Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Happy Birthday!

When BJ wrote in our last prayer letter that he had taken up a new birthday party ministry, he wasn't joking!  We literally just had three birthday parties in the last seven days, two of which he preached a gospel message.  This past week we celebrated all ages ~ 30, 15, and 3.

The biggest one by far was the 15th birthday party.  This is the party to beat all parties here in Brazil.  I realized just how big it was when I asked a girl at the party if she was next in line for her 15th.  She replied she had already celebrated her 15th.  I then asked her if she was turning 16 this year.  Her response was, "I think so, maybe 17.  I don't really know, after you turn 15 nobody keeps track!"

There is really nothing to compare it to in the United States.  It is a mix of Prom, Sweet 16 and Graduation Open House all rolled into one giant party.  Most parties cost more than our entire wedding cost!  This was a smaller scale party we attended.  Enjoy the pictures below.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Six Christmases and five Easter's later I still want to curl up in a ball and disappear until the holiday is over.  Somehow I thought that with the passing of time, holidays in a foreign country without family would get hasn't.

Christmas with sweat dripping off your forehead and the thought of adding more heat by baking cookies?  No thanks!

Easter in the fall with no new spring dresses and no ham dinner?  What!?

Days like these I watch my culture run head on into the culture I am living in, and I don't like it one bit.  I want my white Christmas sipping hot chocolate with marshmallows in it.  I want my ham dinner with asparagus for Easter. 

Today Myla noticed a girl taking pictures of herself with her cel phone.  I told her it was the new fad, selfies.  Then I told her, but really it just says, all I think about is me. 

My selfie is coming through strong and clear this Easter Eve.  All I am thinking about is me and what I want and what I am missing out on. 

The truth is none of it matters one bit in light of eternity. 
The truth is, my sacrifice of the comforts of my culture are hardly a sacrifice worth mentioning. 
The truth is I need to get my focus off myself and onto my Lord and Saviour who gave me

Let this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation,
and took upon him the form of a servant,
and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man,
he humbled himself,
and became obedient unto death,
even the death of the cross.

Philippians 2:5-8