Sunday, July 31, 2011

Life in Brazil

Exactly 3 weeks ago today we arrived here in Curitiba, Brazil! The flight to get here took 2 days, and Anna did AMAZING!  God definitely blessed us with a baby made to travel.  We arrived late Sunday night, and went straight to bed :) We are staying at a ministry campus that rents out rooms for conferences and schools like we are doing.  We have our own room and bathroom which is great.  We are not in the same building as the rest of the staff and students, so it is a little quieter. It is a winter here, so it has been cold, rainy, and humid!

Here is a breakdown of what our daily routine looks like:
7am: breakfast
7:30-8: devotional
8:15-9: worship or intercession
9-12:30: class
12:30: lunch
1-2:30: work duties
2:30-5:30: dance practice or small groups
6:30: dinner
After dinner is normally free time or time to read our book or work on our journals.

This is the schedule that I am on.  Nathan is leading worship and intercession while we are here, and it has been awesome!  After that, he is with Anna while I am in class or dance practice/small groups.  I have lots of breaks during the day that I am able to spend time with Anna, and then my nights are focused on spending time with her and Nathan.  It has been an adjustment for me not having as much time with Anna, but Nathan and her have been having an awesome time together, and I know that this time they have is irreplaceable and will be something that develops her into who she is going to be as she grows up.

Since we have been here I have had teachings on prayer and intercession, the attributes of God, the redemption plan of God, and our identity in Christ. All the classes have been in Portugese and then translated into English.  This has been a challenge sometimes, but God fills in the gaps that are lost in translation :)  The classes have been really good and the teachers have been awesome. I have really enjoyed everything we have been learning, and feel so blessed to have this time to focus on God and learn more about who He is.  He has been so faithful in speaking to both Nathan and I and we believe that this will be a time of tremendous growth in both our lives.

Anna is doing great.  She had no problem adapting to this new environment and culture.  She has made friends with everyone and is always the center of attention...and she loves it :) She is learning some new words and seems to be growing up so fast.  She is such a blessing!

We always need prayer, so here are a few prayer requests that we would love to have you pray for!

-Finances for Scotland
-Continued health for Anna and us
-That God would open up doors for Nathan to share the gospel at the local skate park

Friday, July 8, 2011

Leaving for Brazil!

As I write this, I'm realizing that by this time tomorrow, we will be on an airplane on our way to Brazil....crazy. 

Brief recap of the past couple months:  At the end of May we drove from Kansas City back to Atlanta to visit my family and to hold a fundraiser to help raise the funds we need for the next 6 months.  The time with my family was really nice and relaxing.  We were also blessed with someone giving us a cabin for a couple of nights for our anniversary while we were back.  Isn't God good?
After we got back we had our dessert fundraiser. It went really well!  It was a pretty small turn out, but the Lord provided! Through our fundraiser, we raised all the funds we needed for our DTS, as well as gaining a few more monthly supporters.  We feel so blessed by God's faithfulness and people's generousity and encouragement.  It was a really refreshing and uplifting time while we were in Atlanta.
We returned to Kansas City with about 2 weeks before we had to move out of our apartment and head back to Atlanta for our flight to Brazil.  The week we were planning on leaving, we spoke with the leaders of a ministry that we are associated with, who said they had 2 guys who needed some furniture for an apartment they were getting.  To make a long story short, we ended up letting the 2 guys move into our apartment and use our stuff while we are gone.  This was perfect because they will move out in January, giving us a guaranteed place to live when we get back!  Another little surprise from Jesus :)

On our drive back to Atlanta, we got a call from my dad who said that our visas had arrived and were at the post office ready for us to pick up.  We got in late that night so we went the next morning to get them.  We opened them up and saw that they had been denied due to them needing additional information.  We received this information on Friday, giving us 8 days til we were supposed to fly to Brazil! Because we live in Missouri the only consulate we could apply at is in Chicago, and to mail in the information would take 7 business days not including the mail time.  This was impossible to do before we had to leave :) So Monday morning Nathan got all our information (including the additional stuff they needed) and drove another 12 hours to Chicago.  Thankfully, one of our friends from Kansas City has parents that live outside Chicago that Nathan was able to stay with. While Nathan was there he ended up meeting a guy at a skate park and shared the gospel with him. It was a very fruitful time and Nathan is going to continue to stay in contact with him. God works all things together for good and for His glory!
 It's been pretty funny how everything we have tried to plan and prepare for in advance has ended up changing at the last minute! It has definitely kept us on our toes! But through all this craziness, God has been so faithful and so good to us.  He has provided for every additional financial need, He has given us peace and confirmation in what He has called us to do, and He has accomplished HIS will in all circumstances.  So with all that, Nathan picked up the visas today, and yes, they were approved! He is currently on his way back now and we will be flying out tomorrow at 9PM for Brazil!!! We are so thankful for all that God has done and how He has caused everything to fall into place perfectly (even if it was at the last minute) :)  He has shown His goodness as our Father over and over again. We are so excited about all that He has in store for us while we are in Brazil and later on in Scotland.  We know that great things are going to happen for HIS glory!
- for travel safety and ease with immigration.
- that Anna will sleep on the flights (the long ones are overnight) and that she will be an AMAZING traveler :)
-that God will accomplish in our lives all that He wants to accomplish.
-that God will use us to accomplish in other's lives all that He wants to accomplish.
-for health and protection while we are in Brazil.
-for the finances we need to buy our plane tickets to Scotland.

Thank you and we will keep you updated during our time in Brazil!