well, everyone, in case you didnt catch on from the title, i am officially done with my junior year of school!! its been one of the hardest things ive had to do so far in my life, but an incredible growing experience for me and i give my God all the credit and glory for my success!
This week was a long one filled with all of the final tests and whatnot. Monday i got math and sociology over with, then came home to study Biology and History with the tutor. When it was time for girls basketball, we started off hearing a devotional from Manhia about how the Enemy wants nothing more than to see us fall away from God. It was kind of an introduction to next week when she'll talk more about the attacks the devil uses and how we can fight back. Very important stuff for all of us as Christians to be aware of. The rest of the night Rob and i prepared our study for Tuesday then followed it up with some worship and prayer. fabulouse way to end the night, if you ask me.
Tuesday after the tests, Patrick, Douglas, Amanda, and i walked to McDonalds for lunch and waited for Bill and Erika to pick us up. Since it was test week, we studied with the tutor again so we'd be ready for Chemistry and Geography. At 4 i went out to the playground and, as usual, pushed the little kids on the swing for about an hour straight. When i finally thought my arms were going to fall of, playground time was over and I went and got ready for the Bible Study. Our topic was "Rebelling Against Religion" and we talked about how being a Believer is not about rules like a religion is, but is a relationship based on Grace. Our main points were "What is our Role in the Relationship?" (praise giver) and "What is God's Role in the Relationship?" (praise worthy) It went really well and the Holy Spirit gave us the words to say so that peoples hearts could be touched. At the end, we gave another opportunity for anyone who wanted to rebel against the things of the world to sing the paper as a symbol of their commitment, and, praise God, we're up to 27 signatures! Get it, Jesus! After the service ended, instead of spending 10 minutes talking, then having to go inside the campus, we stayed for quite a while, which was certainly a God thing, because he laid something on my heart to share with one of the teen girls. I opened up to Luke 18:35-43 and had her read the story of the blind man on the side of the road who was healed by Jesus on the road to Jerico. I suggest you go grab a Bible and read it if you want to understand where im going with this.... that's right, go on, open up that Bible. And if you dont have one, you obviously have access to the internet, so look it up! come on, no excuses, people!
ok, so after she read the story, i asked her if she thought it had any similarities to her life. She thought for a second and then i began to take the story step by step. the man cried out for Jesus, he new he needed Jesus to be healed, just like this girl is a Christian, and knew she needed Jesus to be saved. But some people didnt like that this man was calling out for Jesus. They tried to quiet him and make him stop. The girl i was talking to has people in her life that are holding her back from living for God, and the most infuential one of those people is her own mom, so that part of the story hits rather close to home for her. Then comes the turning point in the passage: the man doesnt let those people keep him quiet. instead, he shouts even louder for the Son of David to have mercy on him! And thats when i told the girl that there's a decision she needs to make. She needs to decide whether she is going to let those people in her life stop her from chasing after God's will for her life, or if she is going to keep trying harder and harder to live every day for him and, in her own way, tell Jesus, "I want to see!" Please pray for not only this girl, but for many of the teens and preteens in this community who have so many voices telling them to give up trying to live for God. Because, if they keep pressing on toward Him, so many glorious things will be done with their lives!
Wednesday after having lunch at Erika's parents house and watching USA get it done in the 91st minute of the World Cup game, we went home for our last study session with the tutor. I'm going to miss Gleydson. He's a really nice guy and has been an incredibly great help to me with my schoolwork. (oh, by the way, he and his wife are expecting a baby girl sometime in the next month! pray for a good delivery and healthy baby!) After studying Physics, we watched some more of the World Cup and played basketball a little before it was time for the service. We went outside the campus at around 630 as usual and waited for the service at 7, but we had a problem with the sound system, so i spent a while talking with the teens until everything was set up for the service. We didnt spend a lot of time outside afterwards because of our last day of tests in the morning, so we went home and ate dinner and got to bed at a decent time.
Thurdsay morning, i couldnt believe the day had already arrived, my last day of school in Brasil! After i turned in my Physics tests and English test, i felt such an awesome feeling of accomplishment, and all that is due to the love God has shown me by helping me through every step of this journey. I talked with my friends and took a couple pictures and after about an hour of that, i said goodbye to Colegio Batista for the last time! When we got home, we started our first session of unloading groceries for the missions team from texas that will be arriving next week. Let me tell you, its insane the amount of food it takes to feed 20 people for a week! While Bill and Erika went out for another grocery run, Amanda, Gessica, and i helped Maninha with the Senior Ladies pool time, and what a time it was! these ladies are pretty much the coolest and they crack me up! After spending an hour doing water aerobics, Bill and Erika got back and we unloaded 90 bottles of soda fom the back of the truck! At 5 it was time to get ready for childrens worship, so we took the snack and juice over to the Grupo CEO building and i sat outside talking to Joyce for a while until the little kids got there. I really dont know where these little ones get so much energy! i mean, after all the dancing and jumping around we do for an hour, im beat, but to them its nothing! when it was over, we went home and ate dinner and then Rob and the boys went with Bill to the men's bible study while i put the finishing touches on Rob and I's teen study for friday night. Once they got back, we closed the night with a fantastic chocolate peanutbutter smoothie made by none other than Billiam Moore himself, and then Robert and i sang some much deserved praises to our God and got on our knees to thank Him for His faithfulness and ask for His continued guidance. Im telling you, great way to end the night!
Friday morning came at about 711 with watermellon for breakfast followed by me crashing the guys devo time with Rob. He wrapped up his 3 part study on James that he had been leading that week and then we went to the court to play basketball. The guys stayed until 9, then about an hour later Erika's family showed up to watch the Brasil v.s. Portugal game. I could try to describe to you the crazyness that that game entailed and the animated screams that you would not normally expect from a little thing like Erika, but no matter how i tried, i would fall short of giving you a good picture of the festivites of the game... good thing i took some videos. ; D After a dissappointing 0-0 score, i took a nap and woke up a little before it was time to go to the playground. From there we had the Children's Worship with the preteens (only about 12 kids came, which is a shame compared to the groups of 30 we used to have coming). The teen meeting, however, was a group of about 20. After Alane, Renan, Douglas, and Ingrid gave their devo's, Robert and i spoke about Rebelling Against Religion: The Importance of the Cross. We covered a lot of information and truth, but it seemed like a majority of the teens were with us the whole time. Overall, it was a great first day of summer!
Saturday was my official goodbye day as a family, since after the missons teams arrive, we're gonna be going nonstop until i leave. We went to the beach and had those ginormouse shrimp i told you about last time and rode 4-wheelers and watched the USA fall short in overtime, then finished the day off at "Tequila's" for probably my last time in a while. It was a great day and im so glad i got to spend that time with Bill and Erika and the kids as a family. It really meant a lot to me. Thank you so much for an awesome day, Billiam and Erikaaaa! love you guys!
Sunday we spent doing what we normally do. I played basketball, planned a couple lessons with Robert, and hung out until nightime when it was time for church. Pastor gave the second to last sermon in the family series, and the teens put on a skit. Oh, and guess who got to go up in front of the church and sing a song he doesnt know it portuguese....Robert Lauter, thats who! haha. yep, Pastor called him up there, microphone and all, and he did his best to sing! way to be rob, way to be.
Well, its been a great week, and now that im finally done with school, hopefully i'll be able to update you more often on whats going on down here. This week is gonna start getting really busy as the team from Copperfield Church in Texas arrives on thrusday to work with the Preteens and adults in the community. Pray 'em up! Thanks for reading, thanks for not forgetting about me and this community and the great things God has planned for these people! God bless!
Until Next Time,