We just returned to Foz do Iguacu from a scouting trip to Corumba. I still have many hours of prayer to process all that happened but want to share some early thoughts with you. There is very little doubt left in our minds this is where God is calling us. Maybe a touch when we remember the heat, the bugs, the heat, the remoteness, the heat, attacks from the enemy, oh and did I mention the heat. It was by far the hottest place we have ever been. It is early spring in Brazil and it was hot the second the sun was up. Sometimes late at night there was a comfortable breeze but for the most part we just sweated.
Alannah had the hardest time with the heat. She had heat rash, was constantly covered in sweat and got several mosquito bites but was pleasant most of the time. Too illustrate the heat there, most of the showers we seen don’t even have the ability for hot water.
On to the good. We really enjoyed the journey there and back. We seen a lot of open country and many animals. Including, Emus, deer, toucans, parrots, foxes, cranes, giant man eating cranes, enormous demon possessed road runners and much more.
When we arrived in Corumba we got a hotel. It was pretty dirty and certainly didn’t have any other families there but it was cheap and had air.
We began staying at this church the next day. While there we were able to attend an annual meeting of the Baptist churches for the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. We met many more people then you normally would in a six month period.
The kids were welcomed like we couldn’t believe. They were almost celebrities. I guess it isn’t every day a family of 6 Americans shows up at the end of the world. We were so blessed to see them make so many good friends.
For us and our ministry it was an incredible time. First of all the association of Baptist churches there is strong and committed to outreach. They are very welcoming of us and I got the chance to get to know two of them fairly well, at least for a 4 day period. They are currently reaching out to the ribeirinhos and have the desire to touch the less reached neighborhoods of Corumba. There was an American missionary presence there 10 years ago with the IMB (Southern Baptist). They left behind a good amount of structures and facilities for outreach. This looks like a relationship that could grow, they have an unused chapel in a neighborhood we may be able to do some kids stuff in.
One thing that came out of their presence there, the former missionary started an organization to continue ministering there. The Imb has changed focus to mega cities and tribes. They have purchased a small farm, have a missionary that arrived last April to oversee it and are currently praying for workers. Their vision for this property lines up very closely with what we desired to go there and do. It is early but this appears to be a work of the Lord. We went on faith and were encountered buy a Mississippian named Buster who couldn’t believe another American was there, much less a family wanting to live there.
There were plenty of challenges, we had some scares, I had a baby tarantula land on my shoulder, we face difficulty with the heat and much more. Nothing will be easy. There is much mocumba (Brazilian witchcraft) and Satanism there. The poor are very much wrapped up in that and spiritism. However the ability to do the things God has placed in our heart is ripe. Some buildings will need built, some money will be needed but God is able.
I could go on forever about all that happened there and could happen in the future. It is early though and what God will do is in His hands not ours. The point is this is where God is calling us and he has paved the way. Be praying, the warfare is thick but we are moving forward.