July 1, 2011, Nicholas, my son, and I traveled 6 ½ hours to Cajazeiras to encourage, teach, visit and spend a week with the church and Rivaldo Café's (the evangelist living there) family. July 2, 2011, I fell playing soccer and thought that I had broken my wrist.
Let me back up a little. I fell while playing, fell again, but finished the game, of course. After the game, both Café and I went to his house to get ready to go to a Bible study, I taught the Bible study, and then we visited another family. After the visit I could not take the pain anymore and asked to be taken to the hospital. The doctor said it was probably broken but would only show up on the x-ray about 15 days after the fact. I didn't really care at the time and said, "Put a cast on it," which gave my wrist support, relieving the pain. Since it is illegal to drive with a cast on your arm in Brazil, Raniere Vieira, one of the evangelist in João Pessoa, traveled by bus, yes, 6 ½ hours and then drove me back home on July 8, 2011. Thank you, Raniere!
While in Cajazeiras, I taught different aspects of the Christian life to the kids in the Right Step soccer program, a church resource for outreach into the community, changing lives through love, discipline, visits, trips to other cities, soccer and of course God's Word.
Café and another church member involved in the project, Deusimar, have been teaching the kids about honoring father and mother. I talked with the kids about what honoring someone means in practical terms and what the penalty was in the Law of Moses if a child did not honor his/her parents. We discussed how honoring father and mother plays out at school, on the job, on the soccer field and throughout their lives, even after parents have passed away. I conversed with some of the older teens about Jesus' coming back and asked if they were ready. On other occasions I taught studies to some of the parents of these same kids, who have expressed how amazed they are at the change in their sons' and daughters' behavior, all learning not to use four letter words to express themselves verbally or fighting to express rage. These same children are also getting better grades in school. All of these things are program requirements and the kids want to "stick with the program".
Although my time in Cajazeiras was a challenge physically, the joy of being used by God to build up His church by far overshadows my own shortcomings.