January 9, 2008

The Best Missionary We've Seen Yet...

This past Saturday the four of us were able to embark on our first real ministry trip together. We traveled about an hour outside of the city with a group from our new church, Igreja Batista de Pedreida. We went to a community that we would call a shanty town, houses constructed from cardboard, plywood, and tin, but here in Brasil they are referred to as favelas, and unfortunately they are everywhere. We went the the central location in their community which was more or less a shelter house, and we passed out toys to the children and basic food packages to the families there.

Though our Portuguese is extremely limited at this point we did our best to communicate the love of Christ by passing out these gifts to the members of this community. You may think that because Matthew has extensive seminary training that he was at the forefront of the distribution, preaching the gospel. Or you may think that because Tara has been on the mission field before that she was the one communicating effectively to this group, but you would be wrong. Lydia was out in the middle of the heat and the mosquitoes handing out toys, food, and most importantly gospel tracts. She said, "Even though I can't speak Portuguese, I can still tell people about Jesus." She walked up and down the "road" of the community passing out gospel tracts to everyone - absolutely everyone - that she saw (even some of the church members that came with us.)

At times, it is very easy to fall into the trap of self pity because it is incredibly hot here, and the mosquito is the national bird I am sure. Things are very inconvenient here and the pace of life is, at times, way too slow for us impatient Americans. However, at times God chooses a four year old little girl to remind us, again, why we are here. She was, indeed, the best missionary we've seen yet.