LoWdOwN on the guys

I called my mom today and as I was sharing a story about life in our house, I found myself calling our dwelling place a frat house. It seemed a fitting title for this home since I live here with 4 guys. As these young men grow and get bigger and louder, at times I find myself feeling like an outsider. It's funny because the opposite is true for Michael. He seems to have an almost permanent grin of pride plastered on his face as they tell their weird jokes and continually find ways to make noises with their bodies that are completely unpleasant. Eww. Such a camaraderie they have at times. sigh.

To totally change the subject...

This week Mike will be joining another team from the states to work in a community about 2 hours from here. They asked him to bring one of our boys with him so Jackson will be joining him this time. He is SO excited. He worked ahead in his school work and got his teacher's permission. ha

They are meeting the team at the airport today and will head out on Monday morning to join up with them. Pray that all goes well for all involved as they work really hard this week in the town of Cascavel. On Friday, JohnMark, Jayden and I are hoping to be able to join up with everyone for a short time. I'll try to keep you posted and will ask Mike to get some photos for me so we can post them on here.

I'm about 2 weeks out on the move and trying to tie up all the loose ends here in the house and with the boys school year. So far...so good.

JohnMark is doing really well and will begin 8th grade as soon as we get to Sao Luis. He is enrolled in an online school with many other kids that live overseas. He's been given the opportunity to co-lead a Bible Study amongst the kids online. He's writing it and setting it all up. I am so proud of all the hard work he's been putting into it. Kids from all over the world will be connecting via skype to study God's Word together! How cool is that!!!

All of Jayden's blonde hair has reappeared, thanks to this strong Fortaleza sun! He turns heads everywhere we go. He is growing tall and eating us out of the house. WAIT...all three of them are doing that. Seriously, our grocery bill is frightening. I can go buy 20-30 tangerines in the morning and attempt to go into the kitchen to partake of "said" tangerines that same afternoon and ALL, I repeat ALL tangerines ARE GONE!!!! FOR REAL! I haven't resorted to hiding food for myself yet but I won't say it will never happen. (I'm recalling life with Matt Lovelace right now....hmmmm.)

Anyhow, the boys are healthy and geared up to move again! They are beyond excited about our Christmas plans. We have tickets to a beautiful destination on December 13 and we foresee some pretty special time with some pretty special people. Granted...the time there will be short BUT we plan on enjoying every single second!

In the photo below the boys are holding some of the goodies that came in with the team!
THANK you so much Ronnie and Carl! The boys will feast on s'mores very soon!


next leg of the journey

So many of you have emailed, called or facebooked (not sure if that can be used as a verb or not) recently to inquire on our whereabouts and happenings. I apologize profusely for my absence on here and with our correspondence to all our prayer partners. I'd love to tell you that we've been swamped with ministry opportunities and that has kept me unable to find the needed time to sit down on here and share my heart.

But yeah...that's not really the truth.

Granted things have been busy and slightly different for us. We're moving again in a few weeks. We've been doing home school non-stop. We are living life in a foreign country eating beans and rice every single day for lunch. We constantly search for opportunities to expand our really "crappy" language skills because apparently even after almost two years in another country, one can get by on extremely POOR Portuguese. I know this well. On top of all this "feel goodness" the mosquitoes are out and about in droves.

We do still laugh at ourselves and continually wake up each morning knowing that we are called to do exactly what we are doing. We consistently ask God to make us small so that we in turn can make HIM known in large ways. He complies with this regularly! ha

Truth is, some days are really hard and trying to be tough can be exhausting! I am learning, thanks to some really smart friends, how to give myself a break and realize how far we've come. We have come a long way! WE HAVE! We aren't living amongst our people just yet. We aren't speaking like the Brazilians just yet and we aren't all the things I strive to be. My guess is you aren't either. Living on a different continent doesn't make that happen faster. Well, maybe it does a little because my growing pains have been on steroids lately!

I was hoping to understand better the "whys" of our time here in this city by now and praying God would show us some profound reason for bringing us here for such a short time. Unfortunately, I can't say I know exactly why we had to come and stay here for this period. It was a time where I felt God removed almost all friendships from our lives. We struggled making anything other than superficial relationships with people because of our small amount of time here and even the few people we did meet, God seemed to keep at an arms distance away.

Simply put, life was peculiarly strange and lonely here. I have learned that sometimes God puts us in situations we don't understand. He removes distractions from our lives so that we draw nearer to Him learning how to sustain only on HIM.

We leave this city on the 3rd of October. We will then be where we are "supposed" to be...at least for now. Until He says, "Go" again. That's how this life of ours looks for now. Just keep moving with HIM, trusting Him as He carries us. We do look forward to the people and friendships that are waiting for us in São Luis. We already have several contacts there and it's exciting to know that God is preparing the way for us.

We do ask that you begin to pray for the spiritual attacks that are and will begin to come our way. We are heading into a battle zone and the enemy does not like it. I will try to begin and post some more information regarding our people and the things we will encounter with them. I will start with this video focusing on an African/Brazilian religion called Umbanda. It is a mixture of spiritism and catholicism.