It is Sunday morning, the Bailey family, Tiffany, and I just finished listening to a sermon on humility. Earlier, we went to the Hippie fair, which was very fun until it started to rain very hard, and we had to leave.
Yesterday morning, Grace and I went to the mall to look around.
That night we went to Margaret's dance, she danced beautifully and it was a lot of fun.
We had planned to spend time with her friend, Audrey, but Audrey called to tell us that she had not passed a test she had taken and so she wanted to stay home.
There is so much pressure put on the people here when they take tests to get into college or to get better jobs. People seemed to be valued based solely on their academics, talents, and skills. To make it worse, the tests they take are extremely difficult and require months of studying the required material. If you do not pass, you may not be able to make it into college. And if you do pass but can't afford that particular college, you still can't go. And if you test on a major you decide you don't want to take, you may be stuck with that major.
For the last test she took, Audrey signed up late, and she found out later that the major that she was put with was only for the Indian-Brazilians. Somehow, she passed the test. She was excited because it is illegal for missionaries to preach to the Indian Brazilians, so she thought that God was giving her this opportunity so that she could reach these Indians. Once she was in, the Indians were angry that she had passed and very cold towards here. (The Indians have a lot of prejudice towards the other Brazilians because of the way they were mistreated in the past) Eventually, Audrey found out that she was not going to be able to stay in that major because those in it were supposed to go home to their own tribes after a few months to do self-studies, and of course, Audrey doesn't have a tribe. So at that time she was already struggling with what God's plan for her really was, and why things were not working out the way she thought they would. NOW, since she did not pass yet another test, it has been even harder for her. Grace and Angel talked on the phone about how to encourage Audrey, and Angel decided to hold a Bible study that afternoon. So yesterday, Angel, Grace, Audrey, and I went to Angel's house.
Angel had the Portuguese translated book Lies Women Believe. The section she chose to study was about circumstances, and how we believe that if we were in different circumstances, then we would be happier, or more successful, etc. We discussed the truth- that circumstances do not make us who we are, but reveal who we are so that God can perfect us and make us more like him. Audrey seemed very encouraged by the study and she sees how she is letting the circumstances affect her. Even seeing the truth, she admitted that it is hard to remember it when things get rough. Please pray for Audrey, pray that she will continue to follow God's will for her, even when she cannot see where she is going, or when the path seems to be broken. She is also struggling with feeling like she is not smart enough or good enough since she did not pass the test, so pray that God will show her His love for her, even when she doesn't feel loved or accepted by the people around her. Also pray that God will help her to have love and not anger, especially towards one boy who was very mean and discouraging to her when she failed.
On a lighter note- Audrey is a very fun and cheerful girl, she is just seeking what God wants to do with her life right now. For the Bible study, Audrey managed to bring a whole bucket of
grapes from her father's vineyard which she claims she carried in her purse. We ate so many grapes we felt sick, and yet they seemed never ending. Here are some pictures of us after the Bible study.