Category Archives: Ubauna

“Just a killer”

Flavor.Só_matando

Every little place has it. Unfortunately, the flavor can be sour.

Ubaúna is in the middle of nowhere, a sleepy little villa, rural, even “hick.” There is no police presence, no civil authorities, no ability to maintain law and order except the good will of the people. For years, scores of decades, that has been enough.

No longer.

Killers, assassins actually, seem to have found this out-of-the-way hideout and made it home. Recently a murderer by the name of “Just a killer” met “justice” on the streets of Ubaúna. Shot with a shotgun and stabbed multiple times, Just a killer is no more.

The place of his demise? Right in front of the largest macumba temple in town.

Please be praying for the church and it’s members…

The Farmhouse

The-FarmhouseOf notoriety on par with that of Jesse James, “the farmhouse” in Ubaúna is the base of operations for mission trips into this region. Often made out to be worse than it really is, the farmhouse is primarily used for sleeping, or at least what passes for that.

Wildlife abounds; frogs in an amazing variety of sizes, tarantulas, snakes, rats, goats, lambs, cows, hawks, buzzards, lizards and so on. Some are so friendly that they want to sleep with you or accompany you to the bathroom. Others just like being where you are.

Accommodations are not quite of the five-star classification, the air conditioning isn’t quite up to par and the traffic can be a wee bit noisy at times.

I hear more screams, both male and femail, in the course of a week than I hear over an entire year while residing in the farmhouse. Typically because something as silly as a frog has jumped on someone or a little spider was found in someone’s hammock, but sometimes for “other” reasons.

Affectionately christened as “the clubhouse” on this last visit, the place actually becomes an object of affection. Folks who’ve stayed there look at it with longing and recognize it for the purpose it serves; they know that they’ve encountered what might be called a portal between the natural and the supernatural while they’ve been there.

Most do not leave it without being transformed.

The farmhouse is definitely an interesting place…

Júnior

“What’s your name?”

“Júnior”

“So, how do you say it in English?”

“Junior”Junior2

And with that began our relationship with our artist-painter-teacher who would go to Ubaúna with us to help the children express themselves artistically.

Júnior, who had no idea who we were before this encounter, had volunteered to go somewhere he’d never gone before, with people he’d never met and to do something that he didn’t even understand. He’d be sleeping in a hammock, in the heat, braving the elements and having to hang around foreigners who didn’t speak his language.

But he was game… because of the children.

What he didn’t realize was that he was going to the Brazilian desert to meet Jesus.

Junior3The two of them had an encounter and he became a follower. Just like that. When we got back to Fortaleza, we had the privilege of baptizing him into the Kingdom.

The weather was perfect, the ocean like a lake and we even had the token drunk who came up and asked what was going on.

When he came up on the beach, he simply asked, “What’s next?”

My response: “Interesting that you should bring that up…”

Joe’s kids

We have many people who are sponsoring children through Gospel for Brazil’s Seed of Hope program. I wish there was some way that I could adequately express my thanks to each and every one of you. I wish you could physically see the difference that you are making daily in the lives of these forgotten folks. You are literally saving their lives — this isn’t hype, it is reality.

Let me give you just one example.John-Paul

John Paul and his wife Rose have 4 children. They actually have 13, but 3 died and they were forced to give away 6. “Forced” because if they had kept them they would have died. Both John Paul and Rose have active HIV. While sufficiently bad in itself, that is actually the least of their problems.

John Paul has white lung disease, the same thing as black lung disease except that it comes from lime dust instead of coal dust. He additionally has a bone disease that is causing his bones to dissolve and creates intense inflammation and infection. It is active in his ankles, making it practically impossible for him to walk; they are swollen and pus filled, not a pretty sight. And, just to keep things interesting, he has worms, gastritis and ulcerative colitis.

Rose has a severely deformed spine, and advanced osteoporosis. The medication she takes for HIV is so intense that she literally loses her mind every time she takes it. It is supposed to be taken with milk to alleviate that particular symptom, but she can’t afford milk. She goes insane for 48-60 hours every time she takes the meds. That makes it a bit difficult to take the meds regularly. She can walk only with extreme difficulty and pain. She can’t sleep lying down; in fact, she has severe insomnia due to the pain.

Due to politics, they have been denied disability, even though they qualify for it. Neither can work. They receive $60 a month from the federal government for their children; $60 total, not per child.

Oh, and the mud shack they live in, well, it was washed away in a flash flood and everything they had, which we would have considered trash, was swept away.

And that is it.

They can’t buy food, medication, clothing… nothing.

After the flooding, Rose told me, she knew that her children wouldn’t not last too long. There was nothing to eat. She fully expected her, her husband and the four youngest children to die within a month.

But something happened. You stepped in.

Three of the four children were sponsored via Seed of Hope. They received clothes, some furniture, cooking utensils and we have a lawyer working on their disability case.

As I stood there with Rose and John Paul, Rose looked at me, eyes full of tears, and asked me “Why?” Why would people she’s never met do this for her. And I had a great answer: “Jesus.”

Rose and John Paul both accepted him on the spot.

Ubaúna Warm Fuzzies

Passing along some more photo-love from Ubaúna, Brazil.

Of course, you must click here to get the warm fuzzies.

IMG_6970

What an ass!

IMG_5738More photos of the trip are up (thanks Jen!).

Click here to see them.

Yeah, but it got your attention, didn’t it?

Braggin’ on my childrens…

FootpaintWe had amazing talent on this trip to Brazil.

I could just let that sentence stand by itself and it would be enough.

However…

Since there was such amazing talent, I want to start showing it off! We had two dynamite and professional photographers with us: Amber Currin and Jen Griffin. We had a professional videographer, Travis Currin. We had a professional band (and they are really good, too!): Wrent Band (Brady and Jennafer White). We even had a professional Brazilian band: Megafone. Then we had the super amazing, traveling road show GFB “choir” composed of Tiffany Poston, Hannah Morrison, Bonnie LaClaire, Kelly Cannon, Josh Stephens, Patrick and Christy Loyd, Garry and Barbara Colsen, Hal Griffin and keyboard/guitar virtuoso Paul Tyndall.

Some of this talent will be finding it’s way here in the form of images, video, sound, etc., over the next few weeks.

But I’ve got something to show you right now. If you will follow this link, you’ll get an eyeful of some of the activities that occurred on this trip.