Friday, November 15, 2013

Our Tiny Place in the Slums of Rio

We are now in Rio de Janeiro!
  Upon arrival we were driven directly to a Youth With A Mission (YWAM) base located right in the heart of a slum called Borel.  As we were unloading our bags, we were told our family of four would be housed in a small apartment that YWAM is currently renting from a friendly neighbor.  It was a surprise for us to be staying outside the base housing, but we are always up for anything!  We walked through the dark ally way to our new temporary home, which is a quick three minutes walk from the YWAM base.

The view from our apartment in the slum.

The apartment in itself is super tiny, consisting of two rooms and one bathroom.  In the kitchen area there is just enough room to set up Jessie’s pack-n-play and put a mattress on the ground for Sophia to sleep on.  There is a sink in the kitchen, but no fridge or stove. 

 In the main room we have two more single mattresses put together to make a bed for Felipe and I. 

 There is also a small bathroom, with cold water available.   Yes- only cold showers for us for the next few days, but it is quite hot here in Rio so it is refreshing and if we want a warm shower we can go to the base!  Some YWAM missionaries also recently painted the place, preparing it for our arrival, so it is quite clean and fresh feeling on the inside.
I am praising God for this experience!  You may think, “What?  Who would want to stay in the middle of a slum in a tiny place like that, even temporarily?”  However, this experience is really opening my eyes and my heart to the literally millions of people who live in poor conditions in the nation of Brazil and all over the world.   So many families live in conditions such as these, with small living quarters,  and often in conditions MUCH worse (because of other factors).  I am getting a small taste of their reality while here in Borel.
It may be funny to hear, but after living almost 7 years in Brazil, in the largest slum in Belo Horizonte, I am STILL continually surprised with the poverty that exists in this beautiful nation.   While in Sao Paulo, I felt like every time I turned around I saw another slum developing on a hillside.  Felipe and I would say to one another, “Look over there!  There is another slum.  Look there!  Another one…”  As we traveled by bus from Sao Paulo to Rio, we also saw countless poor communities and slums.

Our hearts are so longing for the people in these poor areas to know of God’s amazing love.  We desire to see these communities restored with children and families living abundant lives in Christ.
During these past six weeks of being on a missions outreach in Brazil, I have been constantly reminded of how abundantly blessed I am - materially, emotionally, spiritually.  I am extremely rich – on so many levels!  It is my prayer that we can be a blessing and share the riches of Christ with the poor in Brazil.  May they taste and see that He is good!

Will you be in prayer for our family and our team?
Please pray for: 
Protection as we stay in the slum until November 23rd  and in the Rio area until November 29th. .
A good adaptation to the city and hot weather here in Rio de Janeiro.
For good sleep each night and continual health (Jessie is not feeling 100% and seems to have a little vírus at the moment).
For God to use our lives for His glory every day, in everything we do.
A strong finish to our missions outreach!
Thanks for praying together with us!

The girls and I at YWAM Borel.

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