Sunday, June 29, 2008

Campaign season continues! This week we welcomed a group from Auburn University who will be here for six weeks. They'll be teaching English using the Bible, an outreach that has been very successful for our church. Two of the girls were part of last year's campaign so it's great to get to see them again. They had a bit of a rough start because we had very heavy rain the night of their registration meetings but their schedules are slowly but surely filling up. Our new church building is full of life--it seems like everywhere you turn there are people! We're thankful to have the "kids" here and pray that God will touch the hearts of their readers.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Fresh Start

First, let me get this out of the way...

...Sorry. I'm just so in love with Jackson. He is so full of joy and is a constant blessing. This week was a little rough for us, as he was sick on Monday and Tuesday and then I got sick Thursday and Friday. Thankfully there was a capable crew working up at the building and we got up there whenever we could. We got as much as we could done before our first worship service in the new place. We're far from done but I thought you might like to take a look:


became this:

And this:

now looks like this:

It's amazing what a lot of bleach and a few coats of paint can do! Like I said, there is much left to be done. We'll start making improvements on the rest of the building as time and money allow. If you're interesting in chipping in a bit to buy a gallon of paint or something, let me know!

Last night, I got to thinking about the fact that we would be having church in a new place and I got a little sad. It just didn't seem like it could possibly seem right. But somehow today it seemed really natural and it felt great.

On Tuesday the Highland crew takes off and the Auburn crew arrives. It just doesn't stop!

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Little Portuguese Lesson

Tomorrow is our next workday up at the building. (That's not to say there hasn't been almost daily work up there--tomorrow is just the next big church-wide workday.) I'd been hearing the guys throw around a Portuguese word in relation to our work up at the building: mutirão (moo-chee-ROWN). Based on context, I was able to get a general idea that it was something like a workday. I often figure out definitions of words as I go and rarely stop to look them up.

A couple of days ago I needed to actually look up the word and was pleasantly surprised to discover I wasn't entirely right. Mutirão: help that members of a community give each other.

Isn't that wonderfully descriptive? What a great word!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Welcome, Heather!


Last night we had a party celebrating Heather's arrival. The team women decided it would be a fun excuse to make all our American desserts so we had brownies, dump cake, Rice Crispie treats and several other things, including these bars, which are as good as they sound! It was fun to introduce our Brazilian friends to our favorites (and watch their faces as they try them!) but the best part was getting to eat them ourselves. Several of us were definitely experience a sugar-overload by the end.

Treats aside, we're so excited to have Heather here. She reads this blog, so I won't gush, but I do want to say that she is going to be a real blessing to our team and we're thankful that she made the sacrifice to come join us.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 09, 2008

Yesterday was an exciting sneak peek at the new building. We started our worship service in the old location and had songs, our children's time and a short sermon. Then we loaded everyone up and headed to the new place for the Lord's Supper, more singing and some special time in prayer about the move. As soon as we started the first song, Alicia and I looked at each other and grinned--the acoustics are incredible.

We only have one Sunday left in the old building. It's a very odd experience for me. I've never been a part of a church move before. My home congregation in Winnipeg was in the same building my whole life. (Or at least they were up until last month! But that story could take a dozen blog posts to tell...) We're leaving behind a lot of memories in the old place--so many "firsts", like the first wedding and the first baptism; so many new experiences for our team; sitting before worship and wondering if anyone was going to show up; all our language gaffs (not that there won't be many more in the new place!); all the different people who walked in the door. It was where our team first got to see our dream of a church realized.

But I know the new building will hold all kinds of new memories. The story in this building starts with a church family already in existence. In fact the more I think of it, I've got this story thing backward. It's not the story of this building or that location. It's the story of the church family. When my family moved to a new house, we didn't consider that our family was starting a new story, just a new chapter.

Goodness, I can't stop rambling today! I'll blame it on a rather long weekend. I'll stop talking and leave you with this picture of the gang in the new place. The work is obviously still in progress but you can already see the transformation that is taking place.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


note: I started this post a week ago and am going to try to finish it now. But I'm racing the clock, or rather, the baby--will he wake up before I finish?


JT is interacting more and more with his world. As you can see, his eyes are like saucers as he studies everything around him. He's very patient as we haul him around town on all kinds of adventures--to the annual city-wide worship, to the hardware store, to the market--and he's happy as long as he gets to see what's going on.

We had a great time with Russell's parents but it was much too short, as such visits always are. I'm happy to say that though Jackson was spoiled for two weeks straight, the damage doesn't seem irreparable and he's adjusting back to our quieter life.

I don't know how quiet life is going to be for the next couple of months, though. Our first Sunday in the new building will be June 22 so everyone is working feverishly to make it happen. Before then we have a campaign from Highland Church of Christ in Abilene coming for just over a week and the arrival of our intern, Heather. But wait--there's more! Right after we move in, a campaign from Auburn will arrive to spend six weeks teaching English, like last year.

The sign was moved from the old building to the new one yesterday and we drove by last night to have a look. It was kind of surreal but, at the same time, it looked "right" there.

An interesting thing about our new location (as if there wasn't already a million interesting things about it): Our old place was a former church and was located on Rua Espírito Santo (Holy Spirit Street). The new one is a former strip club and is on Rua Iemanjá, named after the goddess of the sea. A name is just a name and a questionable past can be overcome but it makes me wonder what adventures this location will hold for us!
Posted by Picasa