Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Special Moments in May!

May was a busy month for us! 
We are preparing for our soon coming trip to the USA, Felipe has been working lots trying to get photography projects finished before we travel, and we had several personal things going on.

Today on the blog I am registering some special moments from our month of May! 


In honor of Mother´s Day, Jessie had a ballet presentation at her little preschool.  She takes ballet there every week as part of the preschool program.  This was a very special day for Jessie! 
We always walk to Jessie´s preschool as it is just around the block from our house.



 Jessie was nervous and a little shy, so she had a serious face the whole time!


A Mother´s day mother-daughter dance!
Our son, Josiah, also had some special moments this month! 
Our big guy is growing up fast. During the month of May he quickened his crawling pace, began standing up (while holding onto something to keep him steady), and I think will be an early walker. Watch out world!

Josiah got his Brazilian passport this month and turned 8 months on May 20th. He also recently cut 2 more teeth - totaling 4 teeth in all, and weighs over 20 pounds (9 kilos)!!!

Here are a few photos of this chunky guy. He brings such a joy to our family!























Josiah's EXTRA special moment of the month was when we had his baby dedication on May 21st at our awesome church here in São Paulo.  This truly was a holy moment to commit to raising our son in the ways of the Lord and for the glory of God! 

Felipe's mom and sister recently moved to live closer to us. They are living at a beach town, which is a short hour and half drive from our home. We are extremely happy they live close to us now! They came to church with us for Josiah´s dedication, and then we celebrated Felipe´s mother´s birthday at our home.  This was a special day celebrating God´s goodness as a family!


 At the beginning of the month of May I also helped give a baby shower for my dear friend Silvana!  Actually her daughter, Helena, was born today (May 31st).  We are rejoicing in new life!

 Giving this shower was a special moment for me during the month of May. Silvana and her husband (Robert) are fellow ACTION/ABBA missionaries and are the leaders and founders of the ministry where we serve, Casa Semear.  It was a blessing to be able to celebrate the life of their baby girl together with so many dear friends! 



May was full of many special moments!  
We are thankful we are ending this season well as we are going to be away from our life here in Brazil for a long while.
God is good!




Saturday, May 27, 2017

Boating with the Kids!

For the last month, the kids and teens at Casa Semear have had the opportunity to participate in boating/sailing classes at a large lake here in Sao Paulo.  

A sailing/boating company (that teaches the basics of boating) have blessed the ministry of Casa Semear through offering the kids we serve these boating/sailing classes. 

Here are just a few photos from a small group of kids that got to go boating this past week.  There was little wind on this day, so instead of taking a sail boat, they went out on a motor boat.  Felipe was the chaperone on this day, so he captured a few shots of the fun!  He has already been on several of these boating outings this month! 



Each kid even got a turn to steer the boat! 







We are very thankful to this boating company.  The lives of the kids from Casa Semear are being enriched and blessed with valuable memories and experiences in nature!




Thursday, May 25, 2017

Summer until Christmas in the USA!

If you did not get a chance to read our most recent newsletter, you may not have heard the BIG news.

Our family will be in the USA this summer until Christmas!

After much prayer, consideration, and talking with our leadership in ACTION, we decided to extend our furlough to give us more quality time in the USA to share about our mission work and to raise financial support.

Our Schedule
Many people have been asking us about where we will be, so here is our rough schedule so far:

Arrival date:  June 9th
We arrive on June 9th, and we will be in the Rock Hill, South Carolina area the first few weeks getting a lot of logistics in order for our stay.

End of June
We travel to Charleston, SC to see family and to another beach town to visit dear friends.

July 1st through Mid-August
We will be in the Raleigh, North Carolina area.

Mid-August through December
We will be staying in Rock Hill, SC with family, but this is just our home base.  We hope to speak in as many places as we have the opportunity, and we are VERY willing to travel to share.

Speaking Opportunities
If you would like for us to come and share about our mission work, or share from the Word of God at a gathering, worship service, Sunday school, small group or event, we would be very happy to do so! Felipe could even speak/teach about photography if that would be an interest for some.

We have shared in many capacities in the past and we are open to sharing in various settings.

Please feel free to contact us by email to schedule with us: laura.felipe.matias@gmail.com 
Again we are open to traveling to wherever the speaking opportunity may be!


Needs While Stateside?
We often get asked, ¨Do you need anything during your time stateside?¨
Since we will be in the USA for quite some time and we can not bring very much with us, we do have need for a few things for our kids - Sophia (7), Jessie (4), and Josiah (8 months).

 If you have any of the following baby/children´s items listed below at your home that you are thinking to donate anyway, please donate to us!  :-)

Items for our Furlough:

Clothes for our kids 
Girls clothes: Size 7 years & 5 years
Baby Boy clothes: Size 12 & 18 months


A stroller

Two small bicycles or scooters

A baby swing to hang in the yard

Indoor and outdoor toys to play with

Thanks so VERY much! 


Although we will miss our lives and work in Brazil, we are excited about our soon approaching season in the USA!




Sunday, May 21, 2017

Serving through Photography - Sólido

One of the ways Felipe serves in missions is through using his gift of photography to take quality photos at various ministry locations.  

The ministries can then use the photos in any way they need - to share about their work online or through newsletters and brochures.  The photos help show the essence of the work, the needs and the heart of the ministry.

As the saying goes, 
"A picture is worth a thousand words."

Felipe has many different photography projects in the works at the moment. I plan on showcasing some of his photography of the different ministries he has been serving here on our blog in the coming months.

I am first featuring a ministry that is a part of ABBA, the local Brazilian mission we serve in partnership with (www.abbabrasil.com.br).  The name of the ministry is Sólido (in Portuguese) or Solid (in English).  Take a look at their impressive and beautiful website featuring Felipe's photography: www.solidomoveis.com.br.


This ministry/Christian business has a workshop where quality wooden products and furniture are manufactured by a team of young people - most of those young people actually come from ABBA's ministry projects. 


Sólido´s mission is to provide opportunity for young people to have their lives transformed by learning and manufacturing high quality furniture in an inspiring environment.
Sólido is teaching young people a profession and giving them a perspective of a better future.

Also, all of the profits generated through the selling of Sólido´s high quality products serve to finance this and other missionary fronts that ABBA has.
Check out these photos of this awesome ministry!

The Workshop





















The Workers







The Finished Products