Just returned from an EHS trip to Brazil to train Pastors and leaders who represented over a hundred thousand people. Here are some “fun facts” and reflections.
No black tea in the country. We are tea drinkers but Brazil is the world’s largest producer for coffee of the last 150 years. We were in tea withdrawal.
“Fala ingles?“When I went to the mall looking for chocolate I could not find anyone who spoke English (I asked at least a dozen people). I bought the wrong chocolate (it was wrapped and I didn’t know it was white chocolate).
Sao Paulo alone has enough cars to go around the globe twice. That explains why there are so many auto shops and why a 27 min. ride to the airport takes 90 min. in rush hour.
People everywhere. Sao Paulo has 20 million people. NYC has 8 million. But Sao Paul is less than ½ the size of NYC.
Beautiful people (on the outside). I always thought Brazilians had an exotic beauty. I realize now it is because they are a mix of many races and cultures (Indians, Spanish, African, European, Asian).
Beautiful people (on the inside). We found them warm and friendly, but they also suffer from the universal problem of unawareness of what’s “beneath their icebergs”. That’s why we were there.
Significant Evangelical Christian presence. In U.S. Evangelicals are 1 to 2 % but in Brazil about 15%. Like us they have a long way to go to significantly influence the culture.
Apostolic team. We had a travel team of 5 (above) plus numerous hosts and volunteers on the ground who prepared the many logistics in each city. Our purpose was to strengthen Brazilian churches by training leaders and pastors in EHS. Our team leader, Giovaldo Freitas, did an outstanding job preparing the way and laying the foundation for all of us.
CTRs kept our team healthy. Our CTRs were indispensable to keeping our team dynamics healthy in the midst of an intense schedule – 3 days of seminars and another 3 days of flying, driving, packing and unpacking, eating great Brazilian food and lots of conversation through our indefatigable translator.
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