Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Church ~ Christ's Bride

This was the theme for a three day conference celebrating eight years of existence for the church in Vargem Bonita, Minas Gerais.  One state north of us is the beautiful state of Minas Gerais where our dear friends Pastor Ricardo and Helena moved in January.

BJ was the speaker for the conference and our family tagged along to "matar saudades" (I've yet to find an american phrase that carries the same meaning, but literally it means to kill the feelings of 'I miss you'). 

The church is located in a small town of 2,000 people.  The headwaters of the San Francisco River are there.  Years ago the area was a huge diamond ranch.  So many people were panning for diamonds in the river they were changing the course of the river, so the government shut down the diamond operation.  Now it is illegal to pan for diamonds in that river. 

From there we traveled home and two days later headed to the far north, Belem (Bethlehem) in the state of Para.  This state is famous for Brazil Nuts and we were able to see many of the large, towering trees.  The cool, green mountains of Minas Gerais behind us, we entered the hot and steamy jungle where literally cities have been carved out of the mass of green jungle.

We visited the site of a new church plant to be started this coming year and met many Brazilian pastors.  It was exciting to see how the gospel has spread through that area and hear the burden the Brazilian pastors and missionaries have for their own people.

                                   These guys were our morning wake up call, bilingual parrots!