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  • ivanildotrindade 10:16 am on July 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: belem, , , equator, , hometown, , progress, prosperity, rush hour, , traffic jam, trailblazers,   

    Brazil is on the move! 

    some of my nieces and nephews (my son josh is on the back row seated, blue shirt) — future stars of a country on the rise

    I am ending my third full week in northern Brazil (two weeks of work, one week of vacation) and as you can tell, there hasn’t been much rambling from here. I have been busy!

    My mind is full of vivid images of my time here. First of all, modernity has done something terrible to the city where I lived a good part of my life. My wife’s mom’s house, where I spent many hours courting her, which was two buses away from the center of town (that is, if you were lucky enough to have a bus show up when you needed it!), is now two hours or more bumper-to-bumper no prisoner-taking traffic. You could almost leave the car on neutral and roll it, so it seems.

    My country of birth has shot up economically and the dream of wealth has finally come true to more than the privileged few. Of course, there is still much poverty, but nothing like when I was living here. There are opportunities to make money everywhere and the people are making the most of it. This is my first trip here since moving to the U.S. where I saw the fewest number of beggars on the streets.

    My nieces and nephews, to give one example, are all on their way to become successful. The older ones have already or will be graduating from college soon. Physical therapists, lawyers, architects, medical doctors, teachers. They will go on to do great things, no doubt about it. And they are all connect with the rest of the world via Facebook and Twitter! My generation blazed the trail, now the kids are reaping the benefits, but the question is: are they even aware of the sacrifices their parents made?

    While the team from the U.S. was here, we went to a very poor neighborhood in Macapa, in the northern most State of Brazil, Amapa. We rode in three silver cars literally until the dirt road ended and stopped at a little house which the owner uses to do some outreach to the kids from the area — you had to continue on, walking on wooden bridges to get to where the children were. As we were getting out of our cars, I overheard one of the older kids saying to the other kids, “You suppose they could be from the Mafia?” I laughed hard at that and then I got quiet thinking about what kind of a life those kids have to have in order to come up with a question like that.

    I have heard so many stories of tragedies and triumphs, of hope and despair, but mostly I have been humbled by the resilient spirit of many of the people I have talked to. I could spend a lifetime just learning from them about the secret of contentment in the midst of apparently insurmountable challenges. Looking at the quality of the people I have met, I have no doubt that there is a bright future for this country which has perennially been teased as the giant that has never awaken. But watch out world: the giant is moving!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

  • ivanildotrindade 3:12 am on July 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , belem, , , mission trip,   

    Rambling from the Amazon 

    Hello everyone,

    This has been more than the typical busy summer that I have experienced typically over many years. First of all, my wife has been in Brazil with my son for over a month now. She is helping care for her mother, whose health is failing right now. She needs 24-7 care and my wife is in charge of the night shift. She hasn’t slept one single night since she got there and she is very exhausted right now.

    Secondly, I made an unexpected 10-day trip to SE Asia recently to represent our church at the dedication of one of the homes for orphans in Wiang Pa Pao, Thailand. While there, I also spent some time with the children and staff of the G.R.O.W. home and had meetings both in Cambodia and Thailand that were very useful for the future of this project to rescue children who are victims of physical and sexual exploitation.

    In a few hours I will be heading out to northern Brazil, leading a team from my church. We will be spending one week in and around some tributaries of the Amazon River, doing some work with children and adults. It will be a lot of hard work but also fun. Needless to say, I will have no Internet connection during that time.

    I will try to post some during the second part of our trip, when we will be in Macapa, the capital of the northern most state in Brazil, right on the Equator. We will be working with the local church my dad pastored for 55 years and I know I will be blessed to be there.

    Thank you for remembering us in your prayers. Please keep checking back. I will ramble a little here one way or the other…

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

    • Beth 8:47 am on July 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Praying for you Ivanildo and your family. May God bless everything you touch and renew your wife as she helps others right now. I think it is so exciting to see what God has done with you all. Did you ever think you would be traveling around the world representing God in so many places, when you were such a young child in the Amazon? I can tell my students at school.–Hey, I know someone who grew up in the rainforest! How neat!

      • ivanildotrindade 8:52 am on July 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        thanks, beth. really appreciate it. i lived on the island of my birth until i was 7. never thought much of anything else during that time, except what kind of fish i was going to have for my next meal. since my dad was a fisherman, we had enough to eat, but with no sanitation, drinking contaminated water was eventually going to kill us. parasites and a simple cold could have wiped us out, but God had mercy on us. i am a “debtor.”

    • Bob & Linda 3:29 pm on July 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Dear Brother, Enjoy the fish. 🙂
      Didn’t think much about it when you were seven but can’t help but think what the next chapter in your life holds for you and the multitudes He allows you to touch. We pray that the team is safe and effective as you travel. Our blessings to Naza and your family there. We pray that her mother improves even while you are there. Blessings, B & L

  • ivanildotrindade 10:52 pm on May 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: belem, bus trials, help in a nick of time, , perfect timing, public transportation, street miracle, time of need   

    A Small Miracle on an Eight-Lane Highway 

    Belém, where I went to college, is a city of about 2 million people. Most of these people don’t own a car. They have to rely on unreliable public transportation. And when you have children who are still on diapers, it is virtually impossible to go long distances without wasting hours fighting against the

    People pack the buses like sardines. They wait long until a bus shows up — there is no set schedule. Next, they have to step into the road to flag a bus and hope that it actually stops. Then they have to allow themselves to be shoved inside with the surge of the people coming behind them. Once in, they have to hold on to whatever appears to be standing in one place for a few seconds — peoples’ umbrellas count, especially if they are attached to a purse by the handle. They have to make their way to the guy sitting on the chair who collects the money. And they have to keep moving toward the front so they won’t miss their stop.

    Women struggle more. They have to endure the stares and “lazy hands” of dirty men who are interested in another kind of trip. And if you try to bring small children into the bus, the experience can turn quickly into a mental breakdown. And such was our fate on a Sunday morning when I pastored a church located 45 minutes away by bus. We were running later than usual. I had one of the girls on my arm and Naza was pushing the other on a stroller.

    In order to get to the bus stop, we had to cross two sets of four-lane highways. I was running ahead,  straining my eyes, trying to read the letters on the front of the bus to make sure we didn’t miss our Halley comet. Sure enough, as I got closer to the first set of highways, I spotted our bus. Instinctively, I sprinted toward the middle of the road, where a shallow divider was. Stupidly, I left the wife and the other daughter behind and in the process dropped my glasses. As I unsuccessfully tried to save it from reaching the pavement, I lost my folder and my notes flew everywhere. “Oh no, my sermon notes. How will I preach today?”

    But that didn’t matter anymore. The bus didn’t matter anymore. The only thing that mattered now was for me to hold on to my daughter and find my glasses so I could see where I was headed, and more importantly, what was headed in my direction…

    Thankfully, I put myself together. As I lifted my head, though, I saw something I had never witnessed before: The bus was still there and people were peering at us through the windows. Some were laughing, some were shaking their heads, but all were being entertained. I took another look. “This is not possible. Buses don’t wait for anyone. Elderly? No! Disabled? No! Maybe a young woman in a short supply of clothes, but that wasn’t me!”

    But it was true, the bus was not moving. We came in, entering the bus to a round of thunderous applause. We made the way to the front, only to find that in a city of two million, one of my brothers, for whatever reason, was on the same bus, at exactly the same time we were trying to cross the highway. He standing next to the bus driver, doing something all Trindades are famous for — making conversation with a total stranger. He simple asked the bus driver to stay put and he did!

    That was the sweetest ride on the way to church ever and it reminded me of the words of the author of Hebrews: “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”  (Hebrews 4:16). In the original language, “in our time of need” literally means “in a nick of time.” It’s the kind of help that comes “just when we need it” — not a second too early, nor a moment too late. That is the nature of my God and I never cease to be amazed by it.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

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