Friday, March 28, 2008

Praises, Praises, Praises!

There is so much to share, I can only share tidbits of all that God has been doing over the last week.

Enrique & Lucas preparing to pass out tracks

The guy on the left is Enrique. He is a new believer and James has been doing a Bible study with him recently. This week James was so encouraged as they discussed what they were learning in their daily time with God. It was so exciting to see how Enrique is learning to study the Word and feed himself. What an amazing fruit of salvation, when the Holy Spirit helps you understand and learn from the Scriptures!

Nilda, Hannah, Daniel & James
Celebrating James' completion of Portuguese classes
James has completed 20 units of Portuguese and is now even more equipped to effectively share the gospel. We made a surprise lunch and had Nilda, our teacher, and James' parents over to celebrate with us. James is still doing a few writing projects to continue sharpening his language skills.

Kids at our Easter Brunch

Raissa & Lucas playing a duet before our Easter Play

The Children's program on Sunday Evening. This was Hannah's first time to participate in a big kids program and she did great!
This is her line:
"Amanha sera tarde, hoje e o dia aceitavel." Tomorrow may be to late, today is the day of Salvation (Christen's translation)

Youth Easter Play
James and I directed a play with the teens for Easter. It was a reenactment of the last passover when Christ the perfect lamb was sacrificed to permanently forgive sins. There was one practice that James was sick and I ran the practice all by myself! (That means I can communicate, at least on some level!)

My "Bird of Paradise" bloomed for the first time!
It actually opened on Friday. I told the kids it was an amazing display of God's glory and He gave it to us to remember Christ's death and resurrection.

David, Sharon & Gabriel
David & Sharon are arriving in Brazil on Tuesday, April 1st! We are so excited that they have raised all of their support. They will be working in northern Brazil for the first year so we really won't see them very often. Monday, we will drive with Phil & Mary Ruth, to Sao Paulo and spend all day Tuesday with David & family. It is our first time to meet our new nephew!
We praise the Lord that our future ministry partners and friends are soon to be in Brazil!

Wednesday as my language class ended, I asked Nilda if she was ready to die. She mentioned that she was a pretty good person but was not sure because the small sins would probably add up. I asked her to read Ephesians 2 for Friday and then we could talk about it. Today, she told me that she is so excited because it is not up to her to be good enough to be saved, it is up to God and his promise of salvation. I talked to her about the fact that Christ died for all but many will never believe they need a Savior. She most assuredly believes that she needs a savior and is so excited that the burden for her salvation is no longer on her shoulders.

To me, the most amazing thing is that Nilda was SAVED by God and His word working in her heart! Not me, or my fancy words, but God and His living word!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Our Easter Mountain

I wrote earlier this month about celebrating the resurrection with your children and how to help them focus on the real meaning of Easter.

Here is some of what we are up to...

We made the mountain on Sunday and Monday morning the decorating began!

Daniel painted the mountain.

Hannah painted the large stone that will seal the tomb, tum-a-lum (as she calls it!)

Her stone turned out blue, as that was the last color that she painted it!

Here they are with the finished project.

I used toothpicks taped the little pictures that I found on line for the people. Every morning I read part of the story of the death and resurrection. Today we read about Jesus washing the disciples feet and Judas setting up the betrayal of Jesus. (The kids got their feet washed!)

Easter Mountain sits on the dinning room table and often the kids are there acting out the stories we have been learning.

It's not to late to make your own Easter Mountain!

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Cultural Musing - Dogs in Brazil

Meet Velho*

This is the old dog that lives on our street. (Velho means old and everyone simply calls him Velho.)

Someone made him a little A-framed house out of old wood and plastic and they give him water. I honestly don't know what he eats but he never looks hungry (unless you giving him a left-over bone!)

Anyway, I try to run 3 mornings a week and I meet lots of dogs. The dogs that are behind a fence snarl and bark like they want to eat me alive. Often I pass dogs that are loose in the street. If they are a street dog, they ignore me BUT, if they are a yard dog that snuck out, I am in for trouble!

This is Velho saying "Oi" to our dog Neginho*

I have come to love street dogs. They are so much calmer and well behaved than yard dogs. Velho walks with James to the bread store, waits outside and then walks James home. Earlier this week, he walked with the kids and me to the mercado. He sat outside while we shopped and when we left, he stayed to watch the people. About 4 hours later, I realized I had forgotten something and went back to the store, Velho was still there. As I left, he suddenly realized it was me and took off running to catch up to me. I have to say, I enjoy the company and am thankful for his watching over our street at night. He is a great guard dog and friend!

*the "H" is silent

Name That Tune - The ANSWERS!

Thanks to all who tried so hard to figure out the names of the songs.
Johanna figured out the first two correctly, but she is an MK from Mexico so she had a head start!

#1. This Little Light of Mine
#2. Zacheaus
#3. The Lord is My Shepherd

(Good guess Laura on #3! You were on the right track!)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Name that Tune!

I was looking through "Salvation Songs for Kids #2" and I thought it would be fun to see if you can figure out what traditional kids songs these are!

1. Minha Pequena Luz

2. Zaqueu

3. Meu Bom Pastor E Cristo

These are all fairly easy but I thought it might be fun. Just click on the comments button at the bottom of this post and leave your guess!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Jeremiah's First Haircut

Finally, at 16 months of age, Jeremiah got his first hair cut!

Doesn't he look so handsome!!!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Celebrating the Ressurection with your Children

Last year my friend Gretchen loaned me the book "Treasuring God in your Traditions" by Noel Piper. It has some wonderful ideas for using the holidays to turn the minds and hearts of our children, and ourselves, to Christ.

I wanted to share this idea for celebrating the resurrection with you today. Last year I did this my kids and we all loved it!

The week before Palm Sunday we made a play dough mountain and formed piper cleaner "people" to act out the days leading up to the death and resurrection of Christ.

Each day I would read a portion of the Gospels beginning with the Triumphal Entry and reading a portion each day leading up to the death. I would let the kids act out the story on their mountain with the piper cleaner people. On Good Friday we would read about the death and then put Jesus into the tomb with a rock covering the entrance. The tomb stays closed and we all wait.....

Sunday morning when the kids got up, the rock was rolled away and Jesus stood in triumph on the top of the mountain.

Here is the recipe for Easter Mountain:

Play dough-
4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. salt
1 Tbs. oil
Mix ingredients and knead. Add small amounts of water as needed until the texture is right.

1. Use two back yard sticks bound together with twine to make a cross about 5 or 6 inches tall.
2. Shape the whole lump of play dough into a mountain. The size will be determined by the volume of play dough. Leave an opening on one side into the "cave" that will represent the tomb, using your fist or a soup can to hold the space open.
3. Press the cross into the top of the mountain to form a hole deep enough to stand the cross in. Make the hole a bit larger than the actual stick circumference because the hole will get smaller as the mountain bakes. Set the cross aside.
4. Twist toothpicks into the dough or press fork tines randomly around on the hill to make "footholds" for the pipe cleaner people.
5. Press the rock that will cover the tomb against the opening, to shape a better fit. Set the stone aside.
6. Bake the mountain and stone at 250 degrees for 4-5 hours. When cooled, color as desired with paint or markers.

I am going to be doing this again this year. I am also helping my little Sunday School class make the mountain so they can go home and do it with their parents.

Hope this ideas will help your family focus on the true reason for CELBRATION this month!

"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom
and might and honor and glory and blessing!"
Rev. 5:12