Friday, May 23, 2008

Two casts is too much fun

Yes, I have proven everyone right about gringoes and futebol. I have had both feet casted and x-rayed in the past six months. Thankfully, my current injury was only ligaments and not broken bones. My doorman said that I should take up baseball!

What I really wanted to say is that my son is awesome. His mom is an even bigger hero than she was before, and I cannot imagine how many paid staff it would take to do her job. My mom and dad have been so sweet and understanding of our commitment to raise Jackson in Brasil, and I will never be able to say how grateful I am for that.

There are many friends and family members that are kinda down right now; please pray for them and all the loved ones on your prayerlist. I know that we all have lots of things to do, but it is only possible if we ask God to do the heavy lifting. We begin our renovation on the new location tomorrow; I have never been more electrified and freaked out at the same time! We need some mountains to move, first with our incredible members, and then with the new friends we are making in the neighborhood of Boca do Rio (the mouth of the river). We pray for comfort from God to come while we work and create a new place for people to be transformed.
Thanks, and keep the homefires burning.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The New Building--BEFORE

Well, it's official. The contract is signed and we should be getting the keys soon. Now the remodeling begins. We've got just over a month to get it ready. I've been saying for a while how excited I am to tell you about this building so I thought I'd show you why:

Here it is from the front. Not bad; plenty of room for our sign.

And this is what you see when you look out the front windows. The dirt is from a major construction project at the mall just down the way.

This is the view looking left...

...and looking right. So we're giving up our building that was PRACTICALLY on the ocean road for one that is directly on it. Oh, the sacrifices.

But, you might be saying now, what about the actual building?

Like I said, we need to do some renovating.

This is what you see when you first walk in. A little primer is definitely in order.

But that's not the half of it, as this next picture reveals. There are some rather"architectural elements" left from the previous owners.

Yes, that's what you think it is. And if you put two and two together, you can figure out what this place was.

It's a little gross and it's going to take a whole lot of bleach and primer to get it to how we want it to be. But what a story! Our church building will be a wonderful object lesson about redemption and sanctification, about how we were once full of bad things but now have been made holy. I love it.

We didn't just choose it because it makes a good story. It's also a wonderful facility in a great location.

I'll try to keep you updated on the renovation progress. As I've said, it's going to be a HUGE job and we don't have that much time to do it! Please keep us in your prayers as we figure out all the logistics of the move and the renovations. Pray that this building that was once Satan's tool can be transformed into a powerful tool for the Lord. Pray that the new neighborhood will be open to our arrival and that we will attract many new people. Pray that our members will have an easy transition into the new building and location. And finally, please give God thanks for making it all work out! 
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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Small Group



It may be hard to believe but oohing and aahing over Jackson isn't the only thing that we're up to these days. One of the highlights of the past month was the start of a new small group. The group is held in the home of Cassi (one of our members) and Manoel. It's also the home (for now) of Kelly and Gladson, their siblings-in-law. (Russ performed their wedding ceremony about a year and a half ago.) We're really excited to be making inroads into their neighborhood. Each week we've had a different mix of friends and neighbors, some who have visited ICOS before and some not. Russ and I have also learned the hard way not to eat too big a supper before we go because there's always a ton of food afterward. Cassi and Kelly combined are the size of a pencil but love to make everyone else eat. And eat. And eat.

We love the feel of this group because it's a really young group. Almost everyone is our age or younger so it's a lot of fun. No one but us has kids yet so Jackson gets passed around for "practice" (he's such a patient guy!).

Please keep this group in your prayers as we try to get it off the ground! It's a huge neighborhood so it will be a million years before we exhaust its potential! Pray also for Cassi's husband, Manoel. Church has been a part of his life at times but he has seen churches do a lot of stuff that he doesn't agree with so his heart is a little hard toward church. But he faithfully attends our study so we hope to change his mind about what church is.
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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

My Boys


Isn't he delicious?

I guess I'm referring to both of them!

Anyway, I'm sharing this picture with you because I haven't posted in a few days and I feel guilty. I'm working on a couple of "real" posts but things are kind of chaotic right now. We have the normal pre-visitor chaos and the baby chaos but it's all compounded by a new soccer injury. Someone (who shall remain nameless for fear of embarassing the father of my child) sprained his ankle this weekend. Crutches were not a part of the plan this week but we'll get by. I just have to keep telling myself that we have reinforcements arriving on Sunday!


While I was writing this we found out that our financing came through on the new church building! Hopefully the contract will be finalized soon and then I can tell you all about it. Trust me--the wait will have been worth it!
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