Tuesday I went to find one of the nearby villages where I will be working. It was located about 40km away near the city of Aquiraz. On the way, I stopped and asked directions from many locals on the side of the road (Brazilian GPS). Normally this works, but I was not able to find the area I was looking for! I decided to continue to drive around and explore the region.
Here comes the God part of the story. After driving through the unpaved streets, I turned down toward the beach. There were little restaurants scattered everywhere. Some men darted in front of my car and waved me over as an invite to their place. This is normal so I thought I’d keep driving and ignore them but a small voice in my heart told me to stop. As I rolled down my window the men approached my truck (about 4-5 of them). I asked them for directions to the place I was looking for. As they began to explain they reached into my truck over me and grab my road maps. This caught me a little off-guard but as they tried to show me where it was, they called over another man. He was the leader of the group and quickly took over the conversation. He said he was friends with the president of the quilombo association. After telling them who I was and why I was there, they all began to share with me their beliefs as well. One of them began to explain that if I would return tomorrow at 10:30, they would go with me to the quilombo. He said that he’d call the president of this particular group that night and then he’d call me in the morning to confirm. He invited me in for a drink and some Brazilian conversation. What an experience for just taking a stab in the dark!
He called the following morning and we drove about thirty minutes to the quilombo. As he introduced me to the new president, she invited me to return to work there any time I wanted. She assured me that I’d be free to share the message of Christ in their school without any problems. She also let me know that she would be scheduling a meeting with the residents of the village to introduce me. Then I would be more welcomed and people would not fear me, as is common.
Jesus said that we should walk by faith and not by sight. I didn’t see this coming but God knew it would happen before I left the house. I learned a long time ago that if you want to do great things with God you have to get out of the boat or as was in my case, stop the car.