Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What´s Going on With The Taylors???

This has been a BIG week for us, as Daniel started school on Monday. He has been so excited about going to a "real" school. All the kids here wear uniforms and Daniel looks so handsome in his!
The first day, James, Hannah & I drove him to school. All the kids lined up outside and sang songs until it was time for class. His teacher, Tia Carol, (standing beside him), offered for me to stand in line with him. I asked Daniel, "Do you want me to stand with you or should I wait with daddy?" Of course, he said I should stand with daddy. :)

We were able to walk with him to class. One girl at his table speaks English, as well as his teacher. He has done GREAT! He loves school and is excited each day about going back. Tuesday we let him ride the bus to school. His teacher came and rode with him. He loved it and told Tia Carol that he didn't need her to ride with him the next day. I have to admit, I am amazed at how well he has adjusted. Praise God!

We have spent lots of time looking for furniture for our house. It has been very interesting. Most couches are either as hard as rocks or super expensive. We found this intersting chair at one store. Hannah and I found it very comfortable, but James didn't think it would fit with our decor!
We went to one area of town that was filled with various furniture stores. Daniel & Hannah walked, and walked, and walked... finally they decided to take a break. "Mommy, will this work for our living room?"

We decided that Saturday was the day we would finally buy a couch. Hannah decided she was tired of shopping and took a nap. This was a very comfortable couch & affordable, but the cushions were sewn down and that makes a perfect hidding place for some nasty brown spiders. We didn't buy a couch that day but we FINALLY bought one today!! We are the proud owners of a couch. I'll put in a picture when it is sitting in our living room.

Last Saturday was the monthly men's meeting. It was held at the Taylor's house. Since we are currently working in two churches and they are "mother" & "daughter" churches we decided to combine the meetings. So, here are some of the men from Calvario & Nova Vida. Mary Ruth & the kids and I stayed in the back. It was so neat to hear them singing to the Lord and hear of their testimonies of salvation. Pray for these men, that they will draw closer to the Lord, and lead their families and their churches in a God-honoring way.
James was able to preach this past Sunday in the morning worship service and to teach the adult class at Nova Vida. We believe that this church will be our primary focus while we are in Curitiba. It has been neat to see how quickly we have gotten to know the people. We are so excited to work with them to build Nova Vida into a self-suppporting church.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Culture Shock - Driving in Brazil

I would say that culture shock is not due to one BIG change but the thousands of little ones that hit you each day.

I would like to introduce you to Brazilian speed control. This is a lambada. (A very large speed bump.) Instead of police giving tickets for those who speed, they simply place lambadas everywhere! I feel like we are constantly slamming on our brakes for these things.

Last Sunday night was our first time to drive to church by ourselves. It was dark and most lambadas are not marked with signs (like the one above.) We hit our first one at 40 Kilometers per hour (another cultural change, the metric system. I never know how cold it will be, or fast I am driving or how much I weigh!) James slammed on the brakes and we devised a system, I would scan the road for the unmarked speed bumps and yell the moment I saw one. It worked ok. :) We finally made it to church but I have to admit, I was a little drained from all the driving tension.

After church we felt a little more confident that we knew where most of the lambadas were. As the first red light turned green we took off and suddenly found ourselves in the BUS ONLY lane!! Oh, NOOOOO! There was no way out for at least a mile. Finally we found an area we could cross over to the regular traffic.
I would like to close this lesson on culture shock by adding that there are generally no traffic laws in Brazil. People run any light they want to, and motorcycles ( I don´t know where to begin!), so add "extreme driving" to the lambadas and driving in Brazil is quite the experience! Believe it or not, I have driven here twice!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Few Pictures of Brazil

We were welcomed to New Life Baptist Church with a special reception. The food was DELICIOUS! There are quite a few kids who come, so Daniel had lots of fun playing with them in the parking lot.
Jeremiah is in the navy hat, he is VERY loved by everyone here. He gets passed around church and is always ready to give a special smile to whoever is holding him.

Daniel will be starting school on Monday, July 23rd. He will be in Pre-II, this is like kindergarten. This a picture of his school. (A Baptist Brazilian school.) His teacher Tia Carol speaks some english and there are 3 other kids in his class who speak english as well.

He is very excited about school but also a little nervous. Pray for him. He is actually starting in the middle of the year, so this will make it even more challenging to begin with.

The missionaries here on the Curitiba station took us out to lunch to welcome us. Hannah really liked "Uncle" George (as the missionaries are called), and decided to call him her teddy bear. We think Jeremiah liked him as well!

The kids have been making friends really well. Our closest brazilian friends are Fernanda & Abner. Their dad is a missionary and we will be working with him at Nova Vida. They have a playgound in their front yard so we visit them often!

Hannah & Abner are both 3 years old and have had lots of fun together.
Daniel found this mini trampolin under Gran´s bed and has been having lots of fun playing with it. Thought this was a cute picture.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Giving Thanks in All Things

This morning I woke up grumpy. We still hadn´t found a car or a house. Jeremiah has been waking up at 5 a.m. Another day where it seemed no progress would be made.

I opened up my deovotional book and began to study CONTENTMENT! (God sure knows what we need.) I did a short study on Philipians 4. Rejoice in the Lord, be ANXIOUS for nothing, take all things to the Lord in prayer, "whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." I am sure you are familiar with many of these verses. I realized I was just like the Isrealites. One week after a huge blessing, here I am complaining in my heart. I am so glad God is merciful to me. Forgiving me, reminding me of all I have to be thankful for.

I am thankful for...
  • A wonderful place to stay while we get settled
  • Internet connection (even though the keyboard is different)
  • Family and friends who pray for us and love us
  • To be in Brazil
  • The little Portuguese I am learning
  • Beautiful weather (not to cold)
  • The kids adjusting VERY well (although Daniel hit a boy at church on Sun P.M. because he was tired of the boy speaking in portuguese!)
  • Brazilian friends we are making
  • 2 Churches to help out in
  • A God who is faithful, even when I am not
  • The Word of God to convict me and bring me closer to my Savior

I want to be like Paul and say, "I have learned in whatsoever state I am in, therewith to be content."

Update on the day:

James spent the whole day out with his dad and a Brazilian man looking for a vehicle. They left at 9:30 a.m. and finally got home at 7 p.m. Tomorrow we will be the owners of a nice Honda Civic and I think we have found a place to live. I will let you know more when I am sure. Thanks for your prayers. They are very needed!