That I may give you a glimpse of the country life in Brazil, and also some impression of country mission work, I invite you to take a trip with Missionary Maddox and myself to the little hamlet of Parahyba do Sul, in the interior of the State of Rio.

On Monday, June 13th, we boarded a six AM train for Parahyba do Sul, which we reached about ten o'clock. It is a charming town situated on the river by the same name. This river reminds one of the French Broad, though the mountains are not so high and precipitous as the North Carolina mountains. The mountains, too, in this section are not covered with trees, but with a tall grass, which, being in bloom, gave a beautiful purple color to the landscape. The railroad climbs up the mountain sides from Rio in a very picturesque manner.

The Parahyba do Sul Church is three miles over the mountains from the station, in the house of Mrs. Manoela Rosa Rodrigues. The house is constructed with mud walls and a thatched roof. The floors are the bare ground, which is packed hard and smooth. There are two rooms, with a narrow hall between them and a sort of "lean to" kitchen. The largest room, which is about fifteen feet square, is devoted to the church. The most prominent piece of furniture in the house is the pulpit, which stands in this room. This pulpit is large out of all proportion to everything else about the place. It was covered over with a beautifully embroidered altar piece. The two chairs placed for Brother Maddox and myself were also entirely covered with crocheted Brazilian lace. I hesitated to occupy such a daintily decorated seat.

This church of forty-six members maintains three Sunday schools in the adjoining country and six preaching stations, members of the church doing the preaching. Every member gives to the college in Rio 200 reis (six cents) a month, and to missions, etc., 300 reis (nine cents) per month. This is munificent liberality when we take into consideration their exhausting poverty.

Our coming was a great event with them. We were met at the station by a member of the church, who mounted us on a gray pony apiece and soon had us on our way. He walked, and with his pacing sort of stride he easily kept up with us. His feet were innocent of shoes. He says he does not like shoes because they interfere with his walking. Underneath that dilapidated hat and those somewhat seedy clothes we found a warm-hearted Christian, who serves the Lord with passionate devotion. He often preaches, though he has very little learning. He is mighty in the Scriptures, having committed to memory large sections of them, and has a genuine experience of grace to which he bears testimony with great power.

We arrived at the church about eleven o'clock. We were received with expressions of great joy. Mrs. Manoela was so happy over our coming that she embraced us in true Brazilian style. We were shown into our room, where we refreshed ourselves by brushing off the dust and bathing. How spick and span clean was everything in that room, even to the dirt floor!

Before we had completed our ablutions, the good woman of the house called Maddox out and asked what she could cook for me. She thought I could not eat Brazilian dishes. He told her, to her great relief, that I could eat anything he could. Quite right he was, too, for we had been traveling all the morning on the sustenance furnished by a cup of coffee which we had taken at the Rio station a little before six o'clock. We were in possession of an appetite by this time that would have raised very few questions about any article of food.

Soon we were seated at the breakfast table, which was placed in the church room with benches around it for seats. I was honored by being placed at one end of the table. What a meal it was! Not only had Mrs. Manoela taxed her own larder, but the other members, who by this time had arrived in large numbers, had brought in many good things. I cannot tell what the dishes were, for the reason that I do not know. It is sufficient to say that every one was good - perhaps our appetite helped out our appreciation of some of them. There were as many as eight dishes the like of which I had never tasted before. How do you suppose I managed it when they served some delicious cane molasses, and, instead of bread to go with it, they served cream cheese? I asked Maddox how I should work this combination. He replied by cutting up his cheese into his plate of molasses and eating the mixture. I did the same thing, and I bear testimony that it was fine. By the time the breakfast was concluded, I had scored a point with our good friends, for they thought that a stranger who could render such a good account of himself at a Brazilian breakfast must be very much like themselves. (Let us explain about Brazilian meals: They take coffee in the early morning. Bread and butter is served with the coffee. Breakfast, which is a very substantial meal, is served about eleven o'clock. Dinner, which is the chief meal of the day, is served about five o'clock in the afternoon. At bedtime light refreshments are served, which are often substantial enough to make another meal).

After breakfast was over, and it was some time before it was over, for the crowd had to be fed, we assembled for worship. The congregation was too large for the little room, so the men built a beautiful arbor out of bamboo cane. When Maddox told me we were to hold services under an arbor I was dissappointed, for somehow there had come over me a great desire to speak from that large pulpit in the little room. My dissappointment was short-lived, however, for when we reached the arbor there were the pulpit and the lace-covered chairs! It was a gracious service. The Spirit of the Lord was upon us. The sermon lost none of its effect from the fact that it had to be interpreted, because Maddox interpreted it with sympathy and power.

After preaching, four were received for baptism. They were not converted at this service, but had been expecting to come for some time. Maddox baptized them in the spring branch, which had been deepened by a temporary dam being thrown across it. One of those baptized was a woman ninety years of age.

Our time was growing short now. Maddox changed his clothes in a hurry. We had to catch the four o'clock train. We did stop long enough to drink a cup of Brazilian coffee. Such coffee! I will not attempt to describe it, because our friends in the States can not understand. There is nothing like it in this country. We took time, too, to say good-bye. The whole crowd lined up and we went the length of the line, bidding everyone a hearty godspeed. The Brazilian not only shakes hands with you, but he embraces you heartily. Yes, some of the good matrons embraced us. It was a novel experience for me, but a mere custom with them, and the act was performed with such modest restraint that any possible objectionable features were eliminated. Having said good-bye to them all we mounted our gray ponies, and, led by our barefooted friend, rode away with thanks-giving in our hearts for the good fellowship with the saints of Parahyba do Sul.

The tie of love for a common Lord had bound our affections to them. Their simple-hearted sincerity and devotion had helped us. Their zeal had contributed to our faith. One incident touched me especially. Just before breakfast a little girl about four years of age, led by her mother, brought to us a package containing some Brazilian cakes. When we opened the package there lay on top a piece of folded paper on Which was written: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, thy God reigneth' '(Isa. 52:7). Presented to our brother pastors, Maddox and Ray by Archimina Nunes." Instantly there arose in my heart the prayer that God would speed the day when his swift-footed messengers shall publish the good tidings of peace to all this vast and needy land.