This year's birthday celebration of John of God's birthday were held on 22 June 2018. As every year, John of God works Wednesday, Thursday and Friday all day incorporating the spirit doctors that give treatment to the visitors that come to see him. After this immense work, John of God walked slowly from his office in the Casa to the stage that was set up at the parking lot across from the Casa. Visitors had the opportunity to take pictures with him during this time so that it took about twenty minutes for him to make his way to the stage. Many politicians were present as well as actors who came to honour John of God during the first part of the celebrations. On stage, beautiful words were said about him while his young daughter (three years old) played with my daughter running (four years old) around amusing the onlookers. Dona Ana, John of God's wife, also held a speech emphasising how dedicated her husband is to the spiritual work. Every night he wakes up to do the long distance healing work praying over the hundreds of letters and pictures that are placed in the prayer triangle and prayer basket. Even if he lays down to sleep at 04:00 am, he wakes up at 05:00 again to prepare to leave his home in Anapolis to drive to Abadiania (about half hour drive) and receive the hundreds of people that come to ask for healing. We honoured John of God by raising our right hand and sending our good vibrations and love energy to him. After the speeches, we enjoyed fireworks and a bonfire. John of God made his way to the VIP tent where he celebrates with his friends and family. On the stage, a band started playing Brazilian music and the visitors could line up for drinks and snacks at the tents provided by the pousadas (guesthouses). Inside the VIP tent, the atmosphere was light and happy with tables beautifully decorated. We were indicated our table but my daughter wanted to play in the kids' corner so we didn't immediately find our place. Upon entering the tent, we greeted John of God who gave us a big smile confirming that he is really happy to see all his friends and Casa volunteers on his birthday party. We took a picture with him and kept walking around a little. While people were still being seated, the buffet was being prepared. Piglet, rice, beans, salad, were served after a starter of little snacks. We could hear the music from the stage outside and my foot was tapping. The kids' corner was prepared with love: little toys, balloons, stuffed animals and tiny chairs on a carpet so the children were entertained. Three teenage girls played with the small children so the parents could sit on their tables and converse. After dinner it was time for the cutting of the cake! The cake was blue and white, the colours of the Casa Dom Inacio, and Dona Ana, John of God and his little daughter Marianna stood behind the cake (while Marianna was actually standing on the table next to the cake!). Marianna and John of God cut the cake together. Everyone was given a slice of the cake and it was delicious. Creamy, white and blue! At around 10:30 pm a man with a beautiful voice started playing and singing. It was kind of spiritual music that must have been inspired by the entities (as the singer himself also said). We left the party at 11:40 pm to go home to rest after another wonderful day in Abadiania at the Casa.
I was only able to take one picture from that night but hope to post some from friends in the coming weeks!