Saturday, December 5, 2009

Angel and açai

Angel, Margaret, Grace, and I went walking and running in the city. Angel is a lot of fun, she is full of energy and always has something to say. When we were tired, and it started to rain harder, we met up with Tiffany to eat açai, a flavorful slushy-icecream made from the berry-fruit, açai. You can eat it with banana chunks, oatmeal, or, like mine, strawberry sauce. Angel told me about the test she is going to take on Sunday for her new job. (she is a PE teacher) They have a system here where you take huge, very difficult tests to get into the college you want, and then another big test if you want to work for the government instead of private schools. (apparently, the government jobs are better here)

I asked Angel to share her testimony with me - she grew up in a spiritist family, who believe that your soul is 'perfected' in a second reincarnated life. The spiritists are very common in Brazil. Angel built a relationship with the Campus Outreach staff in her college when she was a freshmen, and she went to
many CO events and parties while continuing to go to secular, drinking parties. Searching for a meaning in life, she finally went on a retreat which was about what it meant to have God first in your life. It was there, as she was listening to a Brazilian praise song, that she asked Jesus to be her savior, and now she is helping others build their relationships with God by leading a Bible study for several of the high schoolers here.

After the açai snack, we went to Angel's apartment, where I met her mother, sister, and brother in law. Angel and I played guitar, and then we all did karaoke! It was so much fun.

I really do love this country, and I hope that I will have more opportunities to come here.


I've been able to see a lot of the city today and yesterday. Thursday, we were supposed to meet with Grace's friend, Audrey, but she had to cancel because she had to help her mom out. Today we will spend time with her other friend, Angel, at seven o'clock; we plan to go on a walk to talk. Yesterday, Grace and Mrs. Bailey took me to see the market, it was very interesting. They have a multitude of animals of every shape and size, I even saw a few peacocks for sale! Unfortunately, they do not like it when you take pictures in there, I suppose because some sales like that are probably illegal. I have really enjoyed a drink called Guarana, which is kind of like ginger ale, but much better.
I have loved having our mornings free, it has given me lots of time
to spend with God, without the pressure for time I feel sometimes in my school life. I have also been able to talk to Grace a lot, and have been encouraged by her stories and advise. Since she is a missionary kid, and a year ahead of me in school, she has gone through a lot of what I am going through in my life right now, and so I have really enjoyed talking to her about it.
This morning, I got to see the flower fair, which is as beautiful as it sounds. There were so many colorful flowers, and a lot of fun jewelry, dresses, and decorations as well. There is a lot of graffiti here, some of it is just words, but some of it is very interesting. Apparently, if there is a law against it, it is not really enforced. I hope to get a better picture later, but this is all I have of it for now.
I met a girl on staff here after we went to the flower fair. She wants to get with Grace and I, so we planned for that. I am very excited to spend time with her and today with Angel!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The campus ministry meeting was great. Although my Portuguese is coming along well, thankfully, Grace translated the sermon for me. ;) I finally met a lot of Brazilians! I talked to two girls there, Claudia and Priscila, and a guy named Alan (accept pronounced differently - I never say it right!) who had a lot of questions about the difference between Thai and Brazilian culture. It is so exciting to finally be talking to Brazilians! Their culture is very different, especially from the more reserved Thai culture. It was interesting to watch Alan (he was the one who talked today) share the gospel with one of
the girls. He talked about Evolution verses
Creationism, and at the end the girl pointed out that if people are sinful, it would
seem as if we wouldn't be able to have a relationship with a perfect God. And so he was able to explain the gospel to her, and how Jesus makes that possible.
I am so tired right now, but I can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store for me! The Brazilian people are so friendly and fun, I have loved every minute spent here so far!

Singing in the Rain

Grace showed me around the city after lunch today. I love it here, it is gorgeous and very hilly and green. As we were walking home, it started pouring down rain, so we enjoyed a very slushy and wet walk. At her apartment, we have been preparing for the Sunday school lesson and resting. Here are the Portuguese words I have learned so far:
Oi - Hello
Tchau - Good bye
Tudo bom?/ Beleza? - what's up?
Bom dia - good morning
Bom dia flor do dia - good morning flower of the morning :)
Boa noite - good evening
Desculpa - sorry!
Por favor - please
Obrigado - thank you
Não falo Portuguese - I can't speak Portuguese!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I'm HERE!!!

Late last night I walked into the Brazilian airport where Grace and her Dad were waiting for me! We took the 45 minute flight to their city, Belo Horizonte, or Beautiful Horizon. As soon as I walked into their apartment I took a much-needed shower, washing off the memories of a long and tiresome flight. Then, I was able to sleep on a REAL bed in a REAL bedroom, with no one cuddling on either side of me and without waking up every five minutes to try and re situate myself in a small, inconvenient airplane seat. I have spent this morning resting and getting over jet lag. I was able to call my family on skype and have been hanging out with the Bailey family.
Tonight I will go with Grace to a campus ministry meeting, where they have someone teach and then everyone splits up in discussion groups to talk about a certain question given to them. I'm excited to meet and get to know the people here in Brazil!
Please pray that I will be open to however God wants to use me here! I am so excited that this trip has finally begun, and I can't wait to see what God has to teach me along the way!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane...

I am in one of the LARGEST airports in the world. Just twelve hours ago, my family took me to the Khon Kaen airport to see me off. My ears are still ringing with the endless advice that my sweet mother provided. :) ... Don't talk to strangers or cute guys, etc. It wasn't until I walked though the check in and found myself alone at my gate that it really hit me that I wouldn't see any of them for sixteen days! I will miss them!
My flight to Bankok was anything but comfortable. The man behind me had apparently gotten up on the wrong side of the bed; he shoved my seat upright when I attempted to lean back and rest. Thankfully I only had to suffer such stiffness on my shortest trip.
P'Daa met me at the Bangkok airport with my passport which contained my Brazilian visa. She helped me find my gate, and I joined a long and assorted line of foreigners to approve my foreign-passport as I exited Thailand.
More comfortable and enjoyable, the plane to Dubai (Emirates Air) had a touchscreen TV and excellent service. As the plane landed, the person beside me pointed out one of the tallest buildings in the world.
Now I am resting at the huge, prosperous Dubai airport. I have a six hour wait before my next flight. Thanks to Marc Lewis's earphones, I am able to skype my parents. The book John Mark wrote, Legions Legacy, has given me something fun to do while I wait for the plane.
Well, I am halfway there! The next flight will take me to Sao Paulo, Brazil!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas tree and one more day!

Today is my last full day in Thailand before the trip, so I hugged all my friends a final goodbye. Our church is excited about the Australian CCP's arrival for their two-month visit in Thailand. I was able to meet them before saying goodbye to one and all.
Since I am going to be gone for the next sixteen days, we decided to go ahead and get ready for Christmas today! At church, we took our family Christmas picture.
Tonight, My family and I set up our Christmas tree! It is beautiful, even if my Dad and I may have only produced some erratic bunches of lights, and even if our ornaments are a confusing mix of pretty angels and home-made snowmen. We cannot get real Christmas trees here in Thailand, so this is the same old plastic tree we've had for as long as I can remember. I love that tree.
I finished packing today, all that is left to do is my last day of school tomorrow and to finish a slide show that my Dad and I are making for their church, with the help of Mr. Brian's pictures.
I still have a sore throat, but I have been feeling a lot better. Thank you for your prayers!
Tomorrow is the day; the journey begins.