07 September 2008

wEeK oF pRaYeR, sErViCe & jOy...


Finally I'm able to seat and write about the prayer/service week at the village...it has been almost 2 weeks since it ended, but it still feels like it was yesterday...I’m still in awe as I think about it...
God spoke to me these days on Isaiah 42:1-4
"Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and He will bring justice to the nations.

He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.


In faithfulness He will bring forth justice;
He will not falter or be discouraged
till He establishes justice on earth.
In His teaching the islands will put their hope."

Availability, dependent on the Spirit of God, humility, empathy and perseverance...
That’s what we’ve seen in Jesus during that week, and that’s the example we wanna follow...
For sure not by our own strength and means, but by the power of the same Spirit which God filled Jesus with ...

Yes, it was supernatural... Me and Marcia hardly slept during the week... Ton couldn’t be much in the village cuz he had a serious burnt in his leg (he's still recovering), and besides that, it was too many people at the land and it was hard for him to handle it...
But still, each day we were filled with lots of energy, joy and love which could only have come from the Spirit of God in us...
We kept saying “the joy of The Lord is our strength”... And yes, I’m sure God rejoiced in every single moment :-) and we rejoiced in all the things He was doing...our hearts were filled with awe, even though we know that we only saw a glimpse of what was really going on...

God was announcing His will to all peoples... There were people from many different nations among us : Portugal (of course), Spain, France, Belgium, Holland, U.K, Germany, Israel, Iran, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Angola, Italy, Austria and USA...well, as far as we know...if we consider Ton who lived the last 10 years in India and Rachel who lives in Czech Republic for more than 12, than we could add those as well... Anyway, this was just a curiosity we noticed...
There was also people from different spiritual beliefs or backgrounds : christians, jewish, muslims, buddhists, hindus & all sorts of new agers...I guess even skeptics were among us...
Yet, Jesus was not shouting, nor making speeches on the streets...He was not crushing any reed which was already broken, He was not snuffing out any wick which was already fading away...

The opening was amazing, as I shared on my last post...it was just sweet to see all those black dressed old ladies coming in to open up the prayer room...eh, eh, eh... It was a very different environment for them, with all the wall paper, paints and brushes, a mattress and pillows on the floor, a creative tree with the fruits of the Spirit, a whole wall with many people group’s pictures, etc... But there they were, these sweet old ladies...we brought chairs for some of them and I ask them to sing the “our Father in Heaven” as they sing at Mass on Sundays...it was beautiful...and powerful...after that we kept praying and worshiping God as many people were coming in and out... 2 hours passed like 10 minutes...
There were no one signing up during the night shift, so I stayed for the night and slept over...Marcia signed up for every morning, from 6 to 8am, and during the day different people were coming to fill the slots... We didn’t cover the whole 24hours a day (as most of people were not fully aware of the concept), but it was nice also to have some times when people could come in and just have a look...

The second night the “Leeds’ Crew” (from UK) arrived: Ed, Steve, Beth, Tania and Olivier... They are such amazing people...they just came for few days and they were at the ocean when we open up the prayer room... But you should have seen their enthusiasm to pray as they got back in the evening after a day driving... They immediately signed up for the whole night...They only stayed a few more days after that, but it was so touching for us all to meet them... They came to serve, and we definitely felt served and loved by them...what a “crew”... thank you guys !!!




While they were in the room, me and Marcia were downstairs at the “welcome area” ...3 young people came in and said they came because the priest, Paulo, told them about it... We had such a nice conversation... 2 of them, a couple about to get married, will soon go to Principe, an Island in Africa, part of S.Tome... They will help 2 nuns who are there alone in a mission work...they want to take some solar ovens and see if it would be viable there for the people to use there... The 3 of them are part of a perish in Lisbon...They came next day and signed up for a 3 hour slot...

Paulo joined them as well and then they all went to have lunch with us at the village Hall (we had all our meals there cuz there were big pots and all we needed)... They all had a nice time at the prayer room, and I was speaking with Paulo about a Bible study he wants to start in October, once a week :-)... So cool !!! I'll definitely be part of it !!!




During the week we mainly clean around the Primary school (which hosted the prayer room) and collected trash from the woods...even “Nono”, the donkey came to help :-)...









"- Well, can I eat at the table with you guys?!! Hey, why not ?!! I don't understand this humans...Tsss "

Meanwhile the “Boom Festival”, which took place 40Km from here, was over ( the biggest Trance Festival in the World, with more than 60.000 people), and many people came from there to chill down at the land... I guess we had around 40 to 50 people at the land at the moment... Wow... Me and Marcia hardly went to the land on those days cuz we needed to focus on the weekend ahead... And THAT WAS AMAZING !!!


Ton gave a seminar in the morning and many from the land came (I guess people in this area are not used to that)...Anyway, it was amazing the way Ton addressed poverty... he got so overwhelmed with the needs in India while he was there running an Ashram (a spiritual community for the destitutes) for 10 years... He got to the conclusion that the way he found to fight poverty is to live simply and not waste the resources that should be used by others...and he came here to live with us...There would be no poverty in the world if all people would live simple... Anyway, I don’t want to extend this more than it is already...sorry !!!

The other seminars were nice as well...Another one about “poverty”, another about “genetic transformed seeds”, and on Sunday another about “Fair Trade” ... Josh and Rosie were giving one about “Permaculture”, but we thought it would be better a presentation with some basic concepts and a nice banana cake cooked in our solar oven...eh, eh :-)...
In the afternoon we also had workshops for the youngs...Graffitti and circus...


Josh and Rosie went on high stilts, dressed and painted, along the streets to call out people...the old ladies were having a good laugh at them... Even “Nono”, which second name is “the clown” join in the parade...
We had a really good connection with the guys who came from Lisbon to give the seminars...they were amazed with all the things...Bruno and 2 girls who came with him from POBREZA ZERO, and Joao and Pedro from GAIA... they were all really nice people...

...as they finished the seminars on Saturday afternoon, the party started... They were not yet finished and a traditional group with big drums came in playing... I love this local groups... After, the traditional folk music came in, dancing in a big circle ... The “freaks” (us) joined in the circle too and it was a funny mix...the audience was quite funny as well...old people, families with children and the “freaks”...
Josh and Rosie presented a fire show too...It was like a big family party... we made the traditional soup "Caldo Verde" for all and the Mayor was prepared a nice barbecue...mainly for us and the groups who came to play...he just likes giving :-)...


The day after was the same, but at 8pm we were closing up the prayer room... The “fair trade” workshop, given by Liliana from COOPLANETA, a Fair Trade shop in Tondela, was not even finished when this very strong wind started to blow... It was crazy and wild... I just wanted to leave everything and go to the prayer room... it was like God was calling us to gather...
















Karmite and Cami holding our tripod before it would all collapse :-)
Others were there as well...we could still hear the wind blowing like crazy through the windows...we stood in silence...some of us gave thanks to God for the amazing time we had with Him during that week and the amazing things He has done...

I stood and picked up the bread and wine we had at the foot of the cross...then I read this passage in Revelations 5:1-10
"...Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song:

"You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth."
...and suggested that we all could share the wine and the bread saying to one another “we are one”...

It was beautiful... After a time of silence, strongly feeling the presence of God, I picked the guitar and started to worship God...everyone joined and the presence of God was more and more strong... Well, I cannot really describe it... After 2 hours maybe we stopped... Everyone was filled with Love... Honest hugs were given..
I was exploding with awe and Joy...and I guess not only me :-)... The party was already going on, so we all went there to join it...the same like the night before...

I was sat, speaking with my sister Edna, when the Mayor came by... All he said was “Only God”...I smiled and said the same :-)
Everyone was filled with Joy...
O.k, I’ll not extend this any longer...Fiiiu !!!
Thanks for reading it...I hope it blessed you as much as we were blessed...

THANK YOU GOD, FOR ANSWERING ALL OUR PRAYERS...AND BEYOND !!!!
ALL FOR YOUR GLORY !!!
here some more pictures...

here's Mafalda on the circus workshop :-)
...the graffitti workshop...

kids loved it !!!

Sarita always helping of course...here washing some dishes !!!

"Ganda" Timmy !!! here going on the details...I still have to take a picture of the final stage !!! "remember your Roots"...I loved that !!!

others preferred the circus things !!!


mom's and grandma's preferred to watch :-)

it was nice to have the Moses 's around too... they are such a lovely family...Look at Andy's big smile !!!

he is trying hard to be like a little child :-) ...you're on the good way Andy !!! keep going !!!

Belarmino, Ton and Daniel pealing peanuts for the "Crepe"... somehow it was hard for some to pronounce it well... like "crap"..Hmmm...

And here's Stephany, the "crepe" queen...for sure they were not "crap" at all...there was always a line waiting for more... :-)

The freaks and the folk dancers...what a colourful combination!!!!

"-O.k, we came to serve too !!! "...aren't they sweet ?!!!
And now some random prayers which were spread all over the prayer room...



















this one we offered to Liliana from Cooplaneta...we had a cool time with her when we went to take back the products she left to sell... she feels quiet alone because she doesn't want to live like "everyone" does...

and this one we offered to Rodrigues, the Mayor..."Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth;give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.."Psalm 86:11

...and tear it down...

we took all the prayers outside and made a nice bonfire..."they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints"...

... and the cross was left on the way from the village to the "Mount of Oaks":-)


7 comments:

Ron Johns Jr. said...

Wow - looks and sounds like yall had an amazing time! The right music during prayer can truly be inspirational! http://www.musictoprayby.com

c x p said...

Good "reportage" :D... I'll have my photos ready today @ Fnac - Chiado - Lx...see if I can get them today..well it was a wonderful week, I still can't put it into words! And I'm pleased to know you guys went offering some of the drawings & paintings to people...& made that bonfire with all the prayers..that's just amazing!!! HUGS

Jenelle said...

I wanted to cry at the part when everyone started dancing. I HAVE to be at this next year, or the next...please try to tell me when you're aiming to do it again.

I was just going through my book of "dreams" that you all gave me for my birthday, four years ago. Your note is still so beautiful to me.

love you!

Whitney said...

this made me so happy and excited!!!
I'm so glad things went so well! I wish I could've been there!
Take care!

Baba said...

Thanks Ron for the wonderful music...it does lift up my spirit and refreshes my soul... worth to visit this site everyone !!!
Thanks Clara :-) I have the feelings both of the prayers we offered were made by you :-) big hug sister!!!
Jenelle, you definitely need to come next year...book the last week of August to come :-) from sunday to sunday...
Whitney , I wish you could be here too... it was so nice to have your dad for a day and your mom and Isaac all the time...it was a pitty that Alana and Junior missed the weekend...but well... it was very fun :-)
Hugs to all... thanks for feed-back

Ana Maria said...

Olá :) Desculpem ainda não ter enviado notícias. Eu e o Bruno, do Movimento Missionário da Ramada, estamos agora em missão na Ilha do Príncipe. Partilhámos momentos únicos convosco no quarto de oração. Foi muito bom termos tido esses momentos mesmo antes da nossa partida para África. Deixo-vos o nosso blog: http://africaprincipe.blogs.sapo.pt onde estão algumas ´notícias nossas. Regressamos a Portugal em principio dia 29 de outubro, e esperamos depois visitar-vos.

Beijinhos e abraços,
Ana e Bruno

matew said...

Hi Baba, these prayer&service&joy weeks are so WAY off-center compared to what I'm used to that I really have troubles to know what to think about all that. (Reminds me that I lead a way-too-average life currently ...).

Jus', really, I'm impressed by what you and all the guys did in these weeks. This kind of deep joy and companionship that you describe is awfully precious, and I think it is what oh-so-many people here (Germany) are looking for.

If you or anyone here has an idea what could be an adequate style of such weeks in Germany, I'd really appreciate that. I thought about community experiments / third place experiments, but people seem to be too reluctant here even for that.

As always, you're inspiring, Baba :-) Blessings!