Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Charleston Adventures

We have been in the USA for two weeks now, and time is already flying by! 








Since we have arrived, we have been adjusting to the new time zone, braving the cold weather temperatures, shopping at yard sales to stock up on winter clothes, dealing with our clingy two-year-old Jessie who is struggling with all the new, enjoying lots of warm bubble baths and yummy American food, and spending precious time with family.

We are currently staying at my parent's home in Rock Hill, South Carolina (which is located near Charlotte, North Carolina), but last week we took a trip to beautiful Charleston, South Carolina for a few days to rest and visit my sister who lives there.

Here are a few photos from our Charleston adventures!

The amazing Angel oak tree in Charleston.


At Sullivan's Island!








We saw elaborate Christmas lights at a park in Charleston.







We also visited a Fire Museum.






Did I mention that it has been super cold?  We are braving below freezing weather at times.  We left the extreme heat of Brazil and now we are wearing our coats, scarves, gloves and hats.  We are really hoping to see snow this winter.


This is our first of many adventures during our furlough in the USA.
We are extremely thankful for this very special time with family and for a season of rest.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Fall Update

Just a little update here to communicate what's been going on with us lately!

Our trip to the USA is fastly approaching! We fly out tommorow and land on American soil Wednesday morning.  We have been counting down the days until we travel for quite a while now with this homemade paper chain.  Today we are down to just 1 more link in the chain. Hurray! 
We are very excited for this trip to the USA!
This photo was taken last Friday!
When we first started counting the days until our trip.
Today we will finish moving out of the YWAM base housing that we have been living in.  Placing all our belongings into this small storage room has been a major accomplishment.  Everything will be patiently waiting for us until we make our big move to São Paulo next year.


On Friday Sophia had her last day of preschool!
She had a great experience and grew leaps and bounds in her Portuguese speaking skills.  We snapped this photo of Sophia (and doting little sis) before her last day of school.  She was proudly showing off the presents she made for her teachers. Next August Sophia will start Kindergarten. Can you believe it?  My baby is growing up fast!


During the past few months, we have been involved in various things workwise here at Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Belo Horizonte.

We were given the opportunity to share on two different occasions about our future project in the city of São Paulo.  We spoke at a YWAM Belo Horizonte worship service, and also one evening with the students participating in the Children at Risk School. We really enjoyed these nights of sharing our vision for our future ministry. and we were able to invite many people to pray for the project and to consider joining our team

At the end of September, Felipe and I attended a week long workshop to learn how to work with Discipleship Training Schools (DTS). (If you want to know what a DTS is click here.)  We plan to run Discipleship Training Schools at our future ministry in São Paulo, so it is important for us to learn as much as possible about this special training.   We had a very rewarding week of learning, worshipping, fellowshiping with missionaries from all over Brazil, and being challenged in our own personal walk with the Lord.  


Lately, I (Laura) have been focusing more on our family and home, but I also have spent some of my time playing reporter and writing for the YWAM Belo Horizonte base newsletter.  I recently wrote a story about a mother who gave her son up for adoption many years ago, and then just recently they became reunited through a ministry of YWAM Belo Horizonte.  It was such an inspiration and blessing to be a part of writing this story.  I hope to publish the article here on our blog in the future, so stay tuned.

For the past few months, Felipe has been busy taking photos of the various ministries here at YWAM Belo Horizonte.  His photos will be published on the base website, used in base newsletters, and also serve as a kind of photo stock for the base to pull from in the future.  To see just a few of the many photos he has taken click the links below.  


Also, some of Felipe photos were recently published in a Christian magazine here in Brazil.  I am very proud of my husband!


As I mentioned before, tomorrow is the big travel day!
Please pray for our family and especially for our terrific two-year-old, Jessie.  She is such a sweet and happy girl, but honestly not the best traveler, and Jessie just happens to be cutting teeth right now. Your prayers for traveling mercies are appreciated, especially for Jessie! 


Thanks for your faithful support, encouragement and prayers.
 We are looking forward to seeing many of you in person soon.

In a matter of just hours now, the Matias family will officially be USA bound!