Sunday, 16 September 2012
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!