Sunday, 16 September 2012

Most Currently

The last few days have been amazing. We lived in Parada de Lucas which is the most dangerous favela in all of Rio. Drug Lords run those neighborhoods and it is common to see men everywhere with massive machine guns and walkie-talkies. It was amazing to be able to just love these men and the people of the neighborhood praying for them and sharing the love of God. Even just a smile brings joy to their faces. In the area fireworks aRe continually going off signaling other gang members that cops are around because the war is not the hugley between gangs, but between the cops and the gangs. Also there is a law against stealing in the area, formed not by the government, But by the drug lords. If you are caught stealing they will either shoot you or cut off your hand. This all because if you steal then someone will more than likely call the cops and that is what they do not want. It seems a little bit of a contradiction, but for it being the most dangerous place in Rio we were not in much danger of being robbed or shot at. We were not allowed to take pictures and 2 of our team members got into a little trouble with some gang members because some gangsters mistook their cell phone and hand gestures as a them relying information to the cops and taking pictures, but it was all sorted and the guns were put away. Our time in the favelas was amazing just spending time with all the kids that were around 24/7, having services in the streets, getting the opportunity to share stories and testimonies in a public school, and getting to spend the day at one of the nicest most famous recording studios in Brazil with a very well known Brazilian Reaggae band. They let us sit in on their practice time then let us have some time to jam with them in the amazing art facility. It had practice rooms, recording studios, dance studios, and stages. An incredibly beautiful place full of potential and promise from God! Before we left the band and a DJ class that had joined in allowed us to pray over all of them and bless their work in the area! The next day we left the favelas after spending the morning sanding the walls of the YWAM base where we slept on the floors. We had made a contact with a couple, who had a ministry in the dumps and we headed out to spend the day praying and ministering with people who live in and out of other peoples rubbish! A state of living no one is called to! We walked through the many shacks and stacks of rubbish for most of the day. Stopping in homes and praying for people as well as playing with the hundreds of kids that followed us the whole day! That night we set up a film for all the kids on a big screen with a projector. It reminded me a lot of Africa. Finally we headed out to a condo that a family has graciously let us take over in the nicest area of Rio, Zona Sul. Our life is so crazy we never have any idea where we are or what is going to happen, but most importantly we stay open to Holy Spirit's direction and go wherever the wind blows! Thank you to everyone who is continually praying for us, supporting me and my team financially, and really being here with us in spirit! So much love and blessings, Rachael Michelle P.s. for the most current pictures go to my Facebook pictures and look under the instagram album!

Friday, 7 September 2012

It Never Ends.

To be honest I have been procrastinating on writing this update for a while now. So much is going on yet not a lot at the same time and trying to process everything enough to be able to get it out on paper is way more difficult than you would expect. When I arrived in Sao Paulo, Brazil, after having been totally blessed with a month at home, I had no idea what I was getting into. Which in all fairness, is usually the case. I had arranged to stay with a friend of a friend's family with 2 other women from my team.
The two others had decided to stay in Brazil and take a rest for a few weeks while the rest of the team made their way, by bus, through Paraguay and Bolivia. I was a bit disappointed in not being able to make it through those countries with them but, God had a better plan, as well as making it clear He was not finished blessing me yet. The most reoccurring theme in my life for the past year. As well as the one I have struggled with the most. The fact that God wants to bless me in the way He has in my life thus far is mind boggling to me, but it all comes down to identity. I have come to the conclusion that God is going to bless me no matter what I believe I deserve or not. That is who He is. He seeks to bless us all the time because, what good dad doesn't want to bless and spoil His kids? My views of me and God's views are very different and He says I am worth it. Thus resulting in the process of believing what He believes of me as truth. In my last blog I wrote about how God was teaching me how to receive. And it did not end when I left to come back to my crazy unpredictable life in Latin America. I moved in with this family and the plan was to stay no more than 10 days then move into the Favelas (dangerous Brazilian ghetto) where there is an Iris base that was more than happy to receive us. After just a week of living with this incredible Brazilian family an instant bond was formed and we felt right at home. The family happened to be pretty wealthy and very much business minded people. They were continually buying things for us, giving us money to go shopping, letting us sleep in there beds while they crammed into the parents bedroom, driving us 2 and from places, and letting us spend the weekends at there amazingly beautiful beach house 2 hours from the city and so incredibly peaceful!
It didn't stop there the father owns an incredible restaurant and they let us come and eat pretty much whenever for free. In the end we stayed well over 10 days. More like a little over 3 weeks. In those three weeks we were able to do some favela ministry, but also a lot of ministry to the family. However, not nearly the amount we would normally be doing if we were with team. Which I struggled with because, for some reason I have told myself that as long as I am doing ministry I deserve the monthly support and the many gifts God has given me. I know this is in fact not true and a works mantality. Which is and has not ever been my motivation for this trip, but sometimes, if we are not careful, thoughts like these can begin to creep in and we can forget why we has Christians do what we do. Because of Love. What we were created for and the very fabric of our existence. Once the rest of my team had finally arrived in Sao Paulo the family that I had been living with was extremely generous and allowed all 28 (at the moment) of us to spend 4 days at their beautiful beach house to rest before we headed for Rio. Because of our lifestyle, plans never stay the same. Ever. The initial plan was to have ministered in every Latin American country within a year. Well that year runs up in only a few days! So we decided to not stay and minister any longer in Sao Paulo, but to go ahead and make our way to Cabo Frio our next stop right outside Rio de Janiero.
The transition back into the team and the way of living I have grown accustom to was a lot easier than I expected it wold be. It was like I never left. Since we have been in Cabo Frio we have been staying at a girl who is from Brazil and been on our team for several months, house. Her amazing family has opened up their beautiful home and welcomed us with open arms. With lots of ministry opportunities already set up for us. I was asked to share at a church service. That was amazing and Holy spirit totally fell and the church was rocked.
We did some homeless ministry to former drug addicts and ex-drug lords. They were so moved by the Spirit that they kept asking us to stay and share more. We also did some hospital industry where we were given permission to go into a pretty run down hospital and pray with people for there healing and encourage them on that God saw them and was there with them.
Over all the week has been amazing and tomorrow we move onto Rio and then eventually into the amazon! I have no idea when I will be in the USofA again or what He has in store next, but as far as, my journey of receiving and learning who I really am in Him is still just at it's beginning stages.