The church is called Assembleia de Deus Planalto Aeroporto, in Fortaleza. It is open-air, with only a roof over the top, no walls. The reason I say it was a privilege was because, just like I felt in Mexico, I knew I was in the presence of spiritual giants. Their faith humbled and inspired me.
I spent a bit of time in the neighbourhood over the last few days, during the time I spent with my new friend, former Compassion sponsored child Debora Silva. The walk from the church to her house was a real eye-opener and an education for this sheltered little white guy. Drugs, violence, danger and abuse are prevalent. Debora’s brother and sister had both seen a guy murdered near their house the previous night. You cannot sense much hope. The people of the church are courageous and they are warriors.
There is a battle going on in this world. It is not for oil, nuclear weapons or power, but for the soul of every human being. In so many places, on the surface evil appears to be winning, taking hopes, dreams and lives. But in my experiences, with the work of the church and Compassion, God is working through people who are committed to Him to bring His kingdom to earth.
These people are in the middle of this battle that is claiming lives and souls every day, yet they're standing in the presence of God and worshipping with such fervency and passion. It was profound and joyful.
Faith in God in the middle of such circumstances seems so crazy, and counter-intuitive. But it’s in the middle of these circumstances, when people realise that without God they have nothing, and cry out to Him, that he does His most powerful work, transforming lives and communities.
During this past week the church had a week-long seminar on the subject of “families”. One way Satan gets a foothold in the lives of people, particularly in children and teenagers is through the breakdown and degradation of the family unit. Guilt, shame and anger can very easily take over. It is a major problem in this community. Debora told me that most of the children in the church are without at least one parent.
So the church is fighting for the family, to set an example for the community about the difference that healthy relationships can make, with God’s help.
I want to dedicate to these wonderful people this verse from the Word of God:
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up (Galatians 6:9)
PS, I was also able to get on the drums