This is Heather and Brian with an update of the last few days!
It’s now Thursday evening, and we are just about to eat dinner after having spent the last four days in the community of Campo Tabaiares (the squatter settlement where Kevin lived for three years). Through this time we have been welcomed into the community, and it certainly feels like more than four days since we last updated the blog.
Our first two days in Campo Tabaiares were spent working in the community library. The library was started by a woman named Nice (pronounced nee-see), who spends her time working with both the children and the elderly in the community. The library serves as a place for children to hang out, work on homework and reading skills, and for anyone else to read from their collection of thousands of books.
The children are on break from school right now, so we had lots of time with the kids over two days! We colored, made paper crowns and snowflakes, attempted to learn Portuguese (mostly the kids laughing at us), painted faces, and sang crazy songs. Even though these things in and of themselves seem small, it is through them that we were able to give and receive love, and connect with the kids.
Our other two days in the community were spent visiting the homes of elderly people in the community. Each person that we visited is part of a group of elderly that Nice helps to organize, taking them on outings and helping them continue to be an active part of their community. At each home we were able to hear the stories of those we visited, and ask questions about their lives in Campo Tabaiares. All shared their joy at living in this community, many having lived in the area since it was originally invaded. We witnessed intergenerational connections and the strong bond of family in this community—while visiting a bedridden woman here great-granddaughter ran up to hold her hand.
Through all of our time in Campo Tabaiares we grew to adore Nice. Walking around the community people were constantly stopping to talk to or hug her. It is obvious how much of a blessing she is to the people and how much love there is for her and from her.
Tomorrow morning we depart for the interior to Caruaru, until Monday when we will travel to Brejo da Madre de Deus. A piece of our hearts has been left in Campo Tabaiares, but we are excited for the people and adventures in the days to come!
Our team asks for prayers for continued good health, for the work of Nice in her community, and that our eyes and hearts would be open to see God in those we encounter.
Thanks for reading!