Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas in BRAZIL!

This year I celebrated Christmas with my Youth With A Mission family here at the Light House Community Center!  Enjoy photos of our special lunch on Christmas day!

My two Brazilian friends preparing some yummy food!

A family from England serves here at the Light House 
with us!  Here is a photo of Felipe with the men from this family.   It was so nice to celebrate Christmas with a family with children!
(Josiah, Felipe, Gideon-being silly, and Dave)

Gideon snuggling with Lady before lunch!

The table, set up nicely and me preparing a special salad in the background. 

Cool table shot...

My beautiful and fruity salad!  It had strawberries, apples, raisins, walnuts, and two different types of lettuce!  

Notice the Christmas tablecloth!  Our table of food beginning to fill up!

We even had TURKEY!!!!  This is not a common meat to eat in Brazil!  Dave had the special honors of carving the turkey.

Everyone getting ready to pray and eat!  We celebrated with an international mix of the following nations; Brazil, United States, Holland, South Africa, New Zealand, and England!

Beckie, my friend from England and her son Gideon enjoying Christmas together!  It was so fun to celebrate with her kids!

Having fun playing with spoons!  We all started playing with spoons after our Christmas meal.  Josiah started with just 2 spoons, but soon managed to have more hanging off his face!

Playing the Christmas present game- white elephant in Dave and Beckie's house!  They had Christmas decorations and a nice tree so it was really a special treat to celebrate as a team there!

After opening gifts, a white dove got trapped in Dave and Beckie's home!  Gideon saved the day and rescued it. Pretty cool!

Felipe and I on Christmas Eve all dressed up, riding the bus to visit his family!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008


To celebrate all the kids groups and soccer groups coming to an end, we as a staff threw a big end of  the year event here at the LIGHT HOUSE Community Center.  It was a RAINY day, but the kids had a blast! 

Felipe welcoming the kids and explaining the various options of all the FUN stuff the kids could choose to do during this OPEN HOUSE day!  We offered many different types of games and fun activities.

Here is one of the girls who participates in my morning girls group.  She dressed up SO NICE for our party!  We were all a bit surprised and many people asked, "Why is she so dressed up?"  She just wanted to be!  Isn't she beautiful?

In the classroom I played hang man with Valeria from my afternoon girls group.  I first wrote a message saying, "I love Valeria a lot!"
  Then she wrote the same message back to me, "I love Laura a lot!"  Read it below in Portuguese!

Swimming in the Rain, Just Swimming in the Rain...
I have never seen the Light House pool SO FULL of kids!  The children LOVED swimming in the rain!  It was actually a little chilly too, but it did not phase them one bit!  The pool was FULL! 

COTTON CANDY!!!  Each child received a FREE cotton candy!

Waiting patiently in line for a cotton candy treat!

Checkers in Brazil!  Great rainy day game!


Many of the children from the slum have NEVER had the opportunity to play with PLAYDOH.  I received several boxes full of playdoh, sent to me by my parents church (Bethesda Presbyterian Church located in York, SC).  Thank you for the donations!!! The kids have LOVED playing with the playdoh, and it is a great rainy day activity!

We were AMAZED at how the big, tough boys reacted 
to the PLAYDOH! They loved it! 
 It was great to see them enjoying and playing and being kids!  Usually kids get playing with playdoh out of their system at a young age, yet these boys have never had the opportunity to really play with playdoh... Here they have arrived at 10, 11, 12 years of age and are loving every moment of playing with playdoh!  I think that the boys spent MUCH more time at this activity station than the girls.

Concentrating and mesmorized by the COOLNESS of PLAYDOH!
I love it!

At the end of the day, kids were heading home in the rain!  Now that the rainy season is here, it RAINS and RAINS and RAINS for days on end.  Although it was  rainy day, we still had fun and the kids thoroughly enjoyed our end of the year event!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I just officially ended my girls groups here at the Light House Community Center!  We finshed the year with fun activities and a BIG party which focused on celebrating the GREAT WORTH and VALUE that each girl in our group has!
Enjoy the photos below!

At our party, each girl had the opportunity to sit on a special throne and be crowned as a princess - a precious daughter of GOD!

Singing, dancing, and worshipping the Lord with my girls!!!

Dancing FREELY!!!

My girls giving me a BIG GROUP HUG!!!
I love this photo! 

One of the girls who has really touched my life this year.  She has a special life!
I love to see her smile!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another side of my life

I thought it would be fun to share some photos of special people and memories I have made during this past year. 

I am thankful for the friendships I have made with people from many nations, as our YWAM base receives people from all over the world to serve here in Brazil.
Life is about being in RELATIONSHIPS and sharing LIFE together! 
Enjoy seeing another side of my life...

Easter Day 2008 - Hiking in the beautiful Brazilian countryside!
A big group of us hiked for almost half the day on Easter in search of a waterfall located out in the country side.  
It was quite an experience!  Fun, tiring, and unforgetable!

Below- My two FUN friends from NEW ZEALAND- Kate and Kirsty!  Having fun along the way as we walked and walked and walked...
The Final Destination!  This photo was taken looking straight up.  It does not capture the actual size of the waterfall and river at the bottom. It was BIG!
A night out on the town with my friend Eveline, from Holland! I met Eveline last year here in Brazil and we became GREAT friends!  So... this year she returned to Brazil with the main goal of visiting and encouraging me!  What a blessing!  God really used her to speak much truth to me during a time in the year when I really needed a friend!
We had a fruit and chocolate Fondue and Movie night!
I felt so loved by all the girls who threw this Birthday party for me!
The Light House staff had some really special times as a team this year making bonfires, singing songs, talking, and just enjoying being together. 

LADY, the beloved Light House Community Center dog! It is SO nice having a dog around the house - I feel more at home with a pet. I like this photo of Lady and it shows our beautiful view of Belo Horizonte! Lady truly has been a blessing to our ministry and to my life this year!  
My mom also came to visit me this year!  I am so thankful that she had this opportunity to come.  Here is a pretty photo of mom at a local park in the center of the city!
Mom, me and the night skyline in Rio de Janiero, Brazil!

My mom and a cool view of the ocean...
We were visiting a beach near Rio de Janiero called Buzios!
American Friends in Brazil! A girl's night out!
Me and Stefanie, the only two Americans working here at the YWAM Belo Horizonte base!
Meet a very important person in my life!  This is Felipe, the leader of the Light House Community Center (where I work) and also my boyfriend.  Below is a photo of us on our first date.  He took me to a restaurant overlooking the city and had roses delivered to me as well!  It was a very special and memorable night. I feel very blessed to be in a relationship with a guy who has a such a beautiful heart for the Lord, kids and missions.  God is using Felipe to teach me so much.

I am thankful for a YEAR full of blessings...  There were many tears, challenges, and hard times,but also there were many many joys, triumphs, times of laughter and fun!  It has been a year of major growth for me and I am thankful.

At the moment a song that I love is playing in my heart. 
I pray that my life can express the following lyrics.

JESUS, My passion in life is to KNOW You
May all other goals bow down to this Journey of Loving You MORE...
JESUS, You've Showered Your goodness on me
You've given Your gifts so FREELY
Now there's one thing I'm longing for...

Hear my heart's cry and my prayer for this life.


This truly is the cry of my heart. I am SO thankful for the blessings of this past year and I look forward, with all the blessings and challenges that are ahead in the year to come. My cry continues to be- through it all,  "Above all else, LORD give me Yourself!"