Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Maria Vitória - People of Brazil

       This young girl lives with her grandmother just down the street from the church.  Her grandmother used to come to church, bringing her with her.  Even though her grandmother no longer attends church, it is a blessing to see that Maria Vitória still faithfully comes to Sunday School every week.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pastor Appreciation Day

    Shortly after we arrived here in Brazil, the church we are working with celebrated "Pastor Appreciation Day."  What a great time of food, fun and fellowship!  It was a great reminder that even though we may be thousands of miles from the States, people are generally the same; they love to laugh and they love to eat!
     As soon as the morning service was finished all the ladies began preparing the dishes and Bro. Alex did the Churrascaria (Brazilian style B-B-Q).

     Of course, as the meal is being prepared, the men enjoy discussing, and solving, all of the world's problems!

And the women talk about whatever women talk about. (Can you tell this is Omar writing this time?)

Even the children had important business to discuss!

The children played . . .

and helped each other out.

     It sure was fun to relax and spend time getting to know the folks here!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Karate Kid - People of Brazil

   This boy was one of the many visitors at our recent Vacation Bible School.  All I can really say about him is that it seems that there has to be one like him in every group of kids!  I guess his type help to add a little "excitement" for the VBS workers!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Emily - People of Brazil

   I took this photo of Emily at our recent Vacation Bible School that we had for all the neighborhood kids.  We would appreciate your prayers for this little girl, her sister, and her mother.  After some absence from church, they have begun attending services once again.  There are many other details, but basically we would ask you to pray for her family's spiritual needs.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Like Two Peas in a Pod . . .

...or maybe two peas in a peel?  

Omar found this unique banana(s) at the fruit stand the other day.  

They were completely separate inside the peel.  

And what became of these conjoined twins?  

Twin banana breads, of course!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Birds of the Pantanal

A few weeks ago, we had the privilege of traveling a few hours away from our home into the Pantanal.  The Pantanal is the world's largest tropical wetland.  The Pantanal attracts many tourists, but we weren't limited to the tourist spots - we got to go behind the scenes!  We had to drive quite a ways off the main highway, down dirt roads, and along the river's edge before we got to our final destination (a fisherman's home at the river's edge.)
  There are about 1,000 bird species in the Pantanal, and we were able to see quite a few just in our one day there.  Here are some of the beautiful creatures that Omar was able to capture with his camera.   

Tuiuiú (two-you-you)
This bird is our state bird.  (I think they look a little pre-historic!) The males can get as tall as 5 ft. and have a wingspan of 10 ft.  It's the tallest flying bird in South America, and their nests are can be several yards in diameter!

Tuiuiú in nest

These parakeets are larger than a domesticated parakeet, but not quite as large as a parrot.  They flew around in large groups and made quite a lot of noise!  When they flew through the air, you could see all the beautiful colors of their plumage.

parakeets in flight

This bird's name literally means, "I want, I want!" It was a neat bird (at first) until it became very territorial and tried to dive-bomb Omar several times.

This one stayed near the water.  Check out those long toes!

Recognize this bird?  Yep, it's a kingfisher.  There are MANY different types of kingfishers throughout Brazil.  This one had just made a catch, and was resting before he took it back to his nest in the cliff below us where we could hear several baby kingfishers squawking for a bite.

Omar tried to get a closer shot of this large pink bird, but he didn't seem to be very sociable.  It never came very close to us.

When Omar first saw this bird, it was soaring so high that it was almost out of sight.  It had an incredibly loud screech like an eagle.  It circled for a long time before finally descending into a swampy area nearby.  

(Tachã on the ground)

Unidentified  - (Any Suggestions?)

Fortunately for us, this guy was on the opposite side of the river from us!  There were several caiman on the river that day.  I'm not sure if it was coincidence or not, but they were all facing our direction.....hmmm.

A caiman trying to be sneaky!


We had been resting in the shade of a tree next to the river all day, and didn't realize until late afternoon that these bats were right above our heads!  

It was a beautiful place full of beautiful animals (well..... maybe not the bats.)  It was probably the remote area that we've ever been, and we'd love to go back and see more of it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Vacation Bible School - Escola Bíblíca de Férias 2011

     Last week the church here had Vacation Bible School for all the neighborhood kids.  Since we are in the Southern Hemisphere, we are in our winter and so this was during their "winter break" from school.  We had a great time with 60-70 kids per day!

It was great to see the kids line up to get registered and say their memory verses:

A few portrait shots from the week:

 Song time, led by Jeremy Lockhart:

    Memory verse taught by Jessica Lima:

     And the main Bible Story taught by Mrs. Duarte.  I am thankful that she never asked for a raise of hands for who wanted to be saved (probably 75% of them would raise their hands for various reasons).  Instead, she asked for anyone who wanted to be saved to come and talk to a worker afterwards.  Praise the Lord, ten children came and accepted Christ as Savior!

    The children loved "Chico" the talking monkey.  He really is quite an entertaining monkey and loves to get himself into mischievous trouble!

     Johnathan and Mahalia loved it all - mostly they loved the excitement of all the other kids!

    And then the prizes.  We were blessed by Daniel Bishop, a summer intern here from the U.S., who brought prizes and supplies for this week.

 And of course the best prize - a new soccer ball futebol for the boy who brought the most visitors!

And then, Snack Time!

   And of course there were many pictures taken throughout the week.  Here is Daniel Bishop taking some photos, I guess sometimes it takes two cameras just to capture all the excitement!

     Half-way through the week, one of our supporting pastors wanted a picture of our family with a bunch of Brazilian kids so they could use it in their VBS which is this week.  His request gave us a great excuse to get this picture:


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