Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day 4 in Rio

Yesterday was our first day at the clinic. I think it was met with a lot of excitement and ancticipation. Afterall, this is what we came to do.

The night before, Raja and Sharon had tried to prepare us as much as possible for today, telling us war stories that they'd collected over the years, so we'd know what to expect.

There are a lot of cases of worms here because the water is so bad. Sharon was sharing one story, and sweet Brenda asked, "Do you have gloves for me to wear?" We all got a good laugh. "Brenda, you're in optometry, you don't have anything to worry about!"

We have to carry water bottles wherever we go. In fact, in the morning, when we brush our teeth, we use bottled water. You really do start to get an appreciation for what we have in the States.

We got up early to pack the bus and head out. We had to be in the conference room by 6:45am. It's 2 ours earlier, here than it is in Tennessee. You can do the math (4:45am). Even though it's early, I can tell my body has already started to adjust.

They were putting the sign up on the front of our bus, outside the church, letting people know we're here.

This is the front of the church, where we're serving. Almost all the buildings around here are made out of concrete. But, they made the church out of wood to help draw attention to it and set it apart.

When we got there, we unpacked the bus and started setting up our stations and praying with our groups.

The evangelism team, praying before we got started.

Raja and Royce talking in the center of our clinic area.

Kara and Beth getting the dental area set up

Paul getting the pediatric area set up

Part of the eye team (L to R) Brenda, Royce, and Alice

Cassie and Will trying to the hang of the blood pressure machines. (It's OK, they're already dating.)

Kelly and I

(L to R) Cassie and Alice. Alice always has fun glasses for us to wear each day.

(L to R) Katy, Kevin, and Betty

(L to R) Will, me, Cassie, Alice, Brenda, and Royce

The first lady that we saw was a manicuriest and needed reading glasses to be able to be able to do her job. When we handed her the pair of glasses, she started crying. It's amazing that something so small, something that cost us less than $5 in the States, would bring so much joy to her.

We also saw a lady yesterday that made a decision while she was sitting with us to become a believer. I was sitting with my dear friend Alice and she began to share with her: "Do you know that God has a special plan for your life, but that sin, the bad things we decide to do seperate us from God. There's nothing we can do to be good or change that. But, God, in His goodness, sent his Son to die on the Cross to save you and me. He's restored that relationship." The lady simply asked, "What does God want from me?" "Just to believe." Together we all prayed with her.

Even thinking back now, I'm not sure I completely understand the magnitude of that moment...and maybe I never will, at least this side of heaven. But, in one moment, this woman's entire enternity was changed.

Before we left, Kevin (one of the doctors) said one of the things he looks forward to the most in heaven is seeing someone from Brazil that he met, someone whose life is changed that he never even knew about.

I wonder how many people we'll meet this week that will fall into that category. In our evangelism training, we were told that a person usually has to hear the gospel 5-7 times before they will make a decision. When I meet with someone, I never know where I fall on that chain. I could be the 1st or the 7th. This week, there will be sowing, but there will also be planting. I just have to trust the Holy Spirit because it's definitely not anything I could have done by myself or in my own power!

Even though I say all that, one of the things that I love about this trip is that it has never been about the numbers. The most important person is the person right in front of you. And for a lot of them, it means the world to them to just sit and listen to what they have to say. The fact, that we traveled all the way from the United States to help them, amazes them.

When we left yesterday, we were all exhausted. It's so hot here! It's hard to tell the exact temperature since it's all in Celcius. But, we think it got up in the 90s, on top of the equator sun and humidity. -- And to think this is part of their winter!

So, as you continue to pray for us, pray for our stamina. That we'll have strength and energy throughout the say, that we'll be able to stay dehydrated and well nourished in a climate that we're not used to.


ML said...

Whether you're the one that plants the seed or the 7th on the chain, God has a purpose for you!

May the Lord bless and protect all of you; may His face radiate with joy because of you; may He be gracious to you, show everyone His favor, and give all His peace.

Kaylan said...

Awww...love seeing these pics and what you guys are doing. Miss being with you this year! Love you much! Praying you through...

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