The years have ticked by since we arrived in the city of Londrina, located in the north of the state of Paraná, twenty-one years ago. We came to the south of Brazil intending to find a place where we could establish ourselves; that is, we migrated here from the arid northeast to put down roots in rich soil and build a home in a land where we could practice what was in our hearts. We had a driving desire to leave the declining social order of Brazil’s northeastern coastal cities and establish something completely new, based on relationships free of ulterior motives, where each person could be appreciated for what he or she really is, and not for what they know or possess.
Located in a region of rich, red, volcanic soil, Londrina, a city of approximately 600,000 inhabitants, was, in years gone by, well-known as the “coffee capital” of Brazil. The coffee bushes are all but gone now, but it’s not really that the coffee interested us, but the wide open valleys golden with wheat and the rolling green hills bursting with tall corn that surround the city; yes, these brought a sparkle to our dry eyes.
Our community is situated not far from the city’s airport and can be found easily by just asking. Many people know us and can point you to our farm. We live together and share everything we have, and that is very unusual in Brazil! All are welcome to get to know the home we live in! After our early-morning gathering, we work together in different areas until the hour of our evening gathering, where we bring our day to a close. Together, we sing, dance and express what is in our hearts, having an open life with each other. We make our own music to praise our Creator or to express what we believe. Holding hands in a circle, we dance Israeli folk dances and do some of our own, which follow the same style. We also try, as much as possible, to sew our own simple and modest clothing. We have our own festivals, and we believe and practice what has been revealed to us from the Holy Scriptures.
We are certainly not perfect, but we’re learning with our Creator, and the more we obey, the more is being revealed to us. We are growing in respect and love for one another as is demonstrated through poured out lives, where the interests of others are as important as our own.
Many families form a clan. Many clans form a tribe. When you visit our clan you will see that we have many children. Our children are our future, so we give them undivided attention, teaching them to be men and women of character. They are learning with their parents the true values of life and are not just left in front of the television or delivered to just any educational institution to be taught. In our communities we are preserving the purity of our children so as to bring forth generations that are even purer. Soon, there will be several generations together, living the same life. Now that will definitely be amazing!
From teaching children, baking bread, working with the goats and chickens or in the manioc field, to welcoming people in our small kiosk at the edge of the road, there is always lots of work to be done! Our teachers dedicate themselves not just to teaching the children, but also to making the books that will be used in their classrooms. Our animals need much care, especially in the winter, even though winters aren’t very vigorous in this area. The garden, the fields and the fruit trees also require constant attention. The “kitchen,” as most of us call it, is like a waterwheel in incessant motion. It’s a place where many mothers and single women build good relationships with each other and also teach valuable things to their children.
For many years we crafted beeswax and paraffin candles. It sustained the life of our community for many years, but because of a falling interest in candles all over Brazil, we went on to another: shoe making. In our shoe shop we produce hand crafted sandals and shoes to sell in fairs all over the country and to a few retailers who have taken on the sale of our products. The Pilgrim Shoe Shop is an interesting place to work, not only because there is always something for anyone and everyone to do, but because the fellowship and talk is as continuous as the work! But much more will be going on around you if you come and visit us. It is just like a beehive! Our God is in a hurry and gives us lots to do.
On our farm you will encounter a very pleasant and simple life. We serve the One who called us and opened our eyes to see the value of living in communion with the Creator and each other. But really, we say that something old is being born, because this community life had already been taught by the son of God when he walked on the earth.
On the farm we also have a kiosk where we sell our wholesome food products and maintain good relationships with our customers. At the Common Ground Kiosk, you will find delicious cookies, pastries, bread, dried fruit and various other natural products. This commercial outlet is important for us not only to provide for ourselves, but also to help us have contact with more people and publish the wonderful life that was revealed to us.
We frequent handcraft fairs around the country to commercialize what we produce at the farm and in our bakery, and to meet new people with whom to share our vision and purpose.
We compare our life with the bees’ life where each one does his part. It is a body and each member participates in the coordinated movements of that body. After spending a few days with us, you will notice that the reason we are together is the deep love that our God put in our hearts for one another, and we want to love like he loved us. We know that cannot be done in our own strength or determination; we are together because we possess the same spirit. This same spirit can be found in each one of our communities around the world. We are not just living in a community, but we’re also part of a people that is emerging on the earth! A people formed of twelve tribes, exactly like it was in the past.
Every Friday we celebrate the arrival of the Sabbath, when we rest, exactly like our Creator. We receive many visitors and continually invite all those who do not know us yet to celebrate with us and get to know our life. You are also welcome! Come and visit us and spend a few days at our house! Contact us, and it will be a pleasure to receive you in our homes. We are always open and looking for the sons of God, those who will leave everything behind to follow Yahshua, the man today called Jesus.
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