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,