Saturday evening, Layane, Natalia, her brother Pedro and I went to a rodeo-type event called Vaquejada, close to Aningas. In the U.S., this sport would be considered animal cruelty; it is in the process of being banned in Brazil. The object is to make a cow fall down between two lines at the end of the arena – to achieve this, two riders gallop on either side of the cow, and one grabs the cow’s tail and pulls it over until it topples. Bonus points are awarded if you get the cow to roll over. 😞 Depending on the force of the pull, the cow can be left paralyzed in its hind end, unable to control urination or defecation, or unable to walk normally. Many cows actually lose their tails…

We attended the Vaquejada not to support it (attendance is free, anyways), but to hand out Bibles and the cotton nosebands for the horses. There wasn’t anything we could do for the poor cows.


Before pulling out of Aningas and onto the BR-101 on our way to the Vaquejada, we stopped to pray. Holding hands in the car, Layane prayed for protection, an abundance of horses, and the opportunity to hand out the Word, with good receptance. And the Lord gave us just that.


We arrived at 7pm – early enough that the drinking hadn’t yet begun (the event begins Saturday night and continues through Sunday morning). There were easily more than 200 horses there…within an hour, we had given out all the nosebands that were left! And after we’d run out, there were still guys coming up to us asking if we had anymore of the “horse protection.”


One guy had come up to us earlier, asking for a noseband to put on his horse. Natalia handed it to him, and he turned and walked away. Layane yelled after him, “Wait! There’s something much more important here for you!” She reached into her cardboard box and pulled out a Bible for him. “Here – the Word of God,” she said as she handed the Bible to him. “Oh yes, of course, how good it is to have the Word of God! Thank you,” he replied. The acceptance of the Word of God in this country, and the gratitude for having received it, is amazing and extremely encouraging.


After we had run out of supplies, we returned to Aningas, saddened that our horse work was over. Out of the 250 horses total that we had helped, and probably around 350 Bibles that we’d handed out, only two people had said “no” to the Bible! Not wanting to have the work end here, we started scheming how we could buy supplies and have the noseband made here, in Brazil.


On Monday, we went in to the Alecrim, an extremely congested shopping area that is used for a produce market every Saturday, to buy more Sunday school prizes. While Lori waited to pay for the prizes, the girls and I went across the street and started looking in the fabric stores. Four stores later, we found an acceptable material. Not exactly the quality of material I’d brought from home, but it would get the job done.


We bought about 1.5 square meters of material, 7 meters of Velcro, and then went on foot in search of a seamstress. “The building has scissors on it,” the cashier had told us, along with some directions. We found the little hole-in-the-wall shop, and explained to the seamstress how to sew on the Velcro. “Pick up tomorrow morning,” she told us.



Tuesday morning, we went back in to the Alecrim and picked up the material, Velcro now stitched on. We thanked and paid the seamstress, and later cut the material into the size and format we needed. It had made close to 80 nosebands. Praying to come across 80 more horses or donkeys before it’s time to go home, this Sunday!


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