Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tonight I am going to share some various things I've been wanting to write about.

Primeiro: Daniel's Bike

This is Daniel's big birthday gift. He finally got a bike. We bought it used from our neighbors and when James went over to pick it up they had decorated it with all the balloons!

This is Daniel riding it the morning of his Birthday. Today I took another picture so you could see the bike more clearly. I love that is has the large orange safety flag on it. (The flag is from Holland, via our neighbors.)

Segundo: Distractions at church in Brazil

I know that there are distractions in American churches; ie. people going to the bathroom, nursery, or maybe a baby crying occasionally. Brazil is another story! (Remember, our church is an open store front.)

1. The drunk that regularly shows up, on his way home from the bar, just to talk (during the service).

2. The car race track that is about a mile away. Once or twice a month you can try to preach over the roar of the cars racing around the track.

3. Loud music -
Last Sunday morning during the preaching, someone was working on their car right across from the church. You could hear music playing while they worked but it was definitely in the background. About halfway through the sermon they turned up the music. It was so LOUD you could not hear the preacher. (And I was on the second row!) The preacher tried to preach over the music but it was useless. I justed started to pray, "Lord, do something..." Suddenly the music was turned down again.

4. BUGS! -
Tonight I experienced a small taste of the plagues of Exodus. When we sat down for the service, there seemed to be a lot of bugs hovering around the lights. Suddenly they weren't around the lights but all over us. In our hair, on and in our clothes, on our bible, notebooks, literally all over us. I could hardly keep Hannah in her seat. She and Daniel were trying to kill every one of them and that only added to the distraction.
5. DOGS - (This is from when James was growing up)
Every Sunday morning during the service a dog would walk into the church and plop down by the piano. Usually he would just take a nap while the preaching continued. But one Sunday, he got sick and then proceeded to clean up his mess, right in front of everyone! The preacher (I think James' Dad) thought quickly to quote the verse "as a dog returns to it's vomit...

6. Fireworks - that are shot off whenever someone scores a goal in a soccer game.

7. Loud Speaker advertisements - literally speakers strapped to a car,truck or van that drive through the neighborhood sharing the specials at the grocery store. We usually get one every Sunday morning.

Pray for us that God would stop the distractions that the god of this world so effectively uses to try to hinder the ministry of the Gospel.


We are so excited to see how God is building bridges between us and our neighbors. 2 weeks ago, James was able to share the gospel with the husband and since then we have had lots more exposure with the family. Tonight one of the daughters came to church with us. Tomorrow we are watching the girls for a couple of hours. God is so good!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Daniel

Tomorrow Daniel will be 6 years old!

God has truly blessed us with a treasure. Daniel has a tender heart toward God and therefore, others. I asked him Monday morning, "What do you want for your birthday?" He replied, "Mommy, I really want to go to heaven." When I asked him why he wanted to go there, he said, "To see Jesus."We are so thankful that God has already ordained each of Daniel's days (Ps. 139:16). We pray daily that Daniel would love the Lord with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength.

We had a festa (party) for Daniel on Saturday. We invited Daniel's amigos from church as well as our neighbors. We played balloon games. This reminded me of last year, when we celebrated his birthday in the gym at Calvary in Danville, IL. I wished my friend Gretchen were here to help me with the games this year. James was a great assistant though!"Won't this balloon EVER pop?"

We had a wonderful chocolate cake that was so rich that even I couldn't have seconds!

Presents always make a birthday special!

I wanted to put in some pictures of Daniel from this year.

I have to say that he has an awesome smile!
He has become quite an accomplished artist this year!

He knows how to have fun anywhere, anytime!

It is amazing to see how quick he is to catch on to new things
(i.e. stringing buttons:)

Finally, he got to make a snow angel!

As Daniel says, "Brother's forever!"

"I want to go to Brazil on the plane Daddy, not in the boxes!"

"Doing my push-ups like Daddy!"
(with my cousins)

Dramma's little helper

An accomplished climber of both trees AND elephants!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

We've Got Boxes!

They have finally arrived! PRAISE THE LORD!

This morning at 9:19 a.m. the delivery truck arrived with all 48 boxes. So far everything is in great shape! No broken dishes, pictures, or equipment. God is so good!

The kids enjoyed looking through all their toys. It was almost like christmas. We still have lots more to unpack and put away, but there's no rush:)

Saturday our family grew a little. We were able to pick up our puppy from Pr. Claudinei's house. Our little Ollie is not quite two months old and is so cute.

When we got home and introduced Ollie to the neighbors, we were asked if we wanted a rabbit too. Suprisingly, James had been wanting a rabbit. So, we are now the proud owners of a puppy and a rabbit.

Ollie & pookey-pook sleep in the dog house together. They are really bonding well. Ollie sleeps on top of the rabbit and they both enjoy dog food. They love playing in our little front yard where they are a hit with our kids as well as any neighbors passing by.

Things are really "hopping" at the Taylor house!

Friday, September 07, 2007

7 de Setembro

Today is Brazil's Independence Day.

It is a national holiday, so to enjoy our day off, we had a 3 church piquenique (picnic). This fun word is pronounced /pick - E - nick - E/(both E's are long). It is fun to say isn't it?

Igreja Batista Nova Vida, IBCalvario & IBBethel, all got together at a park for some food, fun & fellowship. The park was beautiful, large trees draped in Spanish moss, several small lakes and streams, a play ground, pavilions and more. It was wonderful!

We all arrived around 9 am. The day began with singing and a challenge by Johnny Nunley (My sweet sister-in-law's father). I wondered as we all sat down, how he could hold the attention of this large group with all the distractions of being outdoors. Then I saw his cool easel and realized he was going to use paint to illustrate the points of the passage. With the first sweep of his paintbrush, the two young boys behind me were hooked!

We enjoyed family games, like sack races. (The sacks were the "M" bags our books arrived in from the US. )

It wouldn't be a Brazilian piquenque without churrasco! Pastor Claudine was our chief. The Lingusa (sausage) and contra filet were eaten on pao (small bread loaves). DELICIOUS!

After lunch all the men headed to the futebol field and played a great game! The women and children enjoyed lots of fellowship and playtime.

One thing I like about Brazil is that they use every opportunity to invite unbelievers. We had several unsaved visitors at the piquenque today. Pray that God will convict them of their need for Him.