After lunch, we got to visit the local Baptist school that teaches preschool through 12th grade. The principal gave us a tour of the school and shared with us some of the challenges she faces in her role. Though the curriculum is governed by the state's accreditation standards, she wants to ensure that Christian principles are being integrated in the classroom. She also came into her position with the school in debt and declining. Since she has been there (as a volunteer), enrollment has been increasing, and they are working themselves out of their deficit. We had the opportunity to pray with her, for the school, and its witness in the city!
We then walked across the street to her husband's office where he is the director of the state's Baptist convention. He welcomed us to their headquarters and shared with us how he is supportive of Living Bread's work here and why he is on board with our mission.
After visiting these folks and encouraging their work and ministries, we made our way to Planalto, another community where Living Bread has a church plant. Our pastor there Ubiratan and his wife Cleide faithfully serve their church family, made up mostly of children and teenagers. We walked through a slum in this area where one of the young girls lives. Vitória is the only one in this specific area that attends the church, and she is a beautiful witness for the Lord! We laughed and played with her neighbors and prayed with her for the community.
The evening held a midweek service at Planalto's church. The youth led the worship as they are learning to fill the different roles of the church. Pastor Magioli surprised me by asking me to share with the group tonight! (Enjoy the play by play of Kristi's facial expression while speaking!) This church serves a community in need of role models and a godly example. There are few (if any) adult men who are part of this church other than Pastor Ubiratan. The boys and youth look to him for so much, and we are glad to have this ministry in place!
Today is a little heavy on the pictures, but there were too many good ones to pass up!
|Gotta get some Brasil soccer gear!|
|Touring the school|
|Visiting the Baptist convention office|
|The building where our church in Planalto is currently meeting|
|The slum where one of the girls from the church Vitória lives|
|The children in these places are simply beautiful.|
|Estela didn't waste any time making new friends!|
|A litte futebol!|
|One of the neighborhood boys, Robson|
|Bárbara with Vitória, one of the member's of Planalto's youth group|
|Neighborhood kids getting home from school|
|This is Leitiane and Nattah, a young couple from the church. Leitiane is battling cancer, and Nattah is a recent convert. He was baptized on Saturday night at Vila Safira's new building's inaugural service.|
|Pastor Ubiratan, his wife Cleide, and their son Haniel|
|Love days that end like this! Sweet baby Anthony slept in my arms through much of the evening's service.|
|Apparently, I don't make normal faces when I talk. Caption contest anyone?|