Days 3 and 4: Welcome to Maloquinha and the Opening of the Seminary
On our first full day in Itaituba, we were able to sleep in a bit and recover from two days of travel. When we finally walked to where we thought the kitchen was, we were greeted by Solange (the manager of the farm) with just one word: “Café?” Knowing no Portuguese, I tried answering with a very Spanish, “Si!” Thankfully, she understood and took us over to where the good and coffee was.
We met up with the McCrackens who told us that for our first full day in Itaituba, they were planning for us to just spend the day at Maloquinha (the farm). Tom walked us around parts of the farm pointing out where everything was. It was during that walk that I was reminded that fire ants are originally from the Amazon Rainforest. I wasn’t too pleased to discover that…
The day was overall very relaxed with the McCrackens introducing us to various people who live and work at Maloquinha. Part of the reason we didn’t do much is that everyone was preparing for the opening of Boa Terra, the seminary in Itaituba. Beth and I spent most of the rest of the day further exploring Maloquinha as well as working on devotions we would be sharing at different churches.
The next day, we got up early enough to go to morning devotions and breakfast. After breakfast, we talked with Tom and Jean about what to expect for the opening service of Boa Terra. They gave us a brief idea and told us when to be ready by 5:00.
When 5:00 rolled around, we loaded up in the vehicle to go into town. As we bounced along the road, we were able to finally see the section of the Transamazon Highway that we had traveled a couple of nights before. It’s really just a large dirt road with jungle on both sides. It was beautiful to look at, but I was most excited about seeing Boa Terra. After all, that’s the whole reason we had traveled to Brazil in the first place.
Boa Terra is located in a house that is near the mother congregation in Itaituba. It has a library, large classroom that can seat more than 20 students, small kitchen, and a place out back to hang your hammock. I was hoping I’d get the chance to buy a hammock and hang it out there.
For the opening service, some Brazilians had jammed about 60 chairs into the classroom. By the time the 7:30 service started, the room was packed. They took time to introduce everyone involved in the seminary. Jean had told us she was going to give us “a good introduction,” and I think she did. I don’t actually know since it was all in Portuguese, but I’ll choose to believe her.
After the introductions and a worship service, we moved out into the library for finger foods. I’m a big fan of food, so this part was important to me. We were able to meet Bethann. She had moved to Brazil from Cincinnati, Ohio a couple of years before to marry Danilo, one of the pastors there. It was great to have someone to talk with who spoke English.
It was such an incredible experience getting to meet the 21 new students who were going to be starting their seminary journey at Boa Terra. The program will take them 4-5 years to complete, and it takes a very dedicated individual to complete the program. It was a humbling experience to realize that within the next 2-3 years, Beth and I would be moving to Brazil primarily to be professors at the seminary and participating in the theological education of these students.
About this post:
I’ve been going back through my journal and notes from our visit to Brazil last year. Time has flown by, and I have trouble believing that it has been more than year since we were in Brazil. We are excited to get back to Brazil, this time for a much longer time. If you are interested in partnering with us financially so that we are able to move to Brazil, click the link below to go to the online signup. If you have questions or comments, click on “Contact Us” at the top of this page and we will get back to you ASAP!
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