Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cidade de Deus

Laise and Tamara, our friends and tour guides from the City of God
A little over a year ago, we had two missionaries that came to Corvallis
from their home town of Seattle.
Ben had been living in the City of God for three years
and Josh was soon to go for the first time.
While they were in Corvallis they stayed at our home
and we were blessed to hear about this place from these amazing men
who were giving up their life of comfort and ease in Seattle
to make their home in this "city" so far from home.
From that time, I have wanted to visit for myself and was given the chance last Tues.
Here is our one day trip.
Join us once again for another "walk around a neighborhood".
We spent a large portion of the day at the Tamara's house (who is also the aunt of Laise).
They fixed us a wonderful meal and were a wealth of information.

This family loves the Lord and it was a blessing to see people
come at different times throughout our stay there just to be prayed with.

From the house, Laise's father also runs a Christian radio channel
that is broadcast over the load speakers throughout the City of God.

This is taken from the upstairs of their home.
Later, while taking a walk, Laise told me how this street has been used once a week
for a Feira (an open market).
In Copacabana we see these all the time out in the streets.
Streets are closed off to make room for vendors to come and sell their wares.
Many fruit venders as well as handmade goods.

This Feira was different, however. It was a drug market.
Imagine, right in front of their house, once a week, every kind of drug
you could imagine would be sold out in the open.

Just recently, the police took over the City of God.
For now, it is quiet from drug trafficing
and violence.

For now.

I don't know what gauge of wire is used here but this is what
all of their power poles looked like.

Makes for a good nights sleep....

One of the houses I saw there. Most were more of a subdivision effect
but this one had a "country feel" to it.

One of the areas that was used as a garbage dump.

The street.
It may be hard to see but the water was green.
You can expect that there is a mixture of rain water and sewage.

There are many houses that are made of brick.
Only as there is money are they finished in concrete.
This is a rare sight as most of the houses are unfinished brick.
The City of God has somewhere between 200 and 300 thousand people in it.
That was the closest estimate we could get.

This is a section that they call the "wood houses".
This is where the poorest of poor live.
This particular steet is waiting for government houses that are suppose
to be ready in the first of the year sometime.
Each of these houses are approx. 8'x10'.
We were asked if we wanted to go inside one of these houses and pray with someone.
We did.
The person that lived there was a young man who made me think of Brett.
About his age. Living here.
I cannot tell you what it did to my heart....

There were many, many children.
All of them wanting me to take pictures of them.
When we got home that night I could not calm my mind
as I continually saw these children in my head.
What are their hopes and dreams....
Or have they already stopped hoping and dreaming?

This river runs through this part of the neighborhood.
It has trash dumped in it and I was told that the sewage flows directly into too.
This is the only life that the majority of these people know.
I'm not one to ask God "why" very often
but that night as I lay in bed, unable to sleep, I did find myself
crying out to God "why"?
And what began with asking God why there are those that have to live this way,
ended with me asking God why I have gotten to live so blessed.
Who am I?
I would like to say that I will never be the same.
I pray I will never be the same.....


JuRita said...

Thank you for sharing Sheri. Sean and I watched the movie City of God last year and it showed us many hardships the people face. I can only IMAGINE what it would be like in person.... and reading about the kids.. I immediately got choked up. LOVE YOU GUYS!

The Buckouts

Anonymous said...

Oh Sheri. Once again you posted a realistic view of life in Brazil, and it made me cry for the people in the City of God! We are so blessed. Thanks for going for a visit and for sharing with us.
Love you!

Anonymous said...

I hope you understand how eagerly I wait for your blog updates because God has given you a GIFT. Your words and pictures really tell the story and leave me longing for more, more understanding to pray more effectively, thankful that God's faithfulness is not based on my knowledge. Praying for strength and peace for you both. Love you dearly my precious friends! Cindy

Judy said...

Ah, Sheri and Warren, the Lord God asked you to walk with Him down streets that he so often walks alone. When I asked the Lord, "WHY did you take me to see the Pine Ridge Reservation with it's massive, massive problems? I am only one person." He answered me, "So that you will record what it was like just before I bring My transformation." You are walking through the treasure fields of humanity, the diamonds, rubies, and emeralds which He is about to bring "out of the ground." We agree with the desires of the Lord's heart, this great wealth will not be lost but brought into His treasure house. We claim the dreams and hopes within each one, and we declare that the Lord God has exceeding abundant provision which He desires to release so as to fulfill these dreams. Release your Joseph's, O Lord God, for they have the strategies to bring the Kingdom of God into this place. I especially pray for Warren and Sheri, Father God, because you've asked them to lay down their earthly construction building to better grasp how they can be Master Builders of Your spiritual house. May you increase their capacities in spirit, soul, and body so that like the man who oversaw Solomon's Temple Work, they too will be "cunning in all crafts." Glory, glory, glory Most Excellent LORD.

Jen said...

Hi Sheri! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you finally got to do this!! You were able to put into words things I could never, so thank you! They way to reach these people is to pray with them and then let them see how God wants to work in their lives...what an awesome ministry to be a part of! I am praying about coming back to Brazil sometime in 2010...maybe I will be able to meet up with you guys and you can show me your Brazil! Love you!


Eyes_Wide_Open said...

Haven't visited your blog in a bit, so I'm catching up.

I'm glad you could visit and pray you never will be the same.

Sending my love to you and Brazil!

Edify Daily said...

Sure love you and miss you guys. Prior to reading this post I read where Brett and the crew were unable to make the trip. I remember this clearly and the confusion that went with it. The strong desire on your hearts to SEE Brett and for him to see you. WHY? WHY NOT? Yet on a much different level than yours, I had a peace that it was right. I hurt for all of you as I knew how much you wanted to see one another.

Now I walk through this little journey you have made for us here in words and pictures and also ask “why”? It is hard sometimes to realize that life is not the same everywhere. We are use to things here that others can not even imagine. Why do people have to live in such a hard place? Maybe they ask why people have to live so extravagant. Maybe they have no idea as some of us have no idea how they live. As you said, “they don’t know any different”.

When I think of how precious it is to walk with the LORD I also think how many do not even have an idea what that is. So many are living in “spiritual huts” but Gods heart is for them to live in a mansion. We can sure REST in the LORD and be at perfect peace with nothing on this earth, yet filled with the Spirit of the living God.

Thanks for sharing this true story and the pictures to help tell it. I pray too that I will not be the same. Each day is a real gift. We have no idea what is ahead. What will the story of today be? It is interesting also to think that God is also recording it all. (That’s some blog He must have) It would be interesting to see His entry on this same day. Might have started something like this? Oh the joy that my kids Warren and Sheri brought Me today as their heart were stirred when I showed them…