Just a few more day til Christmas and I'm starting to get REALLY excited. Earlier this morning it was in the 90's but a storm has blown up and the temps are sitting perfectly in the 70's now!! We're listening to Christmas music continuously in our house. I've bought a few presents but nothing is wrapped yet. Things around here never move at a fast pace so I'm guessing that Christmas, too, will be pretty calm and stress-free.
I recently went back through my blog reading how far God has brought us. I saw the pictures from our old house and all the Christmas decorations that we had and for just a second, I felt sad. But it was just a second and then I kept reading about everything that God did to get us here and all I could do was smile. Every need we have had has been provided for, ABOVE AND BEYOND what we could have asked for. We have never had a day when we were hungry and couldn't eat. We've not had one night where we didn't have a bed to sleep in or a roof over our heads and to be more specific, I've never turned on my ceiling fan without it working great!! ;)
Where does all that money come from to keep missionaries on the field? Click here to find out!
My parents are arriving here on Wednesday in order to spend the holidays with us and I have to admit I feel like a little girl about it all!! We'll pick them up in Sao Paulo, which is about 4 hours away. I plan on squeezing my mom in the backseat all the way home. We were concerned about finding someone to take care of the boys while we were gone and how all 6 pieces of luggage would fit in our small little Civic, but as always, God has provided. He has provided 2 really sweet Brazilian families to watch our boys during our 8 hour trip there and back and a van for us to all fit into.
He has also provided many of you for us and your great big serving hearts. We received two packages this week filled with snacks, videos, Honey Nut Cheerios, Legos and lots of our very favorite things. So we want to send a BIG thanks to Chris and Cheryl Nichols, and the Birchell's Connect GROUP!!! You all are so special to us and we can't possibly thank you enough. I'd also like to say thanks to all of you that prayed for us during our tests this past week. Mike and I have finished "formal" language school and passed our tests at the level we needed to be able to leave. It's strange to say that because it feels like we just arrived. We've lived here now for eleven months and I remember getting off that plane like it was yesterday. I'm not saying that we don't miss our family and friends back home CAUSE WE DO!! A lot, especially this time of year, but there's a such a peace right now in our home.
Last night we had a Christmas party with our church family in Portinari. It was surreal because although I know I made mistakes in my conversation, when we were leaving, I felt like I had listened and understood and talked in another language the whole night, and truth is, I DID! God is so good. He has provided so many people here to help us learn this language. But you know what? Not only have we learned from them, I really feel that many of them have learned from us. That's the best part, feeling like through all our inadequacies, He can still use us.