See Pics at the end of this note.
Well, we have been in Rio de Janeiro for one week and one day! I can’t believe it! We all feel pretty settled in. It is so strange, but coming back to Rio this time truly felt like coming back home. It felt like we had only been gone for the summer/winter month(s). But in actuality we have been gone for 3 years and MANY things have changed! For starters, the TRAFFIC is way more intense! I guess we notice so much more because our apartment location is about 3 miles from the school, but it is not where we can walk because of ALL the busy intersections and bridges we would have to cross, so we have to take public bus transportation back and forth to school. It can take us up to 25 minutes just to get to school! CRAZY! Praise God our director has come to pick us up a few times.
One way that God has truly blessed us is with our apartment. It is NOT in the location that we lived in before and to be honest, at first, I was not thrilled about being where we are, BUT you know the Lord sometimes doesn’t let you see the entire picture of WHY He is allowing certain things, so we trust Him. We are EXCITED about where He has placed us. Kierra and Raegan’s first response when we walked into the apartment was, “Wow, it looks like a hotel!” It is very different from the “small” apartment we were expecting. Once again, God has given us MORE than we could have imagined. As a matter of fact, we got to meet our neighbor today. She was very sweet and we KNOW that she is one reason we are here in this apartment.
The girls have been full of grace this week! Not only are they sharing a room, Raegan’s bed is a trundle bed … part of Kierra’s, but they have also been just “hanging” around the school while Jon and I have been in meetings ALL day. What has been great about this is they have gotten to play with some old friends (teacher staff children) and made new friends. They have gotten pretty comfortable with school once again, so once school starts they will not be unfamiliar with the grounds.
We have spent every day walking somewhere….so if any of you remember us or the girls saying, “Oh, I can’t wait to NOT be driving (riding in) this car and to be able to walk places.” Well, we are getting plenty of it. It is so funny hearing Kierra say, “Oh, I remember this place.” Raegan has already been speaking Portuguese to whoever she encounters. She is saying “Bom Dia” –“Good Morning” and “Obrigada” – “Thank you” and Jon is no longer “daddy” he is now “Papai”. She is very eager to know everything in Portuguese! Kierra, well, if any of you know her, she is soaking it in. She will speak Portuguese when needed, but doesn’t offer it up. Kierra has been working on her book which is her way of dealing with transition.
I have been so impressed and in awe of Jon. The first time we came to Rio he depended on me for language and I typically asked the questions and took the leadership role in many aspects, but this time it is different. He gives directions to a taxi driver, orders our food at the food court, or is the first to speak up in a room full of teachers. For years Jon was not completely comfortable being the “teacher”, but he is going to be teaching Bible class for 7th and 8th grade (along with MANY other duties!) and I have heard him several times make sure others know that THESE classes are a priority. They are not an afterthought or a forced duty that he has to do….it is a high calling that he feels God has given him and he is so excited! I can see how God has grown us both, but I also see HOW much MORE we need to grow…not just in the language, but spiritually. May we NEVER be so comfortable that we think that we are “good enough”, may we NEVER think that we have arrived.
We have one more week of teacher meetings and preparing our classroom and then the students arrive! We are ALL so excited! I am teaching 5th grade and I am the lead teacher of the elementary so I have several extra duties so pray that we will stay focused on what is important, pray for wisdom and discernment, and for organization. Continue to pray for the friendships that God is allowing us to form here. He is so faithful to us, even though we do not deserve it. We are grateful for how the staff at the school has welcomed us with OPEN ARMS! We love and miss you all and I will update as often as possible, but for quick post…check out Facebook. We love hearing from you also…so please let us know how all of you are doing.
OUR HUGE living room and dining room, perfect for entertaining. :)
Kierra and Raegan's bedroom...they LOVE all the area to put books and pictures.
Rachel cutting vegi's with Jon's "multi-tool" knife b/c we had not sharp knives! LOL!
My favorite....the view from our bedroom! We wake up every morning and thank God for HIS Creations!