God is creative – and he made man in his image….thus we too are creative… in some way or another =). This week we had the great opportunity to prove this. The base here asked us to design a wall, so that the base looks a lot nicer when the kids of the slum come here for activities and so that the kids can take something away from the painting when they look at it.
But how do YWAMers paint a wall?
Step One: The IDEA
Well, first of all, you….. pray. So first of all we simply asked God if there was something in particular that he wanted to have on that wall and to give us creative ideas. He is after all the most creative one and he clearly has a huge range of ideas to choose from. After a few minutes in prayer, we shared ideas that had come to our mind. We then ended up taking a vote on which one of the ideas we wanted to have on the wall. The vote was unanimous: The lighthouse idea. The idea was to draw an ocean with boats sinking and people trying to get to the shore, a lighthouse guiding them to a beautiful island with a castle on it and a king with open arms waiting for the people.
Step Two: The DESIGN
Here is the first opportunity for people to show off their God given gifting: drawing skills. Half of a degree of architecture does of course help. Willem did an amazing job with the design.
Step Three: The PAINTING of the wall
You take some paint, a brush and then you dip the brush in the paint and slap it on the wall. Or something like that. =) We have been working on the wall for more than four mornings and have come to the realization that it takes longer than we thought. Sounds like typically YWAMers to me; always the optimists and visionaries, rarely the realists. We are still not quite finished with it and it might be possible that we will leave some of the details, but it does already look pretty epic.
Even though you could keep a group of YWAMers busy with just painting, that is not the only thing we have been doing all week. After all the outreach is about Evangelism and bringing God’s kingdom (I am not saying that painting a wall with a message is not part of bringing God’s kingdom). In the afternoons we got to do different activities this week. One day, Elisa, Jamie and Matt got to visit an old lady at her home. The lady has severe cancer. The last time some of our team had visited and prayed for her, there had been a real sense of God wanting to heal her but something being in the way. And God had started to speak to her about forgiveness. But at that time she did not think that she needed to forgive anyone. When Elsa, Jamie and Matt got to see her this time, God had spoken to her about forgiveness and she started to open her heart to God. It was amazing to see how God was touching her when we were praying for her. We really felt that this was also the starting point of her physical healing.
On Thursday afternoon we went to the red light district of Belo Horizonte for a prayer walk. It was so awful to see how some many men went to the brothels even though it was an ordinary afternoon. One girl that came with our team counted 14 men entering one brothel within one minute. It seemed to be such a normal thing to do for them; it was as though they were walking into a grocery store. During our prayer walk one man came to talk to us asking for prayer. He talked with us a lot about his life and was really open about all the struggles he had been and was facing. We prayed for him and got the opportunity to speak truth into his life. It was so amazing how God guided and brought new hope into this desperate situation. It was really a divine appointment!
On Saturday we did something completely new and exciting. We had a roller skate disco for children from the slum. It’s something that never happens here in Brazil and the children were so enthusiastic about it. We had lots of fun, played games and talked about the amazing and unique plans that God has for every single one of them. It was so encouraging to see all the smiles on the children’s faces.