It’s all out war! As I write, our yard is being overrun with boys shooting plastic bottle caps from their quite creatively constructed homemade guns. I am constantly amazed at how imaginative the kids can be in dreaming up games and activities to pass the afternoon. It’s great to see them all running about laughing and having a good time. Two things I really appreciate about the culture here is that older kids look out for younger kids and all ages interact quite well together. Some of these kids attend church, some have made professions of faith, and some want nothing to do with God. How tragic it is seeing one in particular who is already quite hardened at age 14. Looking at his home life and the young man he is becoming, it is sad to think what his future will likely hold without God. We thank God for the opportunities to make a difference in some of these young lives. Jessica continues to have a weekly Bible club for the younger kids in the neighborhood.
It is now 6pm and lots of firecrackers are being set off down the street in preparation for cutting down the mast that was erected in homage to Saint Lazarus. It was raised over a week ago after being wrapped in assorted vegetation and decorated with offerings of regional fruits. Tonight, as was also the case the night the pole was erected, there will be a party with lots of people, loud music, dancing and drinking in the street. In years past, this party has continued on until the following morning with people staggering home and passing out drunk along the way. This is dangerous as passerbyers tend not to pull people over to the side of the road to prevent the person from inadvertently being run over by a motorcycle or truck. Others walk by and kick the person or urinate on him out of pure meanness. It is puzzling to think that these behaviors are all done in the name of worship towards a saint.
Carnaval celebrations here in town start tonight and go through Tuesday. Things in town will be pretty much shut down on Wednesday morning as many will be hung over and not be capable of making it to work (stores, schools, etc). It is a very immoral time. There are traditionally several parades in town with each one more risqué and shocking than the last. There are lots of wild parties, casual sex, and heavy drinking. Each year during this time, Faith Baptist Church holds a retreat. Pray for those participating in the retreat, that they would put into practice what they learn. And pray for teens to be shining lights for Christ in the midst of the darkness overshadowing our town in the days ahead. Pray also for the many retreats being held throughout Brazil during this time.
For those who have not already seen, we were able to post quite a few photos on Facebook back in December. Here’s the link for those who are interested in viewing the photos (you do not need a Facebook account in order to view them): Lloyd and Athena Peace .
Thank you for your continued prayers for the ministry in the Amazon!
Your partners in reaching the world for Christ,
Lloyd, Athena, Julia, Jessica, Jacob and Lucas Peace