Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Easter, more than Just Chocolate!

Today we started our Resurrection Tree.

 With only a week and half until Resurrection Sunday, I thought we would get started celebrating the most important holiday of our year.  I had read about this idea in a book and always wanted to try it.
This week is our second week without school because our teachers are on strike. So, I tired to think of a fun activity for us to do this afternoon. 

 First we went out side in search of the perfect tree, third times the charm!!

 Then we all worked together thinking of things that happened during Christ's death and resurrection.  We collected what could and made others.    Here Daniel is put on a stone, that was rolled away the day Jesus rose from the grave! 
 Jer was so excited, he kept running back to his room with more things; a snake, a boat, a rooster like creature.  It was so fun to see his excitement even though we didn't end up putting them all on the tree.

Hannah and Daniel did lots of drawings; like Jesus, a lamb, a solider and a donkey.  We also added colors like red for Jesus' blood and black for the darkness that covered the sky.  Hannah even cut some hair off a doll to represent Jesus' beard that was torn from his face.  

I think we will keep adding stuff as we find it until Resurrection day.  

Pray for me as on Saturday I will lead a Bible study for the ladies about the real meaning of Easter and help equip them to celebrate with their families in the week leading up to it. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I can hardly believe how long it has been since I have posted.  Time has been flying by.  Just when it seems we are getting into a good rhythm something comes our way to shake things up!  
On the Ministry Front:

It has been 2 weeks now since we took David & Sharon to the airport and we are starting to feel like we might actually be able to keeps things afloat while they are gone!!  We have had lots of good visits with the families in our church and are excited to hear how God is working in their lives. 

 We are so thankful for the spirit of love and support that God has blessed us with.  To fellowship and worship with those who desire to exalt Christ in their lives is so wonderful.

 We are thrilled to see even the smallest spark of hope that God is still working to draw people to Himself.  We pray that God will show Himself mighty in each of our families teaching us to be disciples who abide in the true vine.

On the Home Front:

 Here in Brazil, you never know what a day will bring;  
Cows making their way down your street, drinking from mud puddles and enjoying your grass... where they are off too, nobody knows:)

 Kitty cats sneaking in through the dryer exhaust hole and into the bed of her sweet owner...!

 Cool drawings of outer space decorating your room...
Daniel is currently studying space in his Geography class and got a 10 on his first test!  
(10  means 100)

 New friends playing together...
 A quick trip to Curitiba to see Grandpa & Granna. 

 A chance to enjoy churrasco and Brazilian coffee!

 Fun times with our MK friends!

Late night phone calls and returning home early to find your house invaded by thieves. 

Through it all we know more and more we take not one breath without our God.  

We cannot...
lead a church
teach a lady
do the dishes
hang the clothes
be safe
lead someone to Christ
be a disciple

Seek the Lord while He may be found!
Call to Him while He is near.

O Lord, how we need you.  
Help us to continually look to you.  
Move and change our lives.  
Make us  more like you. 

Friday, March 09, 2012

Splitting the team

 For the past week we have been walking with David & Sharon as they wrapped up their first term in Brazil.  Believe me, it has been an adventure-filled week!

Wednesday night when we arrived for our mid-week service, the electricity went out.  As we made up our mind to go to the home of one of our families that lives near by, a huge storm broke loose and we all sat, crammed into our cars praying for the storm to let up so we could run into the house.

We made it into the house and had a great group out.  Sharon finished out her last lesson and gave the kids their awards for Scripture memory, attendance, visitors and bringing their Bible.   We had a great last class all crammed into the living room of the home.  We had 21 kids there that night despite the storm!

Thursday we said good-bye to Phil & Mary Ruth who had come down to both say hello to us and good-bye to David & Sharon.  Then Sharon and I headed over to have coffee with a new lady in our church.  We had a great time of fellowship together.  I really enjoyed hearing her testimony of salvation and look forward to the other ladies in our church seeing another example of the power of God unto Salvation. 

Thursday evening David & James & Sharon had a chance to counsel with a family.  It was great for the guys to do this together  as a way of transitioning the leadership, even in this area. 
Friday night the men from the church got together to play soccer and then afterwards Sharon & I made pizza and invited one of our families over.  Sharon got creative and even made us a chocolate pizza with sweetened condensed milk and shredded chocolate sprinkled all over it!

Saturday we had a ladies meeting at one of the other new ladies home.  She surprised us by inviting two of her spiritist neighbors to join us.  They were surprised to learn they weren't just coming over for coffee but to a Bible study as well!  As we made plans for next month's meeting, one of the neighbors volunteered to have it at her home, so... :)  It is so amazing to see how God is opening doors into homes that have been closed for generations.

Gabe and Jer had some good last play times with church friends. 

Sunday night was their final church service.  We will miss Julianna and Gabe in our maternal class, but we praise the Lord for the other small children He has brought us to minister too. 

The church threw a "surprise" going away party for them after the service.  They had presents for each member of the family and lots of good food to enjoy together one last time. 

Monday and Tuesday were filled with more visits and all the last minute packing and sorting.  People from the church came with gifts, for one last chat, or one family even invited all 9 of us over for lunch on Wednesday!   
It was truly a blessing to see how the love of Christ that David & Sharon so richly and selflessly poured out on these people has been used by God to change lives.  

We dropped them off at the airport on Wednesday afternoon and headed back for our services.  We had a good group out but there was a feeling in the air that something was missing...
I hope those of you in the states who will be spending time with David & Sharon this furlough will take advantage of the time you have with them.  We are anxiously awaiting their return!