Always good to write to you all and tell you about all the good things that I get to be apart of on a regular basis. This is my first month in Portel, and already, I feel a sense of purpose and connection to work God has started here.
Last week, I had the privilege of going out on the river with the team that delivers water filters. This is a project that was started in Porto de Moz when Richie and his family were based there. Now, they have moved the project to the Marajó region, which is where Portel is located. The project is very simple and effective. The team spends a few months making the filters which are basically made out of sand and concrete. The sand filters the water making it drinkable. Then, they load all the filters (which are very heavy) onto the boat and head out to the communities who live on the river.
Most of the people who live there go directly to the river for their drinking water. As you can imagine, they are constantly struggling with diarrhea and parasites as well as other health problems because of the quality of the water. The filters give them clean, drinking water with a system that is easy to maintain.
|A Water Filter in a River Home|
I wanted to go on the trip to experience the project for myself, but also to see how I could bless the people that we visited. I brought some goodies along me to give away: candy, markers, tooth paste, tooth brushes, and some basic medicines. As we stopped at each house, we were able to bless some of the people and the kids by giving away the gifts until we ran out. We also offered to pray for the families, and they willingly accepted.
|Some of the kids with their presents|
At one of the houses that we stopped, there was an old woman who could no longer talk or move very much and was being taken care of by her daughter. I assume that she had probably had a stroke, and her daughter said that she had been that way for 5 years. I laid my hand on the woman and as soon as we began to pray, she began to cry and moan. Of course, we had no idea what she was feeling, but I could imagine the suffering she might be experiencing from being literally trapped in her own body for years. I asked God's Spirit to fill her and comfort her and give her peace. I prayed that His presence would let her know that she is never alone. I felt blessed that God had called us out onto the river to be a light to the people there.
I was also very impressed with the team of men who were responsible for delivering the filters. You can't imagine how hard they worked everyday to deliver 90 filters in a week. There were so many challenges for them, but they faced them all. Loiro is the leader of the team, and he went to each house, asking the families if they wanted the filters as well as explaining to them how they worked. Elizeu not only worked hard all day, but then also gave a short service for one of the families later one night. And all of them, after each day, played soccer with the people from the communities, building friendships with them. I felt truly honored to be among such great servants.
|Delivering a Filter|
The day after we came back from the trip was Children's Day here in Brazil. So, our church had an event for the neighborhood kids in the morning. It was a lot of fun, and we had about 50 kids show up.
|They had to dance and balance the orange at the same time!|
Now, I am back in Portel, and working hard toward the goal of preparing for the school. There is a lot to be done, but I have faith that God is helping to move this dream to a reality each day. I recently created a page on my facebook that will give updates about the progress of our school as well as our other projects, like the water filters. It's CDR Social Marajó. Please go check it out!
As always, I want to thank all of you for your sincere support and faithfulness to our mission in Brazil. Our goal is to bring the Kingdom of God to Earth, and we do that everyday in big ways and small. Thank you for being apart of that. Thank you for seeing the possibilities and investing in people you have never met, but have decided to love because of Christ. I believe that what you are seeing here is only the beginning. My dream is to continue to grow a place where the people of this region can come in and experience the goodness of God in every area of their lives. God bless your families. Bless you with a deeper knowledge of God's love and delight over you. That he sacrificed it all to give you freedom in the inner parts of your soul.
Please see the rest of the pictures from my trip on the link below.
Water Filter Trip