The intrepid and exciting adventures of Chrissy Whitehouse aged 45 exactly….
Episode 6 – Weeks 2 – 6 Fortaleza
Hi everyone…. I thought it might be a good idea to catch you all up as I come to the end of week 6 of the harvest school, so I’m going to share highlights from the last 4 weeks to give you a picture of what life is like and what God is doing over here….with lots of pictures of course (some of them will be a spot me in the picture game, but you’ll get the idea!!!!😊😊)
Firstly a word on buses…. Ok so when catching a bus in Brazil you have to know the right number, which I can tell you is not easy at first, particularly when you don’t know what town you are actually in….(I thought for a while that the Sitio was in a place called Igreja because I saw it on a few buildings in our area, but it means church so I’m still not sure what town I’m living in!!!!)
Once you hail down the right bus (hopefully!!!) you have to scramble onto the back entrance of the bus as quickly as possible…. The bus takes off as soon as the last person has stepped onto the bus and so you have to get a good grip quickly because when I say takes off I mean 0 – 60 km as fast as possible…. The Americans tell me it’s like riding an adventure ride in Disneyland …. I think the Brazilian bus drivers learn how to drive on a race track and they are all dreaming that they are driving Ferrari’s 😊😊😊
Now that you have survived getting on the bus you the have to pay the conductor who sits in a booth at the back of the bus…. There are only 3 prices depending on the time of day that you are travelling and it doesn’t matter how far you travel which is cool…. So once you pay the conductor whilst bouncing around the bus you get to go through a turnstile into the main part of the bus …. Brakes are used hard and fast and many people use the bus so they get pretty crowded…. Which is useful when you are trying not to fly through the windscreen…..
That’s some of us travelling back to the Sitio from the iris Fortaleza base ….we are in the back before you go through the turnstile ….
To get the the city we have to catch 2 buses so we get one to the bus interchange…. And then have to find the right line to get the next bus….. The cost of the trip covers both buses so when you get on the second bus you get on in the middle door past the turnstile so you don’t have to pay again…. It’s a little confusing at first but it works for the Brazilians so you get used to it….
I’m considered like a mama here so they make me sit down on the buses all the time …. It’s cute and the guys are very insistent that they carry all our shopping when we go…. That I could get use to!!!!😊😊😊
I can’t leave the Sitio on my own because it’s too dangerous for me or any other westerner or girl to be wandering through the Favela (slum) that we live in on their own.. So that means I need at least 2 other people, a Brazilian and a guy before I can leave…. It’s very caring of the school and given that the Brazilians always do things in groups then it’s usually no effort to get a group together ….
The favourite place that we all love to go to is to have Acai…..
This is inside the Acai place…. It’s like going to a self serve ice cream parlour…. Acai is not ice-cream though it is a really dark purple colour because it comes from the Acai fruit which tastes really nice …. It is served frozen and is the consistency of frozen yoghurt …. You can add actual frozen yoghurt and frozen condensed milk (every sweet comes with condensed milk here) and top it with either your favourite fruit and granola if you want to go healthy or chocolate and lollies if you are having it for dessert …. When it’s not frozen you can drink it too…. And it turns your tongue blue!!!!
This was the last one I had …. The pink stuff is strawberry yoghurt and the white stuff is milk powder (another topping Brazilians love to eat)….
One of the leaders loves to preach on the bus which really inspired me watching him and so I asked if I could, even though my portugese is not great…. The leader was excited and said he would translate for me which was great …. So little me got up at the front of this pretty packed bus and shared with them my testimony about being healed from anxiety and depression ….. It was AWESOME!!!! I loved it …. The whole group of us on the bus then started to pray for everyone on the bus and one young guy who knew about Jesus said he wanted to know Jesus more and gave his heart to follow Jesus right there on the bus…. It was so amazing …. God was so incredible….⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
We’ve had some amazing speakers over the last few weeks…. Herbert Barbutti who is the co-founder of Iris Fortaleza spoke about martyrdom and dying to self…. That was week 2 …. Pretty intense and God did a lot in me regarding letting go of things…. I felt a bit like when you gut a house to renovate it, basically everything but the foundations was stripped away …. Which was pretty hard but so good as I look back…..
Week 2 was also the first prophetic evangelism that we got to do… it’s basically a treasure hunt activity… we had to go completely by faith which included transport, but God was amazing and provided enough money for all 8 of us to travel on 2 buses into the city and back and also to provide with enough food to feed us and a group of 8 homeless people on the way home…. When we got into the city we went to a plaza and as we stepped onto the plaza this young guy came up to us to try to sell us chewing gum… we started talking to him and I felt to ask if he had any pain and he said that he had pain in his hip and another girl and I in the team were thinking that maybe one of his legs was shorter than the other and so we asked him to sit down and stretch his legs out and sure enough one was shorter than the other…. So because I’ve seen this happen before I knew God was going to grow his leg… we prayed and watched as God lovingly grew out his leg and removed all pain from his body…. He was crying with joy and told us that he had walked from Sao Paolo to Fortaleza a distance of over 3,000km to try to get some work.. So we prayed for him and left him pain free and exceedingly happy that Jesus showed up…. We then found some gypsies and got to play with the kids and pray for the parents, despite the fact that they were spiritualists…. It’s always pretty hard to resist the overflowing love of God… this is the team and the kids we met…
Week 3 was Mel Tari who led the Indonesian revival in the 1970s and 80s …. This guy has walked on water and his island village experienced their communion water (which is all they had to use) turn into wine…Amazing man …. He spoke about having passion for the Cross and passion for the lost…
When we had our outreach to red light district during week 3 we went a place called Dragon du mar or Dragon by the sea…. It is very close to the beach and is an open air plaza that attracts a very large number of young people in their late teens to mid 20s to do anything they like with whoever they like on public display…. There are carts that sell food and many carts that sell alcohol of any sort….. We went just got the best opportunity to show Gods love to people by praying for them…. A staggering 6 people gave their lives to Jesus that night…. It was incredible….. In the middle of it the rain just bucketed down…. We got so wet but we didn’t care, we just kept praying and hugging and loving these beautiful broken people….. This is the team that goes to the red light district…. You can’t see me but I am there😊😊
Week 4 was Katia Melo who spoke on Inner Healing….. Was actually really happy to discover that the years of work that I have done in this space allowed me to relax and enjoy her teaching…. That was of course until God showed me one fairly deep rooted area that needed to be dealt with …. And because is a great Father, He brought healing so quickly … another great week…. This is a photo of the whole school including staff with Katia ….. And yes I’m in this one… 😊😊😊
Week 5, was much more theologically based …. Things like the humanity of Christ, practical mission work, and understanding other perceptions of Jesus…. Although this may sound a little dry, God did some amazing stuff particularly around increasing my hunger to share Jesus with people…
We also had an overnight prayer vigil in this week which was incredible…. We prayed for different areas throughout the night and God gave me a great vision around what I will be doing after this trip…. (More on that another time)….
Week 6 and halfway through the school was celebrated by a wonderful visit from Heidi Baker…. For those who don’t know her, she along with her husband are the founders of Iris Global of which the school I attend is part of….. I had an amazing week being blown away by this woman……
We supported a conference she was the speaker at on Tuesday ….. I got to be part of the security……
our class on Wednesday was a great question and answer time (see if you can spot me 😊
Then we were commissioned on the Wednesday night in an amazing service which had me on the floor…… I spend a lot of time with my face in the sand and cement crying out to God…… and which Heidi stated she felt was more powerful then what happened at Azuza Now … for those of you who are going what is Azuza Now, google it ….. The biggest gathering of Christians in the world to pray for revival….
So folks lots happening and I am absolutely loving it….. 😊😊😊😊