Curitiba, Brazil Missions Trip News

Below are copies of various email updates sent by Aaron Mauger while in Curitiba. These were sent to friends and family of teens who attended this trip. The team arrived home today!

July 18, 2009

“Hello again everyone!

We have had a chance to look around and see some awesome sights here in Curitiba. We spent an afternoon and had the chance to see their Botanical Gardens, Wire Opera, and a lake one the outskirts of downtown.

The realization has come that we are in Brazil when we had the chance to eat some of the exotic cuisine local here such as ostrich and chicken hearts. If that did not do the trick then having the chance to encounter Capybaras people realized we were not in Canada. For those of you who do not know a Capybara is the largest rodent in the world and is native to this area. Imagine an oversized beaver with no tail.

We had a great training session last night {Thursday evening} and are looking forward to starting our work projects in the near future. We put on a lovely Canadian breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, and pancakes with true Canadian maple syrup. This breakfast went over tremendously well as we served well over three hundred pancakes to around a hundred guests.

After lunch we returned back to our retreat centre and had a world cup calibre game pitting the country of Brazil against the visiting team from Canada. Canada was able to take the early lead in the game but as the game clock wound down the youth of Brazil squeaked out a victory of twelve to ten at the end of our two hour game. A rematch is imminent as the Canadian pride has been bolstered by holding our own so well against our new friends.

At present we are enjoying a “strong coffee break” which is essentially a buffet of sandwiches, deep fried goodies, and all kinds of meet filled pastries. Not to mention the amazing cakes that were prepared for us. We leave in the next half an hour to go to their youth group and share a sermon and ourselves with them. Everyone is excited for this evening as many of us have already solid connections with many of the local youth as a result of the breakfast and soccer game.

In the next few days we will be having lunches with host families here in Brazil, providing a sermon for their sunday service, starting our ESL program, and entering into the first of two rehab centres that we will be serving in in the coming week.

The next update will come in a few more days. Please pass this message along to any interested family and friends, keep us in your prayers, and rest easy knowing those of us here are doing tremendous.

– Your Canadian missions team to Brazil”

July 22, 2009

“Howdy again!

We here in Brazil are doing well, a few of us are a little under the weather but we are still in good spirits. Chocolate strawberry flavored halls {cough candies} are a great thing.

We spent Monday morning working in a local nursery and that went well. There was only forty or so of the three hundred and seventy children registered which made it quite manageable. The children accepted us quite quickly and one child in particular, Douglas, latched on to a few of our leaders.

That evening we started the ESL program that we are teaching and it has gone well so far. Our youth are enjoying teaching and our students are eager to learn. We are forming some amazing bonds with the youth and adults here.

A few of us had the chance to venture to a local skate park and were introduced to thirty or so of the local youth. It was a great time and they are looking forward to us returning with a larger group of people.

We have now completed two of our three days hanging out at the rehab centre. Tony and Aaron have given powerful testimonies, our talented group of musicians have done a wonderful job with the music, and all of us have done a great job of connecting with the people in this centre. The people there range in age from eleven to mid fifties so we have been able to connect with everyone, be it through soccer, volley ball, or conversation. When we asked for an altar call more then twenty of the twenty seven people who live here came forward, this does not include the few Canadians who decided at this time to also give their lives to the Lord!

We delivered gifts to the rehab centre consisting of soccer balls, frisbees, volley balls, and other assorted games for them. They were ecstatic, I think their joy and cheers at seeing new soccer balls beats out any Christmas morning joy from children that most of us have ever seen.

Sadly today we learned that the brother in law of our bus driver Claudiomiro has been found dead this afternoon. He disappeared on Saturday and was found at a beach a few hours away from here. If you can keep Claudioiro, his wife and their family in your prayers it would be greatly appreciated.

Despite this news our youth are still in great spirits and are looking forward to our evening of ESL and a chance to visit another rehab centre tomorrow morning. We are keeping all of you, our friends and family, in our thoughts and prayers and know that you are doing the same for us.”

July 26, 2009

“Howdy again!

Things seem to be picking up here a bit now. Shortly after the last update was sent out about a third to half of our team were taken ill with a really powerful cold/fever. Most of us are on the up swing with only one or two people not making noticeable improvements. Everyone’s spirits are still really high though!

We finished up at our second rehab centre on Thursday and had our last ESL class that night. Both of these went incredibly well.

Friday we painted the upper floor of their church during the day and had the ESL graduation ceremonies that evening. The painting went well with only a few little things to be done later on. The ESL graduation was amazing. Not only was it commented that us Canadians like to clap, but we also learned that Brazilian people are incredibly generous. As each person came forward to receive their graduation certificate they presented their instructor with a gift. Many tears were shed during this evening.

On Saturday thirteen or so of us went back to do some touch up painting and decided as a spur of the moment to paint most of their main floor as well. The decision for the railings to be painted red was changed to brown to better match the building, and then Claudio {our host} insisted that they be red so that the white walls and red railings would represent the Canadians who came to do the work. Many of us think this has something to do with his favorite football {soccer} team having red and white as their colors.
While the group were painting the rest of our team had a chance to catch up on sleep and start on the healing path from the sickness that has attacked our group.

That evening we had an amazing youth service in which a number of people chose to rededicate their lives to the Lord and the family of Claudiomiro, our bus driver who’s brother in law was mugged and killed, were prayed for and made to feel like a part of this church family. Claudio’s outreach to him is going amazingly well!

One of the young men who was taking our ESL courses is currently in his last year of his PHD in Sciences. His father has been diagnosed with brain cancer that has caused nearly half his brain to stop functioning. There is no way to explain this except that God has given him the time he needs to accept the Lord as his Saviour. Francisco is sad about this but has accepted his father has a limited time left here and dearly wants his father to find Christ before his time expires. Please keep Francisco’s father in your prayers during this time.

The worship service went incredibly well today, though a little bit longer then expected. People are starting to realize that we are about to leave and few of us are looking forward to that despite the comfort and loved ones back home.

We have another day of work coming up and a trip to the beach tomorrow. Despite the fact we have had four consecutive days of rain everyone is excited to see the beach. Stepping foot in the South Atlantic Ocean is a thrill for many of our group.

Keep our team in your prayers as our time here comes to a close. Our bus leaves at 9:00am {5:00am BC time} on Wednesday morning, so we need to start mentally preparing for the trip home.

Ombrigado {Thank you} for keeping us in your prayers and thoughts. The next, and final, update will come either Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning.”

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