The church here is small and needs the help of the church district to pay for the pastor’s salary. Unfortunately even with that help they are in deficit every month, so to help raise funds they organized their first Café Colonial, some sort of tea party, Southern Brazilian style (most Lutherans in Brazil have some German origins via the South of Brazil).
In the week preceding the event many women (and some men) spent many days at a friend’s house preparing the dough for pão de queijo (cheese bread), and baking and decorating bolachas (cookies). D took upon himself to repaint the outside of the church. The building had been in need of a fresh coat of pain for a while now, but nobody took care of it. So now, with this public event coming up, it was an extra reason to just do it. The day before, the women were all in their own kitchen cooking and baking some more, while the men were coming and going here at the church, setting up the kitchen, the fridges, coolers, tables, chairs and two big tents. The café was planed to start on Sunday afternoon, but in the morning of the same day we were all up early doing some last minute preparations; decorating the tables, blowing up balloons, printing some bathroom signs (me).
The event was a success. The turn out was good, with a couple of visitors from outside of town (mostly extended family of church members) and many locals who had never come to our church before, notably the mayor and hopeful candidates (there are municipal elections coming up), and of course the Catholic priest (we showed up at one of their party in June, so I suppose he considered it politeness to show up at ours — or maybe there is simply so little to do in a small town that everybody shows up at everybody’s party, who knows). There was way too much food (but at least there was no lack thereof), and most importantly for the church finances, the profits exceeded the expenses. They will be able to pay their part of the pastor’s salary until… the end of the year.
Amidst all this, something else happened.
D received a Call to be pastor in his hometown!!! Aaah! Yes, we were certainly not expecting that anymore! First, of course , we couldn’t announce it to the congregation right away, right when they were in the midst of all the preparations for the Café Colonial.
When we first learned the news, we were shocked. It didn’t compute very well. I mean, we had dreamed, hoped and prayed for it since before coming to Brazil. We thought it was finally going to happen last year when the pastor had retired, but then how sad and disillusioned we had been when they called someone else.
Well, apparently their new pastor didn’t stay very long, less than one year, before accepting another Call himself.
Now that it has started to sink in a little bit, we are very happy and excited about it.
D has accepted the Call.
We will be moving soon to SJC, state of São Paulo… How soon we don’t know yet as we have to see about housing arrangements (the church there does not own a house for the pastor). We hope to buy our own eventually but we will probably need to rent in the meantime. Then there is the matter of the moving truck and the packing… Oh, the joys of (re)packing!
The irony is that not so many days ago I was laughing with hubby saying that now that we had received the last piece of furniture (a sofa) and I was finally hanging pictures on the walls, it was probably time to move again!