Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Tennessee Christmas

We are gathered with the Taylor "fam" for a Christmas celebration in Gatlinburg, TN. This is the first time all the Taylors have been together for Christmas since 2001.

David and Sharon brought Brazilian Picanha (steak), Linguica (sausage) and one other meat. David grilled it to perfection, in true brazilian style! Sharon cooked up our rice and batata fritas. Can you figure out what that is?? (I'll put the answer later.)

UMMM! It was a great meal. For dessert we had grilled pineapple. You will have to come to Brazil sometime and join us for a meal. (Batata Fritas are French Fries.)

Today we were able to go for a hike in the Smokey Mountains. God's glory is so beautifully displayed in His creation. The water, rushing down the mountain. The buck bounding across the river. The variety of trees and plantlife. A hike can be a perfect opportunity to worship the Lord.

"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!"

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Snowy Scare

Sunday afternoon we were invited over to a dairy farm near Grand Rapids, MI. Although there was a lake effect snow warning, the roads looked really good. It snowed all day long and when we left for church that evening the roads looked pretty bad, (especially to a driver from Houston!)

As we approached our first stop sign we could tell we weren't going to be able to stop. James tried to make the turn around the corner but we slid off the road. God kept us from hitting a large tree just in front of us and from sliding down into a steep ravine. Right away people started stopping to offer to help. A friend we knew from college lived at the farm and he came with a rope and truck to try to pull us out. The first try the rope snapped. The second try the van slid further off the road and down into the ditch. The van tilted sharply to one side and James thought it was going to go over! Finally a bystander recommended driving forward into the ditch, turning sharply and trying to drive out onto a side road. With a prayer James did it and was able to drive right out! Praise the Lord.

James was scheduled to preach on Sunday evening. Although he was a half and hour late for church he was able to preach. Most of the congregation was unaware that he was even late.

We are so grateful for God's provision and protection. He has kept us safe on the road for almost 2 years to 80 meetings and for 65,000 miles. It is a miracle that we haven't been in a more serious accident.

Keep praying!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Our first attempt at a snowman

We are in Grand Valley, Michigan for a missions conference and God has blessed us with our first real snow! This is our second winter in the North and we are so excited to finally be able to play in the snow.

You may have noticed that our snowman is lacking at least 2 layers. Each time we tried to add another layer, the bottom would fall apart. This was our first attempt. We will try for more tomorrow.

The conference has been going really well. The people here at Grand Valley Baptist Church have been a real blessing. We began last night showing our presentation on our ministry in Brazil. This morning James attended a Men's Breakfast at 7am Eastern. This was very early for our bodies on Central time! Each of the four missionaries were able to share about their fields. Then at 1pm the Ladies held a tea. It was a great way to get to know the women. We then held a panel discussion about life as a missionary. Tonight we saw 2 more fields presented, The Lakes in Inner-City Cleveland, and the Joles in Hispanic Ministries in the Grand Rapids area. Tomorrow James will preach and I will teach children's Church.

We will be going to a dairy farm tomorrow afternoon. An old college friend lives here and we will get to see how he makes cheese. We have been give a block of Gouda!!!

Thanks for your prayers for us as we travel and minister.