Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Monica - People of Brazil

  Monica has been coming to church recently with her aunt's family who are a faithful members here.  She usually sits between her aunt and our family and so we've been able to get to know her a bit.  She really likes to help out with Johnathan after the services, and of course, Johnathan doesn't mind the attention!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

João Carlos - People of Brazil

    This little boy is another one of the kids in Johnathan's Sunday School class.  He, and his two brothers, always have the most pitiful expressions on their faces.  I really don't know anything about him except that he is always there for Sunday School.  I've never met his parents, but he comes faithfully with one of the church families.

    Although the church here does not have a bus-route (almost everyone just walks to church), it is wonderful to see faithful families who bring their neighbors and friends with them to church.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Croará - Postcard from Brazil

     Here is a digital post card from Brazil for you!

    Recently we traveled with the Duarte's down to the area where Pastor Duarte grew up near a small town called Croara.  This is in the Pantanal (everglades type) region and very, very rural.   Ok, it's not just rural, it was completely off the map, out-in-the-sticks, in the middle of nowhere!

    There was so much wildlife and it was so peaceful that we just absolutely loved it!  We also saw (and photographed) a number of bird species that I've  never seen before and I can hardly wait to share those here in the near future.  [Now available here.]

     The area in this photo was a large swamp about half-a-mile from the Cuiabá river.  Right after I took this photo I heard a good bit of splashing in an area with a lot of underbrush and then a bit later we saw a couple of Caiman (Brazilian Alligators) in the water just a short distance from where this photo was taken!  Lots of fun, but you have to be careful!

[Edit: I've posted many bird pictures from this location.  They are available by clicking here.]

Friday, July 15, 2011

U.S. Independence Day - in Brazil

     Although, as I mentioned in an earlier post, Brazilians have no reason to celebrate on July 4th, we were excited to be able to get together with a few of the other American Missionaries on the evening of Independence Day.   We really enjoyed the good fellowship and of course the excellent food.  It was quite chilly (probably around 60 °F).   But we enjoyed sitting around a nice bonfire and pit-barbecue. 

The women prepared a lot of amazing American food - hamburgers with all the toppings, potato salad, baked beans, and deviled eggs, plus all kinds of deserts.  (I didn't get a picture of the deserts.  Sorry, I didn't quite have photography on my mind when I was looking at Apple, Strawberry, and Pecan pies!)

     After we ate, we sat around the camp-fire singing patriotic songs and the children sang the National Anthem for us!

     It was a real treat for all of us!  Though we love this new land that God has called us to, we are so thankful for the way God has blessed our homeland!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Diana - People of Brazil

     This girl was one of the many campers I met at this years Church Camp.  I really appreciated her shy friendliness.  Though not overly outgoing, she was always kind and respectful.  

      I don't really know much more about her, other than that she came with one of the area churches, but I trust that her time at the camp was an encouragement and a help to her.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Youth Camp - Estância Maranata

   We recently had the opportunity to attend and observe a three-day church camp about an hour from our home.  The name of the camp is "Estancia Maranata" and is run by Missionary Peter Doolittle.   Both Tracy and I love the christian camp ministry.  Not only did we both grow up going to church camp, but it was also through the camp ministry that Tracy and I first got to know each other.

   Of course camp has to start with an early-morning departure from your home church:

   And then a long, fun ride to the camp:

Good singing and preaching:

   Small classes for separate age-groups: (this one was taught by our co-worker, Jeremy Lockhart.)

   Great Camp Food:

   And many great games: (primarily futebol, or soccer, of course)

   Even Mahalia loved watching all the excitement!

   And Johnathan loved playing all day!

   Fun times together with new friends:

   Steal the bacon, and other games organized by Daniel Bishop, the summer intern here.

And then of course the week ends with a group of tired kids headed back home!

   We thoroughly enjoyed the three days of camp.  Even though the language barrier prevented us from getting too involved, we were able communicate (in a broken fashion) and interact with many of the campers and workers.  It was great to see the enthusiasm and excitement of all the campers.
   We really appreciate the camp ministry and the impact that it has on these young lives.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

     Living in another country definitely makes me appreciate The States much more than ever before.  Although we fear for the direction in which the U.S. is headed, it is still the best country on planet earth.

     Although Brazil has a July 4th (just like a July 3rd and 5th) they obviously don't celebrate it or mark it as any type of a holiday.  However, all the american families here will be getting together for a fun evening of celebration and fellowship.

     Since we don't really have any Independence Day photos, I'll post some from our July 4th parade from a few years ago in our wonderful hometown of Lattimore, NC.

     We certainly appreciate all those who have given some, or all, of their lives to protect the honor and freedom of our country.


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