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  • Writer's pictureJoel Harnett

Brazil Camp, Jungle, Friends

A group of youth and adults from the Niverville Community Fellowship had the privilege of traveling to Brazil to work together with Scott and Patsy Buhler, associate missionaries with QUEST. Scott and Patsy are also part of our congregation, so that was an added blessing for all of us.


We left Winnipeg on July 5! I had never flown before so it was so cool to walk through the airports and learn everything there is to know about flying! It was amazing seeing the view from the plane. On our first flight, I was reading in Joshua and felt God leading me to be strong and courageous into this new adventure. I was excited to see what we would face!


In the first few days we met the QUEST team and did many team building activities. We ate passatas, sorvettes (ice cream), went to Scott and Patsy’s church (which was in Portuguese) and the mall in Brazil. We grew close as a team and it led into unity as a team as we worked in the days ahead.


On the first weekend of the trip, we went to a park and played sports with the Brazilian kids. It was tough to try and be adventurous and jump into talking to people I couldn’t communicate with. But it was cool how God worked in our team and one by one made us courageous to interact with Brazilian teenagers. God brought two people groups from different countries together as we played with kids in soccer, volleyball and basketball!


On our first work day, we went into the jungle to cut down a tree we would use for firewood. It was fun to use machetes to clear a path in the jungle. Other jobs I was involved with included pressure washing the playground and the main building walkways, preparing decor for English camp, kitchen duty, and dismantling a destroyed shelter.


The camp was a very exciting place. I thought it would be a lot different than camps at home but it was even better! We stayed in the main lodge where the chapel and dining hall were also held. There were lots of green spaces, including a soccer field, a clearing up the mountain and a trail to a mini waterfall. We also worked around the office and workshop buildings which were in the centre of the camp. It was neat to be in the jungle: seeing different kinds of trees, birds, weather, mountains (they are rounder than ours because of the foliage), and just being in the centre of quite literally … the jungle!


Every night we would spend time together as a team playing games. We also spent time with the QUEST team, debriefing about how each day went, things we learned, or doing activities together like going to an all you can eat pizza buffet! The buffet was very good.


On the second weekend we ran English Camp. It was cool to meet new Brazilians, talk with them in English and learn about them and their lives. The camp was themed around Canadian Geography so it was also cool to teach them about our culture and country! Some interesting things I learned were a Brazilian card game called Truco, how Brazilian schools work compared to ours and how it would be to live as a teenager in Brazil. It was cool to talk with them about their lives.


As we closed out our trip it was hard to say goodbye. I loved meeting the host team. They all loved us so well and treated us like family. I will always have friends in Brazil!


Reflecting on our time in Brazil, I think the most amazing is just learning that the promise is really true: God will not leave you. Wherever you go, He is with you. He will not forsake you. And because of that you can be courageous and run headlong into whatever new adventure God is bringing you on!



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This article was originally published in The Recorder Vol 60 No 5

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