São Paulo, Brazil

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We are staying with Graham and Rene Foran. They have been here in Brazil for 28 years and have planted 6 churches. Their daughter, Jenny, worked for us at The Wilds several summers ago. Rodrigo is the national pastor who is in charge of the camp. He attended The Wilds staff training a few years ago.

The camp sits up high in the middle of an area of beautiful rolling hills. The vegetation here is lush and deep green. There is a perfectly sized ball field with futbol (soccer) goals and another separate volleyball field.

We’ve been able to teach the Brazilians four games so far: Tag a Lot, Steal the Bacon, 3 Ball, and Big Ball Volleyball. They absolutely love playing these games! After we finish teaching them a game, and finish playing a round or two, they beg to play more! I’ve enjoyed being able to play a few of the games with them. The missionaries here are treating us like royalty. They are always ready to offer good drinking water, Guarana- one of the soft drinks here in Brazil, or frozen brownie. The weather is very warm! We are meeting in a building with a metal roof, so you can imagine how hot it can be in the afternoons after the sun has been beating down on it for hours. Yesterday, we had quite the thunderstorm in the early evening, and things cooled down nicely after the rain.

Report by Tiffany Herbster

We have 40 campers and Rodrigo estimates that 1/3 are unsaved. Tiffany, Tom, Jacob and I have already thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the campers. I think American football has been a hit here in Brazil and they love playing catch with us and learning how to throw the football. We had a short time of playing soccer yesterday until I kicked the ball into the woods behind the goal. I felt really badly until I saw them doing the same thing a few minutes later. Fooseball, ping pong, pool, Connect Four and Dutch Blitz are all a part of their free time enjoyment.

We played Big Ball with them for the first game. It just wouldn’t have seemed right to start camp with anything else. 🙂 After the game, they had their first all-team cheering competition. It was highly entertaining – complete with costumes, choreography, and noise makers (empty 2 liter bottles being crashed together and an upside down barrel for a drum).

We had a good service last night after the half hour rain shower interruption. The sky started darkening around service time and a few raindrops could be heard while I was singing a solo for them. But by the time of the next song, the rain was so loud on the metal roof that we had to stop the service. The hail and the heavy rain made continuing on, pointless. We gave them free time until it stopped and then proceeded with the service. I preached from Psalm 34:8 on the goodness of God. At the end of the message I gave my personal testimony of seeing God’s goodness in the difficulty of Julie’s cancer and death. Tiffany commented on how especially quiet it was during that part of the message. After the service I had a chance to speak with a 13 year old girl, named Sara, 🙂 who had lost her dad to cancer. She left the service crying. We had a good talk and I told her my Sarah would remember to pray for this Sara!

The food has been delicious. I love the “every meal has rice and beans” dish. I think the cooks like having me around because I eat so much. It has been a blessing to have the rest of the team here. Tom and Jacob (2 of our camp interns from The Wilds) have done a great job interacting with the staff. They have also been in charge of setting up the games each day. Tonight they will have a key part in Funtime. Everyone has enjoyed having Tiffany here. She has had a great ministry with many of the ladies and several of the small children.

Report by Matt Herbster

Thursday was a full day of activity. We played Three Ball and Big Ball Volleyball for the activities. All of the electricity was off Thursday night so we postponed the scheduled Funtime. Yesterday (Friday) we played a version of “Steal the Bacon” in the morning and Tagalot for the evening game. As in America, it was the favorite game of the week. Tiffany and I were able to sing in Portuguese with the staff choir. We sang “Not I But Christ.” (I’m sure our Portuguese was perfect! Ha!) We also sang a duet in English.

Praise the Lord we know of 2 who were saved in the service. We had been praying specifically for Bria and Morrisimo. In God’s plan, Tiffany and I got to spend a lot of time talking with Bria yesterday afternoon and playing volleyball with Morrisimo.

Report by Matt Herbster

We finished up camp on Saturday morning. Tom and Jacob headed back to the States on Sunday. Tiffany and I headed to speak at the family retreat at Pastor Shawn’s church.

Shawn and Donna Alexander (father of The Wilds’ staff member, Shawn Alexander) have been in Brazil for almost 27 years. They came shortly after his brother Ed had come to Brazil. These two couples worked together in planting churches up until a few years ago when Ed moved south to become the director of the Bible college/seminary there in Brazil. I have known of these two families since I was a boy. I was extremely excited to be able to spend time with Shawn and Donna.

We arrived at the retreat on Saturday afternoon around 2:30 and I immediately spoke to the group. Most of the people in attendance had been saved within the last two years. This church plant has only been around for two years. There were a few people at the retreat who were not saved as of yet. At the end of the last session, Pastor Shawn asked for testimonies. Donna (Shawn’s wife) translated for us and we heard things like:

  • “I have been around religion for many years and I always heard man’s opinions. It was good hear things straight from the Bible this weekend.”
  • “I arrived just in time for the last service and the message was exactly what I needed to hear.”
  • “I think the speaker was talking directly to me all weekend. He seems to have known every area in which I needed to be challenged.”
  • “I tend to think about all the things that need to change in my wife’s life, but I was convicted this weekend that it needs to start in my life. I need to be the leader!”

Report by Matt Herbster

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