Judging from just the name, I had pretty high expectations. First, we stopped in Pequi to cut the 7 hour drive by two hours and so James could teach at the ministry school there. The kids there are great and they’re about to finish their studies that have been a year in the making. A girl was telling me over what they call “Burger King” (Pequi is a small town), that the city of Pequi doesn’t have a college because the politicians in the town have such a desire for power that they won’t allow anyone to be educated in the town, so they can keep their power.
We arrive in Uberlândia and it’s Ubertastic. We pass Uberestaurants and Uberpeople on the way to the four-star UberHotel, which was a great blessing to us especially considering our hosts had never met us before. We have some time to relax and get a bite to eat then we’re off to the church. A sort of conference was going on there for three days about worship and James was asked to speak and worship for all three with me as his drummer. The first night we worshiped while another guy spoke about how we think God owes us something when he has already done enough for us. This is all true though he presented it by almost yelling at the congregation from a pedestal. People who want to express love should never preach like they’re angry. I think it would express the love of Christ by speaking to the crowd like they were talking with one person face-to-face, instead of insulting the crowd. We head back to the hotel and get glorious Brazilian pizza delivery to our room.
The next day James teaches for 4 hours with only a small break in the middle. After, James tells the people who were impacted by what he said to stay and talk with each other. Before we left we heard people weeping. I don’t think that change or sense of community occurs when we are in seats listening to a sermon. It happens when people gather and converse in the name of Jesus. We rest for a little at the hotel and come back a little less than enthused because we were so tired. We start to worship through music and we didn’t stop for two hours. James and I both sense that people are warming up to worshipful hearts. We leave with more energy and excitement than when we came.
After worship, we are taken to a very expensive restaurant. The hospitality of Brazilian culture and the influence of Christ in their lives continues to surprise me.
Another day of teaching and worship goes by. At the end, so many people were commenting about how God had spoken into their lives over the past few days. I don’t think i’ve ever actually been able to admit full-heartedly that God is good until now. i always knew that he is, but I didn’t fully believed it was true. Someone wanted to bless me and gave me a new pair of shoes. I am so grateful because I know how hard it is to get a pair my size in Brazil.
I am more thankful everyday that God called me to Brazil and that I took this step out in faith because he is teaching me new things everyday.
In a half an hour I am taking another trip to Macapa, Amapa with James to an english school where I will again play drums and help Brazilians practice speaking english. The city is practically on the equator so it will be hot.