Saturday, June 30, 2007

We Made It!

We are finally in Brazil!

God provided so many blessings on our trip here. We were only able to get 3 seats together on the plane and right away a man traded his seat for Daniel´s so we could be together. We were able to have a bassinette for Jeremiah and he slept a good amount on the first flight. Once in San Paulo we were escorted to the front of the customs line because of our cute kids!! Everything just went so smoothly! We arrived in Curitiba on time and were greated by all the BMM Missionaries as well as a Brazilian Missionary.

We have spent our time this week looking for houses to rent. I think you will find it intersting to know that houses DO NOT come with kitchen counters, cabinets, or closets. \When looking for a house the realtor gives you the keys to the house and then you have to go find the house. So far at 2 of the houses our keys haven´t worked, so once we found the house we weren´t able to get in!!

We are all adjusting well so far. The kids have made friends and seem happy. Please pray for the right house, (maybe one with cabinets!) and the right car.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Our Last Weekend

Well, we're counting down the hours till we leave!

We have had a wonderful last weekend. My sister and her husband and son came down for one last weekend together. We so enjoyed the sweet time of fellowship and just being together. We were also able to celebrate James 31st birthday together.

My mom and Hannah made James a blueberry raspberry birthday pie, Yummmmy! We were able to spend the day together swimming and grilling out brats. We were joined by more flies than I have ever seen at a picnic. James killed 31 in honor of his birthday! (My dad planned to kill 55, but ended up swatting more than 75:)

Sunday, James was able to preach a farewell message and challenged the people to live lives that are distinct. We are saying lots of good-bye's now and reality is beginning to set in. We really are going to Brazil.

Our home church had a going away dinner for us, Jeremiah enjoyed rolling around in his walker while we ate & fellowshipped. We have been so blessed by such a supportive, encouraging sending church. We will miss them all dearly. Many are coming to the airport tomorrow to send us off.

Well, the next time you hear from us we will be in Brazil. Thank you - We wouldn't be going if it weren't for your faithful prayers and support.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Ready To GO!

Hoping everything (everyone) will fit!

We are ready to GO! Wednesday we finished closing the last box. Thursday morning, Galaxy Shipping loaded up our boxes and took them off to the warehouse. They are put on skids, wrapped for safety and put on a ship in the Port of Houston. They sail out on Monday, June 18th. We decided it would be cheaper to send Daniel in a box!

From Houston, they go to Miami and finally on to Paranagua, Brazil. They are scheduled to arrive on July 14th. We are already in contact with a Enrique, who will help us clear our boxes through customs and deliver them to Curitiba. Pray that things arrive in working order.

There were a few frustrating moments, trying to get everything in!

Later Thursday afternoon, we were running an errand in Houston and realized we were close to the Brazilian Consulate. James decided that we should check and see if our visas were ready. (They weren't supposed to picked up till Monday, June 18th.) James and Daniel went in and soon were back with all 5 visas in hand! Praise the Lord!

48 Boxes, ready for pick-up! Whew! We're finally done!

We have purchased our plane tickets and are scheduled to leave the USA on Monday, June 25th at 9:10 p.m. We fly directly from Houston to Sao Paulo, Brazil and arrive at 8:55 a.m. We were able to get a bassinet for Jeremiah to sleep in on the plane. Pray that the kids sleep through most of the night. From Sao Paulo, we have one more flight to Curitiba. We will stay with James parents until we find a house.

Our first big needs are to purchase a reliable vehicle and to find a house to rent. Pray with us in this regard.

We are praising the Lord for His provision. I am amazed at how perfectly His timing works.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The "Fam"

We arrived home from our last road trip (for a while) and 'the fam' had dropped in! David, Sharon and Rachel were sitting in our living room! We had never been so surprised!
We had a wonderful week with them. Catching up, talking about ministry, playing with the kids, discussing books, oh, it was GREAT! David & Sharon live in North Carolina and we haven't seen them for quite a while. Rachel lives in Memphis but she was getting ready for a missions trip. They all made huge sacrifices to come and see us one last time. THANK YOU!

We are planning to leave for Brazil on June 25th and having time with our family is so precious. Leaving those we love for such a long time period causes us to treasure each and every moment, phone call, photo, letter and more. The biggest blessing of my family is that all of them really love the Lord. It is so amazing that every time we sit down our conversation turns to the things of God. Who could ask for anything more?

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Sovereignty of God

The past week we have seen several really neat examples of God's sovereign design . I thought I would share these two examples.
My sister Laura and I were on the way to a baby shower at her church. Our exit for the freeway appeared to be closed so we quickly took an alternate exit, making a detour to get to the church. Once we were turned around, we realized our exit wasn't closed at all, giving us an unnecessary delay.
As we pulled in the church parking lot another lady was just getting out of her car and she walked in with us. We ended up sitting together during the shower. She was lots of fun as we played shower games and talked about life experiences, families and even shared testimonies of salvation and spiritual growth. I never knew a baby shower could be so fun and edifying. If we hadn't had the unnecessary detour and taken longer to get to the church we may have never had time with this amazing woman. Praise the Lord for unnecessary delays!
Our next example of God's sovereignty has to do with our support.

The day after we announced we were at 100% of our support we received word that one of our supporters had to lower their monthly support by $16.67 per month. We have to be at 100% to be cleared by our mission to go to the field. We knew we would just have to trust God. Just this week we received an increase in support from another supporter. When James received our new report, the increase was $16.67 per month! Isn't God amazing???

God is always working in our lives. Are we trusting Him, that His plan really is best? "And we know that ALL things work together for good, to them that love God to them that are the called according to His purpose."