Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What We Are Up To...

At the moment our lives are out of the normal routine.  Where we work, the Lighthouse Community Center, we operate basically on the same schedule as the schools in Brazil.  Since December, school has been out for the summer. YES, it is summer here in Brazil (we are in the southern hemisphere).  Just like the schools, we are officially closed during the holiday/summer season.

The front entrance of the Lighthouse Community Center.

  We take advantage of this special time to work on various practical things to keep the ministry going and to effectively plan and prepare for 2012. Even though our normal programs are not currently running (they will start in February), there is plenty to do around here and we have been busy! 

First we moved from our little round house to a much larger home on the Lighthouse property.  We are still not completely settled in, but we are already enjoying the spacious place we have now.  Sophia loves it too! 

 Our BIG living room!

We still have some unpacking and organizing to do, as we want to paint the kitchen and this room - which is Sophia's future bedroom.  More photos to come of our new home once we finish fixing it up!

Felipe has been cleaning the pool lots lately, as the Lighthouse swimming teacher (who is responsible for cleaning the pool) is away on vacation for a month.  Felipe is our new pool man!

Felipe has also been trying to work in the yard, but it has been quite challenging as it's the rainy season here.  With the constant rain it is challenging to find a good time to cut the grass. It is raining literally almost every day!

For a few weeks, I, Laura, was responsible for the finances of the ministry (while the 2 ladies, who are normally in charge, were on vacation).  It was my job to make sure all the bills were being paid and to handle and document all financial affairs of the ministry.  I was intimidated to temporarily take on this responsibility, but I successfully completed the task and I surprisingly enjoyed it too!

Almost daily, Felipe has also been inviting different groups of children to come to the Lighthouse to either play soccer or swim in the only pool that is located in our slum. The kids love to come to the Lighthouse to play! 

I think the most exciting thing I have been up to lately is that I am taking driving lessons!!! Here is a photo of me with my driving teacher, whose name is also Filipe.

After about 16 years of driving only automatic cars, I am finally learning how to drive a manual car.  In Brazil there are mainly manual cars, so driving a stick-shift is a MUST.  I finally had the courage to try to learn so I am taking lessons from a nearby Auto-School.  I have my license from the USA, and I only have to register and submit a few documents to the transportation department and I can drive here in Brazil.

Hopefully, soon I will be driving a Kombi, which is a Volks Wagon van, owned by the Lighthouse Community Center.  I am starting to drive in Brazil because of a need of more drivers to serve the ministry in various practical ways. Surprisingly, many people do not know how to drive in Brazil.  It is very expensive to take driving lessons and to own a car in Brazil, so many people depend on the public transportation system and simply never learn to drive.  Felipe does not know how to drive, but would soon like to start the process of getting his driving license.
Please pray for me as learning to drive in Brazil is quite different - I am doing well though and enjoying the challenge! The traffic can be bad, there are LOTS of hills in our city (Belo Horizonte) which make driving tricky, and people drive much more crazy here!  On top of it all I am still adjusting to driving a manual car, but I am getting the hang of it fast.  I am excited about driving here soon!
Sophia has been enjoying being back home at the Lighthouse Community Center.  She especially loves playing outside and spending quality time with all her aunties and uncles (our team members).

 Sophia is a great source of joy and brings much happiness and many smiles to everyone she comes in contact with. Our friend Kelly is one of Sophia's favorite people!

During this "closed" time the Lighthouse team does lots of practical work.  We use this time to do deep cleaning in various areas.  Just last week a team of us did a good cleaning of the Lighthouse kitchen.  This week we have some other areas on our "to do" list to tackle. 

Also, we start each work day as a team talking, praying and some days we even have worship times together.  It is our prayer that God is the center of all that we do here at the Lighthouse Community Center and every act of service is worship unto Him!

  For from Him and
through Him and
for Him are all things.
   To Him be the glory forever! Amen
 Romans 11:36

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad I came across your blog. It's great to see others serving in full-time missions. My husband and I were part of YWAM for awhile. We hope to serve in missions sometime. I will be thinking and praying for you, your family, and ministry. Blessings.