Where we last left off I was beginning my adventure on an airplane to Chicago; following that, an airplane to Miami. The story continues in Miami where I happened to meet up with Becca, my trip leader in a line to get my ticket and she helped me get my ticket, get through security, and meet up with the group. As our group slowly trickled into our terminal from their connecting flights we swapped stories and information about ourselves before boarding our overnight flight to Rio de Janeiro. (A quick note about TAM Airlines - um, they rule. We got free meals and they weren't too bad). From Rio de Janerio we flew north to Fortaleza.
Our hotel was about a twenty minute bus ride from the airport and I experienced my first glimpses of real, extreme poverty. Ramshackle homes were built into the ditches right next to the highway. I caught glimpses of families going about their daily lives and I thought about how awful it would be to have to live that way.Those homes are undoubtedly noisy, smelly, and dirty, not to mention exceptionally unsafe.
After checking into our hotel and settling in, we ate and got ready to check out the Fortaleza sunset and attend church.
That was one thing that really impressed me about the church was that you could really feel God's presence there. The congregation was into the service, sang loud without fear, and responded to the pastor's words. The women of the church, the youth, and the children all sang songs for us which was very cool. Here are the children, many of whom are enrolled in a Compassion project and have sponsors. Notice the woman in the lavender dress on the left guiding them. She was a member of a Compassion project herself and was able to be enrolled in the Leadership Development Program. She received a degree in education and now works in the project she grew up in. (Just one of the many examples of how Compassion works, changes peoples lives, and empowers people to change other lives).
As always, please consider sponsoring a child for your own!