Team Cais here! Though we have only been here a few short days, we have truly seen the Lord at work. Our team is a fairly new one, due to rearranging over Christmas break. We have been deeply and anxiously praying for our team to bond quickly and closely. Team Cais believes this has truly happened. Through every moment we have spent together we have found that we truly get along, work together well, and can also laugh and hang out together. On Saturday morning, when we arrived in Brazil, a group of about twenty missed the early connecting flight to the next city due to delays the night prior. The only flight we could take that day left at nine pm. We ended up spending around fourteen hours in the airport. After talking with many who had stayed at the airport and having the experience myself, we noticed that upon hearing the news of the later flight, there was not a single complaint or concern. In a group that seemed at first to be wildly different than each other, we became very close through time. I, myself, made new memories and created new friendships that I will never forget. The times playing card games, sleeping in the airport, ordering food in a new language, and laughing on the plane will not be forgotten.
On Sunday morning we were all reunited. We finally met our wonderful Lifeshape team members in person. All the students loaded into buses and headed to church. We had the experience to hear a sermon in a different language with a translation. After church, we headed out into the city on the amazing race. Each Brazil team was split in half. The amazing race was a competition through the different teams to travel through the city and visit certain locations and complete special tasks. Through this, we were able to have first-hand experience and interaction with the Brazilian culture.
Monday morning, team Cais woke up bright and early at our home in Lago Sul. After a wonderful meal, we left our host home. We traveled to the homes of many indigenous people groups and worked with a ministry called Atini. The mission of this group is to provide a safe place for indigenous people who may no longer be accepted in their tribes. A common practice of many of the tribes is infanticide. Countless children are left to die if they are unwanted due to special needs, being born outside of wedlock, or other medical conditions.
At the farm live numerous children who have been rescued and cared for by the ministry as well as those who have saved the children from their tribe and are no longer accepted.
These people taught us all about their culture through their traditions, foods, dances, etc. The people even gave us painted tattoos on our arms, a common practice in their culture. One of our favorite moments was singing worship songs together.
The Brazilians sang the songs in Portuguese while our team sang in English. It was a special and truly memorable time. In the afternoon, we split into separate workgroups. One team cleaned up brush, another worked on building a new oven, another cleaned the houses while another spent time getting to know the indigenous children.
by Syler Church