Friday, August 10, 2007

By God's Grace We're In Brazil - And We Love It!

On May 18th, after some airline delays because of weather and missed connections, we arrived safely in the Sao Paulo airport (not the one with the recent disastrous crash). Next week we will have been here three months. There have been times when I've woken up in the morning and I'm overwhelmed by the thought that God in His grace called us to Brazil and brought us here in direct answer to so many people's prayers. God is alive and able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. Our time here has not been without its trials, but in every trial that God has brought us through, He's shown Himself real and helped us learn in the process. And in a new culture surrounded by the totally unfamiliar and feeling helpless at times, probably the biggest thing we've been reminded of is our complete dependence on God.
We enjoy it here and we've had a fun time laughing at how ridiculous we must look as we try to plunge ourselves into our new culture. Thankfully we started language school two weeks ago, but here are a few examples of cross-cultural situations that we face daily.
You know you are in a new culture when:
-You find yourself nearly getting into a car accident on the highway because for just an instant you forgot that motorcyclists don't use lanes, they just drive between cars on the dotted line.
- You find yourself holding up the line at busy supermarket because the cashier is asking you a question in a foreign language and you can't guess what she could possibly be asking because you've already paid for and bagged your groceries. Then, you find out she was just asking if you'd like a piece of candy in lieu of change because she didn't have the correct change in her register (apparently a common practice).
-You wonder if the South American breed of opossum that is stalking your house is rabid because all your attempts at ridding yourself of him only make him more boldly eat your garbage and lick your grill with what appears to be a smirk on his face.
- You are the only Americans in a class composed of Japanese and Korean students in a Portuguese language school and you don't understand their language and they don't understand yours, yet you try to communicate in a language that is foreign to everybody.

These are a few of our daily adventures as we learn. Definitely, we need your prayers.

PRAY- For opportunities to minister in creative ways since we cannot fully communicate yet.
PRAY- For safety in travel and for quick language acquisition.
PRAY- For our walk with the Lord under the strains of adjusting to our new home.

We also have had many requests for pictures (grandparents take note). Here's a few that I thought you'd like. They are of our church neighborhood, two kids from our church VBS, and Myla, Elaina, and Pamela their Brazilian babysitter who watches the girls while we are in school.