Today is Bahian Independence Day. The state of Bahia celebrates Brazilian Independence later in the year, but it took a few extra months after Brazil's independence for Bahia to be fully free of the Portuguese. Some might say it's because of the Bahian tendency toward procrastination (which, after four years of living here I certainly would be the first to admit that does sound like a valid reason). The truth is that Salvador was the first capital and a major fortress and it was the last Portuguese stronghold. (Feel free to make your own spiritual application at this point--it would make an excellent sermon illustration, I think!)
Bahian Independence Day is flanked by Canada Day and American Independence Day, so our team always celebrates with a Red, White and a Little Bit of Blue Party. (Bahia's colors are also red, white and blue.) It's an excuse, as are all our parties, to make all the food we miss. So yesterday it was banana pudding, coleslaw, potato salad, strawberry pretzel salad, deviled eggs, and so on...
This year we were also blessed to have a number of visitors, bringing the total number up to 27. We've got Dan and Becky still, Matt's parents and Mary's mom are here and Scott, Rachel and Chris Perkins from Abilene made a quick stop here on their way down to the inauguration of the new church building in Itu.
We managed to wrangle all the kids for a picture. This was quite a feat, as it seemed all afternoon there was always someone sleeping, nursing or crying. But we finally had everyone awake and happy-ish and we acted quickly.
Somehow we even got a group shot!
If only life were all parties and fun. We also found out yesterday about an accident that happened in Bolivia. A bus carrying youth from the church in Cochabamba rolled, killing three girls and injuring everyone else. I got to know the women of the team that works with that church a couple of years ago and I can't imagine what they have ahead of them as they deal with the aftermath. The team has set up a blog with more information and ways to help. Please join us in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Bolivia.