Thursday, August 13, 2009

Communities in Rio and Teresopolis

During our training in the state of Rio, we had three different community experiences. Two different communities in Teresopolis, and a trip to the slums in the city of Rio.

Community #1 in Teresopolis
  • Greeted by a few a few families, went into a the Igreja Metodista (Methodist Church), sat in the pews, introduced ourselves, and prayed.
  • Walked around the community--the church truly was part of the community, you could walk to each members home, and observed some neat things. The children were everybody's children. There was no specific Nanny or Mother watching them, whoever was available to "take care" of the children did so.
  • I saw kids playing soccer in the neighborhood street, as there are no yards. The houses are very open, although gated at the windows. I saw tile on the outside of the homes, the houses did have electricity, front porches with cars parked on them.
  • Happy people taking care of life. They seemed content with life. :) I liked this aspect.
  • At the home we went to, we were given water and time to pray with the family.
  • The church itself was small, although had beautiful hardwood pews, an altar, and delicately created decoration made from tissue paper--it was a world map, and flags from all over the world.
  • At the church we had a time of praise and worship, a sermonette, and of course fellowship. Brazilians like to feed you. There were homemade doughnut holes, cake rolls, cheese/ham/bread, chocolate cake, and boiled milk and peanuts. Guess what I did not eat?! :)
  • Before I left I was given a gift of a cross necklace from a congregant. It is very delicate.

Community #2 Slums in Rio
  • Entered a bus stop area, I almost didn't notice some homeless people, lying under blankets on the side of the street--made me think of driving to First Presbyterian, and I felt kind of at home.
  • Where we first entered the market area, was a long dirty crowded market street. People were openly selling crack and other drugs, the children were so young, and already addicted! The streets were so tight, I thought we would hit people time and time again, but we never did, three cheers for the van driver! :)
  • The people in the streets had M-16's, machetes, and other weapons. I did not feel threatened though. They weren't interested in me.
  • We went into an Igreja Metodista. From the outside it looked like every other building, bared up and tall.
  • Inside were some lovely clean washrooms, a church decorated with pictures, hand drawn on hospital gown type material--no stained glass, and some wooden pews. On the second floor was childcare/tutoring rooms, and on the third floor, youth area/kitchen. The way everything was bared up was different to me.
  • The large group of us, broke up into smaller groups, to walk around the community. Our "tour guide" (for lack of better term) grew up in that slum. My group stopped and prayed for an older single woman, and then we went to another house, and prayed for a husband and wife.
  • After coming back to the church, we were served the most amazing Brazilian food--I have no clue what it was, but it was awesome--garlic, onion, salt, pepper, vinegar, chicken, delicious!

Community #2 in Teresopolis
  • My group went to a primarily agricultural area. We waited at a church, but never went inside. What fascinated me most about this church was that there was a 7-11 type store below the church, and the church was on the second floor.
  • Most of our time was spent walking the community--it was beautiful, I took lots of pictures of gorgeous flowers! It was obvious that the people took pride in their area, as it was very clean.
  • There was a moutain that I took a picture of, it has a woman's face...can you see it? It took me about 3 days before I could!
  • We walked a good three miles on that afternoon--oh and we even passed a golf course. Here's a picture with the Bishop and I at the course. I did not golf, we just walked and took a rest there.
  • We did stop at one home and prayed for a family--the husband is a believer, the wife is not, one of the daughters goes to the Methodist church, another daughter to a different denomination. A great afternoon!

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