well, hi! = )
wow, another really good week! Monday we stayed in town after school for a while so Patrick and i got to miss our time with the tutor..whoops, did i say got to? i mean had to... ; D We got back home in time for basketball with the girls, then spent the rest of the night doing a little homework and hanging out.
Tuesday, playground time went well (i tell you, i've become a master at pushing kids on swings!) and at night time, instead of the bible study, we had the service that is usually on Wednesday nights. There was a conference at Igreja Batista Central for pastors and church leaders from Wed.-Fri. night, so the schedule at Grupo CEO was a little different this week.
Wednesday was Amanda's 13th birthday (happy birthday, Amanda!), so after school we went out to eat with erika's family and had some pasta that deserves a parade! yeah, it was that good. Then we had cake, came home, and spent the night as a family watching Eragon and I Am Legend. (no service at Grupo CEO beacause of the conference.)
Thursday was a national holiday which meant NO SCHOOL! People from the IBC conference were invited to come and observe Grupo CEO that night during Children's Worship to get an idea of how to start their own social projects like this one in other parts of Brasil, so we went all out! Instead of spliting ut the little kids and the pre-teens, we joined them both together WITH the teens there too! it was packed! We spent about an hour dancing to the worship songs with the kids until the conference people finally arrived. Then Gessica and Jamile gave a short lesson on David and we passed out the snacks. Usually, that's when everyone leaves, but since our visitors missed out on most of the dancing, we danced to a few more songs with them. (now i have a better idea of how out of place we americans look when we come down on our missions trips and try to learn the motions to these crazy songs! haha) After all of the visitors and little ones left, it was time for the teen meeting. Two of the guys who were supposed to give the devos didnt show up, but Evair and Jamile did a good job. Then i had the teens play a game where you have to link arms with a person and stand up together with one supporting the other, then sit down and call another person and do the same thing until you have everyone trying to stand up at once! It was pretty funny to watch. After that Erika lead this sort of ice breaker thing that really got the teens thinking about their future and their dreams. She would begin a phrase like "i could never see myself doing.." or "i have always wanted to.." and each one of us would finish the scentence for ourselves. It was a good opportunity for everyone to share their ambitions and passions and also learn about others. There was a real feeling of community and family, which is exactly what we want! Oh, and for the phrase "i want my profession to be.." there were several kids who said they want to be lawyers and doctors, and Evair said that he wants to become a missionary to Africa! Isnt that amazing!? These teens have a desire to be more. to grow. Please, dont give up on praying for them!!
Friday we returned to school and, since my Geography teacher couldnt make it, we had THREE full classes of math! ugh! Apart from that, school was good, and i came home and caught a nap because there was no playground time. However, while i was napping, Erika came in and said that Pastor Eudes brother was allowing us to use his bus to take the teens to the final night of the conference at IBC, so Patrick and i walked all around the neighborhood to let everyone know. We left around 630 with a pretty good amount of teens and had a good time fellowshiping and worshiping at the conference. The presentation was on how The Church (as a body of belivers, not just IBC)has progressed since Jesus time and the phases (both strong and weak) that we have gone through. The image they kept using was one runner passing the baton to another in a relay race, and they ended stating that the baton is in our hands now. WE are the church, and its our turn to do what we can to make God famous and glorified! Amen? It was a good night and we all had a fun time together.
Yesterday, we called the teens over to play basketball, and let me tell you, game by game it started to look less and less like basketball! haha. Im pretty sure if there were reffs, not only would we all have fouled out, but probably half of us would have been ejected from the building. haha. we played for almost 2 hours though and had a lot of fun. I love these teens!!
As i was sitting on the sidelines watching the other teams play, i had to just stop and take a second to realize that im really this blessed. Im really here having the chance to not just minister to, but build relationships with these teens. Friendships that are worth so much more than anything i could have hoped for. God really loves me.. yes, i know that even if everything was going terribly wrong down here, it wouldnt mean that He loves me any less, but He's chosen to show His love in this way: i get to watch these teens take steps towards Him and His plan for them, and i even get to help them along the way! Thank You, LORD, for this blessing!
Well, tonight is the second sunday in our series on Family, and im excited to see what God has for us to learn!
This week is the 3rd to last of my brasilian highschool career, and its also the week that Rob Lauter and i get to start serving together when he arrives on Thursday! Please pray for smooth travel for him, and keep praying for Bill as he gets through these last few weeks at work before coming home. And dont forget to thank God for all the ways He's shown you He loves you this week!
Until Next Time,