To all co-workers for the cause of Christ:
When I arrived home from Brazil – the people that we rented our barns to were already here for the shows and it has been very busy.
I have wanted to sit down and write a report of the mission in Brazil so that you could know what happened to all of the money that you gave me to take on my trip. I wound up with $10,150.00 in US funds to take to Pastor Peter. Then, when I reached my first destination at the show on the ranch of Thomas and Roberta Souza, they had the idea to make the fee for my clinic a donation of food. They also had an idea to auction off donated goods to raise money. He decided to do that during the barrel race. They stopped the show at times to have the auction. Many of the vendors saw what was happening and began to bring their products to the auction. It was a wonderful experience watching people taking part in raising money for the Favelas. It was amazing. Barrel horse owners, trainers and riders were all taking part in buying what the vendors so generously donated.
We wound up with over $31,600 to take to Pastor Peter and Jodi Brennen’s work. I toured their whole mission this time. What I love about their mission work is that they have so many ways to help the poor. They not only take food into the Favelas along with clothing and baby supplies, etc., but they teach them skills and help them get jobs. Their work is not far from a whole area that is opening up lots of opportunities for builders and welders. They help them get work. They teach everything from cooking, sewing, crafts, welding, electrical work, laying pipes, plumbing, building houses, etc. It is the most marvelous work.
Pastor Pete and Jodi need help – not only in finances – but in volunteers to come and help in the work. For example, this very day, they are working as I write – will let you hear it from Jodi’s words:
just to let you know we have a big day planned today in Favela Cachoeirinha. We’re taking 20+ people there to have a day of fun and ministry: 350+ hot dogs, cotton candy, candy bags, juice, activities, and a outdoor, open-air church service.
The people are very excited for us to do this today……please pray for us to reach lost souls, for safety (there was a shoot-out in this favela about 2 weeks ago) and for all those accompanying us…..three young men from another favela will be helping us to minister as well as a young woman who used to be a part of our ministry but wandered away from the church a few years back.
They are constantly at work in so many different areas of helping the poor.
The second part of my journey was to come back from the show with Samara Yoshikawa lived with George and I for 6 months. Her father calls himself my Chauffeur – and he is a good one. Maneuvering the traffic in such a large city is very interesting. It would be hard to describe the traffic and jams and motorcycles moving in and out of the cars constantly at great rates of speed. Samara lives very near Pastor Peter’s mission. So, I spent the night with Samara and taught some barrel racing lessons the next day there. Pastor Peter came over and brought a team to count the money entrusted to me at the show. I had them seal the envelope and staple it shut with the amount on the outside of the sack. The biggest thing that we have stressed through out this mission was integrity and being 100% certain that every dime that was donated was given to the mission and not squandered in any way. Pastor Peter brought his team over to count the money and go to the bank with him. He wanted them to see what God had done also and encourage them. They believe God for all of their finances and HE provides for the work. They are willing servants, but they need supplies and food to give out and they are not free!! Baptist men had donated 1000 water filters – needed so badly because the water is filthy in the Favelas.
Samara and her father and I also brought the food that was donated at the clinic back to Pastor Peter. My dentist in Purcell, Dr. Mead, had donated toothbrushes that were in little plastic zip purses with paste and floss. The next day, we took all of the food and tooth brushes, water filters, baby supplies and clothing and set out to the Favelas. Samara and Regina and Abelardo’s mother, Dulce, went with us into two favelas. We were given an orientation. The drug lords and police are at odds a lot because the Favelas are a common ground for drug deals. Pastor told us that the drug lords and the police will let him know if there is danger. IF he was notified of danger, we were all to turn around and start back to the van without any fanfare. We were also not to take photos unless we were told we could. We were to talk quietly and not draw any attention to ourselves as we handed out the van full of supplies that we brought in. We went to two Favelas. The first one was the one that had burned not long ago and had been on our news. It is very close to Sao Paulo and close to a huge Wal-Mart. The thing that breaks your heart is that all that separates the Favela from the other parts of the city are a wall. The very wealthy and the very poor are separated by just a wall, but it may as well be a million miles.
As we went in, I was overwhelmed by the little children running to Pastor Peter’s team. Everyone knew him including the drug lords and the police. He has taken the time to build relationships with the people. Many of them called his name as we walked through the favela. It is at times like this that I wish I had better words to describe things because I cant find the words to describe the filth, the rats, the smells, the dirt floors that they sleep on, the dirty children that hug you and smell so bad, the look of hopelessness in their eyes and the love that they showed to us. There are no streets – you just walk where you can through the spaces that are left from the little houses built from cardboard and scrap materials that they have been given. This was the experience of my lifetime – one that will leave me forever changed.
In the second Favela – we walked to a house up a hill and there was a space there. Pastor Peter had held church services there in that space. They brought in guitars and sang and shared the gospel in that spot – We all knew that it was supposed to become a church. I asked Pastor Peter to find a price that we could purchase that land and he said that he had been trying to find the way to purchase it and his team could erect a church there. The woman that lived next to that space had helped him with church services and she and her husband would maintain the church once it is built. So, our project now is to purchase that land and erect the church. We need about 4,900 more dollars and we will have the money to purchase it. I also fell in love with the family that lives next to where it will be built. God really touched our hearts – we had prayer on that hallow ground for a church to be erected there that would give these people HOPE.
I am preparing to go back to Brazil in February if everything works out. You never know until time to buy the tickets. George will go with me along with Coby, Bobbie Jo, Gatlin and Cobi Jo Wells – my daughter and her family. We will go to Fortaleza on the Northern part of Brazil and them come back again to Sao Paulo – near the mission. So, I am at work gathering money and supplies again for another trip. God has put those people on my heart and has given me co-workers to help with finances. Other things happened on the trip also, like a woman that wants to set up a shop to sell the crafts made by the Favela ladies. They can raise money selling theses crafts also. That will help raise money for food and things they need. God put other things together also between the horse people and pastor Peter. One man went to a huge church and he organized the workers to volunteer in the work at the mission.
Pray about one more mission for me please. There is a people group off the Northern coast of Brazil. They live off the sea and do not have a written language. They love horses and the only way to reach them is on horseback. I dream of finding an interpreter that can ride and speaks their language and riding to them to share the gospel. If God wants that to happen, then HE will provide everything needed. The people that told me of them said that they have high respect for anyone that trains horses. I dream of going to those people and sharing Jesus with them. Please pray about it.
Thank you to everyone of you that gave to the last mission. Thank you to everyone who said a prayer. It is amazing when you know people are praying for you. It was a difficult time for me with the poison ivy and all that happened at home while I was gone, but in my heart, I knew that I was in Gods will and that He was taking care of everything.
Have a Merry Christmas and remember those who are not as fortunate as we are in America. God bless you and thank you again for making the mission possible. I could not have done anything without my husband and family of God helping and giving.