a friendly little wager

When Mike and I first got married, I was still in college and Mike was working on his masters. We spent a lot of nights studying together after dinner on each side of our small little table we had in our Nashville apartment. We have been and always will be VERY competitive with one another regarding just about anything...whether it be a game of scrabble or who has the best sense of direction. (Not really a competition on that one! YEAH...it's me)

Well school proved to be no different for our drive for competition with one another. We always had a bet going to see who would make a better grade on a paper or what not. One evening in particular, we were both studying quite tediously for 2 separate upcoming tests in our separate classes. We were both pretty stressed because on top of everything, my parents were coming down for a visit the next weekend. The house was a disaster and all we could focus on were our tests. We decided to WAGER the tedious job of cleaning the whole house. Whoever made the lower score on their test the following day would have the responsiblity of cleaning the entire house all by their self...no help from the other person. (I was so...GAME ON!!!)

We rushed home the following Friday to report our scores. I had made a 96% and felt fairly confident about my victory. He walked in and asked me what my grade was. When I shared with him my excellent score he lowered his head with a smile and said, "YOU WIN." I'd like to say I handled my victory with complete humbleness and helped him clean the house but nope...poor Mike cleaned the whole house all by himself! (quite willingly I might add)

The following weekend my parents came and we had a wonderful visit with them. As we were saying goodbye, I was doing my typical "first year of marriage, please don't leave me with this man, I need you" CRY when my mom whispered in my ear that I really needed to start loving my husband more. She encouraged me to pull myself together and cling to HIM. She reminded me of what an amazing guy he was and then she whispered in my ear that he had scored a 100% on his test. SERIOUSLY??!?

I'm reminding myself of this story quite often down here in language school as we are back in the classroom setting once again with each other. I'm trying REALLY hard not to feel competitive as he learns to speak this difficult language faster than I do. After all, I can READ it faster than he can! ;)


The Other Side of Town

Sometimes I have trouble reconciling all the things around me. Today God presented before me a myriad of situations that have troubled me deeply.

It started this morning when Mike and I took a drive to "the other side of town". It's pretty easy to accomplish all our daily tasks and go to school and never even remember that the OTHER SIDE is even there but today God reminded me in a clear and convicting way that they are ALL still there. We drove past all the clean streets and thriving businesses and got into what you would call the shanty. The streets seem to always be your first "tell-tell" sign that you're not in familiar places. Broken glass and debris begins to cover the street. Unfortunately, my first worry is always that we'll get a flat tire right in the middle of the places that I sometimes fear the most and not be able to return back to my safety net.

As we pass children that are roaming the streets holding the hands of babies roaming the streets, I can't help but wonder what their days look like. Where do they play? Who calls for them to come back home? Who gives them their dinner? Do they even have a home or someone to feed them dinner? I'm told not to shake their hands but only hug them so they can't feel the softness of my skin. Someone with hands that soft can't possibly have a hard lot in life.

In a store on the "other side of town", I put my money on the counter to pay for my purchases. A gray-haired lady quickly came in from the street and starting talking to me. She was holding a flattened coke can with her frail little hand. She kept offering it to me and speaking in Portuguese. I had no idea what she was saying so I just kept telling her that I was sorry but that I didn't understand her. She looked so frustrated with me. Finally the lady behind the counter took out some change and gave it to the woman. Realizing how truly STUPID I was, I gave her a small amount of money for her aluminum can which she threw on the ground in frustration. I felt ridiculous. She KNEW I COULD MEET the needs that she had and yet because of my limited language skills I was useless. Truth was I didn't understand. I didn't understand what she was saying and I couldn't possibly EVER understand the hard life she has had to endure.

I look into the eyes of so many people on the streets and all I see is hopelessness. It's the same hopelessness I see in the eyes of the people in my neighborhood and in my apartment building. It's a common factor in both those that know where their next meal is coming from and from those that have no clue where they'll find their next meal. They are looking for something so much more than even food. They are looking for a Savior.

Please, please pray for us as we learn this language. We are absolutely INEFFECTIVE without it. Pray we never let people's needs go unmet and most of all pray that we can meet their most important need! Pray that we will understand these people and that our hands will not be so "soft"! Pray that we'll not fear the "OTHER SIDE OF TOWN" but that we'll see everything through the eyes of Christ!

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for
orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
james 1:27



We received your package!!!!!



All Things Are Relative

Last night was the coldest night we've had since we arrived in Brazil. I woke up and was freezing. The kids said they had trouble getting warm all night long in bed as well. During their school today we had to take the kids jackets because they were complaining that their arms and ears were cold.

We had always heard that when you live in a warm climate for a period of time, your body adjusts to the temperature. I thought that was the craziest thing I'd ever heard! I'm not sure if our blood is thinner or what but today the high was 70 and it literally felt like 30!!! What will we do in June?!?
Apr 07CloudyCloudy
Apr 08CloudyCloudy
Apr 09FairFair
Apr 10PM RainPM Rain
Apr 11Partly CloudyPartly Cloudy
Hi: 73°
Lo: 54°
Hi: 72°
Lo: 55°
Hi: 75°
Lo: 57°
Hi: 76°
Lo: 59°
Hi: 78°
Lo: 59°


A Big Thanks to Some Folks Back Home

THE SIMS SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS @ LOFBC asked a few weeks back if there was anything we needed. I sent a wish list of items and in a few short hours was informed that everything was taken care of and would be sent to Brazil. WOW!!!! I can't even explain in words how grateful we are to all of you for your servant hearts! We are in awe of not only the fact that you got EVERYTHING on the list but the fact that you got MULTIPLE items of EVERYTHING on the list! As I'm typing this blog, the boys are building their legos. They are GIDDY!! Michael thanks you for the peanut butter and I thank you wholeheartedly for the mascara!! It's so great to see all these little pieces of HOME!
~All Our Love
The Powells

e W e R T o N

One of our best friends came to spend the weekend with us! We met Ewerton in Jacarei 2 years ago when we came down with CPC. We stayed in touch with him through SKYPE and feel like he is part of our family.

I made Ewerton LOTS of American food. He even got to eat his VERY 1ST cupcake!!

We love you Ewerton and are so grateful for your friendship. Thanks for all the time you invested in the boys this past weekend. They will forever consider you their "brother"!!!
They're already looking forward to their next UNO tournament!!!