seeing things differently

One thing about living here is that it becomes increasingly hard to hear about friends and family having struggles back home. Your hugs are forced to become long distant calls and unceasing prayers. Your best friends endure surgeries but you can't take a meal over to their house. They send their firstborn off to college and YOU hope and pray that they know that you're cheering them on from far away. Your Happy Birthday wishes are only expressed by facebook or skype calls and you see your baby niece take tiny steps through tear-filled eyes from a computer camera hoping no one notices that you're all torn up!

It can be overwhelming at times but I also see things now through a different lens. So much of what and how I feel about the world will never be the same again. My eyes have been opened to things I'll never forget. My view of the world has become so much larger even though at times I realize just how small it is.

The other night while we were having a church service with local Brazilians, a small framed woman came into the yard from the street. She didn't have milk for her baby and was begging for someone to help her. As I watched the pastor's wife take care of her, I realized how different this world that I'm living in truly is.

Saturday night, I watched a new believer struggle with knowing where to turn in her Bible (she'd never opened a Bible) and light up when she began to understand the words she was reading. When you see the homeless on the street sleeping on the sidewalk in front of your apartment everyday and hear them going through the dumpsters at night...YOU CHANGE.

Although our hearts ache for those people we love back home, we are certain that we are exactly where God wants us and THAT feels really good. HE is at work in our lives and we know we haven't seen anything yet! Thanks for all your support and encouragement over the last few days. It's great to know ya'll read the newsletter and when you respond IT'S EVEN BETTER!! We love hearing from you!!

Keep praying for our work here and the work still to come in São Luís.



Tomorrow we will have our first LI (language interview). This will involve us being interviewed and recorded as we attempt to talk only in Portuguese. The teacher will then go back and listen to the recording and determine where we are in our language learning process. It's a bit overwhelming and we're both a bit nervous. Please pray for us tomorrow afternoon between 12-2. This will be when we are doing our testing!

Also...here are some photos from around town.

Leaving our garage

The streets of Ribeirao Preto

a shop selling idols and statues



Happy Birthday Jack!

Jackson woke up to his room covered in balloons this morning. We picked him up from school at noon and headed straight to the new Burger King that was just put in our mall here. This evening we celebrated at our favorite pizzaria again and had about 10 friends join us. He was serenaded in the happy birthday song in English and another song in Portuguese and got 2 new soccer balls. The owner even came out with a special chocolate pizza and a hug for Jackson. Afterwards all the kids went bowling. Jackson missed all his friends and family from back home but he said it was one of his best birthdays!!!