We have been home now for a little over a week and we are very THANKFUL to be here. I am reminded of the famous phrase from The Wizard of Oz, "There is no place like home." This is true...
First, we would like to say THANK YOU to everyone who blessed us through prayer, encouragement and finances during our special time in the USA. We appreciate your partnership so MUCH, and it is because of your support that we are here in Brazil serving the Lord. Thank you!!!
Our journey back home was great! We had the smoothest trip we have ever had returning to Brazil. The girls behaved wonderfully, the flights were on time, and there were surprisingly no problems at all. This is the first trip that everything went so incredibly smooth, and with two small children at that. Thank you to those who prayed for our travels!
Upon arriving at our home we were greeted with a clean home (cleaned by friends), cards, and gift baskets full of fruit and chocolate. We felt loved! I especially loved this card made by some boys who live here in the slum.
|Welcome Matias Family. May God pour out blessings with out measure over you!|
This past week Felipe has gotten back into working. He has had several leadership meetings, worked with a children's group, helped cleaned the Lighthouse grounds, and even manned a fishing game at the Lighthouse Community Center's 21st birthday party. To see more photos of the birthday party, click HERE.
Here are a few photos Felipe captured this week while working with the kids from the slum.
I have been focusing on getting our home in order. Upon arrival I decided our house needed a major clean-out and reorganization. Kind of like a spring cleaning... well, actually a fall cleaning as it is fall here in Brazil! It is a new season in our lives, so I want to start everything fresh. Getting our home reorganized is a work in progress, so I am still (slowly but surely) getting things done. I also have some home improvement ideas developing, but that will be for the future...
|Sophia's bedroom clean and rearranged!|
Another important focus I have (now that we are home), is getting our girls set on a good daily schedule. The biggest challenge for us while traveling was SLEEP. All the changing of places and schedules really effected our girls, especially Jessie. Now that we have a consistent daily routine going, Jessie is sleeping wonderfully! Jessie also really loves her comfy crib (she hated the pack-n-play). Yay! Major victory of the week - sleeping girls! I am one happy mommy!
Our kitty, Amora, is also super happy we are back home and is enjoying sleeping in Jessie's crib!
It is great to be back in Brazil. Sometimes it feels like we never left. The food, the traffic, the city, the weather, the slum where we live, it all seems so normal, so natural to be here. Then I will see a kid that I have not seen since before our trip. I notice he/she is several inches taller and I am reminded that we have been gone for quite a while. This has happened lots! So many kids I know grew so much while we were gone. Many of the girls from my group last year are now budding teenagers!
It is wonderful to see the kids from the slum again, to walk through the tiny streets and see familiar faces, to smile and catch up with people we know who live here in the community.
This slum is our home...
The other morning we walked to our dear friend's house to see her granddaughter's newborn kitten.
Sophia and I especially loved meeting this tiny and cute kitten!
God has called us to live our lives in a slum. It may seem strange, yet in all the messiness, chaos and problems going on in the slum where we live, there is still such a deep beauty. This beauty is seen through the smile of an elderly man sorting trash on the street, a blessing spoken over Jessie by an admiring lady, a teenage boy playing soccer at the Lighthouse, or even a little girl delighting in her beloved pet. The people of this community are so precious, so beautiful.
Yes, they may live in a slum, they may not have much materially and they face many challenges, but these people are loved passionately by the Lord. He sees them exactly where they are. He cares and offers grace to change and be transformed. We are here to pray, encourage and share this message...
Returning home, I am reminded once again of our call to share Jesus with the people here in the slum.
Hasn't He called us all to this?
To share Jesus right where we are at...
This looks different for us all, but where ever we are today, we can share the love of Christ through our actions, our attitude, a smile, or a kind word. The way we live our lives speaks loudly. Every single decision we make shapes who we are and effects those around us. Whether I am at home caring for my two precious daughters or I am out and about in the community, my life makes an impact.
It is our prayer that we will be used for the Lord's glory and purposes as we live in a slum and serve with Youth With A Mission in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Please keep us in your prayers as we serve, grow, and walk in obedience the path God has set out for us.