July 25, 2004

Construction Team Arrives in Rio

Copacabana ViewThe trip to Rio was smooth... no missed connections or hassles through customs. The trip over gave our team an opportunity to get to know one another and even have some conversations with some new friends. IMB missionaries Ray and Sharon met us at the airport and took us to our hotel. The top of the hotel has a beautiful view of the Copacabana beach. After an orientation session, we went to visit Denise, the Blough's Brazilian daughter, to have a cook out ("churrascaria") and celebrate her engagement that evening.

On Sunday (today), we went to check out the place where we begin building a church tomorrow. They have already laid down a foundation for us to get started. We then went to the mother church that is planting the congregation whose structure we are building. I had an opportunity to preach to this congregation through an interpreter.

After church, we arrived back at the hotel, and many of the team went to the "hippie fair," a large outdoor market. Tonight we are going to attend the worship service at the church the Brentwood team constructed last year.

Please pray for us as we begin work tomorrow (Monday). The area where we will be working is a favela, where you see lots of poverty. Pray for our ability to finish the building so that it can be ready for the medical team that arrives next week. Also, today we went to an evangelism orientation, and most of the team will have some opportunities to share the gospel. The Brazillians in our area are very open to talking about the gospel and are generally very receptive. Pray that God would open the hearts of those He is calling to faith and repentence. Pray for the church that will be housed in the building after the medical team leaves. They have already called their pastor; his name is Vladimir. Pray that many of the people in "Rios das Pedras" (name of this area) will be impacted by the ministry of this church.

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