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Student Leaders: SPRINT


Summer 2011 SPRINT Teams: Brazil

Trip Dates: July 12 - August 23

Project Description:
Experience Brazilian culture through service and home-stays in urban and rural contexts. Engage in issues of community development and explore a Christian response to poverty. Participants may also enroll in SOC4910 (3 credits) or ANT2250 (5 credits).

Host:
Mennonite Central Committee

Estimated Cost
: $4100

View a digital story from last year’s team.

Download tax-deductible donation information



Brazil


Team Updates


August 17

Family and Friends!

The past few days have been absolutely incredible for our team. Monday and Tuesday we spent time in the favela (slum neighborhood) that our Professor Dr. Kevin Neuhouser lived in when he was a volunteer for the Mennonite Central Committee. We spent time with the children living in this community called Caranguejo Campo Tabaiares. We spent time in partnership with a library that was created to assist children in their studies and giving them a safe place to play, learn and grow. This library was developed by a woman in the favela named Nici who continues to have a desire to bring peace to her community and hope to future generations. We also spent time visiting the elderly that were living in this community. Learning about the life of Caranguejo was incredible. We were deeply enriched by the passion that Nici has to continue to solve community issues, yet never ceases to bring peace and love. The children in the favela were our teachers. They taught us what it means to have a passion to learn, transform and love. This experience is difficult to put into words, but personally this community has captured my heart.

Today we went shopping this morning at a market nearby and then visited an HIV/AIDS support program in downtown Recife. This amazing organization serves as a restaurant that raises money for the continuation of awareness, education and support regarding HIV/AIDS in Brasil. However, their main focus is to support people who have HIV/AIDS with the help of a social worker named Vilma. This amazing woman meets with HIV/AIDS patients every day and works with them to help them find resources for treatment, counseling and nutrition. Our team felt very blessed to be able to hear that this organization is working as an NGO (non-governmental organization) so that they can maintain support for people without limits from the Brazilian government.

Tomorrow our team will be headed to Porto de Galinhas (a beach town) for the next five days to debrief this incredible experience living in Brasil. We came to this amazing country with the goal to live and love like Jesus. We certainly did not always succeed in this task, yet we saw the handiwork of God everywhere we went in Brasil. Each team member is excited to share their individual experiences and memories with family and friends.

Our team will arrive back home on August 24th. Please be praying for good health, safe travels and a smooth cross-cultural transition. As we are in our debriefing period, please pray for God´s guidance in learning how to process this trip.

Thank you for your continual support, generosity and love for our team. We certainly could not be here without you.

In Christ´s peace,
Brasil Sprint team

August 12

Oi tudo mundo!

Wow!!! What an amazing, incredible trip this has been. Our team is back at the unit house in Recife after our time in Riacho de Prata. This community was a lot different than Monteiro, because it was closer to the city of Recife whereas Monteiro was in the interior of the state of Paraiba (rural vs. urban). In Riacho our team lived with a Mennonite pastor´s family.  We worked day in and day out with them washing dishes, building the cement and brick foundation for their church´s sunday school area, cooking soup for families in the community (soup distribution), assisting with a vacation Bible school, doing home visits and praying for families, participating in church services and overall living life and helping meet basic needs in this community. For two days we spent time with children in very at risk communities who were participants of a before and after school program called Projecto Criança. We jump roped, played soccer, sang songs and built relationships with these beautiful children. 

This project partners with an organization called Compassion International. This organization helps to sponsor children in the Project and porvide them with physical and mental care. Our team has returned very exhausted, but in high spirits and filled with awe at God´s love! Our team felt incredibly blessed by the hospitality of the families and the way that the Riacho community not only opened their arms to us, but more importantly their hearts. 

Prayer requests...

almost all team members have lots of bug bites...please pray for relief
some team members have colds...so please pray for healing

Overall, we are all doing well!!!

muitos beijos!!!! (kisses)

Blessings and peace,
Brasil team

July 30

oi todos!

Yesterday our team returned from Monteiro. This was a very difficult good-bye for our team since we had spent two weeks living in such an incredible community who had truly opened up their homes, tables, lives and hearts for us. All of the agricultural projects we were able to participate in meant so much to us because we had the opportunity to meet the families who lived on the land that we were nurturing. Our second to last night there, we had a celebration with all of the families who had served us throughout the two weeks. We discussed the parable of the sower and the strong meaning that it has for our team. We had participated in literally planting seeds and relationally watching seeds grow over two weeks with the communities in this beautiful area. We made so many friends while in Monteiro and left with tearful eyes and hurting hearts. However, our team discussed the fact that the Kingdom of God is greater than what we can fathom; there is hope in heaven for eternal friendship. Thus, our connections in Monteiro will not be broken. 

Today our team took the day to relax, process and go to the store in town during a tropical downpour. Right now in Recife it is the ´winter´which really means 80 degrees and random spurts of warm downpour. Before we left for Monteiro the MCC house actually had a small flood and we were bailing water out the next morning. Nevertheless, each day is an adventure led by the Lord! God is showing us new insight and opening our eyes to his goodness and faithfulness!

Today is the last day I will update for a while as far as I know...Our team leaves on Monday for Riacho de Prata and will be in home stays for another two weeks...please pray for God´s guidance. In Riacho, our team will be working with children, assisting a vacation Bible school and helping a Mennonite church there.


Prayer Requests: Some team members are struggling with digestion. 
Continued passion and excitement

"Ás for that in the good soil, they are those who hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience". Luke 8:15

com muito amor, 
Brasil 2011 team



July 24


Family and friends!

By now I think the team has pretty much agreed with me that Brasil is the best! I am currently writing this e-mail from the MCC office in Monteiro, Paraiba. We have been here in Monteiro exactly a week and are seriously having the time of our lives. We live in a house in a `sitio´ named Tingui. There are various ´sitios` that represent different communities in the city of Monteiro. Our house sits on a farm, so we are daily woken up by cows, chickens, goats...etc. We are definitely getting adjusted to this farming area. Everyday an amazing family down the street cooks for us and is demonstrating the care and compassion of Christ to our team. We watch Brazilian novelas (soap operas ) with them every night. They have their own organic farm and are probably some of the most hospitable people I have ever met. We have also been involved in various agricultural projects. We partnered with a family in the community of Balança to help make compost and plant cilantro for their farm. These families are intergenerational and are being empowered through programs offered by MCC and the Brazilian government. Our team also visited a land reform settlement and learned the process of what happens with communities who are ´landless.` We learned more about how these communities are developed and shaped through a Brazilian organization called MST. The people we encounter on a daily basis are considered poor to the American standard, yet our friends here live beautiful lives and are very happy. Thus, we desire to continue to encourage and support God´s work here in Monteiro and are enjoying learning more and more about their lives. Another project that we have participated in was helping different families cultivate their farms and gardens. One day we helped a woman move compost, create garden beds and plant beets. There is a lot more details to all of these experiences, but unfortunately I do not have enough time to explain every detail...Our team would love to chat with you more when we return to the states.

Last night we went to a goat festival called Bode na Rua in a town called Gorjao. This is one of the home towns of a staff member at MCC Monteiro. We danced the traditional `Forro´ and ate lots of cheese, milk, yogurt and other delicious items that can be produced through goat´s milk. This morning we woke up at 3AM to climb the Serra do Peru with a group of Brazilian friends here. By the time we got to the top of this rock the sun had risen and we prayed, explored and enjoyed building community with our friends here. I know that next Friday when we leave Monteiro, each person on our team will be very very sad to leave.

We will return to Recife on Friday for a few days and then we will head to Riacho de Prata and toward the end, Porto de Gallinas for our retreat.

Please continue to pray for good health, positive attitudes and for the Holy Spirit to work in and through us wherever we go.

By the way, if anyone is concerned about their team member´s health, we are getting fed at least 4-5 meals a day by the incredible people in our communities.

com muito amor,

equipe Brasil

July 16

Dear friends and family!

The Brasil team is having an incredible time so far and it is only day 4! The last few days we have spent time learning about different areas of Recife and the work that the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). It has been a wonderful experience getting to know the long term workers at MCC. We have spent time guided by our professor Dr. Kevin Neuhouser throughout different areas of the new and old parts of the city. Yesterday we went to a favela (slum neighborhood) called the Morro of Conceicao. This favela was built on a very large hill that had a church at the top. We spoke with the priest and learned about the church and the way it serves this community. It was awesome to hear the priest talk about leading the congregation to worship and adore God. There have been many more adventures we have had throughout the last few days, but unfortunately there is not enough time to discuss all them.

We may not have another update for a couple of weeks because our team leaves for the city of Monteiro tomorrow in the state of Paraiba. It will take aproximately 4-5 hours to get there. We will be partnering with MCC´s work there with organic farmers and serving in that community through various agricultural projects and time building relationships with families and the Mennonite church there. If you would like to view recent photos of our trip please follow the link:

www.photobucket.com/sprint-brazil

"There is a sense of something in this country, something it took me awhile to put my finger on. after today, I realized what it is: it feels FREE. There is freedom here."
-Julie Hubbard: Day 1

"The language barrier today was more difficult than I had imagined. I have never visited a country where I didn´t know at least some of the language. I hope that over the coming weeks we learn more portuguese and hope that this will open doors of communication and insight into family life of Brazilians."
-Heidi Solmonson: Day 2

"I feel a strong sense of God´s love. To come to know Him, to read about His great heart for His children, to see His people working together to do His will and declare His love to the world. It is so beautiful. to know God is to know hope. It is here. Learning about the history of MCC and Brasil was really beneficial...Housing is better, education is more available, the economy is improved.I have so much to learn, especially in relation to what God is calling me to..."
-Shianne Paez Day 3

Dr. Kevin Neuhouser is having us read the book Gracias written by Henri Nouwen. This is a journal about Nouwen´s experiences in Latin America. The following is a quote from the book that is speaking to our hearts. We are also daily reading through the book of Luke. Join us in reading tomorrow's passage Luke 4:1-13.

"Now a radically new perspective: to search with the poor for the treasure hidden in the ground on which they stand. it is this shift from spiritual colonialism to solidarity in servanthood that explains this way of life."
-Henri Nouwen: Gracias

Love Team Brasil!

July 13

Oi todos! (hi everyone)!

After 30 hours of travel, our team has arrived in Recife, BRASIL!!!! We are in high spirits and excited to see what is in store during the next six weeks.

We were graciously greeted by the Mennonite Central Committee organization and are about to eat a Brazilian meal!

Prayer Requests:

That God would grant us all with good health and an openess to follow wherever the Lord leads.

We love you so much!

beijos (kisses),

Julie, Mark, Kevin, Shianne, Heidi, Megan, and Karina



July 12


Brazil Team

Hello, friends of the Brazil SPRINT team!

This morning six Seattle Pacific University students and Dr. Kevin Neuhouser from SPU’s Sociology Department begin their journey to Brazil, where they’ll spend the next six weeks learning and serving alongside the Mennonite Central Committee, supporting community development in low-income communities near Recife, Brazil.  Over the course of their trip I’ll send regular updates to keep you informed of their experiences.

SPRINT (Seattle Pacific Reachout International) is SPU’s short-term missions program.  This summer we’ll send nearly 70 students to 9 countries across the globe to learn from and serve alongside local community leaders.  These students have been meeting together since February, and have spent significant time in pre-trip training to consider the impact of short-term service, ways to approach unfamiliar cultures and the role of American Christians in the global context. 

Our hope for SPRINT is to provide opportunities for students to learn first-hand from leaders engaged in significant issues in their communities and to encourage others through their service. 

Thanks for your support of this team!  Please let me know if you have questions.  I’ll send another update soon.

Owen Sallee.

 


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