On August 3, 1997 Pam White, WRAL-TV, her husband John and a group of 33 other people left for Fortaleza, Brazil to construct a church for the Euzebio Baptist Mission. Fortaleza is a city of 3 million people on the coast of Brazil 1000 miles south of the equator.
Pam wrote the following story about her trip to Brazil. This picture was taken on the day that the mission group arrived in Fortaleza.
Our day began at 6:30 each morning when we left our hotel and traveled 45 minutes to our work site. The site was surrounded by a high cement wall with spikes on top. Our job was to remove the tile floor, the roof was already gone when we arrived, and replace it with a cement floor. This area would become the sanctuary. From there the concrete support beams were extended and brh icks were laid. We made a sidewalk out in front using concrete that was mixed by hand on the highway! We also knocked out a section of the wall facing the highway and put in a beautiful wrought iron gate so that people could see the church from the road. By the time we left on August 17th (pictures below), most of the walls were up and the concrete rim had been poured around the top. The trusses were in place but the roof had not been started yet.
My responsibilities were to move bricks and tiles from one location to another, shovel sand, gravel, concrete, mortar and wheelbarrow it wherever it was needed. I used muscles I never knew I had! On our last Friday night, there was a dedication service for the building for church members, as well as people from the surrounding area. It was very rewarding to meet the people who would be using this building that our group had worked on so hard. The Euzebio Baptist Church will be a light to that community and a source of hope in a society where sometimes hope seems to be non-existent. I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to go on a mission trip to a foreign country to do so, it’s an experience you will never forget.