Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Today life went on. I got up and went into the building for a devo with the team and the Auburn crew. I spent a couple of hours sorting through some boxes of stuff that the Parkers left. I went for my weekly mentoring time with the interns. I took Caitlin (one of my "daughters") for a manicure and ended up getting a haircut. (A dangerous decision--emotional haircutting--but I had been wanting a bit of a change anyway and it really is a small change!) I watched one of the Auburn girls get baptized in the ocean. I taught my English class. In between it all, I worked on my class for this Sunday. A busy day. But just the kind of day I needed to realize that life really will (and needs to) go on. What I am doing here is important and I love my job. Sure, I wish that some of my favorite people were still here doing it with me, but it's all still okay without them.
I'm okay. I really am. Just a little sad right now. I just don't want you guys to worry too much!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Today was the day I have been dreading. We said goodbye to the Parkers a couple of hours ago. I really don't have many words to describe how I am feeling right now. It hurts. A lot. We've had to say a lot of goodbyes in our lives, especially in the past couple of years but this one is unparalleled. Saying goodbye to them also means saying goodbye to the dreams we shared with them and what we thought our lives here would be like for at least five years. But we did have two great years with them and are so grateful to have shared any part of this journey with them. I'm going to wrap this up since I've started the waterworks again but I just wanted to share so you guys could be praying for them as they travel and get re-settled and for us as we try to figure out what our new life looks like.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

One day in the saga to buy a car

I want to share (at my own expense, not the country I call home) a little ditty about the final day of transferring a title from a friend's name to my own. This day was the culmination of several hard-headed attempts to do it my way. All others failed.

I awoke at 7AM to take a taxi to the DETRAN (i.e. DMV) with what I thought was an adequate amount of time and documents. At 8AM, the nice security guard informed me that I had more things missing than BMW in a chop shop. I called my friend Keith to bring the car as fast as possible to have it inventoried. Then I walked for about an hour to an internet cafe to print off a bill to prove my address. Keith and I met at DETRAN around 10AM where the car was checked for serial numbers and working lights. Having done this, I stood in line with a number while the office attempted to get reconnected with the national network. At 12PM, the long line sighed as the fax began to print off documents. I received confirmation of my paperwork as well as a 60 reais processing fee. Unexpectedly, I was told to pay it and THEN the sales tax on the car which was more than I could extract from an ATM in one day.

I called my wife who was at the beach, and asked if she had cash. She directed me to a location (by taxi) where I got exactly the amount needed. It was suprising; it was also more than my rent. With all the bills paid, I received my tag and told my story to the clerk. She said my wife would love the car. I felt that the whole office would burst into clapping had there been less witnesses. I ate a ham sandwich at home around 2:30, and a good time was had by all.

On another note, I baptized a student last Tuesday. She is very happy and wants to tell all her friends about it. Let's pray she does. Tchau for now.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Back to Brasil

It felt strange to think about all the miles we drove, and all the times I listened to NPR in the States. I wanted to thank every one who put gas in the car and hugged us as we left. We still feel so close to you. The sun is shining today, and a breeze is keeping everything cool. There are so many changes happening this month, and not all of them are easy. Pray for us and the rest of our church as we go out to be Jesus to many new friends. Pray that the Parkers return will help us all keep growing. We would not be here without all of you out there! I know that your friendship is bigger than the plane ride it took to get here. Que saudades (we miss you). RQ

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I am just about unpacked now. I probably wouldn't have so much done if we didn't have LST workers staying with us. It's fun having some new people around, even if they keep calling me "old" and "mom". I think it will be a fun few weeks. Our summer interns arrived yesterday. There was some confusion about what flight they would be on so we ended up at the airport for over four hours. But they finally got in and we're glad they're here to help out.

We need the extra help these days. Mary Virginia has been on bed rest for a month now and we don't know if she's going to be back up until the baby comes in August. While we were gone, everyone had to work so hard they're all feeling a little burned out. We're happy to be back to lighten the load.

I promised to tell you about our other team news but it's news that's hard to share. Keith and Stacey have decided to move back to Oklahoma. (They insist on taking their kids with them, too.) We're sad to see our dear friends go but we want them to do what is best for their family. Right now, that is to be back in the U.S. So amid all the chaos of interns, LST and us getting resettled, they're coming in this weekend to start packing. It's going to be an emotional time so I may blog a lot about it or I may pull inside my shell and say very little. Just be patient with me.

On a happy note, there was a baptism the Friday before we got home. AnaMaria is the friend of one of our members, Jaciara, and has been studying with her and Mary for a little while now. We're sad we missed that moment but we're glad to have a new sister!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Getting Settled

Our suitcases lie in various corners of the house, piles of clothes cover every available surface and every place I look I find more books to try to cram in our bookshelves.

I hate unpacking.

Packing is filled with anticipation: though tedious, it is bearable because you know that upon completing the task you will be rewarded with a trip. Unpacking is quite the opposite: it feels like pennance for the good time we had.

And what a time it was. I would love to be able to thank every person who helped make our furlough such a blessing to us, but I would surely forget someone (or many someones). I will just make some general thank yous:

-Thanks to everyone who let us stay in their home--all of you who put up with our late-night comings and goings and sometimes went for days without actually seeing us.

-Thanks to everyone who fed us, either at your home, your church or your favorite restaurant. I'm trying not to blame you for the weight I gained!

-Thanks to everyone we didn't get to eat with or stay with for your patience and understanding. There just wasn't enough time!

-Thanks to everyone who casually slipped us money. We promise we didn't spend it all on our many Target runs!

-Thanks to everyone who took us on shopping sprees. You sure know the way to my heart!

-Thanks to everyone who came up to us with hugs and encouraging words. Even if you guys don't keep in touch with us like you'd like to, we appreciate whatever support you give us!

-Thanks to everyone who kept us in their prayers. You made our trip a success!

Even now, I'm sure I'm forgetting someone. My mind is running a million directions at this point, between unpacking, the LST campaign and a major change to the team. (I'll blog more about that later.)