So I realized that lately I've been doing more photo blogging than writing.  Not like this is a terrible tragedy, but for me it's actually a sign of blogging laziness.  I intend to do better, my blog friends.     

Dave and Miriam's church plant
 Jake and I came back from Catalao with full hearts.  It was such a wonderful time to visit Dave and Miriam and their daughter, and to see some of the rural parts of Brazil.  

It took us three and a half hours to get there from Anapolis, so we stopped for a bite to eat on the way.  By the time we got there, it was midnight, so we basically said goodnight and went to bed. 
Exploring the downtown
The next day, Miriam made us waffles for breakfast, and then Dave drove us around Catalao.  First we went to see the church plant that they started about five years ago.  The mother church is in the picture to the left, right behind the yellow-ish pagoda.  Catalao only has about 150,000 people, and there is a huge need for church and evangelism there.  A lot of the youth get involved in drugs, and so there are many young people in the church who look up to Dave as a father figure.
It's so bright!!
 Dave took us downtown, and we enjoyed the small town feel compared to the sprawling city of Anapolis.  We saw various schools, universities, activity centres, and some of the tourist attractions like this gorgeous Catholic church set on top of a hill overlooking the entire city.  (You can see the view here.)

One of my favourite parts of spending time with the Kanagy's was seeing their trampoline ministry with the neighbourhood kids.  So far, there are about 55 children that come out every week, and many of them are unchurched.

Trampoline ministry?  you ask.  Yes, check it out for yourself! I asked Dave how he came up with the idea, and he said it just came to him one day.  They have a lovely trampoline in their yard (yes, I was to be seen testing it out for about 10-15 minutes on Saturday evening), and the kids can see it when they look through the fence.  

Dave and Miriam let the kids jump on it, but there is one stipulation(for those who don't go to church): they must memorize a Bible verse before they can jump.  They each have their own sheet, with about 10 verses on it, and once they have memorized it, they must sign their name.  They can build up credits by memorizing two verses, but no more than that.  Dave said that some kids even give away their credits to others sometimes so that those who aren't so quick at memorizing can jump right away.  Here is an example of how it works:

These boys had never been here before, but had only heard of it from friends.  Dave has the children memorize verses starting out with understanding that they are sinners, then working on down to how to receive salvation from Jesus Christ.  The young guy without the shirt on took a look at this verse, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." ~Romans 3:23, and said, "What! That can't be true! We aren't all sinners!" and Dave had a chance to tell him that yes, indeed, we are all sinners, because that's what God says in His Word.  

What an amazing ministry to children!  Some of these kids have no idea what truth is, and yet here they are, memorizing God's Word just so that they can jump on a trampoline for an hour.  I was absolutely blown away.

They were super excited to jump, and I was just excited that they are receiving truth! 

There was a comedy night at the church plant that evening, so we got a little taste of Brazilian humour. 
The pastor and the worship leader pretending to be Brazilian 'rednecks'
There was a 1/2 hour long sketch of Brazilian 'redneck' humour, but there were also a few videos that didn't include talking (including a Mr. Bean sketch) and thankfully the humour rises above cultural differences! 

The lake is just starting to fill up again due to the rainy season
After Sunday School on Sunday morning, we went to a lake that was close by.  Since it's dry season, the lake is a lot lower than normal, but the water was the perfect temperature!  We thought it was going to pour at any moment (hence the clouds), but it just got hotter and hotter.  We both got sunburned on our backs, but we didn't notice it at the time because floating in the warm, refreshing water felt so delicious.

Dave and Miriam took us to a place that overlooks the lake, and it's also  got the replica of Jesus the Redeemer statue like in Rio de Janeiro.
Overlooking Lake Azul

Jake with Dave and Miriam Kanagy

We were just so overwhelmed by Dave and Miriam's hospitality.  They fed us well, and treated us like family.  I probably talked a little bit too much to Miriam (maybe due to the fact that her counselling and psychology training makes her an excellent listener?! Let's go with that!)  It was a great opportunity to see just another facet of ministry that believers are doing here.


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