I felt like sending a very straight forward and practical update. So, here it goes.
As many of you know from January to July I was in Brazil and due to visa complications I had to leave Brazil and am currently in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Some of you many wonder why you don't see many pictures of where I am ministering… Well, it's simple. I'm ministering, not taking pictures. Also, I'm often with people who do not want their pictures taken (drug dealers, drug users, prostitutes, homeless). It can not only be degrading and take away their dignity but also dangerous. So, I've pulled some pictures from Google so that you can have a mental image of where I was and where I am now. While, Rio is infamous for it's beautiful beaches, people, and football, it is also a city with a major crack epidemic and poverty. The second picture is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It's a local deposit site for all of the cities trash that is also a slum maintaining a position as one of, if not the, poorest places in Rio. Many people here live without running water and electricity. Their houses are built up out of trash. The third picture is also from Rio. This is a place called Cracolândia "Crackland". It's called this because the drug use is extremely high. It's a place where the majority are drug addicts, prostitutes, homeless. With my own eyes I've seen hundreds of people using crack cocaine, women trading sex for drugs, children as young as 11 using crack and carrying guns.
Now onto Buenos Aires… I'm used to working with the poor. I'm comfortable there. But, during my time here I've been stretched. I've been mostly in the church. I've been discipling and teaching in multiple women's groups. Many days, I'm doing house visits with the wonderful woman I'm living with, or people are coming to our house for consoling or women's group. I've also been working with a lot of families, with troubled teens, drug addictions, depression, and many, many other things. We are also visiting the hospital at least once a week to pray for the sick and help feed some of the patients who don't have family to help them during meal times (Yes, hospitals are very different outside of the US). I'm also about to start enabling and teaching a family that lives in a local slum how to be missionaries in their own neighborhood. It's a rough neighborhood that needs a lot of Jesus and we are excited to bring light into this dark place. We've already walked through meeting and praying for people. It was a beautiful time, but we definitely need a lot of prayer as we are plowing the ground and raising up the harvest in this place. This week I will also be visiting another slum. It's the biggest slum in Buenos Aires. I'm going to be participating in evangelism with another local church in the area. Please be praying for me as I go to and from all these places! God is doing some incredible things and opening doors left and right for me and my time here.
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil - Google Images
Jardim Gramacho - Google Images
Cracolândia - Google Images
Buenos Aires, Argentina - Google Images
The couple I'm living with! (They have 4 sons who are not pictured)