Monday, 9 April 2012

Home again home again gigidy-gig

Wow, how hard it is to believe that what was anticipated for so long is over already. It seems impossible to reflect back on our time without wanting to be back in Brazil already.
We are able to look back on our 2 work weeks and know that God is glorified through the work he allowed us to do. He made us incredibly productive in our time there shown by the work that we got done. We can also be hopeful of the future of the rehabilitation center as leaders at CVM aim to re-open as soon as possible so that more men and boys can be healed from their addictions and get to know God in the process. We can look at our 1 week of debrief time and see how a week of reflection, continued growth individually, spiritually and as a team, exploring God's creation, and the cultural experiences we were blessed with, are nothing less then necessary to finish off our 3 weeks.
With that said here are just a few of many pictures from our last week...

Not sure what that stats are in Canada but in Brazil 70% of the countries money is spent by 10% of the population, guessing these houses belong to some of those in that 10%.

A few pictures that do not do justice to the amazing beauty of God's creation.

We were able to spend quality time as a team and grow in our relationships with each other. Here Karen and Shirley do more walking and talking.

Meal times are always a good time of fellowship and a chance to experience more Brazilian culture through enjoying their food.

One particular experience included taking a small boat as a ferry across a river just off the ocean where the locals do whats called dolphin fishing. No they do not fish for dolphins. But the dolphins do swim up from the ocean and push the fish towards the fisherman making their job easier. Above Lt to Rt: Shirley, Jeanette, Karen and Ann Below Lt to Rt: Wilf, Lloyd and Dwight

Wilf on a very mini challenge course

Anita and Jeff

Part of experiencing Brazil was driving on their roads in the mountains, they were pretty insane with intense hair pin turns and road side drop offs. Here you can see (look closely) some of the team standing on multiple layers on the road down the steep side of a mountian.

Overall our 3 weeks was amazing, a time of growth, learning, building both in relationships and on the project at hand, hard work, sweat, tears, joys, and above all filled with God's love.
To God be the Glory!!!!

Friday, 6 April 2012

almost home already.

First off, apologies for the lack of posts over the last week. Our internet access was sometimes yes and sometimes no meaning blog posts did not happen, so apologies again.

The good news is that we had a great and safe week. Our weather was fabulous and travels uneventful. We are back safe and sound in Florianopolis for the night before we have an early start traveling back to Canada tomorrow.
Please pray for safe travels, here is our itinerary for those interested:
Departing Florianopolis at 9:35 AM and arriving in Sao Paulo at 10:55 AM
After a 9 hour lay over, departing Sao Paulo at 8:05 PM and arriving in Toronto at 5:40 AM Sunday morning.
Then departing Toronto at 8:00 AM and arriving at our final destination of Edmonton at 10:05 AM after 24 and a half hours of travel time, whoot, whoot.....
Just a little taste of our last week before saying good night for this post, please make sure you do check the blog again early next week as I promise to post a few more pictures from our last week. Thanks for following and all your support.

Jeanette, Wilf, and Lloyd on our first day of travel at one of many beach stops.

Ann, Karen and Shirley doing some walking and talking.


These 3 pictures are only from our first 2 days and just a little taste of the beauty we saw of God's creation.
To God be the Glory!

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Now what...

Today was our first debriefing or R&R day. We spent the day in Florianopolis, went to a market this morning and then to the highest point in Florianopolis. Then some down time this afternoon before we enjoyed a small supper around the pool here at the hotel together. Just a couple pictures from our day.

Another team picture
Lt to Rt: Lloyd, Jeanette, Rudy, Shirley, Karen, Wilf, Dwight, Ann, Anita, Jeff

Our group eating lunch where most of us ate plenty of shrimp and more shrimp.

Tomorrow we leave by bus for Rosa Beach and will be staying at the Eco Resort- Beach Village Vida Sol E Mar. There should be internet access through the rest of our week yet no garuntee therefor no garuntee there will be a daily blog. Please do keep checking as I will do my best to keep posting a few pictures every day.
Please pray for safe travels and health. Thanks to all our blog followers for your prayers and support.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Our last work day.

What a day... lots to share so be prepared for more reading then normal.

We started our day as we often do in a short time of devotions before we leave for the work site. Byron and Julie joined us one last time before seperating ways for the rest of our time here in Brazil.

Rudy, Dwight, Julie and Byron

Getting cozy, Lloyd, Jeff, and Anita

This morning we talked about hope. As mentioned in an earlier post it can be disheartening going to the rehab center every day with no residents there. So much time and money has been put into the center and though it may seem hopeless with the future of the center unknown we know that if we put our hope in God nothing is in vain and He will use whatever we give Him. We gave Him our time and the center with hopes it will continue to be used to further His kingdom.
This afternoon 4 of us met with Artur (director at CVM) and Roberto (Financial administrator at CVM) to hear more on the future and goals of the rehabilitation center. We were excited to hear that CVM has full intentions to reopen the rehab center as soon as they have fulfilled all the requirements made by the government. These include the previously mentioned fire prevention and laundry facility. They are also in the process of requesting if staff from CVM's orphanage can be shared with the rehab center cutting daily expenses drastically for both facilities. They have hopes this work will be complete in 6-9 weeks and then they look for staff and begin the process of reopening. They would start with a smaller number of residents as staffing is their largest cost. Once running they can reappply for government funding to help with monthly expenses. Artur has assured to keep FWC informed on costs and status of these requirements as they progress. Exciting to hear and just the boost the team needed to hear as we finished of our 2 weeks of work.
Back to our work for the day...

Rudy (above) Shirley (below) and Karen got all the painting done on the 2nd dormitory using all sorts of methods to reach as high as possible. Just as a side note, Rudy did make yet another trip to the Dentist's office this afternoon. We are hoping this will be the last time till he can see his dentist at home.


Dwight (above), Jeff and Anita kept mortaring the plumbing pipes in place.

And finally some plastering started, Anjo (above, CVM's hired handiman) showing us how it is done and Jeff (below) giving it a try. There is an art to it that requires some practice.

Lloyd (above) and Wilf (below) spent the morning fixing the float on the holding tank that supplies water to the whole center. After several ladder climbs the problem was fixed.

You probably noticed some missing people in the pictures yet again, it was Ann's turn to stay back at the hotel as she is fighting a cold and needed a day to rest and get better. She did say she is feeling much better this evening. Jeanette come out to the site today, yet still struggling with back pain she was unable to do any heavy work. She became the designated photo taker for the day and did a fabulous job.
We had an amazing feast for lunch with everyone together, the volunteers and staff at CVM who have worked along side of us, as well as Ron and Alana, George (our bus driver) and a couple special guests, Volnei and his girlfriend Priscilla.
Two years ago Volnei was a resident at the rehab center and at lunch we got to hear a bit of his testimony. Before he came to the center his life was on the wrong track. He had a friend tell him about the center and decided to give it a try. Many of our team remember him from our time in Brazil 2 years ago. He completed the program and even more exciting came to know Christ during his time at the center and spent with Ron. Him and his girlfriend currently attend church regularly and stay in contact with Ron and Alana who have been great support for the 2 of them. He has a job and says though life is not always easy and struggles still exhist he has Christ and the knowledge that God is always there helps him get through. For many of us the bizarre part was when he thanked us for our role in his life changing experience. We had so little interaction with him 2 years ago, he had a broken leg so he was unable to even work along side of us as many residents did. But he thanked us for making a huge impact on his life. We automatically return thanks to God as everything is possible because of His sacrifice on the cross and through His strength not our own. 

Volnei with the cast on his legs 2 years ago and with his girlfriend Priscilla today.

Lining up for our lunch meal.

Those of us there at the end of the day grouping together for one last picture together.
Lt to Rt: Fabia (our cook), Ron, Karen, Wilf, Shirley, Anita, Jeff, Dwight, Anjo, Lloyd
Front: Alberto (kitchen help), Priscilla (CVM's administrative assitance who was at the site everyday, our german speaking answer to prayer)

After lunch was the meeting with Artur and Roberto, clean up, coffee and then our departure. The day went so fast and the last 2 weeks have been such a whirlwind, yet we cannot thank God enough for His presence and everything He has done during our time here.
To God be the Glory!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Work day 9

We had a good day today, those of us who were on the work site anyway. We had 3 stay behind at the Hotel. Julie, as mentioned yesterday, is suffering from a cold which made her ill enough to not join us. Jeanette's back was bothering her enough to prevent her from even being able to get out of bed without help, meaning Lloyd stayed back to help his wife as needed. Both are feeling better now. We had 3 coughing ladies at the work site today, Ann, Karen and Shirley so please keep praying for health and healing.

As for the work itself lots was once again accomplished, the dining/kitchen facility had its last 3 outside walls get their final coat and is now completed. The 2nd dormitory got as much paint on its outside walls as possible. And the progress in the 3rd dormitory was also good, the plumbing pipes are all in and cemented into the floors and half the bathroom pipes are mortared into the walls, which means we should be able to start plastering the walls tomorrow.

Jeff and Dwight securing a drainage pipe with concrete in one of the holes we chiselled out.

Who gave Wilf a toy??? In the end it was for a purpose, he had to trim the thorny bush away from the top of the fence so the pipes could run from the water tower to the 3rd domritory to supply water.

Karen and Ann from a distance painting the 2nd dormitory.

Shirley on tidy duty again.

Rudy with his 15' painting pole so that he could reach to the top of the 2nd dormitory without needing scaffolding.

There is officially power in the 3rd dormitory so Byron was taping up the wires so no one   accidentally got shocked. 

Today's game was how many legs on this centipede?

As tomorrow is our last work day please pray that we would be able to accomplish as many tasks as possible. Byron and Julie leave us tomorrow morning to attend a friends wedding on Saturday (also in Brazil), pray for safe and smooth travels for them. Thanks again for reading.
To God be the Glory!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Work day 8

More work and more pictures...

The work continued to freshen up the outside of the 2nd dormitory. Here Ann is working on sanding the walls before they can be primed and painted.

Karen (above), Shirley, Anita, Julie and Ann finished off the last coat on the dining hall and it is amazing how much a paint job can do to make a building look brand new.

As the day began the plumber gave his directions and 3 more holes in each bathroom had to be punched through the concrete floors. This meant 21 more holes, thankfully smaller then the 15 we did yesterday. After several were chiselled out by hand the plumber pulled out a hammer drill making the job much quicker and easier. Jeff (above) before the hammer drill and Wilf (below) after the hammer drill.

Anjo (CVM's hired handiman who has been at the job site to help when needed) and Edson (the local plumber). There is no pressurized water system in Brazil, it is all gravity fed. Every building has a water tank on the top of it. The center has a larger water tower that supplies water to each smaller water tank on each building. In the picture they are trying to figure out where to run the pipe from the large water tower to the top of the 3rd dormitory.

We had a special treat lunch and took everyone, including the CVM staff (Fabia, Alberto, Priscilla, Anjo), the plumber (Edson), our bus driver George, and local missionaries Ron and Alana (who have helped in so many different ways from dentist connections to tranlsators, see below), into the hills to a tiny town where a small family run "pub" provided us with an amazing lunch. We yet again all ate too much and enjoyed the company around the table. 

Rudy had yet another emergency dentist appointment this morning, but also once again is feeling much better and got back right to work sealing the dining hall windows after lunch.

We got 2 treats today, we went for ice cream this evening after a small early supper as we were all full from our large lunch. Dwight, Wilf and Byron above. Jeff and Anita below. 

A few prayer requests as we finish off our work week in the next 2 days. Ann and Julie seem to be suffering the most from some sort of cold, please pray they are able to get the sleep  and healing they need to feel better quickly. Jeanette continues to suffer from a sore back and sat out another day today, please pray for healing for her back. And of course pray for Rudy as explained above, hopefully this time the fix will last till he is able to see his dentist back home. Pray for continued good weather so work can get done and paint can dry, saftey on the job site as well as to and from the job site and direction in what work to get done as our time winds down. Also pray that each team member would continue to be open to be used in whatever way God calls.
Thanks once again for reading!