It has been especially exciting to be down here during the World Cup. All of Carpina stops for 90+ minutes every time the Brazilian team takes the field. Everyone watches the games. The shops, grocery stores, and restaurants close, unless they have a TV. I really mean everyone. Even the police vanish. The crime rate goes pretty much down to zero so it’s ok. We had to even let out our afternoon class at the
Brazilians really like to celebrate, not just for soccer. Take for instance this holiday they have Saõ João (celebrating the apostle John). The holiday was actually yesterday, but they had been celebrating it for about a month before we arrived!
It’s remarkable how the Community Churches come together for these different celebrations. Often all these celebrations can really damage the family. Some people make them excuses to go get drunk and party hard. Community Church makes everything family oriented instead.
It seems like Brazilians are looking for something “more” to fill their lives, something to get excited about. You and I know, God really wants to give them something to be excited about even after they put away the decorations. It must feel so empty to not have any hope to celebrate every day. I pray that those who are lost around us here can see the real reason that we have for celebrating. Our salvation is our real joy and the churches here really know how to show it.
They really live out Philippians 2:1-4
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
They love through their actions. They show that they care about the conditions of families. Everyone takes turns serving each other. They aren’t perfect, but the pastors and leaders here are striving to have the same love and are “one in spirit and purpose” to reaching others for Christ.