Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Best of 2013

This special post is to share some of the best photographs taken by Felipe during 2013.  Please tell us what your favorite photo is.
We hope you enjoy seeing Felipe's work!

Borel slum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - November 2013

Cafezal Slum, Belo Horizonte, Brazil - July 2013

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA - January 2013

Big Island, Hawaii, USA - January 2013

Big Island, Hawaii, USA - February 2013

Big Island, Hawaii - February 2013

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA - March 2013

Francisco Morato, Brazil - November 2013

Belo Horizonte, Brazil - September 2013

Belo Horizonte, Brazil - September 2013

Big Island, Hawaii, USA - January 2013 

Belo Horizonte, Brazil - June 2013

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA - January 2013

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA - February 2013

Belo Horizonte, Brazil - September 2013

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA - January 2013

Belo Horizonte, Brazil - August 2013

Borel Slum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - November 2013

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - November 2013

Francisco Morato, Brazil - November 2013

Belo Horizonte, Brazil - August 2013

Belo Horizonte, Brazil - June 2013

We invite you to keep watching this space for more of Felipe's photography to come in 2014!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Oh, Come Let Us Adore Him!

Here is a quick post to share some photos of our rainy Christmas season here in Brazil.

It is now summer in Brazil and that means the rainy season has arrived in our city. Even though we don't have a cold Christmas, the rain cools things down and forces us to stay inside making it quite cozy.  Last week, on a dry day, we ventured out to see the Christmas lights at one of the most popular city squares.  The girls loved it!

Our favorite photo of the night, before it got dark!

Rapunzel had to come to see the lights too!

Recently Felipe and I were also blessed with a date, where we were able to shop for a few Christmas gifts for our girls and then eat out at a new Tex-Mex restaurant - it is a miracle to find Tex-Mex in Brazil and I was SUPER excited about this!

This week we enjoyed baking for Christmas, one of our yearly traditions. Sophia loves helping me in the kitchen.

The finished product!

Sophia has also enjoyed reading various Christmas books and doing a few Advent activities too!  It is so fun that she is old enough to really learn about and understand the true meaning of Christmas! 

Tonight we will do our own little family Christmas service at home (there are no Christmas Eve night services here in our city like in the USA), and tomorrow Felipe's family is coming over for a Christmas lunch.  We also hope to watch The Nativity Story, which is one of my favorite Christmas movies and such a wonderful way to meditate on the story of Jesus' birth.

The above phrase (and song) has been on my heart a lot lately and is my prayer this Christmas season.  May our lives, our actions, our family, all that we do and all that we are truly worship and adore Jesus, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

From the Matias family to yours, we wish you a joy filled and blessed Christmas!
May you enjoy time with family and be refreshed as you adore Jesus, the true reason for the season!  

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Thank You and Our Year!

We just made a video to say THANK YOU for supporting us this year in missions!  
If you have not seen this video yet, please watch. It turned out quite cute! 
Thanks so much for your support of our work in Brazil.  We greatly appreciate you!

2013 - OUR YEAR

 This past year has been such a completely different year for both Felipe and I.  
2013 was a year of new challenges, many changes and much traveling.  Adding up our travel time, we spent almost 7 months out of the year traveling!

We began 2013 in beautiful Hawaii where Felipe spent 3 months participating in a photography course.

Felipe grew in his photograpy skills, taking some amazing photos...

And we also made some very special memories as a family in Hawaii.  One of my favorite things about Hawaii was seeing whales and sea turtles on a regular basis.  God's majesty and wonder is everywhere to be seen there!

Next, we made a quick and fun-packed 6 week stop in the Carolinas to visit family and friends.

In May we arrived home in our city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  We took on new challenges - Felipe worked in a Discipleship Training School (DTS), I worked with the communication department of YWAM Belo Horizonte, and Sophia even went to preschool for a few months (BUT she did not end up liking it so much, but that is a whole other story).  

We shared with you about a BIG dream in our hearts for the future and also decided to move to a new home as a step in the direction of this BIG dream.  

Another BIG change in our lives was that God blessed us with the ability to buy a car. This changed our reality and is a major blessing to us on a daily basis.  We can now run errands and do simple things like going out to buy groceries MUCH MUCH easier and faster than before.  We are SO thankful for our car!

After just spending 4 months in our city,  we packed our bags once again to travel as the leaders of a DTS missions outreach team.  We spent two months traveling (Oct. and Nov.), as we served in missions organizations ministering in poor communities in the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Upon arrival back in Belo Horizonte, we moved into our new home!  We have finished painting and now we are slowly moving in.  It has been A LOT of work!  Photos to come once we are all done.

Once again we want to say thank you for partnering with us.  God did so much in our lives during 2013!  He also spoke many things to our hearts about the future work He has for us to reach out to children at risk here in Brazil.  Soon we will share more about our work plans for 2014.  There will be much less traveling involved, but we are quite happy about settling down in one place for a while.

Thank you for blessing our lives and our ministry during 2013!