Gordon and Dorothy Gartrell
We have arrived in Brazil! We landed in Belem and were greeted by a number of church folks who picked us and our seventeen suitcases up from the airport. It is rainy season but still beautiful. It is very hot and humid, yet colorful with lots of flowers, fruit, and colorful faces.
The night we arrived, we went to Bible study at the congregation where we will work. There are about six adults and eight children who attend regularly. That night, there were only six children there. The pastor, Celine, is very happy that I like to work with children. I have some ideas, so together I think we can help the program grow. She teaches religion in an elementary school two mornings a week. Religion is a required elementary school subject. She is a very happy person with a vivid faith in her simple, daily life. She has a lot of dreams for the small congregation and loves the people dearly, especially the children.
We are staying with the pastors of the church (both husband and wife are ordained). They live in a house which joins the mother church. They have two children, a 19 year-old son and an 18 year-old daughter. Their daughter will take a test soon to see if she qualifies for the one open spot in law school at the local state university. There will be over 1,000 people taking the test. State universities are free.
On Thursday after our arrival, we had prayer meeting at the church we will serve. It is a very small church that has not had a pastor for many years. The following Saturday, we had a joint youth meeting. They generally have youth group on Saturday night because of night classes.
Belem is very busy! It will take a while to figure out the correct bus routes to enable us to find the churches, set up a bank account, rent a house or apartment, buy a car, find a close post office to rent a box, and a lot more. We are grateful that we are back in Brazil. We are working with a loving, dedicated but small group of leaders. Please pray for the current church leaders in our outreach and development of leaders, wisdom in setting up our household, and the ability to hear how God wants us to meet the upcoming challenges.
Thank you for your prayers! May the Lord bless each of you in your daily adventures.