Brazil is a huge country. I think it is the 5th biggest country in the world. Russia then Canada then China then USA and then Brazil. Something like that.
Because I was born in India, I did not need a visa and neither did my wife even though she was German. However by an amazing stroke of good fortune which was to save us lots of future trouble we found out that the Indians had changed their rules and now everyone entering India would need a visa, even British Nationals.
We returned to Sao Paulo and stayed with some friends of our mission for a couple of days.
I desperately needed a good guitar and there is a well known company called Di Georgio and we were able to visit the factory and tell the boss about our planned trip to India. He was really moved and presented me with one of their beautifully hand made acoustic guitars.
We then realized we would have to go to the Indian embassy in Brasilia. Brasilia is the Capital and is quite some distance inland. It is a fairly new city and literally carved out of the dense jungle. Now we had a friend who worked for the local airways called Manoel. He was quite a big shot and so we approached him to pull some strings for a free internal flight to Brasilia. He looked a bit taken aback but promised to do what he could. The next day he phoned us and told us to hurry over as there were two free seats but we had to hurry. He said he would arrange the return trip once we were there.
It was time to remember to thank that huge and wonderful spiritual force Jesus Christ our wonderful Savior and Lord. He was arranging everything and planning ahead for us. This extra time gave us the opportunity to get our visa sorted out. Something we had not planned on.
The flight to the capital was uneventful and the plane was not all that full. There were quite a few empty seats. Of course once again we had no where to stay. This was normal and we knew we just had to tap in to those super spiritual forces to get us a free hotel. First we went to the embassy and had to spend some of our hard earned cash on the visas. This we could not avoid but while we were there we received good donations from distributing our Pandita Ramabai tracts and of course we came out on top. Remember that quote? "When you witness you always win". Even the embassy official helped us with some notes.
The denominations were extremely high as there was rampant inflation running sometimes at 100% a month. The Cruzeiro was worth very little and a note of a million was not unusual to see. Later I think they knocked 4 zeros off and renamed the currency the Cruzado. Living by faith was one way of hardly noticing the enormous daily and weekly rise in prices. As the prices rose so did the donations.
We found a Hotel at the first shot. This is not normal. Sometimes it takes asking quite a few before someone will say yes and help. We phoned Manoel and the next day he arranged a free flight back to Sao Paulo.
We still had two weeks to go before catching our prearranged ride to Europe in a Cargo vessel. We had never really spent time in Rio de Janeiro and so we checked as best we could with our Spiritual Boss and He seemed to give us the go ahead. We hitched to Rio in two days staying in a motel for free over night.
Rio had just finished Carnival so we missed that quite thankfully as everyone goes quite wild. It is quite a flesh trip and not much help to us. We got to swim on the famous Copper cabana beach. It is a little hard to remember but we did not meet any body exceptional and then I had a strong desire to go to Ouro Preto. This translated meant black gold. Well Lord help me but I was interested in getting some more spare cash for this trip. Black Gold sounded a good place to find some good donations so off we set hitching and not spending money and slowly our finances were creeping up. I think we had about 500 US$ by now which I wore in my belt.
We were not really a target for thieves as we witnessed our faith literally to everyone. It did not matter if it was a possible mafia boss or a policeman, we told them all about our wonderful Lord. I think doing this got us out of a lot of trouble as we were so naive and even the worst kind of people respected us with our crazy faith. We were not specially well dressed but just kind of normal wearing nothing fancy. That was not a choice it just represented what we had been given. Nearly all our clothing was provisioned from clothing shops or Hotel Lost and found items.
Sadly I did not have a camera. At the time I did not really realize that we were doing something that unusual. Faith was and is a normal part of our daily life. We know that in the end Jesus will come through. He has never failed us even if sometimes the immediate circumstances seemed to indicate that He had and sometimes it really looked like it. As we progress on this trip together there will be plenty of times when this will become very evident. It is usually in the really impossible situations that He comes through with something so much better than what we had hoped for. Just like the promise in St Paul's letter to the Ephesians Ch 3 verse 20. And now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we could ever ask or think.
These Bible promises as I have already stated are absolutely awesome but they have to be appropriated and believed in otherwise they are just beautiful meaningless words.
Ouro Preto the city of Black Gold, did not live up to its name but it helped to keep us busy witnessing and traveling and increasing the number of addresses of people who could become supporters.
Now the time came for us to make our way back to Sao Paulo and then Santos to board our ship. We arrived in Sao Paulo and a good friend drove us together with our three heavy trunks of baggage to the Palace Hotel in Santos. We still had a day or two so we decided to check and see if our ship was running on schedule. We arrived smiling in the office only to be told that the ship would be leaving with two VIPs taking our berths instead of us. Ow! Help!