Sopa de Cebola Francesa

Last week I had Community Transformation Training (CTC) in Lima, Peru. That sounds really fancy but it simply means learning how to go into unreached people groups with a purpose that will help their community. We were reminded how "to ensure that human need concerns are a vital part of (our) evangelism strategy and are woven into the DNA of our new church plants." (That was from the manual) ha
We want to train the nationals in a way that empowers them all while sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our time meeting together in training was great as well as our time in the evenings as we all got to know other m's serving in Central and South America.


we had the opportunity to partake of all the luxuries of Lima, Peru. SUCH AS...Chili's, TGI Friday's, Starbucks, and a grocery store packed full of American items. My baggage was loaded down for the return trip. I was able to bring the boys home Captain Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, Fruit Roll-Ups, Maple Syrup, York Peppermint Patties, and Oreo's just to name a few of the items. Hopefully that made up for me being the only one to get French Onion Soup from Fridays.

Last Saturday, Mike also had the privilege to make his first trip out to our people group. He came back excited and encouraged. This picture is of the oldest couple in the village. They were so kind to him and he looks forward to going back soon to visit with them.

Our family has had some trials the last few days but God is so good and faithful. He is walking through all of it with us. We appreciate all your continued prayer support and love. For those of you waiting on email replies, be patient with us. We have so much to catch up on around here.


6 reasons we don't buy imported items

At the time I'm writing this post the
1 US dollar=1.66 Reais.

So, at first when I found a can of Campbell's soup on the shelf I almost fell over because I just knew it would be impossible to find it down here. I grabbed three cans without even looking at the price and then the sticker under the can grabbed my attention. Needless to say, I reversed my motion and replaced all 3 cans back onto the shelf. No worries cause I've learned how to easily make this can of stuff with fresh ingredients and it even tastes better...kinda. :)

This next picture doesn't actually tell the absurdness well. This bag of chips is the size of one stuck in a child's lunch box. The sack contains, at most, 12 chips. I'll let you figure up how much that is per chip. Unfortunately, this is it for corn chips in Northeast Brazil.

Santa brought Pringles to our kiddos this past Christmas and it was a huge treat. I found these babies on sale the other day but still had trouble justifying the purchase since it's not a holiday or anything. Easter will be here soon I suppose.

This supermarket here in Fortaleza was the first one where we were able to find marshmallows.
We opted to wait on these as well!

These, too, are almost impossible to find.
This price below belongs to the box of 8!
I know, RIGHT!!!?!

I've been gone awhile but I don't remember Johnson's keeping their merchandise behind lock and key. 18.50 for baby oil is another reason to celebrate kids out of diapers.


returning to routine

We are beginning to feel more at home here. Carnival is over and the city is getting back to normal. ALSO, our ceiling fans have been installed and we are all sleeping like babies! HALLELUJAH!!

Many of you have asked to see pictures of our new apartment
so here are a few. It's really quite charming.
My favorite part is our balcony. We live on the 3rd floor surrounded by other buildings so unfortunately there's not a lot of privacy. Otherwise it would be really serene.

Our living room

This is the only part of the boy's room that I was able to take a photo of
because they are still working on finding the floor. HA For the first time ever, they are all 3 sharing a room. In order for them to have more space, Mike and I gave them the larger of the 2 bedrooms. I'll show you how I fit a queen and two twins into this room as soon as I'm not embarrassed to take a picture.

My kitchen which I am taking back from the ants.

My beautiful laundry room. We finally have my washing machine up and going and I'm so HAPPY!! I'm pretty sure we'll never see this area without clothes.
It takes a really long time to dry stuff here because of the humidity.

This is the room off of the living room where we do school every day.
So you could also call this my mental ward!

The view from our balcony and if you look way down in between the
last 2 buildings you can faintly see the ocean.

If I zoom in with my camera it comes a little clearer and
you can make out the waves. COOL, huh?!?

More photos to come of life outside the apartment soon!


what's for dinner

A few weeks ago we brought home a whole chicken to put in the crock pot.
We got our money's worth!


We arrived here in Fortaleza exactly a week ago. Everything has been such a blur that I literally just had to go back to a calendar and figure out which day we got here.

We were greeted at the airport by two sweet smiling faces. Robert and Phyllis have lived here in this city about 25 years. They will be working with us this next year during our time here. They have much experience and hearts of gold so we look forward to hanging out with them and gleaning from their wisdom.

As we walked out of the airport, the heat and humidity hit us like a wall. We stayed at a hotel on the beach the first 3 nights which was a really big blessing. It was right on the ocean, had a pool, buffet breakfast and AIR CONDITIONING in the room!!! Unfortunately we were so swamped with everything, I was only able to take the boys down to the beach for a few hours on Thursday. When life settles down, we'll have to find a quiet spot on the beach to relax. We moved everything into our new apartment on Saturday. Even our crate we packed back in the spring of 2009 made it. Saturday felt like Christmas as we opened boxes we hadn't seen in so long.

Mike has been working his tail off trying to get so much accomplished and I know when he finally stops, HE'S gonna crash hard. Running on very little sleep, he and JohnMark flew a couple of hours away to Sao Luis Monday night. Our truck is there and they are driving it back here for us to use. It's a big 4x4 truck that we'll need to get out to our people group. The roads here in the northeast aren't quite the caliber of Sao Paulo roads so the 665 mile trip will be an adventure. The roads they are using to get back are quite primitive. They had made it about half way as of last night and were staying with a couple that lives there in Parnaiba. I talked with them last night and other than being sleep deprived it appears they have many stories to tell. As a matter of fact, while I'm typing this, they should be fishing for piranhas with some folks.

Jackson, Jayden and I have decided we are ready for them to get back. We are wanting to see a bit more of the city than walking allows. We have covered several blocks surrounding our house but it's a big city with LOTS of people and dangerous intersections. Just to get to the supermarket, we have to cross one of the busiest roads by going half-way and then stopping on a 2 foot piece of concrete as we wait for the other lanes coming from the opposite direction to clear. Picture me and an 8 year-old and a 10 year-old balancing on this strip and me trying to make sure they don't fall back into traffic speeding by a few inches from our backsides all the while trying to keep them from stepping out too hastily into the other side of traffic. It's a bit like the old video game FROGGER! Pray this country girl doesn't get herself or her kids squashed.

We are also encountering some less than friendly people out there amongst the sidewalks. Yesterday, one in particular, decided to get right up into Jackson's face and scare him to death. Not sure if he was drugged out or suffering from some demonic issues. Either way, I reminded Jackson for the umpteenth time that God doesn't give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self control. We're definitely standing on that scripture right now.

Back here in the house lies many adventures as well. My ever growing pile of laundry that has accumulated through the move and all is still sitting pretty in the floor waiting on my washing machine to begin to function correctly. I don't know what happened to it during the move but I hate getting behind on it all...especially without a dryer. Washing it by hand would be like my most dreaded scenario but it might it come to that.

The shower in my bathroom had heat yesterday for about 6 minutes before it went out so that's another thing for Mike's to-do list when he gets back. Ice cold showers are actually kind of refreshing right now. We don't have ceiling fans yet but the one small portable one we do have is getting a work out. We carry it with us from room to room in order to move the air around. I think either we're getting more accustomed to the climate or the fan is helping because we've stopped soaking all our shirts with sweat over the last 24 hours.

Despite the bugs that are biting us or the ones that have made their way into our digestive tracks, we're surviving. Yesterday, as you can tell from this sorta negative post, was hard. But the sun is up (which is seems to do much earlier now) and I'm about to go have some coffee. God is still God and He has a purpose for us in being here. We will choose to walk in that and I will do my best to make the next post on here one that is more positive. Until then, I'll just be transparent with you and tell you life's a bit harder here. But, as we know, that's when we grow. So here we go as a family of five again, stretching and growing and learning what it means to walk with our Savior.

Keep us covered in prayer and we'll keep ya informed on what's going on. I'll try and get some pictures posted on here soon!