Monday: LifeNets UCG cattle

Monday, November 20, 2017
Boa Vista, State of Roraima, Brazil
Today is our third day at Maloca de Moscou and our last one with these people. Jorge has an important committee meeting with the church leadership to discuss any number organizational matters.  The next visit by anyone from the outside to see these people won’t happen until Passover. It is NOT any easy place to get to starting with your visa to Brazil, the difficulty of finding the best way to fly and the trasport right to the location.
You either have to go WAY out of the say through Rio or Sao Paolo or pick your way through the Caribbean and Central America.  We took this latter option on this trip via Panama. A bonus for us was a necessary overnight stay at the Panama Canal and the opportunity to see one of the world’s greatest engineering projects.
There are lots of people with motorbikes here in this part of Brazil.  In Maloca de Moscou no one owns a car, but several own motorbikes.  You see two people often on the bike. Arlindo and Iracema ride together.  We saw as many six in one family on a bike on the bad roads!   Looks very dangerous, but everyone seems to know how to navigate.    
In Brazil, I’m struck by the diversity of peoples.  Our brethren are of the Wapixane Ameridian tribe. You see Europeans, blacks, and many others.
One more observation about traveling to Panama and now Brazil.  There is less catering to those speaking English.  In hotels and other public places, you expect English to be spoken by someone.  Not as universal now.  I noticed it most at the airport where you ask for help on directions etc and get a blank stare along with a stream of Spanish or Portuguese. 
First order of business is to go see the LifeNets/UCG cattle.  It’s about a 20 minute drive away from the church hall.  The tribal council allocated a parcel of land for our cattle project.  We fenced it in with 3000 meters of fencing.  LifeNets provided the money for the wire and the people here cut and put in the posts.  Big job, but it protects our investment currently at 27 head.
The breed is Nelhor and is a hearty animal similar to the Brahma breed.  They can withstand harsh and hot climates.  They look thin but are healthy.   On the property, there is plenty of grazing for the animals.  A stream runs through it and there is plentiful water year-round. 
You can see the beginnings of this project at lifenets.org/brazil. 
The person who cares for the animals is Adriano. His home is nearby and he’s dedicated to this task.  The United Church of God owns the animals and they are so branded IDU  -- Igreza de Deus Unida. 
The immediate plan is to sell five of the bulls and acquire more females and build the herd more.
The stream on the property has electric eels.  Some of our men have been buzzed by the eels.  There are also snakes and crocodiles.   We heard monkeys and baboons in the wooded area.  All very interesting.  Oh, they have a few horses that they use to round up the cattle.
Then back to the social area near the church building.  It’s the big hangout place for the kids and when I sit down, they come around me and try to talk to me. They like seeing thingson my computer and asked me about my wife and family.  The teen girls wanted to see what Beverly looked like.   Jorge conducted the church’s committee meeting for a few hours while I was with the kids. 
Then, before leaving, we had a group question and answer they had all kinds of inquiries about proper fasting,
The biggest questions revolved around worldliness creeping into the Church.  These people have been quite isolated and have kept to family values, music and culture.  It appears that some of the music that has come through camp and Feast is viewed as worldly. Oh, they know that songs and what words say and imply.  But, some thought that that is what you leave when you come into the Church.  I’d honestly like to explore this subject further.  What are we exporting from the West, how godly is it?  What attitudes and respect does it convey to one another and God. 
Various ones commented that they would not particularly want to talk about the Church if indeed how we did our dances like the world did. There would be no difference and no need for us to be a place for people to come. I was somewhat taken aback by how well they articulated this, how they were aware of what was in the world and how they understood worldliness.  
One of the young men very well-articulated John 17 where Christ said that we are to be IN the world but not OF the world.  
We leave Malaca de Moscou for the last time.  We do have Arlindo and Iracema with us.  Never a wasted seat going to and from Boa Vista. 
When we got to Boa Vista, Arlindo and I washed the rental car before turning in tomorrow.  It got quite dusty over the miles and miles of gravel. The hotel lets us use their water hose.  Nice of them.  We got the big dirt off, at least.
We say goodbye to them as they had family matters to tend to.  Jorge and I then went to a restaurant called Churrascaria Em Boa Vista –Xuriman.  They had great beef on skewers.  When you walk in you choose the actual shishkabob you want and they start cooking for you as you get settled.
This is our last night in Boa Vista.  The next two days are big! We have to get the car back, go out to the Eco Park Feast, then fly back to Manaus, and leave early Wednesday back to Panama City, Washington DC and home.

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2017-12-11