Piercing The Darkness Vignette #1: God Sightings in Fortaleza
I love to savor cheesecake, one delicious bite at a time. In the same way, I'd like to savor what God did with us in Fortaleza, sharing our story with you one vignette at a time over the next few days. I want to somehow give you a taste what we experienced. Here's a first bite:
Thirty years ago The Father said to me from Isaiah 54: Son, I'm not sending you to live overseas. Rather, it will be your descendants who take possession of nations and resettle desolate cities.² That was hard for me to hear. But these last two weeks I once again enjoyed seeing God fulfill that promise. Four of my sons, two of my daughters (in law), my wife and I spent the week experiencing the Kingdom of God coming near in the toughest slum of Fortaleza Brazil.
Fortaleza is the city where Brazil comes to buy sex. Oitao Preto is the slum where Fortaleza comes to buy drugs. It's the place where you find teenagers who have 20 murders under their belt. And it's the community where my daughter and her husband lead a team of 8 Brazilian and 4 American twenty-something missionaries who are piercing the darkness. It's the place I hope to take your heart over the next few days.
Walking into Oitao Preto is a sensory adventure. Look up at the brilliant blue sky and down on the chaotic paths dirt and stone. Enjoy the riot of brilliant colors of hanging laundry, painted walls and red tile roofs. Take in the occasional smell of rotting garbage. Listen to the laughter of the children. Look at the wary stares transformed to welcoming smiles for our Brazilian friends who are known and loved as the "Bible People". Enjoy the view of the ocean from the second floor of the House of Prayer. As the sun sets, walk into the streets again to see how various kinds of darkness fill them like an evil flood. Then watch the light pierce the darkness.
Stay tuned. I have more to share with you through this week.
You can see 9 images from this vignette at: