Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day 7 in Rio

Today was one of the longest days of clinic. It's a national holiday in Rio and so we expected to have more people here than we have all week, just because people would have time to come by.

When we got to clinic, there was a line of people waiting our arrival.

People waiting to see us in the church.

One of the most important (and influential) things we've done for this trip is ask specific people to be our prayer partners. They have faithfully prayed for us before and during this trip, as well as, written us letters of encouragement for us to open each morning.

Alice, has been so gracious to coordinate all the mail, making sure every day is accounted for. Each morning, when we get on the bus, she faithfully comes around, delivering our mail. This is one of my favorite parts of the day.

I joke that I need her to do this every day of my life. But, there is truth there. We all need people in our lives that will encourage us and let us know they have our back, even if we are thousands of miles away.

I have received letters from so many friends where I've been able to share their words of wisdom with someone else.

My sister wrote me a letter for the first day of clinic:

When I went to Mexico, I was ocvercome with a fear of what I should say and if it would be good enough to make an impact on anything. Thankfully, God led me to 1 Corinthians 2:1-4 which says, "And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdeom as I proclaimed to you in the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a deomonstration of the Sprit's power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power."

My fiance wrote me a letter for our first day in Rio. He's directing a camp all summer and needed to cast vision for his staff. He shared with me what he was planning on telling them. I in turn, shared it with our team, allowing it to cast vision for our whole week.

For those of you that are in the States, reading the blog, that wrote letters or offered prayers on our behalf, know that they were felt and much appreciated. Your efforts were multiplied here. Prayer makes all the difference.

This morning, I started off in the optometry area. The evangelism team was so on top of it that every person I saw had already made a decision. I joke that they took all the fun away, but that's only half true. I got to celebrate with them! I would ask them about their decision and their faces would light up. Then, I would have the priviledge of affirming them, "This is the best decision that you will ever make."

I told you, everyone except for one. This one had been there the day before. I was working with a new translator and she remembered him from the day before. He had come in drunk and wanting glasses for distance. We don't carry glasses for distance, but could help him with reading glasses. He came back today, wanting those reading glasses. We finally got him fitted. But, I didn't want him to leave a second time, without making a decision. I asked him, "Can I tell you about my Jesus?" "Si." I began to share the Plan of Salvation. I got to the end, "Would you like to invite Jesus into your heart?" "Si." Then, together we prayed. I love being able to help with not only a physical need, but a spiritual need as well. I love being able to see the light come on in their eyes as they begin to experience the joy in knowing. Most of these people, I will never see again in my life. But, I can tell them with confidence, "I'll see you again in heaven."

Raja praying with her interpreter and a patient.

After lunch, some would sit around and sing. Here is Junior leading everyone in Lord, I Lift Your Name on High

Kathy, Janel, and Joan discussing.

Pastor Wellington's son, blowing bubbles.

Beth with interpeters Andre and Luan.

A dance party in the pharmacy (a common occurence)

We had some rainy weather later in the week, so the church volunteers laid down wooden planks and gravel to keep people from sliding in the mud.

Kelly painting Victoria's fingernails.

Cassie getting her fingernails painted.

Roger taking blood pressure.

The people here are so receptive. They have so little and don't have much to live for. But, through Christ, I'm able to share Hope with them.

It's just something to think about when I get back to the States. Here are people that I sit with for maybe 15 minutes and am able to share the most important part of my life with them: my faith. A lot of them are open and willing to make decisions. For those that do, I'll get to spend eternity with in Heaven. But, when I'm in the States there's not that same sense of urgency to share. My American friends I have far more in common with. I share pieces of my everyday life with them and I know far better than those that I meet here, and yet I remain silent. Why is that so?


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