It’s Saturday, I’ve finished unpacking and I’ve caught up on my sleep. I’m looking forward to church tomorrow. It’s nice to be home again.
This past week and a half we’ve been in the US for the San Antonio Bible Conference. I couldn’t wait for this time to come. I envisioned myself soaking it all in; absorbing the sermons, worshiping God in my native tongue, eating all the food I’ve missed and fellowshipping with my favorite people. I was NOT let down. In fact, all in all the time spent there exceeded my expectations…
On the way to the airport I figured it’s time to leave the foreign for the familiar…
Hello!!! My goodness…it’s been a long time. My apologies. I just hadn’t felt like blogging lately…. sometimes we just need to take a step back and spend more time with Jesus. I missed it though! Last year, we were denied our visas. It was frustrating. We should be able to renew our visas here in Brazil; however, after being denied we had to start making plans to go back to our “country of origin” to reapply. This was definitely an inconvenience. However, after being in a foreign country for a little over a year it was nice to be able to enjoy some things from home. We scheduled our trip so we could attend our mother churches Harvesters Homecoming in April. It was such a blessing to get refreshed and see our friends and family! And eat all the food we’d been missing!!! I’m talking to you cold coffee and powdered donuts! Continue reading “3 Months Past”→
That’s how I feel right now. We just finished a revival with Pastor Rudy (aka Rui pronounced Huey) Estrada. That was what the teens in church called him. Lol. It was so awesome, so encouraging, so…. Refreshing! Probably more so for my hubby than me because they’re close buds but I’m so excited for all God did this week.
We all need refreshing. We pour our hearts and lives into our churches, homes, families, kids, jobs, ministries, etc. Geesh! I’m exhausted just from writing that list! I love revivals. They bring a much needed break from the norm. They bring a much needed shake up from our complacency. They stir our faith, reenergize our batteries, and get us out of our funk.
This one encouraged me so much! There were so many words given and healings that took place. I was overjoyed for our church. God didn’t leave us out and our family received a timely word as well. Our kids felt especially excited and spiritually fed this week.
Here are my kiddos answering the altar call again. My favorite night. 😂
January 1st marked one full year since we bounded a plane for Brazil. Making that trip was the hardest yet most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Traveling New Years Eve wasn’t my first choice but that’s just how it worked out. As the clock struck midnight we were flying somewhere over South America. We couldn’t see much below except the lights at that hour. Our plane was large and only half full. At midnight, people started wishing each other a Happy New Year. Some were dancing in the isle and singing. Some were toasting and drinking. All were speaking Portuguese. It was overwhelming and I cried a little. I’m not even sure if I cried because I was sad, nervous or happy. Maybe I was just overwhelmed with all these emotions at once…?
Then we landed and God opened door after door for us. I’ve learned so much just in this past year. Most stuff I knew already but God has either solidified some things or taught me new things. I want to be like clay in the Potters hands. The clay doesn’t fight the Potter but allows itself be molded. I pray I am always moldable. Here are some things I learned…
I have learned that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…
Of course I knew this already, I have the scripture memorized but it’s never as true as when you’re stretched beyond your limits or out of your comfort zone. That’s the moment you realize where your abilities end and when God’s begins. I love those moments although they’re painful at times. I tend to dream small and reachable but God has bigger plans for us, doesn’t He? I’ve been through some things this year but God has always shown me that He had my back. I’m still learning to have faith; before I worry.
This isn’t something you’d normally hear me say when describing pioneering. I don’t know why. I mean it is hard. It is exhausting and overwhelming sometimes but I just love it. It doesn’t have to feel hard. There are hard times. Unfruitfulness, is the pioneer’s enemy but seeing one soul changed and growing in Christ is too beautiful to focus on, “it’s hard”. I prefer, ” it’s challenging “. Then you feel like a conqueror, a warrior, a pioneer. See men; women like adventure too!
Bliss and Frustration at Once….?
I’m amazed at what God is doing here in Brazil and can’t wait to see what else is to come. The people are awesome and already feel like family.
The church organized a “Cha de Cozinha”. At first I was kind like, what’s going on? What is it? But basically it’s just an excuse to have a fellowship and have people bring stuff to supply the church’s kitchen.
I love that we have a kitchen and can fellowship at church because Brazilian apartments are tiny. However, we had no kitchen supplies. Surprisingly things like disposable plates, cups and napkins are expensive here so having actual silverware is a blessing!
We played an “ice breaking” game and got to know one another a little better and 3 people gave their testimonies. That, of course, was my favorite part. I couldn’t understand every word of what was being said but I could feel God’s presence on these people. I could see the hope and joy in their hearts because God has redeemed them and they’re hopeful for the future. One couple is planning on making things legit so we should be having our first wedding soon! How amazing!
That was the bliss. Pure. Sweet. Bliss. You can’t find this joy anywhere else. No drug, no relationship, no experience can compete with being right with God and in His will.
My gosh! It’s been too long since I’ve blogged! Time slips by quick, doesn’t it? I saw my last post was from August 27th and thought I need to get to updating!
I have so many pics from these 2 months it’s hard to decide which to share! We’re still learning much about the Brazilian culture. The election just finish yesterday and the current president was reelected. I thought it was fascinating that Brazilian citizens have to vote. They have no choice, or they’re fined. In America, you hear people that never vote complain about the government and I personally think they have no right to complain. But here… complain away people! You’ve done your part.
Recently Brazil had a heat wave and it was HOT! Especially when you don’t have AC. One of my favorite things about Belo Horizonte is the weather. Even in the summer it’s beautiful, breezy and comfortably warm. However, it got hot! I had a mini panic attack because we weren’t here last year at this time and thought this will be the norm but no; it was just a heat wave. Record heat was recorded all over Brazil and the stores were sold out of fans. I was ready to sell a kidney so I could buy a portable AC! Jk…. Or am I???? Anyways, it’s back to being in the 80s and the 70s when it’s rainy. Nice, huh?
It’s Tuesday and a wonderful day. We’re having a wonderful time here in Brazil. The weather’s warming up but it’ll never be as hot as South Texas. I miss my family and friends, but not that heat! Today it was in the mid 80s. It was humid by Brazilian standards but very comfortable weather by Texas standards.
The kids finished school early so we rushed out of the house. We haven’t had much fun lately so it was time to bless the kiddos with what they wanted to do. Of course, they wanted to go to one of the beautiful parks here. There’s many and all are very different depending on what you want to do. Today they decided on row boating.
It’s time for another update! We just finished our first revival here in Brazil. All thanks to God because it was very fruitful. It was much needed for the church and for us. Mark and Idalia Morales came from our mother church in McAllen, TX to bless us with a revival. It was an extra blessing for us because they’re friends of ours. They were our bible study leaders when we first got saved as teenagers so it was nice to reminiscence and marvel at what God is doing here in Brazil with them. I especially enjoyed the joking and laughing in my native tongue!!!
It’s been a busy two weeks! Thank goodness! We love being busy. We’re so happy to have a building and ready to labor in this city! Our new church building needed some walls to come down and that made it filthy with dust everywhere! I think we swept 10 times before finally mopping…. 4 times! The Brazilians thought we were weird because we didn’t hire anybody to paint and clean for us but as most of you pioneer’s know, if we can do it ourselves… We will! I love the end result but much still needs to be decorated so I’ll post some prettier pics later.
I’m not the most spiritual person in the world… My brain tends to lean in the “realist” direction.
That being said, I know my God is real. I know His love is real. I know His plan for my life is real.
Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”
I also know the enemy is real.
I’m analytical too. It’s just the way my brain is wired. It’s the way I compute things with the ole’ noggin. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It doesn’t take away from my faith. It actually serves me well.
Hebrews 2:1 “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”