THE TRAVELS IN BRAZIL LAURENCE & LYNDY JUSTICE July 5-24, 2004 SPECIAL THANKS
The planning and success of this wonderful preaching tour of Sao Paulo State in Brazil are largely due to the efforts and generosity of our good friend missionary Calvin Gardner. We are deeply grateful to Brother Gardner for his outstanding Christian hospitality to us during this trip. Brother Gardner is everything I believe a missionary of Jesus Christ ought to be. He is a fundamental, conservative and Calvinistic believer and preacher of God’s word. For many years he has labored to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the countless multitudes of Brazil. He focuses on forming scriptural Baptist churches of those he leads to Christ. He trains Brazilian nationals as preachers and pastors to carry on the work after he is gone. He spends countless hours translating and printing good biblical Baptist theological and historical works into the native Portuguese of Brazil so as to share with God’s people there some of the blessed Christian writings we in the US take for granted. In addition to his ongoing work in several cities in Brazil Brother Gardner also carries on a voluminous correspondence with Portuguese speaking people in such far away places as Portugal, Mozambique and Japan via the Internet. I also want to thank Lyndy Justice for editing and formatting this log. I must also thank Ben Gardner for checking the spelling of the many Portuguese words I have used in describing this trip.
BRAZIL LOG 2004 A Record of the Trip to Brazil by Laurence & Lyndy Justice July 5-24, 2004
The purpose of this log is at least two-fold: First to preserve for our own memories and for posterity the wonderful experiences of this preaching trip to the nation of Brazil. Second as a means of sharing the blessings of the trip with all who care to more know the details of our travels and work for the Lord in that far away country. Our purpose in making this trip was also two-fold: First to preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in far off Brazil. Second to visit and observe the mission field of missionary Calvin Gardner who serves in the State of Sao Paulo in Brazil, operating out of his new headquarters city of Presidente Prudente. Brother Gardner and his middle son, Daniel hosted us for the 17 days that we were actually on the ground in Brazil, providing transportation and translation for us both in our interaction with the people of Brazil and for me in my preaching. We are deeply indebted to these Gardner men for their selfless and tireless work in hosting us.
MONDAY JULY 5, 2004
When we arrived at the very first gate at Kansas City International Airport in Kansas City, Missouri Lyndy was chosen to undergo a special security screening while I was waved through the check point. This was in keeping with the way things went on our previous trip to Brazil in 2002 when Lyndy was nearly always held up for special security treatment. She must look guilty to airport security types! We left our home in Belton, Missouri on time at 6:30 AM. This time it was raining. We had breakfast at McDonalds in Belton before proceeding to KCI, driven by Ben Gardner who was living with us in our home at the time. At 9:42 AM we boarded American Airlines flight 2427 to Dallas, Texas. At departure the weather was partly cloudy to hazy and seventy-two degrees. We pulled away from the terminal at 9:59 and at 10:07 we were airborne at last. Lyndy sat in the window seat on this flight. To pass the time on this flight we read some special magazines featuring the life of President Ronald Reagan who had recently passed away. As we approached Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW), the vegetation on the ground appeared dark green indicating a wet Spring and early summer. We arrived and deplaned at gate 13A of the sprawling airport, having touched down at 11:27 AM. Here we were met by our old friend and life insurance agent Lannie Jackson of Irving, Texas whom I had not seen in 36 years and whom Lyndy had never met. We reminisced about the good old days when Lannie was a member and I was Associate Pastor of Plymouth Park Baptist Church of Irving, Texas. After saying So long to Lannie we ate a quick sandwich at a Subway Sandwich Shop inside the airport and boarded American Airlines flight 68 to Miami, Florida.
The large plane left the terminal at 1:12 PM with a full load of passengers. The skies were becoming increasingly cloudy. We actually left the ground at 1:24 PM. This time I read a number of articles about Israel and its politics and religion which I had been printing and saving from the Internet for several weeks knowing that I would have plenty of time for reading on this trip. Upon leaving the clouds quickly thickened till visibility became zero. The two and a half hour flight over the Gulf of Mexico brought clearing skies and views of the dark waters far below. We sat on the right side of the plane and I had the window seat, which was marked 23F. As we passed over the State of Florida we could see swamp land as the plane descended toward Miami. Soon we could see the large canals that crossed the marshy land below. When Miami finally came into view we could see patches of sunshine and then shade on the ground. I could see palm trees and canals everywhere as we neared the ground. Bump! The wheels lowered and we soon touched down at 4:50 PM. When we entered A concourse in the Miami airport we walked on black marble floors that were splotched with gold and silver representations of sea stars and various other sea creatures about six to eight inches across. We found a restaurant in the airport the name of which was Miami Grill and had a pretty good burger for supper. The prices were exorbitant and the Black Cuban rap background music was so bad that it was difficult to listen to. We proceeded to the concourse used by TAM Airlines where we waited until seven PM Miami time to check in for our flight to Brazil. The airport was quiet and there were few travelers in the TAM concourse until shortly before boarding time. I tried unsuccessfully to phone my college friend Gary Lane who lives in the Miami area but I evidently had the wrong phone number and he was not listed in the Miami phone book so I was unable to contact him. This was an especially long wait since we were excited about leaving for Brazil and we did not actually board until 8:15 PM. This flight was full and included a large group of eleven and twelve year old girls from Brazil who were flying home after a visit to Disney World in the USA. They all had on red tee shirts that said something about Disney. After boarding and while waiting for takeoff we visited with one of the girls in this group who spoke pretty good English. Her name was Bruna Ximenes. As we sat and listened to the chatter of the boarding passengers we realized that we were now hearing mostly Portuguese. While waiting for takeoff we watched our personal TV monitors and listened to classical and Brazilian music through our headphones. In speaking to the Americans on the plane we found that many if not most of them were going to do “mission work” in Brazil meaning they were going to build buildings for the churches in Brazil. One group of older adults on the plane told us they were from Wooster, Ohio, the home of the sending church of missionary Calvin Gardner. They were not affiliated with his church however. We pulled away from the terminal at 9:13 PM while viewing flight safety instructions on our personal TV monitors in each seat. The information on the screen told us that it was 4018 miles from Miami to Sao Paulo, Brazil. After takeoff the lights of Miami faded below and behind until nothing could be seen but blackness over the Atlantic. At exactly 9:32 PM we passed over the Atlantic coast of Miami and it looked like a straight line of lights on one side and blackness on the other. Sometime later we passed over Santiago, Cuba at and altitude of 37,000 feet. At 10:30 PM Miami time we were served a supper of chicken and rice with the Brazilian soft drink guarana to drink. Before trying to go to sleep I read the Bible reading for Tuesday which was actually still tomorrow. The reading consisted of Job 33 and 34 and Acts 13:24-52. We then
filled out something we were given by the stewardess called Accompanied Baggage Declaration Form and at 11:40 PM Miami time tried to go to sleep.
TUESDAY JULY 6, 2004
At 4:11 AM Sao Paulo, Brazil time which was 2:11 AM Kansas City time the lights were turned on in the plane and the flight crew began preparing to serve breakfast. At this time we were passing near the capital city of Brasilia. Mine had been a very shallow sleep and I had roused up twice during the short night. The seats on this flight were very crowded and cramped, unlike the larger and more comfortable planes on our previous trips to Brazil. The flight stewards now used metal tongs to hand each passenger a steaming hot towel with which to wash up for breakfast. Breakfast consisted of an egg omelet, pressed ham, a slice of some kind of cheese, raspberry yogurt and a roll something like French bread. I was interested to observe two young Mennonite women on this flight and wondered if they lived in Brazil or were going there on some kind of religious mission. Soon after breakfast a video in Portuguese and introducing the city of Sao Paulo was shown on our TV monitors. We arrived in Sao Paulo at the Guarulhos International Airport at 6:14 AM Sao Paulo time. It was dark outside and the weather was cloudy just as it had been on every arrival I had ever made in this city. It was difficult for me to clear my eyes of sleep. After taking about an hour to clear customs we were met by Missionary Calvin Gardner and his son Daniel who would be our hosts for most of this trip. They took us immediately to the Marriott Hotel near the airport where we dosed, rested and cleaned up until 11 AM. Kraft Foods was having some kind of a sales meeting at the Marriott that day. From there we took a shuttle back to the airport in order to exchange some US dollars for some Brazilian Reals. Then it was back to the Marriott where we transferred to the Gardners' Kombi or Volkswagen van which we took to go into the city to eat lunch. Brother Calvin drove us to the Estrela do Sul restaurant near a large modern mall in Sao Paulo where we ate the delicious Brazilian bar be que that is known as churrasco. The salad bar had many exotic goodies of which I tried to eat a sample of every one. These included such delicacies as palm hearts, sun dried tomatoes, many kinds of cheeses, six different meats, pastels, artistry in tomatoes and pudim, an indescribably sweet sort of pudding with a wonderful sauce poured over it. Of course we drank the ever-present guarana. What a feast! After lunch we shopped in the nearby Center Norte mall. As we drove through the nerve wracking Sao Paulo traffic I glanced at my watch and noted that it was 3:30 PM. We were shopping for bath sponges because people in Brazil do not use wash cloths when they bathe. Between the various super mercados (grocery stores) we visited in search for the seemingly rare bath sponges we observed the gorgeous Ipe trees and were never far from the filthy, stinking Tiete River that courses through downtown Sao Paulo. We also noted an occasional Banyan tree. The neighborhoods we passed through were bustling in the fading afternoon. As a matter of fact the only time I have ever been in a neighborhood in Sao Paulo that was not bustling was after ten o’clock at night!
We passed by the Sambatorium, the large stadium where Carnival activities are telecast worldwide every year. Overhead we could see the Goodyear blimp. At one place along the Tiete we came to a place where once had stood a great shanty- town. On one of our previous trips we had passed near this large area where thousands of the very poor lived in little more than cardboard boxes. Now there was nothing on the spot but low piles of rubble caused when government bulldozers had knocked down the entire shantytown. Nearby a government housing project had been built for these poor slum dwellers to live in. It was made up of large concrete apartment houses painted blue and for every three or four such buildings there was a multistoried white smokestack. Finding one shantytown that had not been removed we stopped and took pictures. It was difficult to tolerate the rancid odor iminating from this place! As dusk began to settle we searched for a sorveteria or ice cream store. In one super mercado we purchased some guarana syrup with which we planned to make some ice cream when we returned home. We also planned to make some non- carbonated guarana from the syrup. At 6 PM we returned to the Marriott for the night. We relaxed for a brief time and then retired for the night.
WEDNESDAY JULY 7, 2004
We awoke at 6:57 AM Sao Paulo time after sleeping late. It was a foggy morning and we were still tired. I read the day’s Bible readings for our church’s program for reading the Bible through in a year. The two passages were Job chapters 35-37 and Acts 14. Breakfast was a luscious feast of giant persimmons, several types of breads, cajus or cashew nuts, chicken in pancakes au gratin and orange jelly. At 9:39 AM we checked out of the Marriott. Outside we saw some palm trees that had large strands of seeds or fruits on them. We had first seen this kind of palm several years earlier in the city of Ourinhos, Brazil near the home of Missionary Steve Montgomery and had nick named them Dreadlocks Palms because they reminded us of the dreadlocks hair do’s of certain Black men in the States. I took a photo of Lyndy standing in front of these bizaar looking trees. At 9:45 we set out for the city of Osasco where we planned to spend a week or so in the home of Pastor Eduardo Cadete. While we were stopped at a filling station for gasohol Daniel Gardner escorted Lyndy to the ladies room and then me to the men’s room so we would not get confused and in order to be able to communicate with any Brazilians we might encounter. The men’s restroom was closed and the sign across the door read “Reforma” in Portuguese. This is the word for construction and it meant that the restroom was being remodeled. The price of the gasohol was eighty-five centavos per liter. There are about two liters to a gallon so the price per gallon was about $1.70. This was before the big leap in gas prices in the USA shortly after we returned home. We made our way through the maddening Sao Paulo traffic to the very heart of the downtown area. Of all the big cities in the world that we have visited including Cairo, Rome, New York, Paris and Mexico City, there are more tall buildings by far than in any of them. Flowers were growing everywhere and many old trees grew in the center islands of the streets. By 10:38 AM
there were still not very many people waking or stirring from the night before although there were an unbelievable number of cars moving through the streets. So many and so tall were the buildings that they cast deep shadows on the streets making one feel that he was in some rocky canyon in the Western US. Somewhere in the midst of all this we came upon a large steel bridge that went from one building to another and across a park on the way. Brother Calvin told us that this bridge was a gift from the nation of Italy to Brazil though I cannot remember the occasion for the gift. As the morning wore on street vendors began to appear everywhere. While walking through the streets in this central part of Sao Paulo we visited a currency exchange shop where we traded dollars for Reals (Hay eyes’) at a rate of R$3.08 for $1. This was the best rate I had ever received on any trip to Brazil. The owner of the shop was a man about 60 years of age that was politically active. He had a poster in his shop window that showed a doctored photograph of the Communist President of Brazil with an extended nose like Pinocchio. When I asked him to explain it to me he said that he had helped get the President elected because the man had promised to create many new jobs should he get elected but the President had immediately forgotten his promise. When he saw how much we enjoyed his poster he gave us a copy to take home. We also visited a shop that I can’t really classify as to what kind of shop it was. It had a great variety of goods for sale including knives in which we were interest. I purchased several pocketknives and hunting knives as gifts for people back home including a nice large knife on the order of what we would call a Bowie knife back home. This was for Matt Woodward in our church, a mechanic who helps me keep my cars running right. We ate lunch buffet style. We again feasted on all kinds of delicious Brazilian dishes and had the usual guarana to drink. Our food included black beans, rice, Mandioca, papaya, fresh pineapple, roast beef, pastel. The eating establishment was filled with businessmen and women and every table and every seat was full. After lunch we came to the very center of the city and the Praca da Se Cathedral. Inside the Cathedral we heard a lot of banging and hammering and I saw a sign that read, Reforma. Joking with Brother Calvin I said, Praise the Lord, the Catholic Church is being reformed! Here was the spot of the very beginnings of the city of Sao Paulo four hundred fifty years before in 1554. This anniversary had actually been celebrated in Sao Paulo in January of 2004. The tropic of Capricorn crosses the city at this spot and this is noted on a brass marker in front of the Cathedral. The plaza in front of the Cathedral was filled with all kinds of interest ing sights. There were hucksters and entertainers of every imaginable type. There was a magician working his magic tricks. There was a street preacher who seemed to be Pentecostal. There were the typically Brazilian human statues that were actually people who had painted themselves with silver paint and who stood statue still and would not even blink if you spoke to them. There were musicians; singers and instrumentalists and their music had a dist inctly African sound. Multitudes, hundreds of thousands of people now jammed the streets.
Every so often in Sao Paulo as well as other Brazilian cities there is a street that has been closed off to auto traffic and is only open to foot traffic. Such a street is called in Portuguese a calcadao. As we ambled down one of these leading away from the Cathedral and plaza we noticed several of the street vendors quickly gathering up their merchandise and running down the street. We were told that this was because these were unlicensed merchants and a police enforcer of the city code was passing through the area at that time. Every kind of merchandise imaginable was for sale along this calcadao including various types of paintings, black market goods from Paraguay, key chains, leather goods, hats, belts, watches, you name it. As we passed through the labyrinthine streets of downtown Sao Paulo we came to what Calvin called the Wall Street area though that was not actually its name. It was the financial district roughly the equivalent of Wall Street in New York. It was in this area that we purchased two oil paintings about fourteen inches by eighteen inches in size. They had been painted by a local artist whose wife was peddling them on the street. They depicted scenes from Brazilian life. One pictured an old Cathedral in a rural area and the other showed a lovely lavender colored Ipe tree, many of which can be seen all over Brazil. The first I kept for my study at the church in Kansas City, the other we planned to give to our daughter in law Beth Justice. The price of each was a very reasonable 60 R$ or $20 American. At 1:30 PM we returned to the Kombi and started for Osasco once again. In a little while we stopped to drink some of the best fruit juice Brazil has to offer, Maracuja. We followed the Pinheiro River across Sao Paulo till we reached the suburb of Osasco and upon arriving we had to stop at a car radio installation shop to ask directions to the street where the church pastored by Brother Eduardo was located. We found the church building at 2:45 PM and parked in front while Calvin attempted to contact Eduardo by phone. Soon after arriving we were met by sister Helena who directed us to Pastor Eduardo’s house which was less than a mile from the church. We arrived at the pastor’s home at 3:15 and unpacked the Kombi for what turned out to be a four-day stay with the Cadete family. Sister Helena cooked and served a delicious supper built around a carre roast. As we drove through the streets of Osasco toward the church building and the evening service a plethora of aromas from good to bad greeted our olfactory nerves. There was the smell of the everywhere-present churrasco. There was the ever-present smell of smoke from burning trash and there was also the ever-present smell of the sewer. The evening service was very well attended. I had preached here four years previously when taken here by Missionary Steve Montgomery. I don’t think many of the people present this night remembered me. My sermon topic was An Introduction to Grace. After church we visited with the Cadete family for about an hour and exhausted, finally fell into bed at 11:30 PM.
THURSDAY JULY 8, 2004
We waked up in Osasco this morning at 6:25 without having set the alarm. It was still pitch dark outside. I dressed and read my Bible while sitting on the balcony outside our bedroom and looking over the bairro. While I read dawn slowly arrived. The smell of burning trash filled the air as is common in the metro Sao Paulo area. I now saw some of the pigeons we had heard all
during the night outside our bedroom window. On what was a national holiday in Brazil I read Job 3-39 and Acts 15:1-23. As I looked out from the balcony and to my left toward the East I could see a low rolling hill covered with houses that was between the rising sun and me. There was a forest of TV antennas on the concrete houses. Many of these houses had unpainted cement roofs. Looking down and to my right I could see the street descending fairly sharply down a hill toward the Cadete house till passing in front of the house. By 7 o’clock the city had slowly begun to awaken. A young woman wearing a sweater began washing her car in the street in front of the house next door. To my left and across the street there was a tree in the courtyard of a house and on this tree were some bright yellow blooms. Across the street and to my right was Igreja Universal Do Reino De Deus, the building of what I would call a Pentecostal cult. The Cadete home itself had an iron gate across the front behind which the family’s two cars are kept at night. There was no yard as is the case of all houses in Brazilian cities. The iron gate across the front of the house fronted on the sidewalk and made Lyndy feel like we were living behind bars. The house was made of concrete, as are all others in that part of Brazil. It had living, dining and kitchen downstairs with two bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs. The bathroom we used had a shower with ½ inch thick transparent glass walls. Water for the house was heated by the sun while being stored in a tank on the roof. It received a minor bit of additional warming from an electric appliance on the showerhead through it passed. It only had one temperature and that was warm. There was no hot water and no cold water, only warm. During the night last night we heard water running. Today we found out it had something to do with refilling this storage tank. The Cadete house was actually ½ of a building and was similar to a duplex. It had a five feet wide breezeway around the Cadete side of the building. It had tile floors throughout down stairs. The stairs to the second floor were carpeted while the upstairs floors were made of hardwood except for the bathrooms that had tile floors. There was a spinet piano in the living area. That living area had a large window opening onto the breezeway. There was a wooden closet under the stairs. A large kitchen adjoined the dining area. Ivonne Cadete served us a scrumptious breakfast of coffee with leite or milk, small individual loaves of French bread, slices of several different kinds of cheese, Maracujah juice, Manga or Mango juice and pound cake. While eating we enjoyed spiritually edifying conversation with the Gardners and the Cadetes. At 9:30 Lyndy, Calvin, Eduardo, Daniel and I left the house in the Kombi and drove to a city park several miles away. We walked 1½ miles along a jogging trail that wound around past many exotic trees and plants. One plant was a Cana that had small leaves instead of the large ones that characterize the plant in the States. The flower smelled like a Gardenia. There was also a brilliant red Ipe tree here. Amongst all these plants was a mud termite nest that measured about 16 inches high and 16 inches wide and 24 inches long. We also saw and heard the famous Bem Te Vi bird. It resembled a Mocking bird with a yellow breast and its call sounds like it is saying Bem Te Vi. The temperature this day was very pleasant and the sun was hazy.
Leaving the park we began driving around seeing the sights of Osasco. We passed a McDonald’s restaurant and visited a Walmart where I purchased some prescription medicine for a fraction of what it costs at home and I was able to purchase it without a prescription. This is the way it is in Brazil. We followed a river for several blocks at this time and as is the case with all rivers in the Sao Paulo River it had the heavy stench of the sewer. We passed a man pushing a wheelbarrow full of Mandioca roots. In the distance we could see the mountain on which stood three radio towers we had seen six years before when we traveled from Catanduva to the airport in Sao Paulo. There were still a few horse drawn carts in the streets as well as men pushing two wheel carts. We decided to visit a drogaria or drug store and look for some of the prescriptions Lyndy and I use, compare prices and perhaps purchase some of them. The procedure was to ask for the drug catalogue and look up the drug in the catalogue to see if they had it and then to ask how much it would cost. We found that the drugs had been produced by the same companies as are those in the States including mainly Pfizer and that the prices are about ¼ to 1/3 of what they are in the States. We purchased some of every drug we use except my blood pressure medicine which actually costs more in Brazil than at home. At 11:45 we returned to the Cadete house where Lyndy and I sat on the balcony while lunch was being prepared. Looking out over the bairro we heard the sounds of pigeons cooing, dogs barking, indistinct human voices and the constant noise of motorcycles and bus engines. Here we noted that the entire fronts of most homes were covered with iron bars. The fronts of the houses are 30 to 36 inches from the street with obviously home made sidewalks covering the space between. While sitting here a loud speaker truck blaring commercial advertisements for local merchants moved through the neighborhood. These rather irritating trucks are ever present wherever in Brazil. While waiting for lunch we were allowed by Juliana, the daughter and youngest of the Cadete children the use of her Bose-like sound system. We enjoyed listening to some Brazilian hymns. We then went for a walk through the neighborhood and looked for Magnum sorvet or ice cream, our favorite Brazilian brand. We could not find any but enjoyed observing the neighborhood. At this time all the people seemed to be in the streets. We passed a gang of young men all wearing black. Graffiti was on every visible wall. As we looked through the bars on the fronts of the houses we could a lot of strange looking plants that the residents kept in pots. Lunch was served at 1:30 PM in the Cadete home. Joining Lyndy and me for lunch were Eduardo, Ivonne, Juliana, Calvin and Daniel. The highlight of this meal was Ivonne’s chocolate mousse. After lunch Brother Calvin and the Latinos took the customary siesta until 4:20 PM. During this time Lyndy, Daniel and I prepared and sent our e-mail report with pictures included. We sent such reports about every three days during the entire trip. They were sent to church members, pastor friends and relatives who had expressed an interest in receiving such reports before our trip began.
This was only the fourth day of the trip and already we were becoming bored and a little irritated with the inactivity of the Latin lifestyle with its late nights, late mornings and two-hour afternoons. I kept thinking, How much could be done by these people if they would only work in the daytime and sleep at night? During this afternoon Lyndy and I gave gifts to the Cadete children. We gave one US dollar to Juliana who was 14 years old, a pocketknife to Diego who was 18 and a Swiss pocketknife to Felipe who was 21. Daniel, Lyndy and I then took a walk through the neighborhood around the Cadete home. We again searched for some Magnum brand Doce de Leite Sorvete but again wit hout success. During this walk we noted the filth due to the fact that people here often throw their trash into the streets and the streets are evidently never swept. Smells in this area ranged from heavy sewer to wonderful churrasco to fresh paint to various other foods. Eduardo later told us the smoke that hung as a cloud over the city each evening was from all the fires used to prepare churrasco but it was more like burning trash to me. Finally at around 4:30 all our party (Calvin, Daniel, Lyndy and I) left with the entire Cadete family except for son Felipe to go for a “snack” at something called Castelo da Pamonha or The Castle of Corn. There were nine of us in the Kombi. This restaurant which was kind of like a truck stop in the States was located on the far side of metropolitan Sao Paulo from Osasco and it took us thirty five minutes to get there. Everything in the store was made of corn and it was all delicious. The main dish was pamonha, a sort of hot corn mush that was jelled and wrapped in corn shucks. The ones I ate had cheese mixed in with them. We drank cold corn juice, had corn cake and corn pudding. Everything had lots of sugar in it! It was after dark when we started home to Osasco and traffic jammed the streets, as is virtually always the case in Sao Paulo. There was a brief rain shower during this trip. Just before arriving back at the Cadete house we drove up and over two very high and long hills. We saw city buses everywhere and they were always stuffed with passengers. All over the Osasco area there are traffic bumps to keep the traffic slowed down and those in Osasco seemed to be much larger than the ones we have encountered elsewhere in Brazil. At 7:45 PM we returned to the Cadete home and were told to wait about an hour for supper. This supper turned out to be a huge meal. I couldn’t believe it. This would be the fourth meal of the day and we didn’t even eat it till 9 o’clock at night! All the meals at the Cadete home were prepared by Marie Helena Mehlor. She is an unmarried lady about 40 years old who is a member of brother Eduardo’s church. At this meal we had a lot of good Christian fellowship and also a lot of fun kidding around with Diego and Felipe. The entire Cadete family is warm and friendly and has a good sense of humor as well as being serious Christians. We praise the Lord for them. At 10 o’clock Lyndy and I headed to bed on what was turning out to be a cold night. This house like all others in Brazil was not sealed from the weather. Lyndy and I had to improvise by stuffing two large towels into the space around the sliding glass outside doors of our bedroom to insulate against the cold. We later learned that a cold front was moving up from the South. Cold fronts all come from the South on this side of the equator. We found some covers and pulled them up over us on the bed.
FRIDAY JULY 9, 2004
Friday dawned a pleasant cloudy and cool after a rainy night in Osasco. Today was another of the many State holidays in Brazil and few people were stirring at 6:21 when we woke up. I dressed and moved out onto the balcony on the front of the Cadete house where I read Job 40-42 and Acts 15:22-41. I prayed for tonight’s church service, specifically asking the Lord to enable the pastor and the people to receive the truths of God’s sovereign grace. While here I heard birds that sounded similar to the Bem Te Vi birds but not exactly the same. I could not see them hard as I tried. As I looked out over the bairros I noted how the houses literally covered the hill on which this particular bairro was built. It was a jumble of drab houses and buildings bristling with TV satellite dishes with a few trees intruding in their midst. The first thing when we went downstairs and Daniel Gardner and I walked about a mile through the bairro in which the Cadete home was located. We traveled to the top of a high hill and looked out in several directions over the many distant bairros that make up the metropolitan Sao Paulo area. What an awesome sight as spots of sun moved over the landscape as they broke through the clouds. Turning around and looking back in the direction of the Cadete home we suddenly beheld a huge vista of a valley full of cities. Distant dark blue mountains that seemed to be snagging the passing clouds provided an impressive backdrop. Walking through the neighborhood on our way back to the Cadete home we passed many shops some of which were open. One that caught our eye was a shop where the owner made and sold wooden items such as hall trees and counter stools. I toyed with purchasing a hall tree made of the beautiful red colored Brazil wood but decided against it after thinking about how I would try to carry it on the plane. We passed a paint store where the sign read in Portuguese, Tintas. We also continued our search for a store that sold Magnum brand Doce de Leite. On the street between the curb and the buildings various trees were in bloom. One that was most striking was the Cow Hoof Tree thus named because the leaves are shaped just like the bottom of a cow’s hoof. In one of these shops we purchased several bottles of water so we could have plenty of drinkable water over the next couple of days. Just before arriving back at the house we passed a Universal Church building and looked in through the front doors. To our surprise we saw an altar at the far end of the auditorium with a fire burning on top. This we could see through a couple of sheer white curtains on the inside of the front door. These curtains were blowing in the slight breeze created by the open front door. Two very tough young black Brazilian men who looked like security guards stood on the street near the door. We moved on without gaining their attention. After breakfast Lyndy and I sent our first e-mail report to the folks back home utilizing brother Eduardo’s lap top computer. We included two photos, one of a shantytown in Sao Paulo and the other I can’t remember. At 10:30 AM we left by automobile for the home of brother and Mrs. Moacyr Menha who live in downtown Sao Paulo. As we drove across the city we noted once again the filthy river running through the heart of town and we nicknamed it Lixo Rio meaning Trash River. The water looked
more like a dark green and brown gravy with many huge brown chunks of garbage floating in it. In stark contrast to this we noted the beautiful boulevards lined with old trees and flowers and paralleled by walking trails. There was also a lot of vegetation around the houses. The Menhas live in an above average apartment building on one of the upper floors. The several rooms were well furnished with modern furniture. They had reserved the Saloa de Festas or party room on the ground floor for the veritable feast they were about to serve us. Their son Eduardo cooked churrasco in a brick pit in the courtyard outside the party room. The two adult children of the Menhas and their spouses were present as well as another couple or two from the church. In addition to churrasco we were served buffet style a wonderful sausage and cheese dish the Brazilians call linguica. There was also chicken on a stick, something called picanha, mousse for desert and to drink, maracuja juice as well as guarana. I had a delightful discussion about Brazilian music with brother Moacyr. He informed me that there were two basic types of native Brazilian music. One is called Forro which is a sort of Northern folk music and Caipira which is a sort of pop rock and is performed by such artists as Zeze. Of course Samba is another outstanding form of Brazilian music. We were able to have blessed fellowship in discussing God’s word with these fine Christians. Those present at this wonderful get together included Mr. And Mrs. Moacyr Menha, their son Eduardo, their daughter Marcella, Iri Nilson, Vicra De Oliveiro, Sandra De Oliveiro, Carlos Sergio De Oliveiro, Francisco, Diego Cadete, Eduardo Cadete, Ivonne Cadete, Lyndy Justice and myself. At about three PM we left the Menhas’ home for the thirty minute trip back to the Cadete home in Osasco. On the way we passed through Santana Bairro and noted the high hills and wide vistas of the whole skyline of greater Sao Paulo. The weather was cloudy and getting cooler when we arrived at our destination at 3:30. I immediately moved to the second floor balcony outside our bedroom where I studied and prepared for my sermon for the evening service at brother Cadete’s church. I planned to preach on Titus 2:11-12, Lessons In The School Of Grace. After reviewing my sermon notes and praying for the Lord’s leadership in the services I began to look out over the bairro once again as I love to do whenever the opportunity affords. Now I could hear the sound of a baby crying somewhere in the neighborhood and could see the sun shining in spots on the bairros wherever it broke through the clouds. There were kites flying everywhere I looked on this holiday and on this particular afternoon they were really flying high, perhaps as high as five hundred feet. Kites in Brazil are virtually all home made. They are small fragile things made of plastic shopping bags and lightweight sticks. Their tails are made of thin plastic strips similar to the tape inside our audiocassettes. In the distance I could hear someone practicing on a trumpet and it sounded fairly good. Soon someone in the bairro turned his radio up LOUD and it was playing some kind of Brazilian music. At about the same time a car pulled up across the street from us and loud music was also coming from it.
At 5:30 we left the house for the church service. Two really interesting hymns we sang were #279 in the Brazilian Baptist Hymnal, A Doce Luz and #360 Companheiro. The melodies are exciting and some even haunting. The church building was full with about 100 or so people and we had a wonderful service. The people listened to the sermon with rapt attention and received the message enthusiastically. Brother Calvin Gardner did his usual expert job of translating for me and we have learned to work well together over the years. After the service we stood around in the church building and in the yard and visit with Brother Moacyr and others for over an hour before returning to the Cadete house. As I stood in the street in front of the church building before starting for the Cadete home I looked out into the night sky and found the Southern Cross. Once back at the Cadetes’ we ate four kinds of Brazilian pizza. The names of them were Four Cheeses, California, Sweet (?) and I have forgotten the name of the fourth. We had a hilarious time joking and kidding around with the entire Cadete family minus Felipe who came in later. We talked about Brazilian music and got the Cadetes’ view of just what native Brazilian music is. When we finally had gotten tired enough Brother Eduardo outlined our plans for tomorrow and we said, Boa Noite! or Good Night! It was 11:15 when we turned out the lights.
SATURDAY JULY 10, 2004
We slept in this morning till 6:13. I sat on the balcony on a swivel piano stool to read God’s word and watch the city wake up. The stinch of the sewer was heavy this morning. The streetlights were still on and humidity hung heavy over the bairros. During the night we had heard pigeons on the roof of the Cadete house cooing and fluttering. It wasn’t long before a slight cool breeze began to stir. Today’s Bible readings were Psalms 1-3 and Acts 16:1-15. Most of the street- lights had gone off by 6:40 AM. I noticed that the Bem Te Vi birds spoke slightly different words here. The scattered clouds began to break up and I anticipated the sun’s soon peaking over the bairro-covered hill to the left in our balcony view. This being Saturday, few people or vehicles were moving at this time in the morning. What a blessing to live in a house with this wonderful Brazilian family! Before breakfast Lyndy and I enjoyed some humorous bantering with Felipe, Eduardo and Daniel. At 8:54 we left the house in Calvin’s Kombi for Embu, a famous Brazilian art colony and craft village. The weather was at this moment clear, sunny and cool. As we passed through metro Sao Paulo we passed through a tunnel that was about ¼ mile in length, something I did not expect to encounter in Sao Paulo. Outside the city we passed through a number of small banana groves. The vegetation in the countryside here was heaven and included many Eucalyptus trees. As we reached Embu a rain shower began but this did not prevent our getting out to walk through the many and various shops in the town. When we reached the town square we finally entered a lamp shop where we waited for the rain which had now grown heavy to let up. All the artists’ paintings that were on exhibit on the square were now covered with sheets of plastic to keep them dry so we could not see as many as I would like to have seen. As we waited one of the pesky and all too prevalent sound trucks drove down the street. Not only were its blaring commercials assaulting our ears, its sides were also covered with colorful sale ads for local
merchants. The rain did not stop but periodically let up enough for us to get out and walk through shops and booths containing the most interesting things. There were items made of coconut shells, there were leather goods, rings and doilies. In one place of business that looked something like an old fashioned drug store in the States two older men were sitting in one of the booths producing some very pleasing Brazilian music. One played a mandolin and at other times a flamenco guitar while the other played a Timba. We listened for several minutes and placed one Real in their cigar box before moving on through the allies and lanes of this quaint little village. Suddenly a heavy tropical rainstorm hit and in the middle of it the power went off. This lasted for about an hour and greatly hindered our ability to see the intriguing items in some of the shops. Where we were able to see we purchased gifts for our loved ones back home. After awhile we ate lunch in sort of booth or shop located in the middle of a street that had been blocked off to vehicle traffic. We drank guarana and ate various Brazilian delights while sitting under large umbrellas. The number of people visiting the shops and eating-places was now growing larger. While descending one of the quaint stair-stepped lanes of this town I slipped on the wet pavement and took a clumsy and nasty fall but was not hurt except for my feelings. For the first time in my life I felt I was getting older and could not control my own movements. After visiting a nearby shop for twenty to thirty minutes we began to retrace our steps to return to the Kombi. When we had reached the location where I had fallen I again slipped on the same step but this time did not go down. Felipe came to my rescue with so me of his great humor. Mustering up the only English words he could say he blurted out, Replay! Replay! And began to clap his hands. Everyone got a great laugh out of his wonderful sense of humor. After awhile the rain got so heavy and so persistent that we decided to give it up and return to Osasco so we boarded the Kombi and started for home. Most of the way home we peered out through fogged up windows. Lyndy, Calvin, Daniel, Eduardo, Ivonne, Juliana and Felipe and I filled the Kombi and helped produce the fog on the windows. Arriving back at the Cadete house in Osasco at two PM I began preparing for tonight’s service at the Bethel Baptist Church on the far side of Sao Paulo where Brother Waldir Ferro was pastor. Four years earlier I had preached in the church in Sud Menucci, Brazil where Waldir was pastor at the time. We eagerly anticipated our reunion with this happy Christian brother and his family. After awhile we had a discussion with Pastor Eduardo and Brother Calvin about what the various kinds of neighborhoods in Brazil are called. We were told that the very poorest neighborhoods are called favellas while the neighborhoods just above the poor classification are called bairros and neighborhoods of people who are a little better off are called jardim or gardens. One such neighborhood was called Jardim das Flores or Garden of the Flowers. I decided to sit out on the balcony again and watch the city go by. I saw an elderly man approach a house across the street and instead of knocking he clapped his hands, which is the custom in Brazil. No one was home so after clapping two or three times the man left and walked on down the street. The lights blinked several times during the afternoon, a not uncommon
phenomenon anywhere in Brazil. A number of times I heard sound trucks that were working the neighborhoods. It is my observation that according to our American standards the Brazilian lifestyle is an undisciplined one. The people stay up at night until 12 and 1 in the morning, eat breakfast at 8 or 9 in the morning, take a 2 hour siesta in the afternoon, and have their evening meal at 9:30 or 10 PM. The speech of Brazilians in their conversations is interesting. They have a rising and falling inflection, especially the women, in which their voices go from normal tone to high pitch and back quickly to normal. At 4 o’clock we had café’ (a snack) and then set out for Igreja Batista Betel (Bethel Baptist Church) on the far side of Sao Paulo from where the Cadetes live. We passed through many bairros of varying degrees of poverty. The weather as dusk came on was cloudy and getting cooler. The traffic as always in Sao Paulo was heavy. We observed literally multitudes of skyscrapers as we passed through the metro area. Palm trees were everywhere. Trash was everywhere in what has to be one of the world’s dirtiest cities. Large ferns grow out of cracks in the retaining walls that protect the streets. There were a lot of paintings on the walls of the buildings in the older areas of the city. The shops in Sao Paulo are open to the streets and large crowds were everywhere. The populus is very young. We rarely saw an elderly person on the whole trip. Almost suddenly we turned into a bairro and at 5:30 arrived at Betel. The church building was unique. We walked up some stairs just inside the front door and when we came to the main floor on which the auditorium was located there was a large hallway around two sides of the auditorium. From the windows in this hallway we could look out over the bairros. The lights in the building were all florescent. Five chandeliers lighted the auditorium, each made up of six four-feet long florescent bulbs placed vertically in a circle. The walls and floors were covered with gray ceramic tile throughout the building and the windows had gray curtains. The auditorium must have seated about 100. The service tonight started seventeen minutes late in true Brazilian style. One of the hymns we sang was #395, Cristo Satisfaz. I preached on the subject of Is God’s Word Enough using II Timothy 3:16-17 as my text. The auditorium was comfortably full. During the service a drunk came in off of the street and caused a disturbance when a couple of the men in the congregation took him out. We had a great service and the message was well received. After the service we adjourned to a nice modern fellowship hall where we were served Brazilian crackers and of course guarana. The brand of guarana here was the Dolly brand. The lovely fellowship hall opened onto a roof garden from which we looked out over the bairros and saw the city lights of Sao Paulo. Among those men who went out onto the roof garden with us were Leandro and Leonardo, twin brothers in their twenties from Osasco. Back inside we visited with Waldir, his wife Miriam, daughters Ellise (age 15) and Lillyian (age 17) and son Victor (age 14). Daniel took pictures of Lyndy and me and of the Ferro family as well as of the preachers present.
We drove back across Sao Paulo to the Cadetes. Riding with us in the Kombi were Felipe and his girl friend Nathalia. Nathalia is an attractive blond Brazilian who wore a stylish leather coat and pointed leather shoes. In a very interesting conversation Nathalia asked us what we thought about the American TV program called The Simpsons. Evidently they can get it in Brazil. I told them I was greatly embarrassed that it was an American program because of its utter crudeness and vulgarity. After arriving at the Cadete house we had supper at 10 PM. The main dish was called esfihas and was made up of meats, and chicken mini pizzas. The crust was like pizza only it was about six inches across. We also had guarana and doce de leite. We turned in at 11:45 PM and quickly fell asleep.
SUNDAY JULY 11, 2004
The Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! of our travel alarm clock rousted us out this morning. It was raining again and getting colder. I now put on a sweater to try to keep warm. This morning’s Bible readings were found in Psalms 5-6 and Acts 16:16-40. I planned to preach this morning on “The Perpetuity of the Church.” For breakfast today we had papaya which they call mamao, ham slices, cheese, café with leite, some kind of cookies, some kind of crackers, peach jelly, some kind of small toast and butter. For some reason there was no Sunday School this day. The morning worship service began at 9:02 AM and there was a very positive response to the message by the large crowd that turned out. The service was closed with the singing by the congregation of #113 O Dia Glorioso. After the morning worship service we took photos of the entire group on the stairs outside leading up to the church auditorium. We had lots of fun doing so with everyone making various good-natured wise cracks as we did so. I couldn’t help but notice the beauty of the young Latin ladies in this congregation. Their olive skin and large brown eyes would surely charm any red blooded single male in any country. We returned to the Cadete home at 11 AM and set up our “lappy-toppys” (lap top computers) in order to send our report to those back home. Marcela Menha who was Diego’s girlfriend and Bernarde da Silva who is Ivonne’s brother joined us for lunch. For lunch we were served caneloni which was similar to an enchilada and a pasta called rondelle. Today I began to realize that several of the health problems I had been experiencing back home had noticeably improved. I don’t know whether it was because of the increased amount of fruit and fiber in the Brazilian diet or from the decrease in stress I was experiencing or maybe some of both. Certainly it was an answer to my prayers and those of my loved ones and friends at Victory Baptist Church in Kansas City. But while my health problems seemed to be improving Lyndy became sick this afternoon with stomach troubles. Daniel and I decided to walk through the bairro and find a drugstore where we could purchase some medicine for Lyndy’s sickness. We found the drugstore and bought some medicine made by Pfizer Pharmaceutical that was much less expensive than back home in Kansas City. At 5:45 we all drank some lemon grass tea. The brand of this tea was Castellari and I determined to get some of this brand to take home with
us because it was by far the best tasting lemon grass tea we had found. I noted that the web site on the tea package was www.castellari.com.br so I could read further on this brand when I got home. The evening service was to begin at 6:30 and brother Eduardo told us that there should be some unsaved people present. The evening service is the big service of the day on Sundays in Brazil. Because of her dysentery Lyndy had to miss this service. The service began with the singing of #360, Companheiro, which had been projected onto a large screen at the front of the auditorium. Diego Cadete led the singing. As in all the services in independent Baptist churches in Brazil the singing here was wonderful. It fills the room and is heartfelt. The 30 member church choir sang a special number that I did not recognize. In the church services both Lyndy and I noted that the young women in Brazil wear lots of leather including high top boots, coats and jackets. In this particular service there was a birthday recognition for a lady in the church. Then the congregation sang #87 Calvario. The church choir closed the singing in this service with the Portuguese version of Wonderful Grace of Jesus. There were four strong parts and the music was sung with gusto. It was a real blessing to hear! As we left the church the weather was foggy and it was misting rain. Arriving back at the Cadete house we had supper at 9:35 PM. We had four roll-like foods. One was potato bread with green cheese, a second was potato bread with cream cheese, a third was potato bread with heart of palm and a fourth was potato bread with chicken. After supper we took photos of the Cadete family who were all together for this meal, said a last Goodbye to Helena who had done much of the cooking for us throughout the week and at 11:02 PM we turned out the lights to go to sleep. It was a very cold night for Brazil and we had to sleep under heavy covers.
MONDAY JULY 12, 2004
At 6 AM we arose and took the bedclothes off the bed. I read Psalms 7-9 and Acts 17:1-15. We ate breakfast at 7:50 and then packed the Kombi for Marila, Brazil at 8:50. While we were packing the Kombi brother Calvin saw a large rat run across the street in front of the Cadete home. It was still cloudy and cold. Brother Cadete said it had gotten down to 46 degrees last night. This is very cold for Brazil at any time of the year. Saying Goodbye to the Cadetes was difficult. Felipe had bid us farewell during breakfast when he had to leave for work. Highway engineering in Brazil seems unbelievable to us Americans. It seems to be based on a system of retornos that are basically what we would call traffic circles back in the States. If one misses his exit he has to go a long way around to get back to it. There are many of these retornos in Brazil. At about 9 AM we entered a toll road to the city of Bauru on our way to Marilia. The toll was $4.90 Reis and we traveled in a generally North Northwest direction. On the outskirts of metropolitan Sao Paulo vegetation exploded. Presently we passed the town of Jandina and then paid toll again this time R$8.60. We soon entered a mountainous country that was heavily
forested. Along the way we stopped at a store that was a sort of truck stop with everything. It was on the order of those types of stores in the US but much larger, cleaner and offering a greater variety of things for sale. The store had some especially interesting items of food and souvenirs. The sun finally broke through and we began to see some rare Umbrella Pines and flowers everywhere on the trees. We passed through sugar cane fields and citrus groves in this extremely fertile and productive land. Along this very good modern highway we saw numbers of the hard, brown, concrete-hard termite nests that are so numerous that they make the countryside look like it is covered with great cemeteries with the nests looking like headstones. Along the way we passed the city of Boituva with its beautiful orange tile roofs and light or yellow buff buildings. On the distant horizon we could see burning sugar cane fields. The process of burning the cane fields is fast being phased out in Brazil for a better method of harvesting. We now came to what seemed to be a high plain with a tremendous amount of cultivation for crops. In this area there were no walls around the houses. Another city we passed through was Tiete after which we began to see large and lush stands of bamboo everywhere, some of which were twenty feet tall and one hundred fifty feet around. Here we saw the mint trees that smelled like the mint plant at home. There were cow hoof trees that had flowers that remind one of orchids all over them. There were also many palms and Eucalyptus trees. We passed some horse fazendas or ranches and soon we began to travel through a lot of sunflower farms and some burning sugar cane fields. The next town was Bofet. We now passed into some larger mountains and sugar loaf mesas. Everywhere we could see white cattle that were actually the gray Brahmas that dominate in Brazil. Occasionally we would see the Urubu vultures that were about the size of the Turkey vultures in the States. Their bodies were light gray and their wings and the cap on their heads were black. Deciding to take a break and eat a snack we stopped at a station/store called Rodoserve Star and filled the Kombi with alcool. This was a beautiful store much like the Graal store at which we had stopped previously. We had some delicious Brazilian snacks including what was called Croissant Quatro, Queijo, Pao de Queijo and hot Lemon Grass Tea. The sky was a bright blue, the vegetation was bright green and the soil was very red like that in Western Oklahoma in the USA. Calvin Gardner lay down on the soft green grass outside this store and took a short rest while Lyndy and I took pictures of the scenery. Moving on down the road we passed through five different tollgates at a cost of about R$6.80 each time. Almost suddenly at 1 PM the skies cleared and the temperature shot up. The large above ground termite nests were everywhere in this area as were the lovely Sangue de Cristo or Blood of Christ plants with their menacing thorns and delicate little flowers, each petal of which looked like a small drop of blood. As we passed the city of Botucatu at 1:13 PM we observed some people squeezing sugar cane to extract the juice from it for drinking. In this area there were several coffee farms in which every tree was about three and a half feet tall. Now we came to an alcool (alcohol) plant and tank farm where a number of trucks were lined up to deliver their loads of sugar cane from which alcool was to be made for burning in automobiles. We saw the white smoke rising from this plant long
before we arrived there. A byproduct of the alcool produced by these alcool plants is collected and spread back onto the cane fields as fertilizer and this byproduct is called vinhaco aroma. We saw a several Rapadura plants in the cane fields here. We also saw large groves of rubber trees. After awhile we began passing through some Eucalyptus farms that grew Eucalyptus trees for harvesting. Throughout this area we passed and followed large logging trucks hauling the trees to saw mills and markets. In Brazil the one foot in diameter logs are cut to about a seven-foot length and laid cross ways to the road rather than long ways on the truck as in the US. At 2:09 we passed the city of Lencois Paulista shortly after which we could see the buildings of our destination city of Bauru on the horizon. Here we passed a Graal store where we had stopped on one of our previous trips to Brazil and Bauru. As we came closer to the city we had a beautiful view of the Bauru skyline. The bright sun shown on the white and pastel buildings which had a bright blue sky as a backdrop. Here we stopped at a filling station out in the country so that Calvin could use a big ear to call Pastor Gilberto to tell him we were going to be late. Proceeding past Bauru we came to the small city of Galia where I had preached in 2000 at the church where brother Gilberto was pastor at the time. At 3:46 PM we passed the city of Garza. The bright red Poinsettias in this area were beautiful but the surface of the road leading up to and into Garza was in a terrible state of repair but suddenly we came to a brand new section of highway that was really nice. At 3:54 we passed the town of Jafe at last arriving at Marilia, a large city of about 200,000 people, at 4:13 PM. After finding Pastor Gilberto’s house we were surprised how young his wife Valeria still looked and how his two children, Felipe and Lara had grown since we had met them four years before. At 5:15 Valeria served us a supper of beef ribs, black beans and rice and Caju juice. After supper I reviewed the sermon I would preach this night in an evening service at Gilberto’s church, Igreja Batista de Fe (Faith Baptist Church). At dusk we all walked the three blocks to the church building in the cool evening air. Darkness came on quickly and in the clear evening sky we saw the Southern Cross and other beautiful constellations. The dull yellow stucco church auditorium was about 30 feet by 40 feet and had asbestos ceiling with florescent lights and bench pews made of some kind of dark wood. The floors were covered with 18-inch square ceramic tiles, the interior walls were plaster, the windows were open and had no screens. Bugs seem to be virtually nonexistent in the parts of Brazil that we have visited. On the interior of the side walls there were four electric fans with crooked blades inside cages. The auditorium had an electric keyboard and an overhead projector. In all too typical Brazilian style the service started twenty minutes late this night. There were more Blacks here than had been present in the church at Osasco and there were also several people of Japanese ancestry. The racial mixtures o f the people here were quite interesting. There was an American white woman who had a Chinese husband and they spoke both fluent Portuguese and English. One of the leading men in the choir was a Black whom I later learned
was seventy-eight years old. This man had a wife whose skin was yellow but she did not seem to be oriental. Because of the cool night air Calvin and I wore sweaters for the preaching service. The church choir made up of 14 people started off the service by singing a round called Allelujah O Senhor and the music had a recognizable African character though it was pleasing rather than offensive. The music director called the choir the “grupo” in Portuguese. The congregation sang #1 in the hymnbook, Antifonia, the tune of which is that of our hymn Abide With Me. What a blessing it was to sing with God’s people, even in a different language! The singing here, as in every Baptist church in Brazil was nothing short of wonderful! Next a trio of two women and a man sang “A Mighty Fortress” in Portuguese and a cappella. After this the 78-year-old Black man I have already mentioned played a solo on his coronet. He played the hymn Santo, Santo, Santo or Holy, Holy, Holy. The congregation made up of many young people some of who were seminary students listened to my preaching with rapt attention and hung around and talked about it after the service. This in spite of the fact that the noise of the many children present produced near chaos during the sermon. I was told after the service that there were many visitors present who had come from Vera Cruz and other nearby cities to hear the visiting gringo. One man and his wife were with the Child Evangelism Fellowship but they were open to the doctrines of grace which I discussed with them briefly. After visiting with the people for quite some time we walked back to the Stefano house. The night air had now changed from cool to cold but this did not prevent me from looking into the heavens again and finding and admiring the Southern Cross. We retired at 11 PM and slept under two blankets because this house, like all other houses in Brazil, was not sealed.
TUESDAY JULY 13, 2004
Our travel alarm went off at 6 this morning but we did not get up because no one else was stirring. The house was so small that we knew we would wake everyone else if we moved around so we stayed in bed till 6:50 AM when we could no longer stand it. We both had colds when we woke up. The Bible readings for today were Psalms 10-12 and Acts 17:16-34. The pigeons that roosted on the Stefano house began cooing about 6:50. While waiting for breakfast we fell into an extended discussion of tithing with brother Gilberto. This was edifying and encouraging to me since many Brazilian pastors seem almost afraid to preach on the subject. As we were soon to find out, Gilberto is solid on most Biblical subjects. Following this subject Gilberto asked me a lot of questions concerning the American War Between the States. He seemed to be well read on this and on a number of other subjects in which I too am interested. For breakfast we were served “fresh cheese” which is what Valeria called a solid cylinder of cheese from which we cut pieces for ourselves. At breakfast Gilberto asked me about the upcoming Presidential election in the USA. He was very concerned about the possibility that George Bush might be elected. Brazilians watch the TV news about things in the USA very closely. The great problem is that CNN is the only network news they can get from the US and of course CNN poisons the world against the US.
Gilberto is a man of vision in the work of the Lord. He has led his church to establish five preaching points in and around Marilia including one at Vera Cruz. He pastors the church and operates a seminary for young preachers and others. He was overseeing the construction of an educational building and new baptistery for his church as well as a building of classrooms for his seminary. After breakfast we visited one of his church’s preaching points, this one at Santo Antonio. It was clear across the Metropolitan Marilia area. Here the church had rented a nice building that had previously served as a construction materials business. It had a main store building that they used for an auditorium for services and they had an outbuilding that can be used to house visiting preachers and others as well as for Sunday School classrooms. There was a chain link fence and a ten-foot wall around the entire large lot on which these buildings stood. Driving back across Marilia to the Stefano home we skirted the city and saw some impressive cliffs and a waterfall just outside the city. We drove to the edge of these imposing cliffs and stopped to take in the view. After getting underway again I had a wonderful discussion of theology with Gilberto. I was deeply gratified to discover that this fine Christian man is a Baptist, a Calvinist and a Pre-millennial. We had a lengthy discussion of election and assurance of salvation. What a blessing to find such brothers in such far away places! Before reaching Gilberto’s house we went to a local super mercado (super market) where we purchased bottled water, guarana and alcool. At 12:48 we were still waiting for lunch to be served so I decided to review the notes for my evening lecture to the seminary students. The subject of the lecture was The Holiness of God. When Valeria finally called us to lunch we had red beans, rice, guarana and three kinds of papaya; candied, sugared and marmalade. At lunch we had a great discussion of theology and politics including things like deeper life theology, Lordship salvation, justification, sanctification, eschatology and the Old Testament sacrifices as types of Christ’s death. We also discussed various theological writers including J.L. Dagg and John Gill. After lunch Lyndy and I took photos of the Stefano house and property in order to show folks back home what a typical Brazilian home looks like. I also previewed my seminary lecture with Daniel Gardner, who would translate for me, as I would bring the lecture. After supper we went to the church building where the seminary classes were being held until the completion of the new building. The nine students presently enrolled in the seminary were all present as well as Gilberto, Calvin, Daniel, Lyndy and myself. We met in a classroom that was furnished with school desks and I sat as I taught the class. The students listened with rapt attention and Daniel Gardner did an outstanding job of translating for me. I was almost amazed at his skill in doing so, especially since this was the first time he had ever attempted such a thing. After the class session was adjourned I kidded some of the female students by asking them if they were attending seminary because they wanted to be preachers? They had great senses of humor and laughed heartily. We took a photo of the class that I shall always cherish. Again this night we walked the three blocks from the church building to the Stefano house and on the way we viewed the Southern Cross as well as the Scorpion constellation. On this walk we could also see in the far distance the lights of three different small towns whose populations,
Calvin informed us, are mostly Japanese Brazilians. The tragic thing is that there are no Baptist churches in any of these towns. At home in the small living room of the Stefano house we exchanged family photos with them and showed each other photos of our relatives. After a warm visit, knowing that tomorrow we must part we said, Boa Noite!
WEDNESDAY JULY 14, 2004
For some reason our alarm clock did not sound this morning but we awakened and arose at 6:03 nevertheless. After I shaved and we dressed and packed our bags, I read Psalms 13-16 and Acts 18. I sat in the living room of the Stefano house and updated this log while Valeria prepared a delicious breakfast. After awhile I decided to go for a walk in the early light through the neighborhood around the Stefano house. The weather was clear and pleasant today. As I walked just about a block from the house I came upon the sudden vista of a vast valley. The yellow sun just clipping the tops of the surrounding ridges made the trees and a few buildings in the shadows seem mysterious and inviting. As I walked through this particular bairro I noted that trash was everywhere. It was as when people finished with an item they just dropped it where they happened to be at the time. When I returned to the house breakfast was not yet ready so I asked Gilberto if he would take us for a sightseeing drive in the area. He gladly agreed and took Lyndy, Daniel Gardner and myself for a drive through a nearby favela. He warned us not to get out of the car in this area, not because the people there hated Americans but because most of those who lived there were thieves and they would see us as an easy target. It seems most of those who lived in this very dirty and primitive neighborhood were thieves who had records of being in trouble with the law. Just across the valley from this favela on a ridge the government of Brazil was in the process of building a new housing project. The new government houses were exactly alike and were built in rows with just maybe four feet of space between each one. They were made of red tile blocks that we would call sewer tiles back in the States. These hollow blocks were covered with concrete and stucco. Each house had two bedrooms 11 X 11 feet, a living room 12 X 10 feet, a kitchen 9 X 9 feet and a bath about 6 X 6 feet and no yards. The cost of rental according to Gilberto would be about $8.00 per month in US dollars or R$24 in Brazilian money. Gilberto told us that residents of the favela we had just passed through would be moved to this new project by the government as soon as the project was finished and the favela then torn down. At 9:02 AM after a very difficult goodbye (Tchau (Chow!) is the Brazilian way to say it) to the dear Stefano family we said Tchau and then hit the road for Presidente Prudente with Calvin at the wheel of the Kombi. On the way out of town the highway we took followed the top of one of the high ridges I had seen on my early morning walk and the countryside here was just beautiful. We passed through several valleys, one after another and in these valleys were occasional fazendas. Multitudes of Brahma cattle were seen scattered everywhere, appearing as white spots in the distance. In the distance we could see a large grove of lavender colored Ipe trees. We encountered a lot of highway construction in this area.
Vendors were everywhere along the road. Some sold sorvete or ice cream. Others sold coco gelado or cold coconut juice. We decided to stop at one such vendor and purchased doce de maracuja and doce de pacoca, the latter of which was labs of peanut candy about 2inches X 3 inches X ¾ inches. Underway again we observed many stands of bamboo and forestation became heavier all the time. The red soil here was very much like that out in Western Oklahoma back home. We observed some mud johns here. These are birds about the size of robins but of dull color. They are famous in Brazil for their rock hard and beehive shaped mud nests that are often built on telephone posts in the countryside and in the cities. One intriguing sight was a young man riding a horse and on the young man’s head was a Walkman. At 10:20 we stopped to change drivers. Calvin wanted Daniel to drive for awhile. At about this time Lyndy and I viewed the photos of the trip we had taken to this point. We did so on Daniel’s lap top computer by clicking on Slide Show. We were able to transfer these pictures from out new digital camera to Daniel’s computer. What a wonder modern technology is! At 10:32 we passed the city of Parquacu on the left. The area we were passing through now became a vast plain. It was sugar cane country but also was home to a lot of Brahma cattle. Up ahead we could soon see a new prison. It was made up of concrete walls with towers on all four corners.
There were occasional manga or mango trees with bright orange flowers on them. There were lone palms here and there in all the pastures. A prevalent vine in this area had bright orange flowers. At 11:09 AM we came to Rancheria, a small city with two high rise apartment buildings and one smokestack. There was a lot of truck traffic here. In the countryside we saw a good number of cattle egrets. At 11:39 we came to Martinopolis, a fair sized city with one high rise apartment building visible from the highway. The highways in Brazil don’t usually pass directly through the cities. One has to actually leave the highway to go into the towns. At 11:47 AM the skyline of Presidente Prudente appeared ahead and to our right. This city of 200,000 souls is where Calvin Gardner had recently moved to begin missionary work. Calvin previously helped establish a new Baptist church in Catanduva, Brazil. At 12:08 PM we arrived at the Gardner home where we were met by Peggy, Charity, Joy and Daniel Gardner as well as by missionaries Dave and Lee Ellen Zuhars. The Zuhars are supported financially by the Victory Baptist Church in Kansas City and presently are stationed in the coastal city of Fortaleza, Brazil. They had driven their car the 3,000 miles from Fortaleza to Presidente and had planned their vacation so as to meet and be with us while were visited Presidente. After hugs all around our three families enjoyed a most delightful in the large breezeway of the Gardner home. Following lunch we were given a tour of the Gardner home that I shall describe at a later point in this log. During the afternoon Daniel and I walked through the surrounding bairro looking for medicine to take back home to the States. We visited two different drogarias looking for the antibiotic Zithromax. At home it costs $56.00 for the five capsules that make up
a typical dose but here we purchased the same amount made by the same pharmaceutical company for only R$ 3.00 or $1.00 US. Upon returning to the Gardner home I sat in the breezeway and prepared for the evening service at which I was to preach. My topic was to be “Making Our Calling and Election Sure.” As I sat there reviewing and meditating a sound truck moved through the neighborhood blaring some commercial message. During this afternoon Lyndy and I sent #4 of our e-mail photo reports on our trip to our loved ones and friends back home. I also took photos of the office and printing areas of the Gardners’ new home. During this afternoon I realized that the weather in Presidente was much warmer than it had been in Osasco or Marilia. The service this night was held in the home of some of the people with whom brother Calvin had been working towards establishing a new Baptist church. Several visitors as well as those who regularly attend came out for the service. Some were from the city of Dracena and others from the city of Tres Lagoas. These were cities about fifty kilometers and sixty kilometers respectively away from Presidente. After the service we had a big supper at the Gardners’, again in the breezeway of their home.
THURSDAY JULY 15, 2004
We are finally getting back to our accustomed time for rising in the morning. Today we rose at 5:15. After reading Psalms 19-21 and Acts 19:21-41 and having morning prayer we had breakfast at 8 o’clock with our whole entourage of the Zuhars, the Gardners and the Justices. At 9:30 we left the Gardner home and drove to downtown Presidente Prudente. Those who made this trip included myself and Lyndy, Dave and Lee Ellen Zuhars, and Calvin, Charity and David Gardner. Our first stop was the local Roman Catholic Cathedral that was filled with gaudy paintings throughout. On several parts of the ceiling were paintings of the Ten Commandments. We noted that as the Catholics have long done, they omitted the third commandment of “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.” Then in order to continue to have Ten Commandments instead of nine they split the tenth into two commandments about covetousness. They had also doctored the fourth commandment to include holy days in the commandment concerning keeping the Sabbath day. For a large part of this morning we strolled through a Calcadao. A calcadao is a street that once was open to auto traffic but has now been closed to it and is restricted to pedestrian traffic only. These are popular in virtually every city we have visited in Brazil. There were many shops and the Calcadao was bustling with multitudes of shoppers. The Brazilians stared at us because as Americans with lighter skin and the colors and styles of our clothing we really did stick out. They were always friendly to us and seem to want to talk with us and just to look at us as much as possible. On the way back to the Gardner home we had lots of fun joking and laughing in the Kombi. We had a light lunch with at the Gardner home and left the house at 1:38 PM for an arranged tour of the Vitapelli leather factory on the outskirts of Presidente. One curious sight as we passed through the streets of Presidente here was a hair salon whose identifying sign out front
read Belly & Bella. In the countryside here that had cultivated fields and a few trees and there we saw once again the lovely Ipe trees. One especially beautiful version here was forty to fifty feet tall and lavender in color. The tree had no leaves and only flowers. We took several photos of it but our digital camera could not come close to capturing the beauty of its color. Vitapelli was a factory where the hides of cattle are cured and cleaned and made into large sheets of leather to be shipped on to other factories for various uses. Eighteen hundred employees work in this bustling plant. The company provided us a guided tour. Our thirty five to forty year old female guide was Valeria Garbuller, a woman of obvious Italian ancestry. Two other young women aided in guiding our tour. Both had warm and sparkling personalities. One was a young Russian woman who was the daughter of the factory owner. The process used in preparing the hides was something I had never seen. The raw hides were placed in huge tumblers to remove the hair and other necessary preparations. The odors varied widely from tolerable to terrible. At about this point of the tour Lyndy became sick and Peggy Gardner took her back to the factory reception area to wait for us at the close of the tour. One sort of sideline of products produced by this plant was what are called in the US, Doggy Toys. These are the chewy pieces of cowhide that are sold to dog owners in the shape of bones or leather strips with knots tied in them. Vitapelli makes 58,000 of these every day and all of them go to Walmart stores around the world for sale. I visited with a young female worker who told us she cuts and ties six to seven hundred Doggy Toys each day. This was a very interesting tour that ended in the factory break room where we were treated by the factory to an absolutely delicious cold glass of Maracuja juice. This was one of the most delicious drinks I had ever experienced. I asked about it and was told by a very personable young worker that it came as frozen concentrate in a plastic pouch. The kitchen staff simply added water and served. I hope to have another serving of this if and when we return to Presidente. Lyndy and Peggy rejoined us here. We were able to visit here with several factory workers as well as our guide, Valeria Garbuller. Valeria was a reporter for a local newspaper and she interviewed me for an article that was to appear the next day in her paper. The article concerned our visit to the Vitapelli factory and our reactions to the factory and the work that is done there. All the young people who served as tour guides signed the bills of baseball caps with the Vitapelli logo on them and presented them to us as mementos of our tour. All during our trip thus far we had joked about some of the interesting and exotic Portuguese words we had been hearing and seeing. One of the longest was the word almoxarifado that means tool shed or warehouse. While touring the Vitapelli plant someone looked at a sign on the side of one of the storage buildings and sure enough there was this word, almoxarifado. Our guides thought we were a little strange when we got a big laugh out of the sign. We arrived back at the Gardner home at 4:30 PM and at 5 Calvin drove David Gardner, myself to a certain bairro where we met brother Fabio. I paired off with him while Calvin paired off with David and we went into the bairro where Fabio lived for the purpose of distributing evangelistic tracts from house to house. Most all who lived in this bairro were young couples. Someone came to the door at every house where we clapped and all were polite. This was a new
bairro and between the four of us we covered the entire bairro finishing just as the sun was sinking as a red ball in the West. Arriving back at the Gardner home I checked our e-mail in Calvin Gardner’s office. At this time I wrote our children, Eddy, Leah and Rachel, and sent them some pictures taken with our digital camera. From 6:30 to 7 PM the adults except for me played board games in the breezeway of the Gardner house and then we drove across town to a place where we ate Brazilian pizza. While the others played I took another opportunity to gaze into the night sky at the Southern Cross constellation. The Pizzeria was a great experience. The pizza was cooked in an oven with a large wood fire. The cooks used a pole about eight feet in length that had a pan holder on the end to place the pizzas into the oven and then to retrieve them when it was done. The pizza was delicious though not really like the pizza in the US. It was made of many cheeses and some sausages. We washed it down with the usual Guarana drink. After supper we all walked around the two square blocks in the middle of which the pizzeria was located. We were able to see the houses and their lights at night this way. As we drove back across town to the Gardner home it was a pleasantly cool night and we saw many sidewalk cafes filled with multitudes of young adults. It was a sort of country version of Paris and its sidewalk cafes. We returned to the Gardners where our entire group held devotions and then retired at 9:52 PM.
FRIDAY JULY 16, 2004
I woke up at 5:40 AM before the alarm went off. While reading Psalms 22-24 and Acts 20:1-16 by flashlight just inside the front gate of the Gardners’ breezeway, a newsboy threw the daily newspaper over the gate. I took a walk through the neighborhood surrounding the Gardner home. The city was waking up. People were walking to work, dogs were barking and cars starting. Upon returning to the house I prepared a brief devotion for bedtime tonight. The subject was Christ on the cross in Psalms 22. It included the following thoughts: What God the Father did, What men around Him said and What Christ Himself felt.
At 6:31 light began to appear in the eastern cloudy sky. I now looked through the newspaper that had come over the gate earlier. The name of it was O Imparcial and I noted that it predicted a 79% chance of rain for today. At 8:15 Peggy Gardner served a delicious breakfast of oatmeal, tangerines, café (coffee) and large purple grapes. During the night a cool front had arrived making it quite breezy in the breezeway where we ate. During breakfast the Gardners gave presents to us and to the Zuhars. They presented Lyndy and me with miniature saddles with our names on them and a CD of Brazilian music. After breakfast Lyndy and I planned to visit some leather shops around the city looking for some rede hooks or hooks with which to fasten our hammock to the wall. The Gardners’ three dogs
began what seemed to be their regular morning bark session at this time. Both of were nursing colds but Lyndy was improving after a rough day with dysentery yesterday. Arriving in downtown Presidente we visited several leather shops, the most memorable being one called Oklahoma. We had someone take a photo of Lyndy and me standing in front of it so we could show our friends and family members back in Oklahoma some day. When I asked the owner why he called his shop Oklahoma, he couldn’t really give an intelligible reason. The closest thing to a reason I could understand was that he just liked the name. Besides looking for the rede hooks we visited these shops in search of gifts to take home to friends and loved ones. We were looking for things like pocketknives, leather belts and Brazilian tea. Somehow time got away from us and it was 1 PM before we ate lunch at Hotel Porta D’oeste, a five-star hotel in downtown Presidente Prudente. What a feast it was! The sumptuous fare included spaghetti, Brazilian café, melao drink (watermelon juice), Goiaba, pickled egg plant, boiled quail eggs, rice and zucchini, beef roll and pork roll, a bread roll, pudim and fresh cheese. It also included sweet hominy, grilled chicken breast, doce de leite, pickled melao, malageta (hot and red), and combari (a hot green pepper). The food is one of the three great things Brazil has to offer. Back at the Gardner home I decided to sit outside at the top of the stairs in the Gardner home. First I read the Sao Paulo newspaper for that day, O Estado De Sao Paulo. Then I gazed out over the southeastern part of the city of Presidente, which I could see from that vantagepoint. The weather was cloudy and humid as my eyes swept over the green fields, the buff buildings with their red tile roofs, a couple of trash fires, a sugar cane fire and the traffic on a major highway in the distance. At 6:50 Calvin and I drove back downtown to pick up a belt I had ordered custom made for me at the Oklahoma leather shop. They had promised it would be ready at 5:30 but typically they had just started work on it when we arrived at 6:30. We decided to wait while they did it suspecting that they would wait till tomorrow to finish it if we said we would come back in a couple of hours. When we finally got it the polish on it was still wet. The belt was made of leather that had been cured at the Vitapelli leather factory. It had LAURENCE burned into it in 1 ½ inch letters. When we got back to the Gardners’ house we realized that they had neglected to include the leather loop that goes near the buckle. This morning the owner of the shop had also promised to custom make a leather bull whip that I wanted to take home to Clayton (Bubby) Hill but they had not started on it so I just canceled the order in aggravation with their Brazilian ways! At 8:10 PM our whole group arrived at the home of Fabio and Selma Guedes for evening services at 8:30. I thought this was strange that we would begin services so late but time seems to mean little or nothing to Brazilians. Among those present at this service were Fabio, Marcello and Emerson, the three men who had been instrumental in getting Brother Calvin to come to Presidente to start a work for the Lord. After arriving we exchanged the usual humorous banter so characteristic of Brazilians. They love to make puns and they love to kid around. We fit right in!
We met in the seven feet wide and 20 feet long breezeway between the outer wall of the house and the wall around the property of Fabio’s home. Three incandescent bulbs provided lighting. I sat next to the wall around the outside of the property. This wall was covered with rough concrete that had been applied to cover red fired tile blocks. The night air was cool. Daniel Gardner led the singing and accompanied the singing on his guitar. He did an excellent job as we sang the Portuguese versions of Rock of Ages and Standing On the Promises. One family who attended arrived 13 minutes late which was not considered late at all by Brazilian standards but they certainly disrupted the service. David Zuhars preached in Portuguese on How To Be Saved. I had heard brother Zuhars preach in Portuguese two years previous to this when Lyndy and I had visited his work in Fortaleza on the Northeast coast of Brazil. At the close of the service brother Zuhars made special recognition of the fact that today was Calvin and Peggy Gardner’s 27th wedding anniversary. Lee Ellen Zuhars had taken up a collection yesterday and had ordered an anniversary cake custom made by the Gardners’ next door neighbor who was a baker. I was amused by the brand name on a package of napkins I saw here. It was Snob (Snow’ bee). Lyndy took a photo of me holding the package. Then we had a wonderful and lengthy visit and some great Christian fellowship with the three men, Fabio, Marcello and Emerson. They had lots of questions about divorce and remarriage about which great controversy was swirling among Independent Baptists in Brazil at the time.
SATURDAY JULY 17, 2004
During the night the bats in the attic of the Gardner home made strange squeaking noises to the accompaniment of their flapping wings. We arose at 5:42 this morning. I immediately went for a walk through the neighborhood around the Gardner home. Returning to the house, I read Psalms 25-27 and Acts 20:17-38 and then Lyndy and I packed our bags for today’s trip to the city of Sud Menucci. Upon completing this we sat around and visited with David and Daniel Gardner for awhile. Then we took several photos before leaving Presidente for good and heading for Sud. Calvin told us one last interesting fact as we left Presidente Prudente. He said that three cities in this area of Southern Brazil are named for former Presidents of the country. The names of these cities were Presidente Prudente of course, Presidente Vinceslau and Presidente Epitacio. The country outside of Presidente here was high rolling hills. It had few trees and was cattle country. A rain shower had begun when we turned North at Presidente Vinceslau at 10:58 AM. Drove for many miles without coming to any town or city. From time to time we would see a lone palm tree in the middle of a pasture. Here we also encountered whole fields of giant sunflowers that were obviously being farmed. From time to time we would come to groves of young Eucalyptus trees. Sometime around noon we came to a Lanchonete and Restaurante that had an attached filling station and here we ate a very satisfying lunch of red beans and rice with farofa (fried farinha). Of course we washed it down with guarana. The inside of the Lanchonete was spacious, plain and aging. The food was served buffet style. We took photographs of the interior of this place.
Underway again, Calvin pointed out the fact that the city of Dracena was to the right of the highway we were traveling. Several who had attended our evening services in Presidente were from this city. In this area we saw a number of large Mango groves and the Mangos were in bloom though their flowers were small and rather colorless. The few people who lived in this area were now involved in soneca or what we would call siesta time. Along the highways here we saw concrete mile markers or more properly kilometer markers and I was reminded of the stone mile markers along the ancient Roman roads that we had studied in my highs school Latin class. At 1:44 PM we passed the city of Andradina on our left. Occasionally we would see a tall jungle type of tree that had no leaves until very high up. It had the shape of what would be called a canopy tree in the Amazon area. It wasn’t long before we moved into what was sugar cane country. At 2:59 PM we arrived at Sud Menucci and went to the parsonage of the Primeira Igreja Batista Livre em Sud Mennucci or First Free Baptist Church of Sud Mennucci where our old friend from previous visits, Ademir da Silva, is pastor. The parsonage is next door to the church building and there was a flock of green parrots fussing in the trees in the back yard. Ademir and his wife Sandra had changed quite a lot since last time we had seen them which was four years ago now. They had gotten married since last time we had seen them and Sandra spent some time showing Lyndy their wedding pictures. Ademir also showed us a picture of him in his school graduation outfit that was equivalent to the robes we wear for graduation back in the States. It however included a hat that was covered with some large feathers and seemed definitely African to me. Then we sat on the porch in the cool breeze and ate home made bread and sweets. A twelve-year-old girl named Carine lived with Ademir and Sandra. This pretty little olive skinned and dark eyed Latin girl came from a broken home. We gave her an American $1.00 bill and she was thrilled. Adjourning to our bedroom, Lyndy and I prepared some gifts we had brought for our hosts. I then decided to lie down and rest and before I knew it I had unintentionally fallen asleep. The stress of the trip was not catching up with us. Lyndy had been feeling bad off and on all today and I now had a serious cold. All during the afternoon the every present sound trucks drove through the neighborhoods blaring their obnoxious commercial messages. When I awoke I began thinking about my message for the special evening service here. I had been invited as the special preacher for this occasion that was the celebration of the forty fourth anniversary of their church. Shortly before the church service Ademir gave us a tour of the new construction that was underway on the church property. We noted that all of our churches in Brazil seem to either be building new buildings or adding onto what they already have. We arrived early for the evening service and while we waited we showed Sandra some photos of our children and their families. We received an overwhelming personal welcome from each and every member of the church as he or she arrived. There was a lot of excitement that Americans were present. They all seemed genuinely interested in meeting us and hearing us talk. While we
waited for the time of the start of the service we took pictures of Ademir and Sandra in the same place in the auditorium where we had done so four years earlier. At 7:30 PM sharp the rather large church auditorium was packed out and the people were ready for the service. This was a very unusual situation for any church in Brazil. We began the service by singing #454 Vitoria Nas Lutas and then were favored with a solo by Sandra. Next we sang #456 O Estandarte. I preached Matthew 16:18 on The Perpetuity of the Church. I counted it a great honor to be invited to preach on this special occasion and there was a tremendous positive response to the message. Two men in the church told me that they had read my book on Pentecostalism that Calvin had translated into Portuguese and published. They added the comment that they had been greatly blessed by it. This was truly an honor and a blessing to me. We took a number of photos of this very happy occasion and we treasure the memories associated with them. After church we all drove to the residence of someone in the church where we were served a special refreshment called Salty Cake. It was made up of 3 layers of bread with cheeses, chicken, mayonnaise, olives, tomatoes and corn in between the layers. It was covered with as paste called pate and it had a very salty taste. There was plenty of guarana to drink. While we were eating and visiting brother Calvin told the gospel to two men including Ademir’s father. There was a large number of children and teens here and they all wanted to talk to us and even to touch us. We kept trying to leave but they wouldn’t let us, continuing to talk to us while we were attempting to get into our car. I told Lyndy as we were getting into the Kombi to leave that I felt like a rock star or movie star must feel and I didn’t know that it was a good thing for a preacher of the gospel to receive such adoration from a crowd. It was late when we finally got away. On the way to the parsonage I looked for the Southern Cross and found it still there. It was 11:35 PM when we turned the lights out after this very long day.
SUNDAY JULY 18, 2004
What tremendous hospitality for Pastor Ademir and his wife Sandra to let us sleep in their own bed while they actually slept on the floor in another room. We got ready for this Sabbath day after arising at 5:58 AM. I walked a mile with Calvin before breakfast and one interesting sight in this other wise sleepy neighborhood was a wild Arara parrot that we saw in the street. It was evidently looking through someone’s garbage can. This beautiful bird was about 24 inches long and was solid blue in color except for being yellow in the area around his very large beak. We also saw two white doves, about twice as large as pigeons back home, sitting on an overhead electric line. We had breakfast at 7:34 that consisted of Rosca Doce. At 8:33 AM on this clear and cool day we left for Catanduva. As we left I remembered a lot of things that we had experienced here four years ago. Because of the way the police watch people closely in Brazil we slowed down considerably whenever we passed a police station so that the police could see who was in the care. They always seemed very interested in who was traveling. At 8:50 we passed the large concrete letters identifying the town of Bandeirantes d’Oeste. We were traveling the same route we had taken from Sud Menucci to Catanduva four years earlier. There were more palm trees in this area than we had seen yesterday. There were many mud termite nests in the trees in this area. They all seemed to be about 10 to 12 feet above the
Salem School District Regular School Board Minutes Tuesday, February 15, 2011 – 7:00 PM Large Group Instruction Room President Shane Gerber called the meeting to order at 7:04 PM A. Members present – Lisa Hinze, Sam Corbett, Shane Gerber Administration present – Dave Milz, Peter Geissal, Eileen Bruton, Ben Walshire Corbett/Hinze motion to approve agenda – Motion carrie
17315 Studebaker Rd, Ste 110 Cerritos, CA, 90703 INTENSIVE CARE EXAMINATION (CRITICAL CARE) Date: _______________ Score __________________ 1. Michael is a 19 year old college student. Last week he suffered an MI. he was pledging to a fraternity and as part of the hazing ritual, he was required to consume large amount of alcohol. He passed out and the other members left him on the lawn