Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Venezuela - Our Environment

Our Venezuela mission trip is organized under the auspices of ITAM. ITAM organizes strategic Christian missions around the world. In Maracaibo, Venezuela, they put together a team of youth and young adults from the United States and Venezuela to serve the teams that come from the US. They provide food, water, transportation, equipment, translators, promotions, guidance and encouragement. ITAM pairs each team from the states with a church through whom all ministry will take place.

The cuhrch we were paired with was the "Iglesia Bautista: Fuetne de Agua Viva" (Baptist Church: Fountain of Living Water). The pastor, Tito, planted the church several years ago and lives in a small house behind the church. The house is bare with a small stove, a non-functioning refrigerator, a couple of plastic chairs and a broken table. His bathroom is clean and his bedroom is private. He has very little income, but is quite generous with what he receives. He has planted another church in the vicinity of the city dump and has countless outreach churches around the dump and in oulying areas of Maracaibo. He is a tireless evengelist.

We were quartered at the Apart Hotel Presidente. Not bad. We only saw one small cockroach during the week we were there. We had a living area with two single beds, kitchen, bedroom with a single bed and a queen-size bed and bathroom. The water has e coli in it so we couldn't drink it. ITAM supplied us with all the bottled water we needed. The hotel served breakfast every day and there was a clean swimming pool that was safe and provided a place to cool off. Speaking of which...

It is HOT in Venezuela. I didn't ask what temperature it was. I only know that took only a few minutes to become soaked with sweat once outside the air conditioned hotel. On a side note, the dump was perhaps 10 degrees hotter. Between the methane and the rotting layers of garbage, the dump generates heat. We were encouraged to take a break and drink water every 45 minutes. It was no trouble to drink a liter of water during the morning carnival.

to be continued...

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