The house we are living in is on the edge of Santarém in a bairro (neighborhood) called Jutaí (zhu-tie-EE, my pronunciation, not anything officially grammatically correct). Over the past few months we’ve been able to get to know many of the kids that live here. We’ve had a few evangelistic, cell-group type get togethers at our house, and Matt and our Brazilian friend Carlos regularly spend a few hours on Saturday afternoons doing discipleship and also house visits to develop relationships and share about Jesus.
Carlos is kind of like a Brazilian version of Matt–a huge heart for the lost, many ideas…and his wife says that people have a hard time knowing whether he’s serious or kidding….and the vast majority of the time they are both joking around about something! Carlos came into our lives as the man who painted our house. He told us the other night, that the first day he came to our house he was waiting for the owner to arrive and show him around. As he sat in the front of the house, he began to pray for the family that would move here (us). He had no idea we were American missionaries. He prayed God would bless this family, give them a heart to serve and love Him, bless them with health, strength, safety, etc. We could tell that he was really touched as he reflected back on that day and how God has worked it out that now he is able to go with Matt and evangelize in this community.
So the idea we put into practice most recently was to put on a special soccer game for the kids in this bairro. It was SO fun! The boys and girls played separately, and because there were so few girls, a few moms played–including me. My first soccer game–ever. 😉 I even kicked the ball once, although I didn’t score any goals. A lot of running…in sand…great exercise! After almost 2 hours of alternating between the boys and girls playing/sweating/getting sandy/having a ball, the game went to penalties and a winner was declared. We were able to get a special edition soccer ball on promotion right after the World Cup ended, and Carlos had a friend who donated 30-2L bottles of pop, and another who donated 50 pão frances (the bread that is eaten daily here). His wife made picadinho (like sloppy joes) and we served them sandwiches and pop after the game. Matt & I also shared a little about how/why we felt God brought us here.
Below, Carlos is in the yellow hat.
In the picture below, the man in the blue shirt to the right is Cle, a cell group leader here in Jutaí.
Luke making a new friend.