Brazil day 15

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We met at the main church building to say goodbye to Jason as he managed to get a lift back to the first city where he is living a 6hr journey.

We gathered around him and prayed for him. We then all hugged him, yes I cried, tried not to, we are all going to miss him.

We jumped in the car to visit the gypsies there are 1 million in Brazil and 8 million in Europe. The pastor that heads up the movement visited Romania to see how the church works with the gypsies there.

The women in The group were told to wear either shorts or skirt lower than knee length and the men were told they can only shake women’s hands we cannot hug them. When working with them men and women remained separate. Sounds silly but we had to respect their customs.

This work is not just Sal Da Terra church, many churches work together to work with the gypsies.

We arrived at the first camp and met the chief, where we sang a song in their own language, then yo prayed for his granddaughter as she had been shot after a group were drinking.

We moved to the second camp where we also sang in their language and then ours. We talked for a while. The girls went to face paint and make bracelets, whilst the men stood around a pot and chatted. Two of the men were deaf and were able to understand Robs sign language.

We took some photos with the chiefs but cannot put them online due to Brazilian law. I have included some pictures of the land they live in and their home. If there is trouble the police would often come and shot them as they have no ID.

An interesting insight into their culture, a gypsy girl can marry at 12 years old, the woman has to be a virgin, to check that she is the mother of the groom is present during their first night together, she will then take the sheets and show the rest of the camp.

They are seen as outcasts in society. Some of them were drunk as they start at 6am. Tim shared a simple word with them.

A moving experience. One I will remember for some time. We finished at 2pm, meaning the rest of the day We spent with our hosts. Tomorrow we are taking 2 services.

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