On the way to Ourinhos, we stopped in Marilia. A nice city with a little over one hundred thousand inhabitants. I'm not sure what all the city thrives on, but we learned that it is home to three universities and Marilan, a factory that produces a wide variety of cookies and crackers.
|Dad and Pr. Gilberto|
Our purpose for stopping in Ourinhos was to visit Pr. Gilberto Stefano. As soon as you set foot in his home, various pieces of antique furniture and an old, old radio reveal Pr. Gilberto's love of history. He loves church history in particular and is currently adding the final touches to a book he wrote about the history of Baptist churches in São Paulo state. Pr. Gilberto has been wanting Dad to look the book over and give his opinion about it. This visit was scheduled so that Dad could do just that.
|Lara and Maria Lydia|
Dad and Pr. Gilberto spent almost two hours holed up in his office. During this time, I talked and played Old Maid with Pr. Gilberto's two daughters, Lara (16) and Maria Lydia (6).
|Filipe and Sis. Valeria|
Near the end of the visit Pr. Gilberto's wife, Sis. Valeria, and his son, Filipe (14), even joined the fun.
The family we would be staying with during our time in Ourinhos wasn't expecting us until noon of the following day, so Dad after much searching found us a hotel for the night. This hotel earned itself a place in my special memories. I'm not exactly sure when it began working its way into that special category of memories, perhaps it was when the elderly clerk informed us that the hotel's parking was around the corner and down the road a block and a half, but for sure by morning, the Ninth of July Hotel and especially room #9 had become an unforgettable experience. It surprised me frequently during my stay there how very tiny the room was, and Corrie Ten Boom's descriptions of her prison cells often came to mind. With portions of Corrie Ten Boom's book, The Hiding Place, lurking in my thoughts, I measured my room. It was exactly 5 steps long and 4 wide. Later I opened the window and sure enough a dingy, gray wall was within arms reach. Thankfully, unlike a prison cell, my room was very clean and the bed soft. It was a welcome haven after a day of traveling and visiting.
|Dad with Pr. Israel|
The next morning we packed up and made our way to Pr. Israel's home. Pr. Israel has worked as an electrician for many years. Of late, he and his family have been working extra to make some improvements on their home. They have already finished adding on a bedroom and laying new tile in half the house. Their next project is to transform a back bedroom into a utility room. Pastor, his wife Izalina, and their youngest son, Giovane layed their work aside and welcomed us warmly.
That evening we accompanied Pr. Israel to Salto Grande, a small town about twenty minutes away from Ourinhos. Although the church in Ourinhos began this preaching point in Salto Grande quite awhile ago, there are only three people that faithfully come to the services. None the less, Dad enjoyed preaching to them, and they really seemed to enjoy the books that we took.
|Talking after the morning service|
Dad preached both the services in Ourinhos on Sunday, and we had enjoyable times of fellowship with the brethren after the services.
|Jander, Flavio and Dad|
Two of the men in the church, Flavio and Jander, especially enjoyed talking with Dad about the Greek roots of certain words.
|Giovane and Dad|
In the free hours that we had in the afternoons, we played numerous rounds of dominoes. Giovane won most of the games, but it was still fun.
|Diego and little Julia|
Pr. Israel's oldest son, Diego, came over Sunday afternoon to see his parents and visit with us. He brought his little daughter, Julia. She doesn't like strangers, so I had to content myself with looking but definitely NOT touching. :)
|Sis. Izalina, Pr. Israel, Giovane and Paula with Dad|
This gathering of Baptists (like most others) was not lacking in good food. Right before this picture was taken, Sis. Izalina served us a two layer pudim. The common pudim is very similar to an extra sweet custard and only has one layer. This pudim had been baked and then covered with chocolate cake batter and baked again. It was delicious!
Okay, this is a bonus picture. I took it in Marilia because I liked the trailer's paint job, but later I realized what a good example this is of a lanchonete. Lanchonetes are quite common in Brazil. The cooks and waiters that run these eateries usually set up tables and chairs on the sidewalk and heat their flat griddles around 7 p.m. They then fix and serve every type of sandwich that you can imagine until the wee hours of the next morning. Most lanchonetes serve a sandwich called the X - Tudo (which means: Cheese and Everything). This sandwich has a hamburger, chopped chicken, bacon, fried egg, cheese and even sliced sausages stuffed into a big hamburger bun.
|Luis Carlos, the Hamburger Man|
We came to know Luis Carlos, fondly called the Hamburger Man, through the lanchonete that he owned and operated just a few blocks away from our house. Since his battle with cancer, Luis Carlos had to sell his lanchonete, however the Lord has kept the door open for us to have contact with him. Dad visits him occasionally, but more often then not he visits us and helps run errands or work in the print room. This month Luis Carlos has been rejoicing because he has been cancer free for one year.