Thursday, July 23, 2009

Im Leavin' on a Jet-Plane..

Hello to all, Live from Brasil!!
What a good last couple of days! The lessons were on the washing of the disciples feet for the little ones and Pre-Teens, and they took it surprisingly seriously! It was raining again so we played dodgeball and then i started packing after lunch.
We only had a couple of girls at the begining of Teen time, but then more showed up. We gave them all Lakewood basketball shirts and they loved them. A few of our regulars were'nt there, so we held off on the feet washing for the next day. we gave them a chance to ask us any questions they had and tell us what they want to learn more about in the future and we had some decent feedback.
We didnt have time for basketball since we spent so much time talking, so we sent them to soccer and Laura, Elo, and i took Barbara and Josefa (two of the girls who were involved in the misunderstanding/Communication breakdown i mentioned a few days ago) aside and had them talk it out. It took them a while to start talking and longer to get them to look each other in the eyes for more than a split second, but by the time we were done, they asked for forgiveness and forgave each other, hugged, and walked off to the soccer feild. Woohoo! Please pray that they can continue to regain their friendship over time.
Soccer was a lot of fun and since it was my last chance, i had no choice but to play! My team won a few times thanks to Miacon the baller! From there it was home, shower, dinner, Church. Brian taught from Matthew 5 about Salt, Light, and a City on a Hill after James and Renan welcomed him with a fantastic skit featuring him. It was great!
After the service, people started crying again, but this time it was like everyone, even some of the boys! One of the girls crying was Josefa, (Joyce's sister) and i knew she was close to making the decision for Christ and i felt a strong prompting to go and talk to her. I took her aside with Elo and asked her, "If i dont come back to Brasil, or if you're not around when i do, will i ever see you again?" We talked for a few minutes about why she hadnt yet become a christian and she said she believes in Jesus and His death and resurrection, but she just hadnt done anything about it. She hadnt asked for forgiveness. I asked if she wanted to right then and she said yes, so we grabbed a hands and she repeated after me the words to a "sinner's prayer" and she's now our sister in Christ! Gloria a Deus!!
After that i waded through hugs to the door and said goodnight. I finished most of my packing and we hung out for a while, enjoying our last night with a huge smoothie!
Today, as of now, we've had our last little kid and Pre-teen gatherings. They were both celebrations of the time we've been blessed with together this summer so we played some balloon games and charrades. It's raining again, so no basketball. One of the girls said the sky is crying because i am leaving, and i had to agree!
For Teen time today, we're doing the washing of the feet, so be praying that we're lead by the Spirit! And also pray for Nate, Rob, and I as we are leaving this beautiful place!
Well, its been good keeping in touch with you guys through the gift of modern technology, but now i must bid you farewell. Thanks to all of you who faithfuly tuned in and put up with the "books" that I've written. I cant wait to see you all and tell you in person of all that God has done, is doing, and is going to do her in NE Brasil!!

Signing off,

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Hello to all, Live from Brasil!!

Welp my Brasilian summer is winding down and i am hating every second of it. But im trying to focus on the days i have left and live in every moment im in with every person. Today started out again like a normal day, except Carlyn beat me out of bed for the first time this summer! We had our fabulous banana smoothies and then carried the extra bananas over for snack for the little guys. The tears started early today with several of the girls sharing their home problems with me and God gave me some words of encouragment for them. Im not gonna go into detail, but nobody should have to deal with the things that many of the people in this community deal with on a regular basis. We talked for a while until it was time for the little guys to leave and then we laid down on the floor until pre-teens came in. Our lesson today was on the disciples and how God changed and used them, and how they were young, just like these kids.
For basketball, one half of the court they could shoot around and do whatever, but on the other half, for an hour straight, we had a "whoever can stop the Americans gets a piece of candy" competicion! We only dropped the ball a couple times cuz we did a lot of messing around. Sorry coach...
Carlyn and i did some hammock hanging out between lunch and teen time which was of course fantastic! We finished up the Q and A stuff by telling them how we all have enjoyed our time here and what we have learned from them. They seemed greatful. We had basketball and vollyball going on during sports time and then went and played on the soccer feild.
From there it was shower and off to Bible Study which was lead by none other than our very own Robert Lauter. He spoke on forgiveness which is very applicable in this community and was exactly what i know a few of these kids needed to hear. Afterwards one of the teen girls started crying again because we're leaving on Sunday, and then one of the pre-teens joined her, and as i looked around at their tears and the other kids dancing to one of the worship songs, i couldnt help but shed a few myself.
While we were all hanging out after the service, one of the guys, Benjamin, fell and hurt his arm pretty bad. (yes, just like he did last time we were here. strange, huh?) Its either broken or dislocated. Bill took him to the hospital and we'll know how he's doing later. Please pray that everything turns out ok and he heals up quickly.
Today was great, and i wish these next couple days would never end. It feels like theres a ton on stuff that i am going to be leaving unfinished, but i have to trust God to use the people He has down here to do His work once i leave.....that is...if i leave.......

Until next time,

Monday, July 20, 2009

What a Week!!

Hello to all, Live from Brasil!!
Well, well, well, i havent talked to you guys in a while. How've you been? This week was intense to say the least! Our schedule has been non-stop since the boys got here. We've started splitting up the teen and pre-teen guys and girls during the lesson time and its gone really well! The girls have opened up SO much more, and the guys are asking some great questions! We had a lot of good sharing time on Wednesday which lead to us finding out about a fued of sorts between two groups of girls. Its all a result of communication and misunderstanding really, we havent had a chance to talk to all the girls together about it, so please pray that their hearts are sensetive and forgiving.
We hit the beach market on Thursday (yes, Logan, i got your flip-flops...yes, both pairs.) and ate at the pizzaria which was fantastic as i remembered! That turned in to an incredibly late night (pulled up to the house at 1 a.m.) that lead in to our busy busy Pre-teen retreat weekend!
The theme for the retreat was the Armour of God and each one of the american teens taught a lesson. The kids were great (for the most part) and we had an absolute blast! We spend almost 58 straight hours with the kids, and when we werent with them, Carlyn and i were hanging with Jamile and Leninha (two teen helpers) and teaching Leninha a total of 12 english words/phrases (the most entertaining one was probly "disaster of epic proportions", she had a little trouble with that one. lol) We spent all 3 days playing games like basketball, the Amazing Race, chocolate hunt, and had a party the last night called the Noite do Vixi (sp?) where everybody dressed up crazy (and i mean crazy!) and danced around and had a parade down the street! it was great!
Sunday, all the kids left from Grupo CEO campus to church at around 7 p.m. They preformed the Electric Slide (to the tune of Beautiful One) and Marvelous Light. Matheus, Luana, Dim Dim, and Amanda (pastor Eudes daughter) all gave their testimonies and as a result, Matheus mom relized the impact and importance Grupo CEO and the church has on the lives of her kids. She told us afterwards that she was going to start supporting the project more and wanted to be more involved! Praise God! I also had the opportunity to speak at church that night about Hypocrisy, which hit a little too close to home for a couple of the people there. (some of you may know who im talking about, if not, dont worry about it)
Some of the girls have already started crying because we're leaving on Thursday. I dont know how im gonna say goodbye to all these guys...
It took a while to get out of bed this morning. We got back in to our smoothie routine though and the normal daily scheule. Thiago saw how tired we all were and said we had a Pre-teen hangover! The question for this week is "how is your shadow changing?" and Rob talked about Saul/Paul and the change God made in his life. All the kids said that they have changed since the begining of the summer, which was encouraging. We did Mass Stance with them today, it was great, coach, you should have seen it!
It was great to see the teens again today! We spent a long time asking and answering questions the "bug day" way, and it got a little intense at some points cuz some questions posed the boys against the girls. Carlyn, Josefa, and I played against Joyce, Jamile, and Alane in a game of "soccer" on the porch of the dorm and let me tell you, it was no joke! ok, well we did joke around a lot, but it was intense too! dont worry, i have some videos!
After that and soccer, we came home, had dinner and i am currently trying to fill you in on everything you've missed this passed we, and, even though i am unsuccessful, im gonna leave it at that. Good night you beautiful people!

Until next time,

Monday, July 13, 2009


Hello to all, live from Brasil!!
The last two days have been great! Sunday was pretty slow, as usual. Church at IBC in the morning, relaxing and journaling (and cleaning the refrigerator..dont worry about it.), then Grupo CEO church at night. Carlyn and Laura and I all spoke at the Grupo CEO church and it went really well. Our topics tied together really well: Laura with "taking up your cross" and following Christ, me with overcoming temptation, and Carlyn with your body being a temple for Christ. I used one of coach Kruse's illustrations and had NeNe sit at the front the whole time with candy in his hand that he could hold, smell, and touch, but couldnt eat, (you know, how coach kruse brought all those doghnuts for us that one time..yum) Pretty tempting if you ask me, but he didnt eat it until i told him he could! way to be NeNe!
After the service we were outside messing around with Leinhia and Josefa and Joyce and Alane when Bill called the three americans inside the Grupo CEO building. Roberto was in there (one of the teens who we knew wasnt a chirstian and who didnt write a testimony the day we did that). Bill said that Roberto decided he wanted to accept Christ, and wanted us there with him because it was what we talked about that night that made him want to give his life to the Lord. Praise God and Gloria A Deus!! God gave us the words He wanted us to speak on that specific night, to those specific people, and, because we were sensative to the Holy Spirit, His kingdom is growing more and more! Woohoo!
Laura lead Roberto in a sinner's prayer (through Bill) and right there he became a child of God and our Brother in Christ, and yours too! Isnt it cool that, even though most of you reading this will never come to Brasil and meet these kids, you will see them and know them all someday in heaven!?! how awesome!
After celebrating Roberto's salvation with a few smiles and hugs, all the Americans went home. We ate dinner and then did some dishes and Sulafied the kitchen. The three of us stayed up for a little while talking and then finally got some sleep. God blessed us with another great day and a fantastic opportunity to see some of the fruits of our labor!

Today was exciting! We got up, got our smoothies and our bread, and enjoyed a little morning discussion. Then we headed over to the GCB (Grupo CEO Building), and we were actually on time! The kids didnt show up right away, so Carlyn and i took the liberty of laying out on the floor until 8 when the kids were supposed to come. Lucas was the first to arrive and he came right in and jumped on top of me, joining us on the floor. Once more kids showed up, we rolled out the balls as usual, and then had our lesson. The question for this week is "Are you afraid of your shadow's future?". We talked about Jonah and how he was afraid of what God had planned for him. This one girl, Victoria, is really smart and very mature for her age. (she's Luana and Yohhana's sister). She always knows the stories we talk about and is really tuned in while we're teaching. And she's super cute! As Carlyn and i would say "she gets it!" (that really doesnt hold a lot of importance, i just wanted to brag about her!)
We killed time until the pre-teen session was supposed to start and talked with the kids outside the GCB. Thiago (pre-teen thiago) keeps saying that, because there are so many kids that always run up to me and hug me, they are all my kids. He says i have 14 of them, but he denies that he's one of them. lol hes a so cute too!
Just before it was time to start, the cars pulled up. the rest of our team has arrived! i have my best guys a hug and they got introduced to all the kids. They danced with us for a while and did the electric slide. Then afterwards we had the lesson and went to play some basketball!
We tried to play a real game, but not so much. Then it was knockout for the rest of the time. After they left, we hung around for a while and then ate some lunch. (there are a lot of people to feed in this house!) Carlyn and Sula and I did dishes (for what seemed like forever, but we made it fun.) and then we had a debreifing until Teen time.
We played Signs to start (ask Rob about his sign of choice), and then when it was time to start the lesson , they got quiet as church mice again. Its getting frustrating! They practiced their skit afterwards, but didnt take it seriously. Then we went over to the court and played 3-on-3 king of the court style. They had a lot of fun with it. Rob, Nate, and i jumped on the court at one point and played a few rounds. We bombed once, but all-in-all, we defended the U.S. pretty well.
Then it was time for soccer, and we did play this time. Rob messed up his toe pretty bad though! = ( It was a fun time overall though and went without further injury. After getting schooled again, we went home and ate dinner (in shifts cuz of all the people!), and had a quiet rest of the night. I am so happy to have the rest of our team here and i am very excited for the new things that God will do through us!
This week, we will start splitting up the boys and the girls during the teaching time so that we can really hammer down all the purity stuff thats so important to cover in this culture! Thanks for bein such faithful readers! i miss you guys!
Until next time,

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mas Agua?!?

Hello to all, Live from Brasil!!
Phew, what a day. Started off earlier than most saturdays at 6 a.m. Bill volunteered us to help Pastor Egnardo's church pour their concrete ceiling today. He told us we would be leaving at 7 so of course, the 3 americans were ready to leave right then, but this is Brasil time. When do you guys think we left? any takers? try around 815. the 8 of us (Bill, Patrick, Douglas, Renan, James, Laura, Carlyn, and i) walked down to the "bus stop" and caught a ride to the church. We were lucky enough to grab a seat to, as opposed to the group of drunks who got on at the next stop and had to stand and hold on to the rail on the ceiling of the car. (remember that rail for later, k?)
We got there and jumped right in hauling wheel-barrels of rocks and sand to the cement mixer. Then once it was all ready, we haulded it from the mixer to the building, bucket by bucket until our break at noon. Then after we ate lunch we did more hauling, bucket by bucket, until 4. At one point the concrete mixer actualy broke, but right around the same time, this drunk guy that everyone in the community knows showed up and he didnt want to do anything but mix concrete, so me let him! It was rather enteraining. There was also another guy there who had the energy of a five-year old after eating a giant pixie stick! it was pretty funny. All day we went back and forth and they kept calling out "mas agua?" "que mas agua!?" "oi, que mas agua!?!" We made sure they had plenty of water for the mix to say the least..
We finally finished the whole roof and made our way to the back to the bus stop. We didnt get a seat this time cuz it was already pretty full, or so we thought. We pulled up to one stop and a group of prolly 8 or 9 girls was waiting to get on our bus which already had like 15 people on it!
There was no room for the all the girls to hang on to the rail, so the whole time they were screaming and running in to people. It was an unpleasent experience to say the least.
After what seemed like forever, our stop was in sight, but just as the bus turned to make the stop, everybody shifted to the right and the bar that Bill, Laura, a bunch of othe people, and i were hanging on to gave out and disconnected from the ceiling! And this, of course, resulted in a chorus of squeals from the group of girls. But it was luckily our stop, so we all jumped off and headed home.
Erika didnt want us in the house with our concrete-cakes clothes (alliteration!) so we showered in the dorm. Laura, Carlyn and i worked on the lessons we are going to give tomorrow at the Grupo CEO church and then ate some dinner. Then at 7 we went to a funeral for the grandmother one of the teen girls in the area. Today was supposed to be her 15 year celebration, but her grandmother passed way at 6 this morning from a heart attack. Please keep this family in your prayers.
We got home around 9 and i helped Erika with the dishes, and now here i am talking to you beautiful people! I am so ecxited for this week and all of the new things that will be happening with Rob and Nate arriving! Thanks for your continued support and prayers! Tchau!

Until next time,

Friday, July 10, 2009


Hello to all, Live from Brasil!!

Today was absolutely incredible! I dont even know where to start!
We had the little kids at 8 as usual and the lesson today was Laura, Carlyn, and me sharing our testimonies. It was a little over the first group's head.
With the pre-teens, we could go more in depth. They payed attention well and then we gave them a chance to write their own tesimonies in their notebooks. That gave us a chance to find out who was and who wasnt a Christian. Soon we had several kids coming up to our translators and wanting to talk with us about Jesus. I got the chance to lead a little girl named Paulina in asking Christ to be her Savior! And 4 others made the same decision! Woohoo!!
We also spent a long time talking to a girl named Luana (who is a sweetheart and a great example of Christ's love!) about forgiveness for something thats happened in her past and prayed for some problems that shes been having at home. Please pray for the hearts of every single one of these kids who made the decision for Christ today! (Jaisa, Geisiana, Wesley,Elizane, and Paulina)
We were in awe of what God had done for the rest of the afternoon. We took food to a couple local houses and were blessed by Arenice's (a lady that works at Grupo CEO and is a mother 7 of the kids we have in our daily meetings) testimony. She showed us her house and told us that, although it was incredibly small and not at all what we would conider even close to suitable, it was such a blessing when the community helped her make it a home.
We were still praising God through lunch for what He had done and i kept thanking Him for choosing me to work through! Then it was Teen time. We werent sure how it would go or how seriously they would take writing their testimonies, but we were pleasently surprised! At the end of Carlyn's testimony, she talked about how she didnt want to leave Brasil not knowing whether or not she would see some of them again (in heaven) if she never came back, which spoke for both me and laura as well. Then i drew the illustration on the board with God at the top, hell at the bottom, and different people they know in the middle and they had to rank the best person they know, the worst person they know, and themselves (they ended up somewhere in between). I got them all to verbaly agree that they have fallen short of God because of sin, and that the only way to close that gap is through a relationship with Christ.
They broke up and most of them started writing their testimonies, but i noticed that Joyce hadnt started writing. I got Amanda (one of the twins) to translate for me and i asked her why she wasnt writing. She said she didnt want to so i asked if she had a testimony and if she had accepted Christ yet and she said she hadnt. Then we talked about what she believes about Jesus and God and she knew that she was a sinner and needed forgiveness, but she didnt know how to get it. I explained to her that the only way to have a relationship with God, is through believing in the sacrifice that Christ made and asking Him to change her and forgive her for her sins. She said that she wanted that and right then and there we prayed and she became a child of God! I was so excited, and still am! Gloria A Deus!!
Now is when the teaching times are going to transition from evangelism, to more of a discipleship. Please pray for our continued guidance!
Well both the teens and pre-teens spent so much time on their testimonies that there wasnt any time left for basketball, so the teens went straight from teaching to soccer. I managed to stay off the feild this time and sat with Carlyn and Joyce having interesting conversations with leaves....dont worry about it..
Later, at 6 there was a pre-teen meeting. Pastor Eudes wife lead it and did a really great job! then they played some crazy games until it was time for the teens. A good number of them showed up and the young guy from IBC lead a devotion from Matthew. We had some good hang-out time afterwards and Carlyn and i actually kept our Bibles in our possesion for most of the time despite Joyce's futile attempts! We are so blessed with the relationships we have been able to build down here!
We came home and snacked on some bread and had a secret treat that i must keep confidential, and now i am writing to you all about this fabulous, fabulous day! God is so powerful, yet gentle enough to speak to the hearts of each one of these kids! Again, GLORIA A DEUS!!!!!

Until next time,

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Playing Dentist with the Teens

Hello to all, Live from Brasil!!

Well, we didnt see Tequila last night, (he was out "Tequilaing") but we did eat some awesome pastels! (i recomend the chicken with cheese myself). Today i slept in a little on accident and didnt get up until about 20 after 6 and did my devos and some journaling. Then Carlyn and i ventured to the kitchen and had some bread with jam. So good! Erika joined us for breakfast for the first time in a while which means shes feeling better. We had to make our smoothie ourselves this morning though cuz Bill was being a slacker. (Erika said shes thinking about firing him.)

We got to the Grupo CEO building semi-on time this morning and again rolled out the balls for the little guys. this one kid Lucas has got quite an arm! Its amazing how much fun those little ones can have with just the plastic balls. They could play with them for the whole hour and a half if we let them!

Our lesson today was on being a good example. For the pre-teens we read from II Timothy 2 and then threw them a curve ball with another verse. We read Mark 12:31, but tweaked it a little to see if they would catch it. We said that we should treat others as less important than ourselves and that we need to look out for number 1 first. We almost had them convinced too! they didnt know whether to listen to what we were saying, or to go with what they knew from the Bible. They corrected us and then we did read the verse correctly. The point was that they need to be an example from the bible, not only what they hear people say, cuz some people can misinterperet and lead them astray.

After that we had basketball and i also sat with some kids going over some english words in a book they had. I swear, it is not possible for these guys to say "her", "panther", or "shirt"!

When they left, we ate lunch and then killed time until 2 when it was time for the teens. A lot of them didnt show up until like 230, so we got started. We did todays lesson on being and example and yesterdays on accountability cuz we didnt meet with them. Now, all of these kids have great personalities, but once you pull out a Bible, it gets dead quiet. None of them gave us any kind of feedback unless we made them, and if they did it was very general. Then when it was time for basketball, they all of the sudden came to life again. We're getting a little frustrated. Tomorrow we're giving our testimonies and having them write theirs out. Its a chance for us to see where their hearts are at and talk with the ones who havent yet given their lives to Christ. Please pray that we are sensetive to the Holy Spirit!

We tried to play an actual basketball game for the last 30 minutes of time, but whatever was going on was definately far from what you could call the sport of basketball! (we got our work cut out for us, Nate and Robert!) It was like pulling teeth to get them to pray at the end, but finally Patrick volunteered.

The teens left and we had an hour to get ready for Children's Worship Hour. Sula and Alane managed to get Carlyn and me up front to help lead the motions. It was again a blast! We got home around 730 and ate dinner and then Bill announced that we were going to the beach market. So we all piled in the car and headed out. Finding a parking spot was an adventure, but Bill performed an impressive parallel parking job!
We walked up and down the aisles looking at all the different crafts and whatnot. I bought a Ceara jersey and Carlyn got a Fortaleza one. We're automatically rivals now! (but we're on the same team when it comes to keeping our Bibles away from Joyce!)
We got back around 11 and i finally got to bed a little before 12. It was a full day, but im still lovin it!

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Hello to all, Live from Brasil!!
Well, as im sure you've noticed, its been a couple days since my last blog entry. Thats cuz our scheduel has been pretty full! We've kept with the routine of little kids, pre-teens, lunch, teens, soccer/plaground, then some kind of event in the evening. Its been really tiring, but we've been spending a lot of time with the kids!
The question for this week is "what surrounds your shadow?" (yeah, brian. pretty much "who are you with?"). We've been teaching about the importance of who you spend your time with and how it affects your walk with Christ. Then tuesday was the fruits of the spirit and today Carlyn and i taught on why you should have an Accountability Partner and what kind of qualities they should have. It went well and we had some good illustrations! (carlyn shares my love for those kind of things!) After that, we finally got to have basketball, (we couldnt the past coulple days cuz of the rain...."that's a lot of water") They had fun getting out there again. Our actual basketball teaching wont start until monday when rob and nate get here... on Monday!
Then after lunch until about 4 we all crashed. It was a much needed 4 hour nap! (we usually take the afternoon off on wednesdays) I know this isnt much of an update, but at least you know we're still going down here!
Some random things that have happened are: Taught some of the kids to say "no soup for you!", James got his phone stolen (we're cracking down on security now), i taught the devotional on monday night about love, we played soccer again and of course, balled it up! (not), taught the teens how to play Signs and they actually liked it! Erika has been recovering well! (she thinks shes gonna go to Children's Worship Hour tomorrow night... yeah, shes not) and all the while we've managed to sneak in our once-daily smoothies!
Tonight theres some kind of service at the Grupo CEO building. Im not sure exactly what it is, but i know its the first one, so please pray that it all goes smoothly! Then after the service, we're all gonna head over and pay a visit to Tequila! im sure i'll have some great stories for you tomorrow.
Please keep praying for the hearts of the people, both here and in VQ. Friday we will be asking kids to write our their testimonys and that will give us a chance to minister to the ones that dont really have one yet. Thank you to all you faithful readers! i'll try and keep you more updated these next few days. talk at you all tomorrow!

Until next time,
P.S. Moments after posting this the first time, i was again thrown into the pool against my will... just thought you'd all enjoy that little tid bit.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy, Happy Birthday!!

Hello to all, Live from Brasil!!
Yesterday was probably the best birthday i have ever had! (sorry mom, love you!) It started out great with the tastiest banana smoothie yet! I got up a little earlier cuz Bill told me the night before there was an early thing happening at IBC (the tent church) in the morning, so i got ready (i wore my hair down cuz the all girls have been wanting to see it down) and waited to leave. We were supposed to leave at 7, but, that time came and went, i didnt really think much of it though cuz, after all, we are on Brasil time. Finally, around 730 Bill came in our room and said that he fell asleep and lost track of time and it was time to go, so we piled in the car and headed out. When we pulled out of the gate, i noticed that the Grupo CEO building was wide open, which usually doesnt happen on Sunday mornings, so i thought that was weird. Then, after Bill shut the gate behind us, instead of turning right onto the street, he went straight, right into the Grupo CEO building! (dont worry, the floor is cement and the doors are garage sized)
When we pulled in all of the pre-teens started clapping and singing happy birthday! What a surprise! Everything was decorated, my name was on the wall, and there was a beautiful chocolate cake! I couldnt believe it, they had been in there since 6 that morning getting everything ready. I didnt even know what to say!
I got a hug from each one of them and they lead me over and showed me all the cards they had made me. Bill lit the candles on the cake and we sang again and i made a wish (cant tell it though...) Then they showed me the card that all of them had signed and they all gathered around watching to see if i saw their name on it. That was enough for me, i couldnt quite keep my watery eyes from overflowing. Lucky for you all, Carlyn's handy-cam caught this all on tape.
They served the cake and i opened everyone's cards, which again brought on the tears. The kids were saying, dont cry! why is she crying? I had amanda tell them that i was crying cuz i was so happy! Then i told them thank you and that that was the greatest thing that ever been done for me on my birthday and that i wouldnt want to spend it anywhere else in the world!
After taking a ton of pictures and getting even more hugs, it was time for us to leave for church for real this time. We pulled out with kids waving goodbye and chasing the car until we got up to speed.
The church service was good. i dont know exactly what the sermon was on, but the worship time was great! We mingled for a little while after service, and then went to my new favorite Brasilian restaurant! its called Cafe do Sertao and it was fabulous! you go in there and theres a ton of food out like a buffet kind of, and you put whatever you want on your plate and then you go to the counter where theres this scale, and they charge you by the pound! It was some good food!
The afternoon after that was pretty slow. i got a nap and read all of your lovely posts on facebook (you guys are great!). I got a short nap in, then our new translators (twins, jessica and amanda) got here. We talked for a while and then it was time for church.
When i got over there, i hadnt seen any of the teens yet, and Joice (the tough one who i took down 5 times) actualy gave me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek and told me happy birthday! i was impressed. The others all wished me "happy aniversary" (thats what they call it down here) and i got a very healthy dose of hugs once again! (believe me, Brian, im getting my 8 touches in, and im pretty sure i have them all before 9 every moring!)
The church service was mainly to appreciate all of the work Pastor Edgnardo (a man from a nearby church who came to Grupo CEO every week to speak and lead worship) has done in this community. It was sort of a farewell party, because he will not need to come anymore because of the new pastor. Worship was really good, there were over 120 people there, all shouting out praises! After service, we had cake for the second time that day (im really suffering over here on the mission field!) and hung out with the teens and pre-teens.
For some reason, Joice finds it incredibly entertaining to steal my Bible most of the time, but last night, Carlyn was blessed with most of that attention. I did, however assist her when it was needed. We also made the mistake of introducing to her the "Should've had a V8" knock on the head. That shoul keep her entertained for the next at least 10 times we see her!
After our fun, it was time to go inside and eat dinner. We got done eating at about 10 and as we were washing our dishes bill announced that he was going to the pharmacy. Carlyn and i gave each other the "are you thinking what im thinking" look and quickly finished washing and drying and dashed out the door, almost forgeting to grab our flip flops. We shouted after Bill, asking if he wanted some company, and he invited us to tag along.
While at the pharmacy, we happened to stroll by the ice ceam freezer, and none of us could pass up a dulce de leite ice cream bar! We stood outside, indulging in our treats, and then it was back to the house or "the farm" as Bill so affectionately calls it!
I took a shower and crawled into bed, incredible content. Its not everyone who gets to spend their birthday in the place they're the happiest, where they feel most purposeful! I am so blessed! Thank you all for your prayers and birthday wishes! I love you guys!

Until next time,

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Gloria A Deus!!!!!

Hello to all, Live from Brasil!!
VQ was absolutely amazing! Again, i cant possibly tell you everything that happend through a blog, but im so excited to share that 2 teenage boys and 3 adults came to know the Lord this weekend! I am so blessed to be a part of it all. I even got to lead Thiago (one of the boys whose brother accepted Christ last night) in a sinner'sprayer. It was an experience i could never possibly forget. As i was walking down the five mile trail back to our host house, the song "God of This City" came to mind and it couldnt be more fitting! "Greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done in this city!" In just the two times i have been there, i have seen God move peoples hearts in humbling, powerful, dynamic ways, and He clearly isnt finished yet! I dont know why God chose me to be in these places and serve him in these ways, in these specific moments, but i couldnt be happier that He has!
Thank you for all of the prayers that have gone up for these people and for me. Please continue to pray specificaly for: Ingrid (the forgiveness girl) who i will be talking more with tomorrow, Erika (as she is still recovering), the hearts of the kids we're continuing to minister to, and myself as i will be giving a 15 minute devo on Monday for two church combined teen meeting about love. Well, happy Independence day to you all, and i will talk at you tomorrow!

Until next time,

Thursday, July 2, 2009

So Much to Write, So Little Time!

Hello to all, Live from Brasil!!

Another great day in Maracanau! Im super behind in my journaling though, and, seeing as we're gonna have a big weekend at VQ, i need to get some sleep. So if you wanna stay updated on how today went, you can check out Carlyn's blog. . (yeah, i know, im slacking) i do have one thing i want to share with you though. Ingrid, the girl who had the problem with forgiveness, came up to Elo today and said that she has been thinking and she is going to forgive the girl! Praise God! Also, she said that she's having some problems at home and wants to talk to me again on Sunday. Please pray that i am sensetive to the Holy Spirit and can get across to her what God wants her to learn about Him!
I wont be able to blog for the next couple days, so hope you guys have a great friday and saturday and i'll talk to you on Sunday! Love you guys and thanks for being such faithful readers!

P.S. Erika's surgery went great and shes now home resting in bed. Please keep on praying for her healing and her spirit!

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Hello to all, Live from Brasil!!
Today was long again, but good! It started of like normal. The little kids were less shy today and participated really well. The lesson was about the wind and the waves and how Jesus was in control the storm. Then we had them draw pictures of things they're afraid of and they had fun with that. They left for the playground and the pre-teens arrived. We played Ai! for a while and then did the songs and dancing. The lesson was the same but instead of drawing pictures, we had them write in their journals about the things they're afraid and give it to God. They really like writing in those things.
After snack we went and played knockout again and i sat with Ne Ne and Fatima reading the Bible in Portuguese and playing a little keep away with the ball. When they left, we again had a little down time before and after lunch until the teens came.
We actually had a lot of them today. We broke them into groups and had them give five examples of God being in control, whether in the Bible or in their own lives. It took them a while to start participating, but eventualy most of them gave an example. Again, we gave them the example of Creation, but none of them new the story! So we went through it and had a person doing a gesture for each day so they would remember it. i was surprised they actually did it, but they did and i think they had a little fun with it too. We talked about forgiveness too and they all said they agreed with their mouths, but i got the idea that all of their hearts werent quite in the same place. So i asked them to be honest and raise their hand if they didnt really believe what we were saying. At first, no one did, but then this girl Ingrid started saying something.
It turns out that theres this one girl who she got in a fight with once (not shouting match, fist fight) and she said she couldnt ever forgive her for what happened between them. So we went back and forth between Elo (our translator) and she said that she didnt want to forgive cuz then she would be admitting that the other girl was right and others would make fun of her if she apologized. I tried to make her understand that that isnt what forgiveness is and if that's her reasoning, then she is being selfish. the three of us sat down alone went back and forth again for about half an hour while the others played basketball. I showed her Ephesians 4:32 which says, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." She said the girl didnt deserve forgiveness and i brought up the fact that she didnt deserve God's forgiveness, but God forgave her. She kept making excuses for why she couldnt forgive the girl and finaly i said that with all those excuses, she was saying that that verse didnt belong in the Bible and i grabbed the page and ripped it right out of my Bible. She was pretty surprised at that and eventually, after a few more minutes of talking, she decided that she did want to forgive the girl and that she was going to pray for God to give her a forgiving heart. We prayed there and asked the Lord to give her the compassion and kindess in her heart that she needs to let go of her hostility towards the girl. Then i asked her if i could put the verse back in and if it really belonged in the Bible and she laughed and said that it does. Please pray that she follows through with the forgiveness and is freed from that hold that her condemnation has on her.
I was so happy that we got to have that talk and finally have one of those "Aha!" moments. The Holy Spirit was definately visibly working today! Praise the Lord!
After our talk we went and played basketball for a while and then, when it was time to pray at the end, we actually had volutneers!! Then, we ventured over to the soccer field knowing we were about to be creamed But Carlyn and i got lucky, we were on the same team as James and Michael! We played kind of king of the field style and our team was on for like a solid 20 minutes, and i even scored a couple goals! It was a lot of fun.
We went from the field back to the house and got cleaned off, then ate dinner. Bill is still at the hospital with Erika so Sula is in charge tonight. Scarey thought! Welp, i got a ton of journaling to do once again, so ttfn!

Until next time,

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Hello to all, Live from Brasil!!
Today felt really long. We had more little kids in the morning and i taught them about Noah and the Ark and how God was in control of every detail. Then we had a lot of time afterwards so we played Pato, Pato, Ganso with them. Well, really we only played with two of them cuz the rest werent really wanting to participate. it was still fun though. We did the normal dancing and singing with the pre-teens (although we had a little speaker trouble...son..son.. that was just for you Brian. ; D). Before we had the lesson we played ship captain, you know, the game where you have to run wherever the "captain" tells you? It was a lot of fun! We tied that in to the lesson by saying that it's not always easy to listen to instructions, but when we listen to God, He can use us in big ways, just like He did Noah.
The lesson went well and then of course we went over to the basketball court and played knockout for the rest of the time. When they left, we had a little free time before lunch and then (thank the Lord!) we an hour of naptime before the teen session. The teens listened and responded well to the lesson, but then it came time to pray and they all got dead quiet. We asked for volutneers, but nobody raised their hand. We reminded them that prayer is just talking to God and it wasnt something to be embarrased about, but still nothing. Then Carlyn made the executive decision that everyone in the group was gonna pray at least one scentence. When they heard that, Mariana put her head down and mumbled something in Portuguese about how she didnt want to, so i pulled out my sarcasm. I stood up an said "what, you mean we have to talk to God!? Ugghh!" Elo translated it and i pointed right at Mariana and she knew that she needed to change her attitude. Everyone at the table ended up praying except for two girls who had never come before and Joice. For some reason, we couldnt get her to pray. We're gonna do that same thing every day until we get volunteers. We'll see how long that takes..
From there we went to the court and played basketball, but most of the girls didnt wanna play. So we inflated the one volleyball we have and they played on the newly remodeled court. We kept with the same scheduel as yesterday and went to soccer/playground time, but this time i stayed 95% sand-free! I played volleyball in the sand and watched Kelli go down the slide about 15 times! Whenever i looked away i would here her little voice yelling "Jo! Jo!" and she would wave and then slide down the slide again. I'll admit, it was pretty cute!
I got a shower in before dinner and then we headed over to the Tuesday night worship service. (its basicaly a mini church service) The pastor that looks like Dad preached from Ephesians and i can see that he's gonna be a really good fit at the curch.
After the service we spent like an hour outside giving several hugs and taking some pictures. Ne Ne and Fatima were asking me if i could take them with me when i go back to the States. We decided that if they can sneak past security, i'll stuff them in my suticase and bring them home.
We finaly got home around 9 and have just been hanging out since then.
I have a special prayer request for you guys to cover this week. Erika is having surgery tomorrow, and for any of you who know her, she isnt gonna take the whole bedrest recovery time too well. Please pray that the surgery goes well, God give her patience in her recovery, and also, a speedy recovery. Well, i have to two long days of journaling to do, so farewell for now. I love you guys!

Until next time,

Monday, June 29, 2009

Busy Start to a Busy Week

Hello to all, Live from Brasil!!
Im not gonna do a whole blog about yesterday cuz not too much happened. Laisa left which was sad, we went to IBC, we chilled in the afternoon, and at night we went to the Grupo CEO church. The church welcomed its new pastor and his family. (he actually looks a lot like you, Dad. its kinda creepy..) It was a good relaxing day to lead in to our busy week.
Today was the first day of our new schedual. (little kids from 8-930, then pre-teens until 1130, and teens from 2-4). We waited for the kids outside the Grupo CEO listening to the Children's Worship Hour music and dancing along. At one point, Bill decided that it would be fun to take one of my arms in one hand, and one of my legs in another and swing me around in circles! (yeah, you know like you do with 4 year olds? This man is strong!) Lucas was the first to show up around 830 so we got a bunch of balls out (the kind you find in ball pits at chuck E. cheeses) and played around with him for a while. When it was time to start the lesson we had three kids. The plan was to have them find stories in the Bible that show how God is in control (the Shadow question this week is "Who is in control of your Shadow?"). It didnt quite work out that way though, the kids told us that they didnt know any Bible stories, so we tried to give them the example of Creation, but they didnt know anything about it. We improvised and turned it into a lesson on the 7 days of Creation and they all got to pick a day and draw a picture about it. The whole thing reminded me of how we take our Sunday school stories and Bible lessons for granted most of the time. We disregard the stories because of our familiarization, but these kids see them for the amazing stories of God's power that they are!
When the lesson was over, the pre-teens started to arrive, (well, really they started to get there way before that, but that's another story) so we danced and sang for a while. We started out the pre-teen lesson with an illustrative game. We had four people in the middle and each had a partner. They had to close their eyes and try to find the balls in the middle of the circle while only listening to their partner who was "in control" of where they went. For the teaching time, we broke them into groups and had them find 3 different stories in the Bible that showed God's control, and this time it went as planned. All the kids participated really well and got introduced to different stories in the Bible.
After the lesson we had a snack, and then had sports (guess what we played..??). Then, once their hour of basketball was up, we prayed and said goodbye for the afternoon. I sat in the kitchen watching Sula and Amanda cook lunch/try and take each other down for a while and then it was time to eat.
Lunch was great, and i even got a nap in for an hour before it was time to get ready for the teens. 10 of them showed up and we sat at the big stone table talking about the lessons from last week that they didnt get to hear cuz they had school (Separation from God). We played a fun game with them about separation where you had to make a line with your team and try and hold a ball inbetween you and the person in front of you and walk a certain distance. It was pretty entertaining and took them a while, but eventually James, Douglas, Renan, and Alane came out on top!
We spent the entire hour of sports playing knockout (James has become my rival!) and got some pretty good videos and pictures that i'll be able to show you when i get back. Then it was time for playground time/soccer.
We started out watching the guys and Mariana (apparently the only girl brave enough to play with the guys!), and then headed over to the playground...BIG mistake! Sure, it started out as any regular playground time: i pushed Kelli on the swing as well as another boy, and got a bunch of hugs from little kids. But then i went over to where Douglas and Benjamin and Alane were sitting and they wanted me to sit in the sand with them. I wasnt really feeling it so i just stayed standing until they decided to make me sit. So i thought to myself, ok, im a little sandy, no big deal.
Then i went over to where Sula was sitting. She grinned at me and stood up and started coming my way i knew that could only mean one thing. But i wasnt too worried at that point, i can take Sula most of the time, but then she called for Douglas and Alane and Benjamin and long story short: i was no longer "a little sandy". And i didnt get taken down just once, but several, several times and eventually ended up getting burried in the sand completely. Needless to say i wasnt the giddiest person at that point, but i got my revenge and later Sula, Alane, and I all had to go rinse our faces, ears, and mouths! (dont worry, we have pictures/videos of that too)
Immediately after getting in the house i gathered my stuff and took a much needed shower. Then it was dinner time and we got a chance to talk with our new translator who just got here tonight. Not too much has been going on since then and im thinking that, after i go over the lesson im teaching tomorrow, im gonna be able to get to bed at a decent time!
Thanks to all you guys who have been faithfully reading my blog! i really appreciate your comments and prayers. Keep praying this week for the hearts of the teens with this being our first full week with them. Some of them have the attitude of "im too cool for this" and i pray that it doesnt get in the way of what God wants them to learn this summer! I'll talk at you all tomorrow!

Until next time,

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fast Morning, Slow Day, and a Little Bit of Tequila

Hello to all, Live from Brasil!!
We got to sleep in a little today! I got up around 7 and did some devos and soon Carlyn joined me in the living room. We all migrated to the kitchen when Erika woke up cuz we knew that meant that breakfast was coming up. Eventually it was the 3 of us and Bill all at the table enjoying some homemade, ham and cheese breakfast melts and a papia smoothie! Because we dont meet with the pre-teens on saturdays, Bill told us that the day was ours to do whatever. So we talked for a while and then one of the teen girls from the community called on the intercom wanting to have a girls soccer time and that sounded good to us! We made our way out to the field, knowing that we were about to be whooped by brasilians in their element that is soccer. It wasnt as bad as i thought it would be though! i managed to not loose the tip of my toenail until about halfway through and, even though my team was down most of the game, we rallied and i think ended up losing by only one goal! haha.
Within about an hour the heat got the best of me and i sat out on the side listening to music and "talking" with Alane, Lania, Joice, Laisa, and the other Americanas. We hung out for prolly another hour until it was time to go home for lunch, so we said goodbye and went and ate. (this time we had chicken with our rice instead of beans!!) After that the Americans, Laisa, and Erika all sat down at the table and began planning the three day pre-teen retreat that we'll be holding on the 16th 17th and 18th (i think). Its looking like it will be a busy weekend, but the kids are gonna have a ton of fun! I fully intended on getting online to blog after that, but once i laid down on the bed, i was out for the next few hours!
I woke up around 430 and finaly did go out and blog a little, and then Erika wanted to finish some planning for the retreat. We met for an hour or so and finished up the schedual, next comes the hard stuff: lesson planning and scavanger hunt making!
We wrapped that up around 6 due to the growling of our stomachs and hopped in the car to this small "restaurant" that a lady runs from her home. I tried a Brasilian Pastel which was delicious, ecspecially when you wash it down with and ice cold coke! Our entertainment for the evening was definately the owner's husband who showed up completely hammered! He's an older guy and told us how he has such a good heart and has always wanted to learn new languages and has always had good intentions to do great things (typical drunk talk if you ask me). It was hilarious though! We have officially nicknamed him "Tequila". And i got a picture with him that you'll all want to see!
When we were done eating, we piled back in the cars and headed home. It's been a much needed, relaxing day to prepare us for the next two very busy weeks! I miss you all and i cant wait to see you and tell you face to face what God has done! (well, actually i can, cuz in order to do that im gonna have to leave here..but you get the picture.) love you guys! = D

Until next time,

Movie Night

Hello to all, Live from Brasil!!

It was another great day for us here in NE Brasil! The morning went as usuall. We woke up, ate breakfast, went to the Grupo CEO building for the lesson, and got attacked by the kids! During the hanging out time beforehand i put on our basketball team's warm-up music and the kids loved it! they started breakdancing and got into it. (thanks for the cd Coach!) The lesson was about forgiveness so we read the story about the servant who was in debt and was forgiven, but didnt forgive his friend's debt against him. We challenged the kids to think of someone who they needed to forgive and go and reconcile with them by Monday. One of the boys named Tiago said that he didnt know if he could forgive this person, so pray for us as we try and help him understand the importance and significance of forgiveness.

After the lesson, we were finally able to get back on the court! We broke it up with boys at one basket and girls at another and that seemed to work better cuz it kept more people involved.

When the pre-teens had to leave, a few teen guys stayed and played their version of a game of 4 on 4. It was quite.. something. Then it was time for James and his little sister Valesca (the ones who had been staying with us since their mom died last week) to leave and go back home to their grandmother's house. We said our goodbyes knowing that James would be around cuz he has a bike, but Valesca has no way of getting to Grupo CEO from their house. Im gonna miss them being here. It is going to be more quiet around here too cuz Valesca was always in our room reading different childrens books. She is so cute! Please keep praying for their peace and guidance as a family and as believers.

When Bill and Erika returned from taking them home, we had lunch (guess what we ate..?) and then had some down time. I blogged and then tried to catch a nap, but soon Sula came in our room yelling, "Let's go!". That meant that the second group of pre-teens had just showed up.

We all went outside to the court and had our lesson by the dorms. That group seemed to understand and accept the forgivness idea a little better. Then it was time to ball it up! We broke them into teams and watched Etulo dominate the game. (he's by far the strongest and fastest, and also the sweatiest! im talkin, you-brush-past-him-a-your-whole-arm-looks-like-you-just-got-out-of-the-pool sweaty!) After his team won, we all were pretty tired, so we sat around telling different jokes throught Laisa's translation. She insisted that some of the ones we thought were lame were way more funny in Portuguese...a likely excuse for someone who just stinks at telling jokes! Just kidding, she's cool.

When it was time for the kids to leave, we all went back inside and chilled for a while wondering why Bill and Erika (who had left to take Bill Moore Senior to the airport right after lunch) werent back yet. 530 rolled around and still no sign of them, and, knowing that there was supposed to be both an teen and a pre-teen meeting at 6 we started to get pretty curious. We decided to walk over to the gate to see what was going on. The kids were outside waiting, probably just as confused as we were (it was about 550 at that point) so we decided to go back inside and call Bill. But, just as we turned and headed for the house, the gate opened and Erika pulled in behind us. Why did we ever doubt?! haha.

There were about 40 pre-teens and 25 teens at the meetings. Laura, Carlyn, and I went to the teen meeting that was lead by a young guy from IBC (a local supporting church). We turned out the lights and watched Yes Man (which i thought was an... interesting choice) in Portuguese with engilsh subtitles. Well, i guess some people watched it. The people around me were to busy shoving popcorn in my face and trying to throw it in my mouth. It was a lot of fun, actually!

When the movie was over, the IBC guy talked to the teens about Matthew and went chapter by chapter talking about... well im not exactly sure what he was talking about cuz i wasnt sitting next to Laisa, but whatever it was he used a lot of scripture and kept the teens attention!

Afterwards we hung out for a while playing the slapping game, kicking around the soccer ball, talking, etc. which was good cuz we havent gotten to spend a whole lot of time with the teens. Oh, and the girl Joice who I've mentioned before, i took her down 5 times last night and she only got me once! And before you say, "oh, my goodness, Jordan, what are you doing to those sweet little kids?!" let me tell you that Joice isn't one of "those kids". She's tough and likes to see if she's tougher than you are. So i just keep having to show her that, even though im the little Christian, Americana, she still cant take me. And plus, she started it...
We stayed out there with the teens until about 1030 and then came in and ate dinner. Then, after our long day, we finaly got to get some sleep.
We've been able to build great relationships with these kids, and now we're gonna have the opportunity to really influence their lives and their view of Christ. Please pray that we're sensetive to the Holy Spirit so that each one of these kids hear exactly what they need to hear. I am so happy to have this chance to serve my King in the way that He has designed me to! Thank you for your support and prayers!

Until next time,

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pato, Pato, Ganso!

Hello to all, Live from Brasil!!
Today started out a little differently. I woke up at 6 before the others and did my devos and the whole time i heard this weird music playing over and over again. Soon Carlyn got up and we determined that it was coming from Bills phone, which he had left in the living room over night. So we just sat around for about thirty minutes wondering why no one was around and trying to figure out how to open the gate that gets locked over the door every night. Eventually, Bill emerged from his room, grabbed his phone off the table and said "oh, it's time to get up." we laughed at him and made our way to the kitchen (after seeing how Erika gets the gate unlocked) and had some awesome bread and eggs for breakfast! (more guava jelly!) We didnt head over to the Grupo CEO building until about 815 (we're supposed to be there at 730) and started dancing. We tried doing Cotton-Eyed Joe, but the kids said it was too hard. The lesson was about God's forgiveness and Salvation and the kids were a little less talkative than usual. At least they heard what was said though.
Because of our late start, we didnt have much time for games, and we were inside again due to the rain. So we had to improvise and ended up played Duck, Duck, Goose! We added a little twist to it too. If you were it three times in a row, you had to get in the middle and do a little "snake dance" for everyone. It was pretty entertaining and the kids really liked it. We did have a couple whipe outs too!
When it was time for them all to go to school, Joice, Lania, Laiza and i were talking and we found out that Joice and Lania only go to school like once a week! And Joice wants to be a lawyer! We tried to explain to them that they wont get anywhere if they dont go to school, and that God has provided this great opportunity for them, but they arent taking advantage of it. I told them that if i didnt go to school, i wouldnt have been able to be there with them and they thought about that for a second. Laiza and I got them to pinky promise that they would go, but werent really sure if they would or not.
Eventually we made our way back to the house and i brushed up on some of my Portuguese verbs with my "Portuguese for Dummies" book. Then i journaled until Erika came up and asked if we wanted to go on a house visit with her and, of course, we said yes!
The five of us and another lady from the community walked a short ways do this elderly lady's house who was very sick. We stood in the doorway while erika and the other women gathered around the lady's hammock. She was too weak to even really speak or sit up. We stayed there for about half an hour then headed home.
We all hung out in Douglas and Patrick's room with James watching the Brasil V.S. South Africa game when Sula came and stood in the doorway. The two of us had a mini throwdown earlier, and Douglas and i had been at each other all day, so i sat where i could keep an eye on them both. Then Sula looked at Douglas and i heard her say "bora!" which means "let's go!" and they both came at me! The "fight" started in their room, moved into the kitchen, then outside in front of the dorms, behind the house, and beside the dorm. At some point James joined in on the fun and it was a 3 on 1 brawl! Inevitably, i ended up on the ground with Sula at my feet, and Douglas sitting on top of me (i really dont know what James was doing at that point). If you ask them, they'll tell you they won, but, thanks to Carlyn, we have it all on video, so you can be the judge of that.
We went straight from the yard to Children's Worship Hour which was a blast of course! We were standing outside for a little while when Lania walked up in her school uniform! And Joice soon followed with the same great news! Mission accomplished!
We changed it up a little at the end of the hour with our line dancing and American songs then they pulled out some breakdancing moves! we all gathered in a circle around the dancers and they're not too bad! At one point they all started chanting my name to get me to go in the middle and do something, and, as you all know, I cant breakdance!! The only thing i know how to do is the worm, so i pulled that out and they thought it was pretty cool. Then they got Laiza in there and she did a little jig and got right out of there! Then they wanted me back in there then so i did that little thing Eduardo taught me and i was done for the night. Finaly, after a ton of hugs, we went inside and left the kids on the other side of the gate.
Dinner was great (Erika's awesome potato lasagna!) and then Erika was like, "hey, you're all women. Let's go to the woman's Bible Study!" So we gladly relinquished our dish washing duties and were out the door. The woman's house was about a seven minute walk away. She was another very sick and elderly lady who couldnt get out of her chair and spoke in a barely audible voice.
We prayed to get started and then one of the woman read from Isaiah 50. She told the old woman that, if she had true faith, God could heal her from her sickness if He wanted to and that that He is powerful enough to completely take her pain away. Then the woman prayed again and started crying, pleading to God to take away her friend's sickness. It was a really moving experience. Brought tears to my eyes.. Laiza told us that the old woman said she had a dream that she had to say goodbye to all her loved ones and that she wanted her sister (who she has recently gotten into a big fight with) to be there with her. So the women are going to try and bring her sister to her house tomorrow.
When we left i started looking at the beautiful sky and stars that stretched like an umbrella over her tiny little house. It was like God was reminding me of how much He has blessed me. Like he was saying "That woman that you just met seems simple and insignificant now because she has so little, but i used her. I have given you so much more and have put so many opportunities before you to serve Me, so dont you dare hold back. I want to use you, so keep listening, and let Me." God is so GREAT! Amen?
We walked back to the house and hung out for a little while, listened to some of Laiza's lame chicken jokes and then it was time to get some sleep so tomorrow morning would come as quickly as possible! It was another fabulouse day in our Brasilian paradise.. = )

Until next time,

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Come Again Some Other Day....

Hello to all, Live from Brasil!!
Another rainy day here for us in Maracanau. Teaching time was great though! It was about how we make excuses for our sins. So we started playing hangman with the kids, and the we spelled the last word very wrong. (Jesus, same in english and portuguese) I belived i spelled it JASESU or something along those lines, and, of course, the kids thought we were just arrongant Americans who dont know how to spell! They started yelling at me to change it and yelled out the right letters. Eventually i got it down to JASUS and they were all shouting "Nao A, E! E!" It couldnt have gone any better! Finally, after pretending we didnt notice it, saying thats how its supposed to be spelled, and flat out covering it up so no one could see it, Mateous grabbed the marker out of my hand and changed the letter himself! That's when we explained to them that we knew we spelled it wrong and told them that thats what we do with our sin sometimes. We cover it up, say its not that bad, and dont listen to others when they try and correct us. Then we took them over to the playground (remember, it's a giant sandbox) and had them find a place by themselves. Then they wrote a sin that they had commited in the sand, prayed to God to forgive them for it, and finally erased it from the sand, just like Christ erased it from their hearts. it was really cool.
After the lesson, we played dodgeball again, on accout of the rain, and my team actually won some games! It was great! (even though Lania nailed me in the head with the ball)
When it was time for them to go to school, we went back home, but Sula was still in the process of cleaning the house so Erika made the executive decision that everyone needed to stay out of the house until lunch. So Carlyn and Amanda (Bill's daughter) grabbed their suits and headed to the pool. I wasnt feeling the wetness so i decided against getting my suit on and took a seat by the pool. So i'm chillin' there for a while talking with James and Patrick and trying to teach them a little "double talk" when i see Bill walk out. Red alert!! So i thought to myself "i better get away from the pool!" Then I, being my intuative self, moved a good 8 to 10 yards away from the pool, under the pavilion. Im safe now, right? WRONG! Bill, seemingly nonthreatening, walked passed me to "lay his towel down" Psshha, just kidding! It one swift motion Bill wrapped his towel around me as a restraint and lifted me right out of my chair! (that man is stronger than he looks!) Long story short, i ended up in a body of water against my will for the third time this summer...
After our pool escapade, it was finally time for lunch; rice and beans instead of beans and rice this time. ; D Once lunch was over i got to take a short nap, but woke up before Carlyn and Laura, so i decided to journal in the living room/kitchen. Soon James and Sula were in there too and we did our best to have conversations accross the language barrier. it was fun though!
After that, it being Wednesday and all, we headed into the city. During the drive over there, i was asked to entertain the passengers with my Aladdin memorizations skills and they enjoyed the show! they all think im a weirdo now, but they enjoyed the show. Bill and Erika dropped us Americans off and our translator Laisa's house where we hung out for about half an hour playing "Im going on a trip.." After that, the six of us all went to the mall for some dinner at the food court. I had a fabulouse kalzone and washed it down with nothing other than a Guarana! (the best pop in all of Brasil, possibly all the world..) The ride back to Grupo CEO felt extra long with six of us in a tiny car, but we managed and eventually pulled in the garage at around 730. For some reason, all of us were dead tired. Even tired enough to skip out on late night smoothie time! Laura, Carlyn, and I were all fast asleep by 8. It was quite a day, and of course, another blessing in Brasil.

Until next time,

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Hello to all, Live from Brasil!!
Today started off a little earlier for me cuz i joined Carlyn for breakfast at 6. I had toast with guava jelly! yum! We sat around and talked for a while and eventually the rest of the group trickled in (which now includes our translator, Laisa). we headed over to the Grupo CEO building around 730 where the kids were outside waiting for us in the steadily falling rain. We started off our pre-teen time with some line dancing! We helped them learn the electric slide (which was quite the task) and put a christian spin on it by playing the song "Beautiful One". That's when Bill told us that we would be preforming this line dance of ours at church on sunday. woohoo!
Because of the rain, we couldnt play basketball as intended, so we had to think of another game we could play inside. at first we tried to teach them Signs....not so much... we ended up staying inside that small building and played dodgeball (the brasilian way) with one ball, and the kids had a blast! we prolly played about 9 games! (my team lost about 7 of them..) Eduardo also taught me a sort of breakdancing move, so you all better watch out!
Soon it was time for the kids to go to school (some of them have it in the afternoon) so, after i retrieved my water bottle and camera from Joice and Fatima who thought it was a great idea to steal my stuff so I'd have to chase them around, we made our way back to the house for lunch.
That was when Sula and Thiago (now known as James to the Americans) had their showdown! I have no idea what started it all, but the two of them ended up going after each other in the kitchen, and, for the first time, i saw Sula get taken down! Of course, right after James got her off her feet, he ran away like a little girl. It was quite a sight.
Later the second group of pre-teens came and it finally stopped raining for a while! We messed around on the basketball court playing keep away and HORSE and whatnot, and eventually it was time for the kids to move from the court to the playground. "Vamos para O parkino!"
Now for those of you who dont know, let me clarify one thing: this playground is basically a swing set in a huge sandbox! so what better game to play then "let's-try-and-throw-as-much-sand-as-we-can-on-the-brasilian-looking american-without-her-catching-us!" ok, so maybe it wasnt that bad, but i did end up with an unpleasant amount of sand in my hair!
Luckily, the bible study wasnt for a couple more hours, so i had plenty of time to take a shower and hang out with James, Douglas, Patrick, and Carlyn.
Bill Moore Senior did the Bible Study and, from what i could tell from the other side of the language barrier, he did a great job. i had my camera there with me and all the kids kept coming up and doing camera gestures saying "foto, foto!" Benjamin ended up being our photographer. haha.
At that point, right when i was getting hungry, Erika announced that it was time for the Americans to leave and, after again retreiving my Bible and Camera, we went in the house for some brasilian gumbo! it was fantastic! i pulled out my bag of Twizzlers for dessert (strawberry of course, not that nasty, black junk) and it was gone in a span of 10 minutes. Good stuff, those Twizzlers... Ever since then Douglas, (aka Shelby... dont worry about it..), James, and Carlyn have been hanging out in the living room and having a great time despite, and often thanks to, the difference in cultures and languages. God is so GOOD!
He has given me the blessing of these relationships that i have been able to build, so please pray that i can use the infulence i have to further His Kingdom!
Well, hopefully it doesnt rain tomorrow so we can get back out on the court! I'll talk at you all tomorrow night!

Until next time,

Monday, June 22, 2009

Long Time No...Blog

Hello to all, live from Brasil!!

Hey everyone! i know its been a few days since you last heard from me, and thats cuz we've had so much to do!!
VQ was absolutely awesome! I cant even tell you all the stuff we did in the 24 hours that we were there. If you want details, you'll have to ask me when i get back. but here's a ROUGH outline:
.....leave for VQ...stop at house where sula watched her soap opra and we ate cake... leave the cars at a lady's house and start walking...sula jumps into the river/waterfall and is wet the rest of the night... bill falls off his bike and the crayons that were in his cart go everywhere...we hike the rest of the 4 miles.. we get to VQ... we do the electric slide and try to teach the brasilians... we play a new slapping game that hurts like no other!... the village kids arrive... erika gives a short lesson and we "paint" (color) with the kids... we blow up balloons and the kids go crazy!... we have worship time and play the slapping game some more... the kids leave and we eat dinner.. we set up the hammocks (ten people in one room!!)... we go to sleep to jungle sounds and critters running around on the ceiling beams....... bill wakes us up at 6 and takes us down to the river... i get in the water againts my will for the first time thanks to Sula and Fatima and get sand EVERYWHERE! (if you know what i mean..)... we go eat hotdogs for breakfast... we wait for Johana and Jeir to arrive with the food for the VQ people.. Fatima accidently slaps a little kid across the face while playing th slapping game (it was sad but also hilarious!!)... we hike 4 1/2 miles to the farthest house in the village and have the best coffee i have ever tasted.. Pastor Egnardo gives a sermon and we have acoustic worship.. we head back the way we came and Bill, Sula, and Carlyn jump in a lake... Bill stops at another house because they had yogurt for him to eat (good ol' Bill)... we get back to the house we stayed at, go down to the river, and i get taken down in the river for the second time (again, thanks to Sula)... we eat luch and pack up...we leave and get separated on the path back.. Sula, Fatima, Etulo, and i walk back together without saying a whole lot until Sula pulls out her phone and starts playing some Akon and "My Humps" (yeah, i know)... we get back to the cars and start the 2 hour ride home..... we arrive back at Grupo CEO around 7.
And thats just an outline!!! Ahhh!! lol
It was a great experience though and this has already been the best summer of my life!
Yesterday was rather sad though. when Erika woke me up in the morning, she told me that she had to go get Thiago (one of the teens i knew from the last time i was here) because his mom passed away during the night. We went to the funeral and Thiago and his little sister are staying with us for now. Please pray for peace for their family.
Today has been good though!. i played basketball for hours and learned another slapping game called Ai! basicly you slap each other as hard as you can and you cant audibly express pain in any way or you're out. it hurts!!! the lesson today was about sin and the question for the week is "what's hiding in your shadow" your shadow is just your influence on the world and your heart. the kids seem to be understanding what we have to say so keep praying for their hearts to be open!
I absolutely love it here and, even though i miss you all, i am the happiest ive been in a long time. God has seriously blessed me by letting me come down here and i hope i can bless these kids in a similar way. thank you for all your prayers. i have to give a shout out to some people so if i say your name you better be reading this: Hey Deanna, David, Toup, Abigail, Robert, Nate... hmm, who else did i say i would give a shout out to?.... All the hangout people! Oh, and Lauren Workman, i was looking at your profile picture earlier and i was wondering, how do you do that? Do what you might ask?? Look SO GOOD!!! haha love you all!
Well im sure ive left a TON of stuff out, but that gives you an idea of whats been going on recently. I know God is about to do something truly great and i cant wait to share it with you!

Until next time,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 2

Hello to all, live from Brasil!

Today has been great so far! I woke up, had an awesome breakfast, thanks to Sula, and then went over to the Grupo CEO building where the kids were singings songs and dancing before we had our teaching time. I remember the songs from two years ago, but definately not the motions! the kids helped me out though. their lesson was about spending time with God and we challenged them to spend 20 minutes a day with Him every day for a week! not an easy task, but as long as they're spending time with Him period, it will be a success. after the lesson, we took the pre-teens over to the basketball court and taught them how to play knockout and it went as easily as you might expect it to. ha ha. They caught on pretty quickly though and they love it! (thanks again to Mr. Lauter and Masterspas for donating the balls!) They must have played 7 or 8 games in the blazing heat! After the pre-teens left, the teens, Carlyn, Laura, and I all played Knockout with them which was great. Thiago was giving me a run for my money!
We're gonna eat lunch here in a few minutes and i think a pastor from an area church are gonna join us. then later in the afternoon we have playground time and childrens worship hour! Now let me tell those of you who dont know, childrens worship hour is not the quiet little peaceful, amazing grace type worship. this is intense! the kids are dancing and running around like crazy while you're trying to keep up and have pretty much no idea what the songs are even saying! its quite fun!
Welp, im gonna go do something, not sure what, but im gonna go do it. There might not be an update tomorrow cuz we're traveling to a village called...well i dont know how to spell it so i'll just call it VQ. Its a long drive and about a 4 mile hike away so keep us in your prayers!

Until next time,

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I'm Here!!

Hello to all, live from Brasil!!

After two long years of waiting, I'm finally back at Grupo CEO! My flights and whatnot all went swimmingly and both my bags were waiting for me at baggage claim. Thank You Lord!

I'm all unpacked and have met Carlyn and Laura, who are great by the way! and I got to see Sula (a girl I knew from my last visit) before lunch. Those are the only people I've gotten to see so far, except Bill and his family of course. Tonight we're gonna do some planning and I'll be debriefed on all the stuff that's already been thought out. the "sports camp" will start tomorrow and i hear that the pre-teens cant wait to play basketball! Lucky me! I am so happy to be back here! Oh, and if tami is reading this, just thought I'd let you know that Mila (the dog you hated) is no longer with us, but her daughter lives on and will greet you when you get here! he he... well, im gonna go and enjoy this awesome weather, but thank you for all of your prayers and please continue to pray for the hearts of the kids we will be ministering to!

Until next time,


Friday, June 12, 2009

4 Days to Go!

Hello all!

well in case you havent noticed, this is the blog i will be using for the 5 1/2 weeks i am in brasil. thanks for tuning in! i leave just a few days and wont be back until july 24th and i'll hopefully keep you updated on what God is doing every day or so.

I spent the last hour or 2 deflating about 20 basketballs, footballs, and soccer balls for the sports camp Carlyn Walter, Laura Carter, (summer interns from Texas) and myself will be putting on for the teens and pre teens. (thanks to Mr. Lauter for donating all the equiptment!) the sports camp, craft time, and bible studies are all different ministries we will be a part of and it's quite a task so please pray for us!

I am so excited to see God work in these teens lives and i am blessed to be a part of it!! thank you all for your support and prayers. i'll miss you all and i'll see you at the end of july!....well, unless of course you go to my church..then i'll see you on sunday.. anyways, goodbye for now. = D