Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Speaking in Portuguese

Thank you all for your prayers on Saturday. I was able to share a devotional at a wedding shower for one of our ladies. It was so nice to be able to do this with ladies that have been apart of my life this past year. Ladies who are helping and cheering me on as I learn to communicate in this new language.

This is Jessica, our newly wed. She was so excited as she opened all her gifts. A glowing bride!

I thank God for enabling me to learn as much as I have during this year. I pray to continue learning the language. This opportunity to speak to the ladies was the final requirement of my language studies. I officially end my classes at the end of August.

I couldn't have done this without my two coaches.
James put in lots of work, mainly as my Scriptural Advisor. I had him read over my notes several times, saying, "don't look at the errors of the language, can you just read for content and tell me what you think?" He was so helpful and when I was all done, he gave me such a huge compliment, "My wife is teaching expositorily!"

I am also so thankful for Nilda, my sister in Christ and language teacher, who worked so hard with me to make sure I was saying exactly what the Lord had laid on my heart.

I taught on the passage in I Peter 3:1-6. It was so wonderful to study and then feel the light switch come on as I realized how the passage fit together. It was also amazing to sit down and type out, in Portuguese, a devotional.

I still have so far to go, but it is so wonderful to look back on all that God has already done.

"Faithful is He who called you, who also will do it!"

Sunday, August 17, 2008

An Unwanted Visitor

Tonight at church was a little scary. I have mentioned before that we often have drunks wander in off the streets. Usually it is the same two guys. They come in, say hi really loud and then sit for about 1 minute and then leave. A short interruption and a little unnerving.

Tonight a new man walked in. Our usher stopped him at the door but he continued to talk in a really loud voice that he had a question for the pastor. The usher kept trying to get him to wait till after the service. After about 5 minutes of hearing him talk in the back, he began to walk up the aisle toward the front. Another man got up to help get him to the back of the church. He kept laughing as the pastor tried to keep preaching. Often he would say, "but I have a question." Finally, Pastor Max got up and stopped the service. Telling the man he would have to sit down and quietly wait or leave because this was the house of God.

He never did really leave and never was quiet. He moved to the back but kept laughing and making comments. I don't know how Pr. Alberto was able to finish preaching.

As we sang the invitation, the man came up beside one of the teen girls who was sitting near the back. I could hardly play the piano because I was so bothered by how close this man was trying to get to our teen.

As soon as the song was over, Pr. Max asked all the Ladies to leave the auditorium and for the men to stay. They quickly escorted him out and Pr. Alberto talked to him.

Our church is right on a busy neighborhood street and Sunday nights are big party nights. We have 3 large garage doors on the front of the building. We usually open 2 of them. I included this picture because behind these ladies, who are fellowshipping after a service, there is a white wall. Behind this wall are the two doors that open right to anyone who wants to enter.

Pr. Alberto thinks this man was on drugs and not drunk. There was no reasoning with him. This is just another example of how satan is constantly working to disrupt the work of the Lord.

Pray for our safety.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Man Triumphs over Padlock

Last night when James arrived home, he put his key into the padlock on the gate and it wouldn't open. After a little struggle, the key started turning in complete circles, a little more struggling and the entire key mechanism fell out!

We ended up trying to break into our own garage! I was locked on the inside and James locked on the outside. After struggling to open it for 45 minutes, James parked the car at the church.

Today James went out to try and get that lock off! Here's how the lock looked after the battle!

We are especially thankful to our friend Nathan for providing the replacement lock! He sent some padlocks to us with Rachel and we never realized how quickly we would need them!

Sure is beautiful isn't it!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Winter in Curitiba

While you all have been enjoying the warm summer temperatures, we down here, south of the equator, are trying to stay warm! It is really not THAT cold but it sure feels cold!

Last week we one of the few cold rainy weeks of our winter. The lows were right around 50 and the highs in the 60's. It seemed like the house just wouldn't warm up. James and I often debated how cold we thought our house was. We honestly think it was about 60 - 62 degrees.

Friday we visited the newly wed couple in our church. Their yard was very muddy and so James took off his shoes before entering. It wasn't very long before they scrounged around and found flip-flops for everyone to wear. It is truly amazing a little rubber sole can keep your foot warm! And yes, most Americans cannot imagine wearing flip-flops with socks but you get used to it!

What is so interesting is that during the winter here you have to wear layers, (that you can take off, if the sun comes out!) Sweat pants under your jeans and always a long sleeved shirt under your sweater and Jacket. Also, many days you wear your coat all day, even in the house. Many times it is warmer outside than in our concrete homes, (walls and floors.) When the sun comes out people just soak it up. One day I saw an older lady sitting outside by her gate, in a little spot of sunshine, knitting.

Yesterday was another cold and rainy day. I wore a button up shirt, a pull-over sweater and a button-up sweater along with my jacket. After church I started cooking dinner, with my coat still on. I didn't take my coat off till bedtime and I'll admit, I thought about sleeping in my coat! Our coats get washed a lot more often here.