I’m new to blogging but have always wanted to give it a try, so bear with me and here goes..!
Rosy, Sophie and I have safely landed and are beginning to settle in here in Olinda, Brazil. Thanks to all who have prayed for our journey out here, it went very quickly with next to no hiccups – our delayed flight from Gatwick made up an hour’s worth of time! Andy picked us up in the really cool ReVive VW camper, which I loved!
The ReVive yard and VW camper!
My first impression of the house is that it is a place of peace for girls that have come from less than peaceful circumstances. Not only that but it is providing a place of fun, laughter, safety and education. Most importantly, the girls have a loving family here that most of them do not have outside of the house, and we feel very privileged to be invited to be part of it. We are still learning about each of the girls’ stories but I hope to write more about each of them in following posts. Their individual personalities are all shining through even after two days: they are all funny, caring and energetic girls!
The practicalities of the house:
Most days start at 7am – the girls must be ready and eat breakfast by 8am. Then they head off to school at different times and for varying lengths. This means we have time throughout the day to build relationships with each of them in smaller groups. I hope to learn more about the girls as time goes on; at present they are involved with social workers, psychologists and nutritionists as well as all the staff at ReVive so some of their time is spent with each worker. Over the past few days we have just been getting used to the routines and timings – although these are loose terms here in Brazil! I am learning to go with the flow and embrace the relaxed attitude. We have been able to run a few activities and games this morning, and have spent some time painting flags and t shirts ready for the the ReaViva Olympic games which we will run next week, complete with closing ceremony!
One of the girls holding her Olympic flag. Faces are blurred to protect their safety.
Andy has also suggested that a lot of painting can be completed whilst we are here! The builders are just finishing up in the new extension, which gives us brand new walls to paint along with repainting the ones that have been messed up in the process. No doubt we will be kept busy with this along with running activities for the girls!
Meals are simple but so far have tasted good. Unusually Brazilians eat their main meal at lunch which is followed by a nap, and it usually consists of rice, beans and an unnamed meat. Carbs to the max, but lots of fruit has been offered to balance it out!
Our annex block is doing the job nicely, we each have a little bed and a mosquito net. The bathroom is separated by a plastic corrugated door so privacy is out the window but we are embracing it! There is an electric fence on top of the wall of the property and 2 lovely guys called Leto and Salamão take turns to sleep in a room below us every night as security for us and the girls, so we feel very safe. Andy informed us that sadly the crime rate in the area has risen so security is becoming increasingly important. On an evening the girls either attend a devotional or ‘thought for the day’ or have time to rest. Last night we ran this time and it evoked lots of conversation.
Our annex block and wash area!
Weather wise it has been lovely and hot with only one rainy night- the nights aren’t so hot that we can’t sleep but there isn’t any need for a blanket and we have a fan blowing all night. Mosquitos have so far mostly stayed away too. I love the temperature and the way of life here but this is only winter!
The girls learn about types of violence from the ReVive psychologist.
I am slowly but surely learning to speak the Portuguese language! Watch this space… I aim to be fluent before I leave!
Lots more updates to come – hopefully they will be slightly more planned and slightly shorter, now that we have settled in and have a vague timetable.
For those who pray:
- Please give thanks for our journey over going smoothly and for being made to feel so welcome by everyone here.
- Give thanks for the extension which looks fantastic and is coming along nicely.
- Give thanks and continue to pray for rest and no illness as we adjust to the new time difference and food.
- Give thanks for opportunities to lead devotionals with the girls and pray for this time to be fruitful and for us as we lead it and the Sunday service, looking at Ruth and James.
- Pray for us to build good relationships with the girls and with staff.
- Pray for the girls to have fun in the time we spend with them!
- Give thanks and continue to pray for our safety in the project and when we head out.
- Please pray for God to provide financially as ReVive has suffered due to the post-Brexit pound drop.