Thursday, October 21, 2010

To Every Thing There is a Season

Our family is now back in the United States and we are enjoying the fall season in Michigan- cool weather, colorful leaves, pumpkin pie! In this season of our lives, we plan to be in the US for one year to report to supporting churches and glorify God for His grace to allow us to be in Brazil. Below are some pictures of some of the events of the past few months.

Shortly before we returned to the US, we had the privilege to work in VBS at a sister church.
Our responsibility was to teach the 12-15 year olds.

Just three days before we left, we had our last youth Bible Study. A good group came that night. Our co-workers, the Patefields, are continuing this ministry.

At our meeting in Harrisville, Michigan with Family Heritage Baptist Church, the church put us in a nice country Bed and Breakfast. George, the owner, took Daniel for his first tractor ride.

This is the mission house that was graciously provided for us for our first 9 months in the US. The kids couldn't believe the spacious grassy yard to run in.

We visited with relatives at Uncle John's cider mill in mid-Michigan. As you can see, baby Flávia is healthy and growing!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Gooooool Brasil!

It's World Cup soccer time right now and the nation has stopped to watch the game and to cheer for their team. It will only become more intense as the tournament progresses.

Everywhere you look you see the colors of Brazil's flag. From painting on the streets to fully decorated houses. As the boom of fireworks fills the air, there is no mistaking what time of year it is here.
We got in the team spirit and dressed in Brazil's colors to watch a game with friends. As you can see, Flávia wasn't impressed. Since we were in the U.S. last, our family has grown by two. Because so much has changed, a Pastor in the U.S. asked me to reintroduce our kids on the blog. So.....
Myla is 6 years old. She loves to dress up like a princess, read books, and do crafts. She is Flávia's second mom. Next to her is Ellie. Ellie is 3 but will be quick to tell you that she will be 4 in July. She rides her bike like an Indy racecar.

Daniel was born in São Paulo and is now 2 years old. He likes anything that resembles a ball. The Brazilians love his blonde hair and blue eyes and treat him like a celebrity. Then there is Flávia who was born on May 20 here in Rio de Janeiro. She just wants to hurry and get out of her crib and play with her brother and sisters.

Shortly before Flávia was born, Melissa had the opportunity to speak to some young ladies at a sleep-over/Bible study hosted by our co-workers. The girls came from several of Rio's churches and had a great time.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Almost 3

Next month, Lord willing, we will celebrate 3 years in Brazil. To those who have made that possible through prayer and support, we thank you. To God who makes all things possible through Jesus, we bow before You in thankfulness.

This picture of our family was taken at our annual mission conference that we attended in March. It was great to meet colleagues from all over Brazil for the first time and to talk with some missionaries who worked with Melissa's grandparents while they were here years ago.

The rains of March and April brought heavy flooding in our neighborhood and all throughout Rio(left- a street that runs close to our house). The picture on the right is of the home of a family who attends a sister congregation in another part of Rio. The stream by the house raised so high that they had over 3 feet of standing water in their livingroom and had to flee thier house. They lost virtually everything and the believers of Rio are working together to help them to replace ruined belongings, to repair the home, and to build a retaining wall along the stream.

In February we welcomed a new laborer to the harvest field of Rio when Pastor Ricardo married Helena, a seminary graduate from the capital city of Brasilia. They are working in a church in the neighborhood of Niteroi. Also in February, we had our annual Summer Youth Retreat which was well attended.

The kids are continuing to adapt well to Brazil. On a day in the high 90's, Daniel (2) enjoyed sipping a green coconut. During Youth Camp, our co-worker's daughter Joanna (in light blue) came over to our house and had a fun time with Myla, Ellie and Daniel at their own Summer Camp put on by Melissa and our co-worker Dori. In April, Myla lost her 1st tooth.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Happy 2010!

As we reflect on last year and look forward with hope and anticipation to next year, one word comes to mind. The word is "grace." God has brought us to where we are by His grace, and we trust in Him to lead us into the future by His grace. Since our last post, much has happened. The pictures give a quick run-down of some major church and family events.

In November, we celebrated Myla's 6th birthday and Daniel learned how fun it is to talk with grandparents on the phone.

In December, we celebrated Christ's birth with a special Christmas service at the Island church. We also had the opportunity to stop by the world's largest floating Christmas tree with our colleagues, the Patefields and Joy Hunt.

In January, we had our last regular service with the wonderful people of the Island church. We have now have embarked on a new church plant in our neighborhood. We were also able to spend some time with our friends Pastor João and Daise who have just completed their first year of pastoral ministry in Rio de Janeiro.

Oh, and one more thing. . . we found out this month that God has blessed us with a baby girl who is due in June! Thank you for your love and prayers - without God's grace we know that we can do nothing.