I’ve been quite busy the last few days and haven’t had time to post. Things are going very well. I’ve been very well received since my arrival, and the church leaders and members have been very appreciative of my work. We started with a meeting with the elders on Thursday. After five hours we decided to schedule an additional one for Friday. After five more hours we are trying to schedule one last one on Monday. The elders have been very receptive and are understanding the material enough that they have started to contribute to the process of the discussion and visioning.
One of the most interesting things to me is how the area seems to be just a few years behind the united states in technology, marketing, and other areas. They are dealing with the onset of post-modernism, but it is an early form comparative to what we were dealing with five years ago. Admittedly, I’ll deal with it more in the D.C. area that some of you will in other places, but it is clear that Brazilian culture is headed that way quickly. This is actually good because it makes me feel like I understand the culture here even more. In a weird way it is like working with teenagers. Since I was a teen, I understand what they are going through. Since I’ve lived through the changes in the United States I can relate more to what the Brazilians are going through.
I would give my hind teeth to have the facility that the church in Belo has. Nice big structure with many areas that can be used for a wide variety of classes and events. They are located within three blocks of the city center and are next door to one of the most recognizable landmarks in the whole state. Central Park is across the corner from their building. Every major bus route picks up and drops off either in front of or behind their building and the main commuter train station is two blocks away. Much of this has grown up around them since they purchased the land 22 years ago, so they are in a prime position to make a continued impact on their city.
In case you were wondering, Belo Horizonte is a small village of only 4.5 million people. There are 18 churches of Christ in the area, 10 of which have been planted by the congregation I am working with. Next month the missionaries here are going to celebrate with their first successful "grand-daughter" church, that being one that was planted by one of their church plants. That’s pretty exciting!
More tomorrow/Monday/Tuesday/whenever I get a chance and the internet is behaving.