Sunday, September 25, 2011

Feeling Sick...

(Park Day - This was a park close to our house (about a 35 minute walk).  We went to it a couple of weeks ago.  It was great fun!!!)

So, I decided since I have not updated the blog in a while, today would be a perfect day!  I am sitting in bed, not feeling 100% trying to rest my voice.  I sound a lot worse that I feel.  Jon and the girls just went out to enjoy our new mode of transportation…BIKES!  It has been such a blessing that God provided us with extra funds this month through support and us saving some money from my first “pay check” to get the bikes, Praise the LORD.  This has been the highlight of the girl’s weekend.  This will be a great free activity to do on the weekends.  Jon already tried to see if we could ride them to school, which is possible, BUT not so easy with young ones.  We do have to cross several busy intersections.  One of the intersections does have a walkway over the road that we could walk the bikes across, BUT Jon said when he rode over the walkway there were several “shady” teen boys hanging around.  While Jon rode past one boy decided that he would relieve himself and exposed himself for everyone to see.  Do not know if this is the best idea to take the girls this route, since we have heard there are several teens that “hang” in this area.  Just normal life in a big city…any big city!  (My mind is already thinking…”Oh, I wonder if they know Jesus!”)  Of course, I am being wise and will not approach them…I will leave it up to Jon and other men.  So, for now, we will use the bikes for weekend activities that are held at the school and for getting around some areas of town.  Praising God for how HE provides!  J

Other happenings here in Rio…well, Saturday, we had our Spring Fling.  It was a great time at a local park not too far from our house.  Jon and I couldn’t figure out which bus to ride, so we opted for a taxi.  I had to call, with my voice sounding really bad…and my still broken Portuguese.  The sweet lady on the phone asked if I was Japanese!!!  So funny!  What is so neat about the Brazilian culture is how KIND everyone is!  When we were getting off the phone it was as if we had been friends for months.  She said “Abra├žos”  = “Hugs”, this coming from the lady that answers the phone for the taxi service.  If she only knew how she made my day!  The Spring Fling was lots of fun, seeing families outside of school.  I wish I would have been feeling better and then I think it would have been better.  It was neat just to see families and teachers visiting with each other.  If anyone knows me, I am NOT a big crowd person.  My personality is I will speak with a big crowd…ANY DAY…but once that part is over…put me in a corner and I will just speak with one or two people.  I don’t like a big crowd, so that was kinda the way the day went.  I did speak with the families, Praise the Lord, I got to remind everyone that we were not there to simply celebrate “Trees” (Arbor Day in Brazil) but that we were there to celebrate the CREATOR of the trees!  I love how our God is seen in ALL of His creation!  We saw an almost extinct butterfly in this park, we saw several sloths…man, they move SLOW… and some even saw alligators (or is it crocodiles?).
   (I spy a SLOTH!!)

I can say that today, I wrote in my journal that I am feeling lonely.  I guess because Sundays are the hardest, when we all would be so excited about going to church to have cooperate worship.  As a missionary, I know that this is the COST of being on the mission field…being patient and waiting on the right time to join others (or to be the ones that step out and say, “Join us!”) where HE wants us.  We continue to pray.  I am SO thankful for the godly teachers He has placed at our school.   They have been so open to sharing their struggles.  It has been tough and we are all seeing the signs of the Enemy!  He is attacking…it is funny how now I am SO MUCH more aware of when it is the ENEMY!  It is almost so obvious!  I can say that I have spent A LOT more time in prayer…praying for myself, for Jon, the girls, for others….and it is not for “things” but for protection from the ENEMY.  We ask that you pray for us…as it is a constant battle.

We are in search for a car.  It would make life A LOT easier…but then I battle with…He didn’t call me to an easy life!  So, praying through and asking HIS WILL!  We will be selling the car in the States, but we are currently trying to locate the title.  Hopefully, all will work out.  It is funny how a car here is so expensive…for a cheap, old one we will need about $8,000 to $10,000.  Selling the car in the States will be a good start and praying God will provided the rest in His timing.  We have to learn to be humble….asking for a ride is my toughest thing to do.  I do not want to put anyone out, but then God was like, that is not ALL of the truth, it has to do with your pride!  You simply don’t want to be humble enough to ASK!  Ouch!  That hurt!  But it is true…I am continuing to pray that I will be humble!
I LOVE teaching my 5th graders and I am so blessed by the assistant that God has placed with me.  Without her being the lead teacher over the elementary would be quite difficult, but God knew what I would need before I arrived and HE provided.  It is such a blessing meeting students and parents from Holland, Columbia, Brazil, UK, Bolivia, U.S., Germany, India, many families, so many different beliefs and yet, GOD has brought them here so that WE could share His Truth!  Praising God!  May I be a teacher that makes my King proud.  It is wonderful to be tired when working so hard for our King! 
The 5th grade "team"!  :)  So grateful for these ladies and ALL the other elementary teachers and teachers at our school!  They ROCK!!!
Jon loves teaching his 7th and 8th graders.  Some days he comes home discouraged because of their beliefs and attitudes.  One thing that I continually remind myself of is this, "They must have a heart modification BEFORE they will have behavior modification."  Thanks, George for the reminder! :)  Continue praying for Jon and I for a FRESH Word from God.

Kierra has joined the newspaper club afterschool.  She LOVES it.  She LOVES to write and it has been a blessing for her.  She has been blessed with great teachers and she is thriving under ALL that is going on around us.  She is working very hard and being Jesus to her friends.  There has been one young girl from Germany that has struggled because she is like Kierra, quiet.  God has really placed Kierra and this young girl together for such a time as this.  I am excited about what the Lord will do with their friendship and our families!  I know Kierra praises God for her new and OLD friends here in Rio.  It has made her transition a lot easier.

Raegan has started ballet for her afterschool activity.  Oh, she LOVES it.  If any of you know her…she is dancing, dancing, singing, singing!  She is still trying to adapt to the school routine and we are praising God for her teacher that has experience with students just like Raegan!  Most of her students ARE like Raegan, learning to adapt to new environments.  Raegan seems to be having a harder time than Kierra.  We were VERY proud of her this week.  On her spelling test she got ALL of them correct after almost failing the first two tests.  J  Like I said, she is as a first grader having to learn WHAT it means to study and she is having to become CONFIDENT in WHO God created her to be!  Her little friend who has been recovering from cancer is going back to the UK on Tuesday for a couple of months for some more treatments.  I do not think Raegan completely understands this, but we are praying that GOD will do something MIGHTY in this little girl’s life so that her entire family will come to know HIM! 

Well, I have written so much…goodness…you would think I was lying around doing nothing in a quiet house!  Oh, wait, I am!!!!  What an honor to be able to sit and simply write, uninterrupted….I am sure you were thinking…”When will this end?”  Thank you for checking in on us!  Continue praying for us….strength…healing….protection….wisdom….discernment….BOLDNESS!

p.s. I have been reading Shadow of the Almighty (Life and Testament of Jim Elliot)  a couple of quotes I want to share with you that I am loving….

“Father, let me be weak that I might loose my clutch on everything temporal.”

“Father, make of me a crisis man.  Bring those I contact to decision.  Let me not be a milepost on a single road;  make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.”
(A seed that grows ... shaped like a heart...Raegan LOVED this!)