I love rain, don't get me wrong. During these hot summer months, the frequent afternoon thunderstorms are a welcome relief. But there are times when I beg God to hold off the rain, at least for a couple of hours. I think rain is a bigger deal here in Brazil than in the States because it has more of a direct effect on people's lives here. For example, a lot of the ones who come to our services have to walk, so when it rains, more than likely they will not come, especially if they have small children. It has rained every Sunday for a month or more now, so the rain can have a direct influence on church attendance.
Brazilians also have a certain fear of the rain, that it can cause sickness if you get caught in it. When we had our kids' Bible club last July and again in October, it rained almost everyday. Parents don't want to let their kids be outside if they know there's a potential for rain.
Last week, the day of our women's Bible study was a beautiful, sunny day. As we were sitting in Valeria's living room having our study, dark clouds started rolling in from nowhere. One of the women started fidgeting a little and looking preoccupied. "I left my clothes hanging on the line to dry" she said, "and I don't want them to get wet if it rains. I think I'll send my son to go home and pull them off the line." Just then, Valeria's husband came home from work and heard what was going on and offered to take the boy home so he could pull the laundry off the line. So back to the study we go, but then the bottom dropped out, and the rain started pouring. Valeria immediately jumped up to grab her clothes off the line, and since there was quite a bit, I got up to help her too. "It's so hard to do the laundry when the clothes won't dry," she said. I agreed, thinking of my own laundry hanging on my line at home, wondering if David had remembered to take it down.
So back to the study, only to be interrupted yet again by the return of the lady's son who had gone home earlier. "Did the clothes get all wet?" his mom asked. "No, Aunt Andresa had already pulled them off the line for you." His mom smiled with relief. Back to the study ...
When I got home, the rain had stopped, but the laundry was soaking wet on the line. David apologized, but he had been in the middle of a good conversation with a young man he had just met that afternoon. It wasn't a big deal to me because unlike the other women, I am blessed with a clothes dryer.