On the Way Home
After having finished the camp, we went downtown to enjoy the sights and get some much needed food. We slept very well that night, after all the pressure was off, and we didn’t leave on our flight until late that afternoon. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to visit the PAZ church on the border with Bolivia in Brasileia. Brazilians love to go into Bolivia to do cheap shopping- they don’t have the same steep taxes that Brazil has on imported goods.
We had another full day layover in Porto Velho, and this time Pastor Naldo of the local PAZ church took us around Porto Velho to see the sights. Porto Velho reminds me much more of a city in the Amazon Basin- it didn’t have the nice highways, road system and parks that there were in Rio Branco. We went to an art display that was, well, less than art. We visited a local train museum and the river front, as well as the main shopping street. We also spent a number of hours-yes men, hours- in the mall shopping for new clothes. We were thrilled and thankful to find great deals on clothes (clothes in Santarém are nearly twice the price: location, location, location). It was nice to see around, but when our flight came, we were anxious to get going back home!
We had one last layover in Manaus- from 7 PM to 3 AM. The flights that go to Santarém have some of the worst timing! Fortunately, we were picked up one more time by the Bensons and the Cails who took us to a Rodizio de Pizza. For those not familiar with Portuguese, it’s basically an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet where all the pizzas and pastas are brought to your table, and you choose what you want. Oh! It was marvelous! We headed back to the airport so full I was actually glad to have a long layover to digest all that pizza.
The next day (Friday), we arrived home at 4 am, exhausted. Also that day, our church started a 3-day fast of just drinking water. Eating all that pizza the night before was not the ideal way of entering a just-water fast! But it is so good to be back in Santarém- I’m so glad we said “yes” to God and this challenge. Your prayers and support sure are making the difference, and disciples are being made all over the Amazon! And as we always say down here, the best is yet to come! We can’t wait until a plane, car, train or boat takes us close to you!