Rio 2015

Our First Day of Service


HOPE!  People all over the world are seeking, looking for hope; something greater than themselves, something to believe in, to look forward to, a way out.  May we always be prepared and never miss an opportunity to give the reason for the hope we have in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Today was our first day serving the people is Rio. Everyone was overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude and love for His people. We are so much more fortunate here than we realize.



Our team started the day at 6:00am with breakfast at the hotel and a one hour bus trip to our first school. Upon arriving at the school, we quickly learned the type of environment we would be surrounded by for the first half of the day. We were told to stay together as a group and not to take any photos of the people in this community. Between the bus ride and the walk from the bus to the school, our team saw poverty at its greatest. Trash filled the gutters and grass, dogs, cats, and pigs roamed freely and the drug situation was no secret. But once our team entered into the school, it was clear they had no fear. They embraced the students with hugs, laughter, dancing and singing. Each player shared a little bit of their life and tied the love of Jesus in at the end. We shared meals with the students and through the use of translators were able to form special friendships. We spent four hours at one school (ages 14-20 year olds) and an hour and a half at another school (elementary -middle school aged kids). There was a lot of love given and received between our team and the students in Rio. Our day of ministry was over around 4:30 p.m. when we ate a delicious buffet style dinner at A Mineira. There was a variety of food choices available and of course our ladies had dessert to finish it off!

Take aways from today:

Sophomore Sally McCabe- “The school had so little but they didn’t know anything else.. they didn’t know what they were missing out on.  I took my stuff for granted when I was in high school because I had so many things. They cherished everything they had which was very, very humbling. They were all so excited to see us. It was awesome!”

Junior Lauren Thompson – “Teenagers are universal! They like the same things and they like to talk about the same things.  We talked about boyfriends and who they liked and our television shows. They asked if our high school was like the movie “High School Musical!”

Junior Meredith Roman – “I think it’s really awesome how it doesn’t really matter if you speak the same language or not. I had lunch with a girl today and we didn’t even have a translator with us. We liked the same songs, play sports and like to dance!”

Freshman Jenny Roy – “I really enjoyed meeting all the kids and talking with them. Not only about basketball and God but building a relationship and talking about other things.. movies, music. They embraced us with welcoming arms.”

Freshman Maura Muensterman- “I think it was really cool to experience what they go through every day and talk to them about things that they enjoy doing and value. It was neat to see the things they have in common with us by means of using the translators.”

Freshman Ellie Harmeyer – “One of the boys offered me a piece of gum and waited for me to put it in my mouth. He was so excited when I did and a huge smile came across his face.”
Sophomore Hannah Harmeyer – “I looked in his (the same boy) backpack and that was the only thing he had in his backpack. It’s not like they have much but they are trying to give us something.”