denise, and Christopher enjoyed the trip as well. We spent some time swimming and getting to know the city. We also spent a lot of time with Richie's family playing Wii! Richie and I also drove around looking for apartments for when I am ready to move, at least to get an idea of what is available. Throughout the trip, I was trying to get a feel for how Manoela was taking it all in. She is a slow processor and needs time to digest information. I wanted to give her the space she needed to think about if she could really see herself there in the future. I think one thing that really impressed upon her was the amount of kids around. She has a deep desire to help people have a better life, and she could see the need around her. She still has not decided, and that's OK. I want her to make the right decision for her. Please pray for Manoela that God directs her feet on the path he has planned for her.
One of the things Richie and I spent time talking about is a group called i-61. (http://i-61.org/) The name comes from Isaiah 61, which is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. It talks about how Jesus will redeem every area of our lives. It paints a picture of the Kingdom of Heaven coming to Earth. I believe, as the church, we have a calling to join with Christ and bring this redemption to the world. That is why I want to build this school. I believe it can be one aspect of this redemption process. This organization, i-61, has that same vision, and is working to make it a reality throughout the world. Please check out their video below.
What is i-61?
I hope all this info gives you a good idea of what my future holds. Of course, if you have any questions, please never hesitate to ask. I feel really good about where I am going. I feel that I will be using my talents and abilities to honor God and those around me. Please pray that God continues to give me strength as I walk into new territory. Pray that he protects me from distractions and setbacks. Pray that I am surrounded by his love.
Thank you and bless you all. I also pray good into your lives. I pray perseverance and joy in the face of suffering. I pray that you lean on each other more in vulnerability and weakness, and that you allow grace to hold you together. Mercy and peace to all of you.
Portel Trip Pictures