Saturday, October 21, 2006

Movie Night

I know I've mentioned once or twice about how life here is making us more and more flexible. Tonight was one of those times, but it turned out to be a great time. Randy and Matt had planned a church movie night. We've had two others and we always have a great turnout. Tonight we had close to 30. We were eating before the movie when the power went out. Outtages aren't unusual on days like today when it's cold and rainy (we even had thunder and lightning this morning!). But they can definitely interfere with your plans. Everyone made their way to the front lobby and the sidewalk and we all hung out and talked for a while. Fernando positioned his motorcycle just inside the front door and shone his headlight at the tables so people could get more to eat and drink. The teens had fun running around the dark building. After a while, we all gathered in the lobby and sang. It was a great moment. I was especially excited because we had visitors from the beginner English class who were there for the first time. They got to see what we're really about. And they were excited! Eventually we sent everyone home. The power came back just as we were getting ready to leave the church building. We got home a few minutes later only to discover our power was still out. Russ and I sat in the dark for about 30 minutes and just chatted without distraction. He decided he should rescue the ice cream "just in case" and I tried not to fall asleep. Now we unexpectedly have a free evening! Guess I'll catch up on some work.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Shoe Drive a Success!

New Shoes, originally uploaded by russandval.

Our first church benevolence project was a resounding success. We collected about 50 pairs of shoes, both new and used, and R$ 300 to buy more. Several pairs of shoes were given to needy kids that day as part of our Dia das Crianças (Children's Day) celebration and we've got a nice stockpile for helping the kids that we see every day. Pray that the hearts of the children and the parents will be opened by this gesture. So many people on the street are distrustful and with good reason, but we are fighting to show them our love.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sam I AM

I made my first trip to the mythical sams club. It even smells the same. My name on my card is Russel Austim; what do i care as long as i can buy Peter Pan PB for seven dollars AND giant trampolines (here they are called a pula-pula). So much fun to be had. They even sell beef jerky. It is a fun new store to wander around in; the only reminder of Bahia are the butchers inside the refrigerators wearing PARKAS! Good times.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Weekends, Past and Future

What a weekend it has been here. First there was the story of the missing airplane, then the plane was found, making it Brazil's greatest air accident ever. Our prayers are with the families--how hard it must have been to wait so long for news! Of course the other major excitement was the election yesterday. We really weren't sure what kind of turn out we'd have at church but we still had decent numbers (including visitors!). Now the election has gone into a runoff. At this point, it's hard to predict what that will mean. The one thing I know it means is four more weeks of campaigning (blech!) and heated discussions about Lula. (He's quite a polarizing figure). Anyway, keep praying about it all!

This weekend is going to be a doozy, too, though for completely different reasons. Saturday night is the wedding of two of our members, a couple who transferred from Bonoco. The church was asked to do the wedding which means, of course, that we missionaries (okay, the women) are doing the bulk of it. That's proving to be quite interesting because our wedding experience here is rather limited. We keep asking the bride her opinion and she says, "Oh, whatever is fine." None of us can imagine sitting back and having our weddings planned by committee but the bride seems to trust us completely. We have found ourselves wishing we had a Garden Ridge in town!

So that's Saturday. Sunday is a completely different event. October 12 is Children's Day, quite a large occasion, and we're going to do a church celebration of it this Sunday. Street children are common here and they often don't have any shoes, so we're using this as an opportunity to help them. We've been collecting money and shoes and are inviting all the kids we see to join us this Sunday. We have no idea what to expect but we are praying that this day will touch the lives of all involved.