We made it here to Fortaleza, with all 11 of us, thanks be to God! We had hoped to post as soon as we arrived, but as it happens, the computer at the hotel is down. They are hoping to have it fixed on Monday...
We had great flights and traveling time. Some of us slept a little on the plane, while others were seated next to some very loud teenagers and a crying baby, and got no sleep whatsoever. We arrived to Fortaleza at 6:30am, and there was a great group waiting for us at the airport: Pastor Pedro and his wife Franci, Neanhy, Cher, Neanhy´s BFF Carla, and Teca, who is our missionary host. It was so wonderful to walk through the doors and see these happy, familiar faces! Neanhy is definitely taller, but everyone else looks pretty much the same.
We went over the hotel and most of us slept for the rest of the morning. The rest of the day we have spent getting acclimated. Our very talented and spatially brilliant driver Junior (yes, the same driver from last year) gave us a driving tour of the city. We went to a part of the beach for awhile and walked around. It is technically winter here, but it is also vacation time for many people, so the beach was packed. We are blessed to be joined by three new friends: Rosângela, who works with the GBGM (General Board of Global Ministries) in the Women´s Division, specifically with Latin America, her son Andres, and his girlfriend Amy. We have enjoyed getting to know them and are already greatly appreciative of their help in translation and accompaniment.
We also went to a place called Metal Bridge, or English Bridge, which is a long wooden pier that sticks out into the ocean. It so happens that we ran into cultural events all over the place, a band playing traditional music on one side and a Capoeira group on the other side.
It has been a great day of cultural learning and adjustment, but we are flat out exhausted. As I write this, it is 8:30 our time, and most of the team is already in bed asleep. Tomorrow we will go to the church for their regular worship service at 6:00pm. We are anticipating seeing all of the children and youth who we befriended last year and participating in a vibrant celebration of worship!
Thank you for your prayers in our travelling, and a special shout out to all those who came to see us off on Friday! We love you and bring you here with us.
There is a good chance that we will not be able to post until the computer gets fixed at the church, so DON´T WORRY if you don´t hear from us immediately. We will post again as soon as it is possible.
"Indeed, let me consider everything an immense loss compared with the surpassing greatness of knowing our Lord Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:8 (From our team devotion today led by Rachel)