01 June 2011

pray for them

so...

an organization called mãos dadas which means 'hands together' has a world wide prayer task force to focus on vulnerable and exploited children. france, my roommate and partner in ministry at the CADI formerly worked with mãos dadas and has a real heart for social injustice...boy is she in the right place, right?!



as a way to focus our attention this week, we watched a portion of the film All The Invisible Children during our staff devotion time. the movie is an anthology of 7 short stories of children in vulnerable situations around the world. the characters in the brazilian story have uncanny similarities to children i know in frei; they play the exact same roles in front of me day after day. in fact, if i'm honest, i'm almost used to the reality of life in this favela.



with the amount of children suffering in frei (not to mention around the world) there is no way i can make a dent in the damage that is being done; but i was reminded this week of when Jesus rebuked the disciples for shooing away the children in mark chapter 10, he took them in his arms and blessed them. that tiny group of children mattered to Jesus that day, just like every single child on the planet matters to him now. they may be invisible to you, and even to me, but they are not invisible to Jesus.



i have way too many stories of malnourished, uncared for, and abused children and i ask that you very earnestly take some time today to pray for them.

pray for their physical, emotional, and spiritual development. pray for the adults in their lives to protect and cherish them. pray for their salvation!

04 March 2011

a new year

so brazil is essentially on a different calendar than the rest of the world, well than the US, anyway! january is "vacation month" for quite literally, everyone. including my hair dresser and the university food court that sustains me. it was a rough time. but its march and carnaval has come and gone and life has returned to normal...as normal as my life ever is...

with my remaining 5 months in mind, i put a lot of thought and prayer in the my 2011 plans for CADI. in addition to 2 bible clubs, i've started an art class for 9-12 year olds and i'm really excited about that! its a little more like VBS 'craft time' than saturday mornings with bob ross...but i am all about some pipe cleaner and glitter treasures! my bible club is the same as last year, but i thought offering it to younger children would be more successful...what did not occur to me was the possibility of ten 7-8 year old boys in one club; which is exactly what i have. yeah...whoa. the first week turned into "soccer club" as soon as the story was over, they had fun, though! if you remember, please pray for me on wednesday afternoons! and most definitely pray for those little boys, that they'll be able to hear how much God loves them in the midst of wrestle mania!

in addition to my classes, CADI is offering sports, guitar, and recreation (for little tiny friends), so you can also pray for the the kids in those activities and especially the volunteers who come to teach them!

oh yeah, before i was saying that i thought very specifically about my plans for this year, because i only have 5ish months left. i only have 5 months left! when that occurs to me i get panicky because this phase is completely defined and boxed in and i have no idea what the next phase will be...and then i get excited because i love starting new things...and then i get sad because a new phase means i'm leaving and i really love CADI and my friends and the ministry here, well, and all of brazil...and then i get excited again because i haven't seen any of my favorite people (american people, that is) for a really long time...and so clearly, i'm quite in touch with my emotions these days. all of them. its good, the Lord is showing and teaching and so on and so forth and i'm really grateful for this time of seeing and learning and so on and so forth!

thanks for your prayers!

02 February 2011

i'm alive!

dear faithful blog checkers,

i am, in fact, alive and well in brazil! december turned out to be much more of a whirlwind than i anticipated and january with back to back volunteer teams was here before i knew it! i appreciate so much your faithfulness in prayer even without an update during these two months!

december...

brought so many blessings along with the super intense heat! all along i expected that dreaded bout of homesickness to hit at christmas...what i didn't expect was how little it would seem like christmas around here! if i were in a cold, snowy place that decorates the town as we do at home i would have been consistently homesick. my brazilian friends kept me busy from christmas eve right through my birthday week with their traditions and of course...beach trips! it seemed like a totally different kind of experience rather than 'christmas without my family' and for that, i was really, really grateful!


new years eve with my friends!

january...

brought two volunteer teams of college students...in other words: one busy month! a team from union university arrived on the 5th with an old friend from jackson, 2 of my west jackson girls, and CHUCKY! we were able to sleep at my church, which made for a whole bunch of really late but really fun nights that i had been needing! during their 2 weeks here they painted some rooms at CADI and did a VBS at CADI and a VBS for my church...we kept busy! this team, though, was awesome-every single one of the college students and leader had such a great servant attitude and an immediate love for the kids, especially in frei damião; which of course, blessed me so much! and the kids loved them! while i haven't been homesick and i really love it here, being with them was refreshing...good for my soul! it was hard for me to see them go!


finally, the union team got a beach day and it was enjoyed by all!

the second team was from impact360 and they were also really great! i stayed with them at the camp as well and had a really great time getting to know them and hanging out with the ministries they were supporting and getting involved with! i really love having teams-its fun to jump into ministry with another group of people and see how God works in snap shots-and then i get to return to regular life!

which is exactly what i'm doing right now! i am now looking at how to best organize my last 6 months here in brazil so that i can be as effective as possible with that time...yes only 6 more months! i can hardly believe it, myself!

if you can be in prayer for these next few weeks to start off with energy and motivation and of course, purposeful organization! also, i've renewed my visa and am waiting to hear that it was approved (given my luck with the visa process, lets go ahead and pray a little for that, too!)

if you're reading this, then i appreciate your consistency in trying to keep up with my life here, which, i'm sure leads to prayers! you're a huge part of what the Lord is doing in brazil at the moment! thank you for that!

God bless you, today!
beijos!

22 November 2010

thankful

happy thanksgiving week!

i LOVE thanksgiving!

turkey, dressing, etc is, hands down my favorite meal...i LOVE hanging out with my family...i LOVE the approach of winter weather...i've always been a big fan of breaks from school/work...i LOVE parades...i LOVE that my jackson radio station changes to the 'christmas star' on thanksgiving day...i could make a much longer list, but you get the point...

all things thanksgiving = awesome.

obviously, this year will be quite a different thanksgiving, with hardly of the above mentioned items to note the holiday. BUT nonetheless, (only to the credit of God's proactive intervention in my thought life) over the past month i've been overwhelmed with things that i am really thankful for.

such as:

-so many great US churches that partner with our ministries here--financially, through prayer support, and by sending teams.
-the openness and warmth of brazilian culture, 95% of the time i feel welcome in any situation i'm in with brazilians
-a really stand up, quality team of IMB colleagues here, in florianópolis
-seriously committed friends at home who pull more than their weight in an inter-continental friendship
-pão de queijo...its like a ball full of cheese, without which i would most definitely starve around here (and probably be a few pounds lighter) ;)
-the beauty of the internet which keeps me in touch with friends and family but also the important goings on around the world, such as can be found on E!.com
-just this stage in general, which is hard somedays, but overall a pretty awesome experience!

so, while i will most certainly enjoy thanksgiving on the beach (with a group of colleagues from around the country) i will most definitely be missing the presence of cranberry sauce and my mom's dressing...so enjoy it a little extra for me, this year!

20 October 2010

love in any language...

how do you get little brazilian girls to let loose and be themselves? bring them american music, of course!

video

i mean, this is the true definition of an international sensation.