“Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.” C.S. Lewis
The Brazilian saying tells a story: “If you don’t have a dog, you hunt with a cat.”Some types of work differ from country to country but it gets done. That was especially true in the fifties and sixties when were in Brazil. We each adapt our work to fit our time and place in the world.
Making lumber out of logs with nothing more than a big saw and lots of muscle no doubt happened in the interior of Brazil in days past. These men worked in Paraguay not far from the border with Brazil, an area where a saw mills was not available. I’ve always wondered if the two men flipped a coin to see who would get the dusty job of pulling the saw underneath the log. Talk about hard work!
This picture shows the inside part of a plant with its fiber being bleached and dried in the sun before going to market. We used this plant as a washcloth or a scrub brush when taking a shower—mind you we took lots of showers when the days were hot. But we did use what everyone did, that is, the center fibres out of what looked like a long oversized cucumber. Their word for it is bucha and it worked quite well with sabonete, soap added. A lot of farm work was involved in providing a bucha for our shower.
These carpenters were putting together the frame for a roof though that frame and roof were distinctly different from what we know here. Red tiles would later cover the roof, each one made with little lips that would catch on to the strapping and then stay in place. The spacing for the tiles and their weight required a different framework than here in Canada. In Brazil there was no plywood sheeting that the carpenters could rest on or use for safety. I suppose they get used to being stretched out over open spaces—though I can imagine accidents happening.
Missionary work? We knew about that; it is more than preaching or giving a hand to the poor. This sign tells everyone that we’d be holding services in this rented hall with the purpose of people finding hope for this life and eternity. I’ve forgotten the location of this hall; but it was in one of four towns or villages where we attempted to plant churches in the interior.
These words from an old hymn gives us advice similar to those of Jesus when He commanded us to lay up treasures in heaven. “Work for the night is coming, Work thro’ the sunny noon; Fill brightest hours with labor, Rest comes sure and soon; Give every flying minute, Something to keep in store; Work for the night is coming, when man works no more.”