Aja George (14) West Los Angeles Holiness Church
My experience in Brasil has been excellent. It has been so good, it makes me want to come again. The people here treat others the way they would want to be treated. They have taught me to be open and warmhearted when we meet someone you donīt even know. God has blessed me with many new friends. The food here is excellent and I definitely like the Brasilian barbeque. I also learned that Brasil was spelled with an s and not with a z, BraSil. Thank you very much. Obrigado!!
Zenja George (9) West Los Angeles Holiness Church
I like Brazil alot. The people are nice. I love the food and the Guarana. My experience here is treat others as you would like to be treated. Here, I lost something (my alto voice), but I gained something (a tenor voice). I got closer to Christ on this trip.
Saori Ha (18) Los Angeles Holiness Church
Brazil is great! I`ve met so many nice people and the food is AWESOME! Iīve never met nicer people than Brazilians. They are so quick to make you feel comfortable. I have been very blessed by their servantīs attitude. Although Iīve seen the good side of Brazil, I have also seen the not so good side. I have seen the homes of the poor people. That has made me realize how much God has blessed me with all the things that He has given me at home. So I thank God and the Brazilians for all they have done. Obrigada!
Sung Ha (20) Los Angeles Holiness Church
I believe that the trip so far has been a success and God has used us in many ways throughout the trip. It was great to hear of people who have been touched through our ministry but we owe all that to God. Only through Him is it possible of everything that has happened so far. There are many times where I felt physically and spiritually exhausted but seeing the smile of people in the audience, reminds me that our ministry is not in vain.
Joyce Keiko Hirotsu (18) Los Angeles Holiness Church
God has blessed me in many ways. Before the trip, I was worrying about the dangerous stories I had heard, the different culture, the food, just the overall differences between countries. I did not know what to expect. But after arriving, the Lord has provided me with many generous people who are so warm and are always willing to serve. I am very glad to have had this opportunity to share about Jesus to the people of Brazil through fellowship, singing, and chatting. I hope to take back very good memories of this mission trip and the many blessings God has provided.
David Minoru Hirotsu (10) Los Angeles Holiness Church
God has blessed me by coming to Brazil before us and preparing the home stays, and churches hearts for us. They were friendly and nice to us and I think Brazil is a good place to live. I think I have received more than I have given when I am supposed to give. Beleza.
Joseph Yoshiaki Hirotsu (15) Los Angeles Holiness Church
So far, my experience in Brazil has been real fun. Iīve been privileged to meet very warm and caring people, and eat very tasty Brazilian food. The homestays were very welcoming, and have shown lots of hospitality. God has been a blessing to me and us all!
Nazuki Ito (19) West Los Angeles Holiness Church
Praise God for His faithfulness through our entire stay in Brazil. I have been blessed so much by everyone and everything that surrounds me. The people here are amazing, they are overflowing with love, care and joy. It is so awesome to see the Brazilian people praising the same God that we praise in America. This experience was a huge reminder of how enormous our God is!! I am so grateful for the wonderful opportunity we had to serve our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is truly in control of all things.
Jill Iwasaki (14) West Los Angeles Holiness Church
God has blessed our choir with so much on this missions trip. He has made His presence known through the Brazilians we interact with through their hospitablity, generousity and everything else also. Our Lord truly has blessed us by providing us with these people who have hearts of servants for Him. God has also worked in my own heart. Before the trip, I had an idea of what Brazil was like: I was focusing more on the bad things than on the good...but through my experience so far, God has taught me not to make assumptions, for it has been the good things that shine and remain in my memory. God has done wonders for our choir as a whole in redirecting our purpose and focus out of ourselves onto other people. The way God has blessed us has been so amazing, and I`m so thankful for everything.
Seigo Kawa (11) Los Angeles Holiness Church
People in Brazil are very generous, gracious and caring. The meat in Brazil tastes better. God has protected us and helped us to have strength and keep us awake during long night concerts. Everything was like set up for us because God`s hands has set it up for us. Overall, I think that Brazil is a good place to live, stay and have a good time.
Timothy Maki (13) West Los Angeles Holiness Church
Brazil is a very beautiful country with very kind people. The entire youth choir has greatly been blessed by the love, care, and hospitality of the people at all the Holiness churches. Through fellowship with other Christians, I have become much wiser in my decisions, and I have grown closer to God in my relationship with Him. I am very glad to have been able to go to Brazil and share Godīs love.
Keiga Matsumoto (13) West Los Angeles Holiness Church
In the beginning, I was scared of coming to Brazil because I thought Brazil was a dangerous and really poor place. I thought that there were many homeless kids living off on crime in the streets of Brazil. But now after staying in Brazil for 3 weeks, I know that Brazil is nothing like I imagined. Everyone is so kind and open to me and the choir and they make me feel right at home.
I know that God has blessed me in many ways throughout this Brazil missionary trip. Even throughout the busy schedule He has helped me to keep my focus on him. Even when I got sick and a little scared, he comforted me and kept me safe. He has blessed me with people so kind and generous enough to open up their hearts to listen to our music.
In conclusion, I would like to thank everyone I have met throughtout this missionary trip for everything they have done for me and the choir. I love Brazil, I love the food, and I love the people of Brazil.
Shuichi Matsumoto (10) West Los Angeles Holiness Church
I think Brazil is a very nice country. I liked Curitiba. I liked the people. My homestay friends were very nice to me.. I figured out that Brazilian people eat beans alot.
Jaime Mizoguchi (22) Los Angeles Holiness Church
Brazil has been a wonderful experience. We`ve seen God use our tiredness and other shortcomings to further His kingdom. It is amazing to see the many blessings, such as bringing people to churches who were not open to God in the past and taking advantage of the doors that were being opened. We were always comfortable and always welcomed. I`m sure that we will never forget the hospitality of the Brazilian people.
Satoshi Nago (21) Los Angeles Holiness Church
This trip has been very humbling. God has blessed me by continuing to show His goodness. Everytime I do not understand why our choir does something, God somehow shows me that it is all in His master plan. Praise God.
Bonnie Nakasuji -West Los Angeles Holiness Church
Having now had the opportunity to visit, fellowship and support the outreach and inreach ministries of the Holiness churches in Brazil, I feel much more connected to Brazil. Before coming to Brazil and someone who had never traveled to South America, it seemed so foreign and distant. Despite the language and cultural differences, what emerged from this trip for me was a closeness to the people and the realization that we all share the same passion for Jesus Christ. We all have the same struggles in striving to understand and build a relationship with Him and to be obedient to His calling. I have a new love for the people, a better appreciation for the work of the Holiness churches here, and a desire to return if it is God`s will.
Dana Nakasuji (19) West Los Angeles Holiness Church
So far, we have been in Brazil for two weeks. Our day is filled with concerts, traveling, concerts, really good Brazilian food, concerts, meeting wonderful people and more concerts. Two weeks of our busy schedule would tire anyone out! But there is one thing that I`ve learned through it all. God is faithful! God gives you strength. He is the one that enables me to be enthused. He is the one that enables me to sing with all my heart. He is the one that gives me the strength that I need to serve Him to the fullest extent. Without His faithfulness in giving me strength, I probably wouldn`t have made it this far. ...Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Darren Nakasuji (23) West Los Angeles Holiness Church
One of the MANY things I have experienced here in Brazil is what it means to give with joy. I am totally reminded of the Macedonian Church who gave beyond what they were able, and yet they gave out of sheer joy. The people here give so freely...it is clear that they have far less than I have in my home in America, yet the people here just give and give to me as if I were less fortunate than themselves. And what is more is that they give in a joy I have never learned to use. It is a wonderful testament and modern example of love and joy giving to us all.
Garrett Nakasuji (21) West Los Angeles Holiness Church
God is so faithful! While making preparations for our missions trip to Brazil, I was under the impression that we were here to serve God by serving the people in Brazil. However, God humbled me by showing me that the people in Brazil and our choir are in a partnership. We both share the same love for God and serve Him. I pray that God will continue to use your churches to worship our Lord, Jesus Christ, and glorify His kingdom.
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58
Paige Nakasuji (16) West Los Angeles Holiness Church
I`ve just been so amazed and blessed by the hospitality, generosity, and concern the people in Brazil have for everyone in the choir. It has been so easy to fellowship and make new friends here, and difference in langauge has never been a barrier because we are one in Christ. I remember one night the choir was at a youth praise night. I just remember watching the youth lift their hands, and close their eyes as they sang praise to the Lord. It was then that I realized that even though people may not understand the words we are singing or when we don`t know the words, they are singing, we worship one God. It was a wonderful time just to focus on God. I didn~t have to think about singing on the right key, or watching the director; just worshipping Jesus Christ. If I wanted, I could just listen to the words, and focus on God.
I also have been feeling very tired and weary. I get cranky at times, but as I did my quiet times, I read Ephesians 6:7. It talks about how at times when we feel weary and want to give up, we can stay the course if we understand that we`re working for our Lord and His eyes only. He values what we do, and why we do it. It was a good reminder why we are here, and that we are here for God, and that he deserves my all.
Paul Nakasuji -West Los Angeles Holiness Church
I have learned that God`s grace and provision is abundant, far beyond anything that I could have hoped for or anticipated. I have learned important lessons in the meaning of sacrifice and giving by the Brazilian people, despite of their economic hardships and energy shortages. I have been blessed by their warm, giving hearts - always willing to give their best for us, and providing for our every need, every day of our stay in Brazil.
Jonathan Nitao (16) Los Angeles Holiness Church
God taught me many things in Brazil. One thing is how to be patient during hard times. I understand how important it is just to be able to help others when they are struggling. I believe God is using me to encourage other choir members when they are feeling down. I just thank God for giving me the strength and will to act to serve others.
Ai Nogimura (16) Los Angeles Holiness Church
Brazil is really cool. The people are really nice and the food is really good. Brazil is really different from America. For example, the paper for the toilets cannot be flushed. It took me awhile to get used to this but I got it. God has blessed me so much. I really didn`t get sick and I had energy for almost every performance. Somehow I had energy to serve God even though I was tired. I learned that even though we donīt know it, God helps us all the time...everywhere, anytime, any place.
Valerie Oishi -Los Angeles Holiness Church
God never ceases to amaze me! My plan was to come to Brazil to minister to the people, but instead Brazil was a blessing to me! I felt that God wanted to teach me humility in a big way. Also, that I cannot predict what the Lord will do. He works in ways that we may never see, but He has a good and perfect will for everyone and everything.
Cristina Salamanca (12) West Los Angeles Holiness Church
I think Brazil is a very cool place. It sort of reminds me of Bogota and the people are very nice and helpful. I have been focusing in how God touches people and how God uses people. One person I especially look at (as a role model) is Jeremy because he is really into it. God just has blessed us alot!
David Suh (24) Los Angeles Holiness Church
When I first arrived in Curitiba, I was informed that I would be alone when staying at our homestay. And that my homestay hosts were non-Christians. Being one of the oldest of our team, I felt I had to be a good example of a Christian male to these people, but it was a very daunting task none-the-less. The entire stay in Curitiba turned out to be my favorite, mostly because of that one familyīs determined effort to offer me their home and hospitality. They went out of their way to accommodate me in every way possible, from pick-ups to drop-offs, late night snacks, preparing early morning breakfasts, and even an hour of Brazilian MTV and an email check. Even though they were non-Christians, they were incredibly inquisitive about the choir, my home, church, and family. It was an incredible sight to me when I saw the oldest and youngest sons of the family enter the church for our last concert before leaving Curitiba. I have been praying for them to begin attending the church, and will continue to correspond with them after I return home. Through that whole experience, Iīve learned that God wants me to set my own fears upon him and to have faith in Him, that He knows what He is doing and that my worrying doesnīt matter. He knows all!!
Ken Tabuchi -Los Angeles Holiness Church
A couple of years ago, when the decision was first initiated to look into the possibility of going to Brazil, my feeling from what I had heard about this country was not a positive one - (water, roads, transportation, etc.). Although familiar with the JEMS ministry in Brazil through Mary, I had no idea what to expect. But by the end of the first day in Curitiba, I became a little relaxed. Most everyone made me feel at home. It was a little amazing to see as we went from place to place that they had made a real effort to keep us comfortable and well fed. Key Yuasa had made the challenge and the churches seemed to have responded as a way to encourage growth. Our previous missions trips have taught us to expect the unexpected but the welcomes have been great, so much so that I would have no qualms to return to Brazil. I know now why some members of the JEMS team have returned to minister in Brazil.
Lisa Tabuchi -Los Angeles Holiness Church
I am very thankful for the opportunity we have been given to participate in the different ministries of our sister churches in Brazil. It has been great to be able to actually go into the different communities and share God`s love through songs and testimonies at hospitals, schools and local government offices. It is encouraging to see how God is working in these communities through our Brazilian sister church members. The people that we have met here have all been very warm and have made the choir feel at home while in Brazil. Through the new friendships we have made, the distance between Brazil and Los Angeles will now seem a lot closer.
Mary Tabuchi -Los Angeles Holiness Church
I believe the group and myself have been abundantly blessed by God during this trip. The churches of the South American Holiness conference partnered with us for this very great opportunity to serve together and reach the unchurched people. The youth and leaders met many pastors and church members which will provide an even greater bond between the two Conferences. I have learned that it is very easy to bond with our new friends in Brazil because they are culturally very friendly, warm and extremely caring people.
Mari Tajii (17) Los Angeles Holiness Church
Brazil has been amazing. In each city, from Curitiba to Maringa, Londrina, Presidente Prudente, Dourados, Gloria Dourados, Campo Grande, to all the churches in Sao Paulo, I have been blessed. There are no words I can use to describe what is was like. We were able to create friendships with the people despite the language barrier and at some places, run around free like little kids, and serve as well as be served (tremendously). I have truly seen on this trip how God is faithful despite my faithlessness. If I had one sentence to describe my experience on this mission trip, it would be this: I think God showed me a glimpse of heaven through the hospitality and warmth of the people in Brazil.
Emily Wong (19) West Los Angeles Holiness Church
So far, Brazil has been a great experience for me. The churches and people I`ve met have been extremely hospitable and have welcomed our choir with open arms. Something I`ve learned is that God is always with me. Even while traveling with 38 friends, you can still feel alone. But God has been faithful in revealing Himself to me in times when I needed Him most. This trip has been a great learning experience and a blessing to me. I came to serve others, but I received so much more from God and the people I`ve met here in Brazil. My first impression of Brazil is that the people are very gracious, warm and friendly...and the food is good too!
Jeremy Wong (21) West Los Angeles Holiness Church
I have learned much about the Christian lifestyle. Though having known Christ for 10 years, I have just begun to understand that an important part of Christianity is consistency. I see examples of this in the Brazilian people, churches and homestays. Their generosity, warmth, consideration, and love are not just good qualities, it describes their Christian way of life.
Timothy Wong (14) West Los Angeles Holiness Church
My experience in Brazil so far has been great. The people here are very hospitable and generous to me. They treat me how they themselves would want to be treated. Love overflows in their hearts. Throughout this trip, many things didnīt go the way I wished it had. By this, God taught me that I had to be less self-centered. I love Brazil!
Fifi Young (13) West Los Angeles Holiness Church
I think Brazil is really cool. God has blessed me with so many new Brazilian friends. During this trip, God has helped me be more open and confident, something I never had in Los Angeles. And I`m glad we all came, because we had spread the Word and helped alot of people accept Christ. Also, now I have a good reason to learn Spanish in school instead of French. And we should all thank our great bus drivers who drove us from Curitiba to Sao Paulo.
Nichole Young (11) West Los Angeles Holiness Church
My experience so far in Brazil is fine except for the weather because you never can tell the weather because it gets cold (like rain) to really hot! God has blessed me by giving me good shelter and health. I have learned alot about Brazil and how loving and outgoing the people can be.
Kelly Zoriki (17) Los Angeles Holiness Church
God has used the Youth Choir in ways that we didn`t even know possible. The people we have met at each church has done everything to provide for our choir. They have made our visit to Brazil an unforgetable one. It shows me that despite the very different language and cultural barriers, God has ways of working everything out. I feel that I am very fortunate to have come to Brazil and now know that I have more brothers and sisters in Christ all around the world.
Scott Zoriki (14) Los Angeles Holiness Church
I feel that I had a very welcoming experience in every church especially in Curitiba, President Prudente, and Campo Grande. I enjoyed the people there too. Every city had fun and exciting people. Midori taught me alot of Portuguese. Pat also taught me alot of names and Portuguese. Fernanda was really cool, even though we didn`t get to know each other that well, she was really nice. Vivi and Juli also taught me Portuguese. I really enjoyed meeting all of them. I remember Mari and Claverson were really funny people. I know I will miss them all and I will remember how friendly and welcoming they were. Oh yeah, the food was great too! Thank you everyone!
E-MAILS FROM BONNIE & MARY...
This is just a quick note to let you know we are well and more rested. We shared this morning at the Bosque church. It is a very large church with many Japanese speaking members. Bonnie and Paul met with Paul's cousin who flew from Santa Isabel (near Belem) 5 hours to meet them. Liliani's mom, grandmother and grandfather came to meet us too. Kona met us in Liberdade last night and stayed with us and came to the Bosque church with us this morning. Steve Kawasaki (used to work at JEMS) is also here this morning. David Oda and Greg Oda (JEMS team) have come to several of our concerts also. It has been nice to see everyone (and also speak English). The last three days have really been great! We all know that it is getting closer to the end and are "giving it all for God" to end this mission trip with a "bang."
This church has a full basketball (enclosed) court and the guys are dying to play with the youth here. It is truly amazing how there are so many Japanese-speaking folks here. The concert last night at the Liberdade church had a huge nichigo group too. They invited non-Christian folks so we included Sakura and Kojo no Tsuki which they say is very "natsukashi." Many cry when they hear these songs.
The last two days included McDonalds and Japanese bento and two chuch pot lucks with Japanese food. We are loving it. Many of the youth want to return to Brazil once again... that shows you how much they love it here - both the people of Brazil and the ministry of the Holiness churches.
Yesterday, we were able to have some free time and took a subway to visit the Pinacoteca (Art Museum). There is a visiting exhibit from Spain which included precious paintings by Picasso and Miro which have never left Spain before. The building of this museum was a piece of art in itself. And the subway reminded us of those we took in Japan - fast, efficient, crowded.
We shared at Unicsul University to a very enthusiastic crowd. This university is located in a very poor neighborhood, which has a mission to reach out and provide services to the community. The dental school for example, provides dental services to people in the neighborhood, anyone can use the library and other facilities on campus. We were very impressed with their community focus. Dr. Jorge Onoda is a pastor who works in the adminstration of the school - similar to a dean. He was very gracious and made all of us feel welcome. You might see us deplane in LA in bright red Unicsul University caps which we all received as souvenirs.
We have had a wonderful trip, a blessed mission. We are coming home with many memories, new friends, and a new spiritual bond with the people of Brazil.
We hope you have been able to receive some of the pictures. It is hard and very expensive (apparently) to use the internet, although the instant messages albeit few is still amazing means of communication.
Love, Mary and Bonnie
hi everyone, i hope you were able to receive our message yesterday. i am lucky that i am staying at the home of someone who has an internet hookup, so i am able to send you messages while i (and paul) are here. we had a very busy day today, but also very exciting. we first sang this early morning at a preschool. then we met the mayor of the city of campo grande. he not only received us and allowed us to sing for him, but also gave us post cards, talked to us about his city and let us take pictures with him. he was extremely gracious. although a roman catholic, he often asks yuasa sensei to pray for him at public events. later we learned that he had sent 38 copies of the photo that he had taken earlier to the church - one for everyone of us. after lunch, we rested for a few hours. we took advantage of this time to have a leaders meeting and to pray together. it was a good meeting. it has been difficult sometimes to do quiet times which has frustrated some, and others feel inadequate as leaders. but there is much support between one other and when we began to think about all the blessings we have been and are receiving during this trip, our personal needs seem less significant. we sang in the late afternoon, at a public school where we were enthusiastically recieved. pastor yuasa has been joining us during our presentations and praying with the group a prayer of acceptance of christ personally at the end of each presentation. at one school, it appeared that approximately 7-8 kids raised their hands to indicate that they had accepted christ. then later that evening when we sang at a continuation school, there were at least 4 people who indicated that they had prayed that acceptance prayer for the first time that night. it seems the skit has a powerful message and one which crosses the language differences. we have required tonight that everyone go to bed early. we had to also ask all the homestay families to put the choir youth to bed by a certain time - so that we can be sure that they are sufficiently rested. for sure we are all eating well. in fact too well. the food is generously given and very delicious. we have been avoiding the uncooked leafy salads just as a precaution. thank you again for your prayers. we are all thinking of you at home and know that you are lifting prayers in our behalf. we feel very blessed here and are confident that god is watching over us and taking care of us. please continue to pray for strength and rest, and that we can remain focused on him, not ourselves. overall so far the youth are united and getting along well. this is a good mission trip. in him, bonnie
hello everybody,it has been such a blessing to be here in brazil. there have been several unexpected events during our trip, but we are happy to say that everyone has adapted and been cooperative. if i remember correctly, our last message was sent from curitiba. since then we have traveled to maringa, londrina, and presidente prudente. all of the churches have been extremely generous to ensure that our stay with them is as comfortable as possible, despite the fact that there is a serious energy crisis and everyone is required to cut back on electricity by 20 percent. they give us their best accommodations whether it is at the church or at a home stay. the food is fantastic and we are eating quite well. fejoieda (spelling?), the national dish is now becoming a favorite for many of us. even the bus drivers who have been and will be with us the entire trip have been very attentive and concerned about our welfare. they were the ones who expressed concern about our entering certain areas of brazil without being properly innoculated. apparently the yellow fever which is more active in the amazon area is becoming more of a problem in state of moto grosso du sol. therefore, yesterday they along with the holiness church in dourados made arrangements for all of us to be innoculated at a local clinic. it seemed that the younger kids were less intimidated than some of the adults. we will have pictures to share about that unexpected experience. we are now in campo grande which is the 3rd largest city where japanese people live in brazil. yuasa sensei lives in this city. we had the honor of being welcomed by the deputy governor of the state, dr. akira otsubo. he came in to the office from his vacation to greet us and give us some history of the japanese people in campo grande and about his vision for the state. we have a busy day tomorrow. we will be singing at a nursery school, elementary school and school for troubled youth. we may also be visiting the city mayor. we are feeling very blessed by all the activities, the warmth of the people. we have been able to have quiet times, devotion times, praise singing as we had hoped. it does not happen every day, but our schedule has some free time in which we can do this. thank you soooo much for your prayers. please continue to pray for our health. many of the kids are tired and yet it is still hard for us to make them sleep. fortunately we are able to catch up somewhat on the bus. more later. ~bonnie, paul, mary and kenny
We left curitiba this morning and took 6 hour bus ride to maringa. it was difficult to leave our new friends in curitiba. although it was only two days and nites, it felt a lot longer because we received so many blessings from the church family. we ate at a brazilian bbq and a dom antonios for great food and fellowship. everyone has extended themselves to make everything perfect for our mission. we had two concerts in curitiba and one in madrina tonite.
we are so grateful that the bus has lounging chairs so that we are pretty comfy on the bus....much, much better than the airplane. the 11 hours on the plane together with the 1 1/2 hour wait and another 1 hour plane ride made us tired from doing nothing. we will be having a 10 hour bus ride to campo grande so we are happy they are very comfortable.
since the choir has had a few concerts and expended energy everyone is more
peppy now. thank you for your prayers and support of this mission. the blessings have been many. God Bless and we will write to you again really soon. bonnie
JULY 21, (Second email)
this is our second day here in brazil and specifically curitiba. the weather has been beautiful - sunny and balmy, a little windy. we have made many new friends and it will be hard to leave tomorrow morning. everyone will have special memories of their home stay families. everyone at the curitiba holiness church has worked so hard - housing us, feeding us, running their vacation bible school. they have been wonderful hosts. we had a chance to rehearse this afternoon and so tonights concert was much better. we were also more rested and awake! we had a chance this afternoon to spend some time with the children attending their vacation bible school. we were asked to do our "new creation" skit and one of the teachers gave a short lesson about its meaning. we were not able to understand her words, but we could feel the passion of her message. we have taken pictures, however have not yet been able to upload them onto our computers. i have been able to use the computer of our host family. we leave early in the morning for maringa which is a 6 hour ride and will have a concert in the evening. please pray that everyone will stay well and that we will find rest in Him. we plan to have a devotion and prayer time on the bus - sometimes it is hard to stay focused on Him in all the busyness and mechanics of the trip. will write again and hopefully with pictures soon. bonnie
FIRST EMAIL, RECEIVED SATURDAY, JULY 21:
hello everyone, we have arrived safely. many of the choir members did not sleep and most did not sleep well on the plane. we arrived at sao paulo around 630am where we met nicole and fifi young and then took a one hour flight to curitiba. pastor goya and his family and many members of the church met us and everyone is very nice. we are all home staying. they took us to the botanical gardens then we had a wonderful and big lunch. after that everyone was so tired, we went to our home stays to take a nap. our first concert filled the church and we will have another concert tomorrow on friday night. some of the young kids did not take a nap and were actually falling asleep while performing. hopefully tomorrow we will be more awake. we will go on a short tour of the city in the morning and then after lunch help out in their vacation bible school. we have already made many new friends. will email pictures hopeully soon. bonnie