Explore Church Travels to Brazil – Day 9

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Explore Church in Missoula recently went on a mission trip to Brazil. Follow them on their journey as we post journal entries written by a member of their team. You can find previous entries at www.mtsbc.org.

Day 9

Me versus the Amazon, and the Amazon wins! The combination of heat and humidity literally sucks all the moisture out of your body. You can watch beads of moisture collect on every square centimeter of your skin. Sweat trickles off your nose in a steady stream. Working without shade, in the direct sunlight is insane, like playing chicken with a Mac truck. We drink unlimited amounts of water, but the effects of dehydration are unstoppable. Ten 32-ounce water bottles filled and drank in one day. Two total gallons of water, half with electrolyte tabs, is still not enough. Soaking my shirt, hat, and cooling towel in water every hour doesn’t stop the heat. Headaches, light headedness, the early signs of heat stroke set in.

Thank God for air conditioning. We wisely stop at 2:30 pm, instead of trying to push until 5 and head to the only available place with air conditioning. We lay out flat on the cold tile floor, in the direct current of the AC unit. It is like a miracle from heaven, and don’t forget swimming, and more swimming. The entire community heads to the river around 3 to swim and play. I have never been so grateful for water, for a river. The Rio Negro wraps me in its cool arms, and holds me like a baby, as I drift down with the gentle current. I could live in this water and never come out.  

It takes the deprivation of an undeveloped third-world country to make me truly grateful and truly appreciative of all the simple luxuries I am surrounded with at home: a hot shower, air conditioning, ice, shade, a good swimming hole. It feels so good to be grateful. I feel like the king of the world, or at least like a prince. I can see the hand of God in every blessing, even water is a gift from above.

I want to bring this perspective home and live with this mindset, rooted in gratitude.

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