some thank you notes (powell style)

A BIG THANK YOU to some girls back home that are so good to me and my family! To Amanda Long, Mary Penn, and all the other individuals in their small group...you guys are so sweet for sending these items to us!!! The best part is that we now know what people are talking about when they mention SILLY BandZ!! :) Oh and please pass our congratulations on to Brad! (one of Georgetown, Kentucky's newest and finest City Council Candidates)

The little guys in the house also want to shout out to some family members that sent some crazy amounts of sugar and board games!!!!



I'm asking for EVERYONE to pray for some dear friends serving on the other side of the world. They are leaving their home today because they fear their son has rheumatic fever. They are unable to get his fever under control and I can tell from their email, they are very concerned.

This family has endured so much since their arrival in their new country. The wife and one of the daughters has been suffering from extreme allergies to the point of their eyes and faces being completely swollen and miserable. They've seen many specialist but have yet to get it completely under control.

For their best interest I won't list their names but I BEG of you to please pray for this OTHER dear FAMILY OF FIVE serving Christ in a very difficult region. Pray that God would heal their son and that the enemy would no longer continue to attack their health.


three unimportant pieces of information

  1. Tonight Mike needed a ziplock bag for something and we were all out. The only one I could find had a tooth in it (Tooth Fairy must have accidentally dropped it or something) but I just washed the bag out and handed it to Mike. He looked at me like I was crazy as I insisted he use it. I tried to explain to him that ziplock bags are like fine china down here. You treat them with respect and you definitely don't throw them AWAY!
  2. Jackson corrected my portuguese grammar the other day. Apparently I have been saying "muito" when I should actually be using "mais" and looking pretty silly. He not only instructed me on how I was using it improperly but he explained why I was wrong. I graciously allowed him to correct me and now I'm speaking muito melhor.
  3. Michael took our belts to the sapateiro (shoe maker) in our neighborhood to have extra holes cut into them today. We've both lost several inches in our waists since we arrived in Brazil and our pants were not staying up even with our belts. It only cost 50 centavos per hole so we were very proud of our thriftiness. Mike and Alberto talked for several hours and became very good friends over this simple process and now Mike can say he is friends with the butcher, the baker, and the "shoe" maker.



I looked up the word persecute on an online dictionary and this is the definition I found...

persecute: to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically : to cause to suffer because of belief

Sounds about right, huh?!? I'm pretty sure I've never ever REALLY been persecuted for my beliefs. There have been times when I've felt angered because of the way people interacted with me or because I was treated as an annoyance when I shared my heart but that about sums up my grievances with society as a whole.

I grew up in a home where on Sunday mornings my mom put rollers in my "already" curly hair and we all packed out the station wagon for the 6 minute trek to church. I sat in a pew next to my grandmother and rummaged through her purse searching for breath spray or gum. I traced the wrinkles in her hands with my little nubby fingers as she sang the hymns. Life was good and life was EASY! We grew up in the safety of knowing that after church we could eat lunch with family and friends or down the street at the nearest buffet. I never once was concerned that we'd be taken to jail or pulled into the streets for joining together to worship the ONE who had redeemed us from everything we deserved. Know what I mean?!?

As I grew older we moved to a neighboring town where things moved at a faster pace. My family attended a very large church in order for me and my brother to have lots of great Christian friends and accessibility to great Christian resources which I am unmistakeably thankful for. Does this sound anything similar to your life? Possibly it is very familiar and possibly it doesn't ring true at all. Maybe you didn't grow up in a Christian home or don't have a relationship with THIS JESUS I'm referring to even now in which case this post really won't apply to you at all but regardless I'm guessing you too, have not suffered for the sake of Christ. It just doesn't happen in the western world today.

I recently watched a video posted on my good friend's website and was utterly sickened and angered! I spent the last few minutes of the video crying and trying to understand why and how I could be seeing WHAT I was seeing. I pray you, too, won't close your eyes to what is happening around the world to our brothers and sisters in Christ. We as believers MUST get on our knees praying for these brothers and sisters that are suffering but even more we must decide right here and now whether we are willing to GIVE our lives for what we believe. I don't mean have our lives taken...that is something completely different. I MEAN TAKE UP OUR CROSS AND FOLLOW AFTER HIM AND BE WILLING TO GO ANYWHERE AND DO ANYTHING FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST.

I'm posting 2 videos. The first one is the response to the second. Francis Chan is discussing his thoughts about the video that I'll link at the end. I'm simply going to link the unedited film and obviously you don't have to watch it but I encourage you to at least watch the first. It will leave you feeling as if we need to come up with a new definition for the word PERSECUTION!!!

Orissa has one of the worst records for violence against Christians, due in part to the activities of a religious fundamentalist group. Many churches have been destroyed and Christian workers continue to be attacked. There is a law prohibiting conversion and, since 2000, baptism requires the permission of the government. About a year ago, Hindu radicals went on a "bloody rampage that left 50,000 Christians fleeing for their lives into the state's forests."
(GFA, 2009).

I want you to be aware that this is hard to watch but I definitely don't think we should close our eyes to the realities the people of Orissa face. ALSO NOTE THIS IS NOT FOR CHILDREN!!


T h e L o n g e s t B l o g p o s t E V E R

I've taken a hiatus from my blogging. Sorta on purpose and sorta cause I haven't had access to my computer or internet. It's been good in a way but I've missed sharing our happenings with all our loved ones back home that I know are checking this site religiously looking for an update. To all of you (MOM) I apologize but I'll try to catch you up as briefly and concisely as possible.

We traveled last Monday, about five hours, to the city of Sao Paulo and its 20 million inhabitants. After about $50 in toll booths we arrived to one of the biggest cities in the world. I spent the majority of the week clinging tightly to the little GPS in my hand that served as our life support for much of the week! I don't say this in sarcasm. I say this in complete sincerity. THE GPS WAS MY BEST FRIEND and if any of you decide to vacation or travel through Sao Paulo "just because" I recommend you too getting one of these helpful "life saving devices"!

I had appointments at Einstein Hospital with two different specialists and hoped to get a second opinion on my crohn's diagnosis. I will return in June for a follow-up and hopefully a clear picture of what is happening in my body. For now...I'm stable and I'll leave the health out of this post for the most part.

We did get to meet some REALLY cool missionaries while we were in the city. We met the Marlins who helped watch our boys during my hospital stay. The Julian Family also helped by finding us a mission house to stay in and hung out with the boys as well! At dinner with their family one night we met a famous person by the name of Chris Black. He is a legend in our language school because "as the story is said" he learned the portuguese language in about 2 weeks. Rumor has it that he is soon to be making his premiere on the Brazilian version of MTV. They are interviewing him because of his EXTREME coolness! :) Check out some of his happenings HERE!
But for those of you more interested in some "brazilian nuts" aka J^3...I'll oblige you with some information and pictures as well.

After I was released from the hospital we decided to FLEE as fast as we could from the craziness of the city and go to more calm places for me to relax and wait for one more doctor's appointment the following Monday. We went three hours east to a piece of paradise known as Ubatuba.

You're not feeling sorry for us any more, ARE YOU!?! ha

This is what I did....

And this is what the boys did.....

We stayed in a pousada called Portal da Cor on Lagoinha Beach. It is owned by a really sweet Japanese couple. They kept everything so clean and nice. We will definitely be going back when we have a chance.
We spent the evenings there eating popcorn and drinking cocoa over games of Rook!! GREAT TIMES!
Here's a video of the bidding war that took place for two people that I know will enjoy!

And because I can't decide which pictures are more glorious I'll just keep adding a few more....
We then packed up and headed back to the city and then on to home. Here are a few more shots from the road trip...
For those of you that hung through this entire blog post and the entirety of my pictures~~God Bless You! We're back in Ribeirao and boy does it feel good to be home...that's right I said HOME!!! Imagine That!