August 12, 2012
Yet Another Camp Work Day
As a "last hurrah" for a very eventful "vacation", we had one last inter-church camp work day. This event combined the efforts of folks from the First Regular Baptist Church and the Good News Regular Baptist Church in Turu.
Our efforts were divided in two areas...widening an area of the river for swimming purposes, and clearing out an area for cars to park. Above, the swimming hole gang poses in front of their work.
Here, yours truly stands in front of the swimming area. When it is finished it should be at least twice as wide and twice as deep.
In this picture Pastor Izaías (foreground) and a couple other men attack the stumps left over from when we cleared the entrance way.
And the finished product of their work...the van that brought us, resting comfortably in the new parking area. There is now room for at least five regular-sized cars to park inside the camp property.
After a long day's work, the crew gathered for a group shot. Our next big work day is scheduled for December...and we hope to be able to lay foundations for at least one building.
June 8, 2012
I didn't take this picture, it probably won't win any photography awards, and most likely nobody will "repin" it on Pinterest.
Yet, this is a truly amazing picture, for several reasons.
* It represents men from two congregations here in São Luís--Kerigma and First Baptist--working together at our camp property.
* It was taken at the end of a long day of grueling work in the hot sun (punctuated by a merciful downpour), and yet all the men are smiling. Why? For most of them this was their first time at our camp property, and they had seen with their own eyes the potential of the piece of property God has given us.
* To the right of the picture you can see the trunks of two palm trees. When we arrived that morning everything behind those trees was covered in dense underbrush. All the cleared are you see behind those trees (and some that you can't see) was the product of that day's work.
* Behind the hill is a long stretch of area that was, as of yesterday morning, unfenced. It is now fenced.
Yesterday marked great progress in the life of our camp. We continue to keep before us the goal of putting up the first buildings and beginning to hold events--events where the Gospel will be preached and Christ's kingdom advanced.
April 20, 2012
Today I went to the camp property again, accompanied by two men from our church, Francivaldo and George. Our goal was to clear away the weeds around the remaining undefined boundary.
...the first "structure" raised on the camp property.
And this came in very handy because...
...it rained. No...it poured. Not that we ran for cover. In fact, the rain was a welcome relief from the relentless sun, and our productivity actually increased. But it did allow us to keep our food and water handy without having to scramble and put everything back in the car.
The boundary in question goes from the road to the top of a hill not quite halfway into our property. In the above picture, I am at the top of the hill, pointing towards the stake at the other end.
Here George and I look towards the road. The swath of cleared land you see stretching in front of us was cut out today.
A hearty meal!
After achieving our main objective, we set to the next task, which was to define the area where the first building will go. We cleared another path through the underbrush. Lord willing the first building--a multi-use structure that will allow us to have overnight activities at the camp--will be constructed to the left of the measuring tape in the picture.
At the end of the day we surveyed our work, with a great deal of satisfaction.
Our goals for our next trip to the camp (probably in two weeks) are 1) to set put up a fence on the land we cleared today, and 2) clear out the area where the multi-use building will go. We are planning a week-long "work retreat" for July, where we hope to make significant progress on the building.
April 16, 2012
On Thursday Itacyara and I, along with one of our deacons, went to the camp property to take care of some administrative tasks and prepare for this-week's workday. While we were there, we snapped some pictures.
This picture was taken standing on a high point, looking back towards the road. The location of the road can be determined by the electric wires. Everything on this side of the electric wires is part of our camp property. And this elevated point is not quite halfway between the road and the river.
This picture was taken from a spot a little further from the road, and looking in the opposite direction. In the distance is a field, which is on the other side of the river.
Still further down the trail,towards the river, we make a right-hand turn onto the new property we purchased a few weeks ago. The light-colored stake in front of me marks the far limit of that property.
A left-hand turn takes us down once again towards the river. The river is lined with dense brush, as can be seen in this picture.
Finally, the river. This little pool--part of the expansion we purchased last month--will be what we turn into our swimming area. We plan to begin work on this on Thursday. The other task for Thursday will be to put a fence around the un-fenced portion of the property.
A few kilometers from our camp property is this establishment, with the unlikely name of "The God is Father Bar".
March 15, 2012
Brief Camp Update
On Tuesday we went to Morros to finalize negotiations for the purchase of initial property for our camp project. Previous trips had been frustrating due to confusion over just what was being sold, and how much it was being sold for.
On this trip we walked over the entire property (what we have already bought, and what was still for sale) and marked out the official limits, measuring them as we went. As we cut through the brush and set the markers, it became clear that the price we were being offered was a very good one indeed.
So, we finalized the deal. Official signing of papers and transfer of funds will take place next week. Right now we are making plans as to where we will put the first structure--a multipurpose building that will allow us to begin holding events there, possibly as early as next year.
There is a lot of hard work ahead, but those who have been involved in camp ministry know that there is a huge spiritual payoff to be had. Please pray for the progress of this ministry!
As a side note, Itacyara had a talk with the wife of the man who is selling us the property, and she ended up pouring out her heart to her, giving my wife the opportunity to give her some solid biblical counsel. I am constantly amazed at how people are drawn to Itá, and feel the freedom to ask for counsel after only a brief acquaintance. Needless to say, her gift for empathy is a tremendous asset to our ministry.