Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009


The most exciting thing in our lives right now is that last month we found out that I am pregnant! After 11 years of marriage, a miscarriage three years ago, and many closed doors to our attempts to adopt, I really didn't think that we would ever have any children. Imagine my surprise when I took the pregnancy test and it was positive! As excited as I was, it was a reserved excitement. After all, last time things didn't work out. I knew that that was a real possibility again. I've been overly precautious to do nothing strenuous, get plenty of rest, and follow the doctor's orders. Yesterday, I went to the doctor. The examination went well and we heard a heartbeat!!! Praise the Lord!!! (Last time, the first doctor appointment was when we found out that the baby was no longer alice.) I was so relieved! I will have an ultrasound on Thursday. I can't wait! My due date is my birthday, June 3rd. I will be 38!

Catching Up

One of the reasons that it has been so long since I last posted is that things have been extra busy. We were unexpectedly able to go back to the States for a month. What a blessing it was to see friends and family! It was also very refreshing! I really enjoyed the church straining to keep up with Portuguese! While we were in Madison, we were able to attend the Revival meetings with Bro. Freeman. Great!

Now we are back in Brazil and things have changed a little. Bro. Bob Nichols Sr. and his family have returned from furlough. They took care of the work in Corrego Fundo while we were in the States. They will continue to work out there for now. We have begun working with Weber and Nita over in Arcos. We are excited about this opportunity.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Decorating the Church in Corrego Fundo

The building we rented is small. It is one big room with a bathroom in the corner. Those of you that know me, know that decorating is not really my thing. I didn't do a lot. I put some pictures on the wall, made a tablecloth for the table and made curtains to divide the room. The curtains and the pictures also help absorb some of the echo that results from having high ceilings! Here are a few pictures of the improvements.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Summer Favorites

Here's my summer favorites:

1. Swimming - don't get to do it much, but enjoy it when I can
2. Grilling out - nothing tastes better than grilled meat...any kind
3. Blue skies - I just love them!
4. VBS - my favorite event back home
5. Michigan sweet corn - when I get the chance to have some, it's the best in the world!

Who to tag? I don't know! If you read this and haven't already been tagged by someone, consider yourself tagged! (Can I do that?)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Exciting Days

The last couple of days have been very exciting for us. Last month we rented a building and started holding services in Corrego Fundo, a small town just south of Formiga. We had a couple of visitors for the first few services, but nobody coming regularly. Tim has been going out with Bruno to make visits 2-3 times a week. Yesterday, they were able to lead a 78 year old woman to the Lord. This morning they led her 72 year old brother to the Lord. This afternoon they led another man to the Lord. Praise the Lord! Also, this afternoon Lili and I were able to witness to a lady and her teenage daughter. They are very interested, but a little confused. Please pray that God will continue to bless as we try to reach the people of Corrego Fundo.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Our New Puppy, Inka

On Friday we went to pick up our new puppy. Her name is Inka. She is too cute. In typical puppy fashion, she is into everything! She thinks she owns the place already! She is a lot of fun to play with and has quite a personality! She seems pretty smart. She loves her tennis ball. She doesn't like it when we walk away from her, but she doesn't whine very long. She thinks she should be able to go wherever we go. Hopefully, she'll become a great guard dog.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Starting a Church in Corrego Fundo

For almost two years there has been a Friday night Bible Study in Corrego Fundo. The time has come to start a church there. Last month, Tim rented a building. We are holding services on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights. There is only one lady with her two sons that come regularly, but we are hoping that having a building to meet in will encourage others to come. On June 26th, we held an inauguration service (while the group from Capitol City was here) and had a few visitors. The first Sunday night, the owner of a nearby bar came. Last night we had another visitor. Praise the Lord! Bruno is the preacher. He has a lot of great ideas. Tim and I are helping him. We are excited about this work. Please pray that God will bless, that souls will be saved, and people will come to the church. Corrego Fundo is not a large town, but there are plenty of churches preaching a false gospel there.


After (during the inauguration service)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Capitol City Youth Group Pays Us a Visit

On Wednesday, June 24th, a group of 15 arrived for a 10-day visit. Bro. Ben Thompson, his wife, and the six girls stayed with Charlie and Isabel, while the seven guys stayed with us. We had a great time! It was such a blessing to have them here! Of course, we kept them very busy! :)P

Wednesday, they arrived with plenty of time to get ready for the church service in Formiga. Thursday, we took them to see the work in Boticao (Pastor Anderson), passed out tracts in Arcos, and attended the service in Arcos that night. Friday, they visited the police station (courtesy of Bro. Carlinhos), passed out tracts in Corrego Fundo, and attended the service there that night. Saturday, we took them into town for some shopping, had lunch at Dona Naterca's, and had the youth activity that went from 3:30 to around 9:00. (Tired yet?) Sunday, of course, there was church in the morning, lunch for the girls at Dona Simone's and for the guys at my house, and church at night. Monday morning they left for Catatuiba. They returned in time for the service on Wednesday night. Thursday was a fun day, relaxing, playing, and after supper, out for ice cream. Friday, it was time to pack them up and take them to the airport. We hated to say goodbye.

Though it was a busy time, it was also a lot of fun. New friendships were made. Hopefully, it was a trip that burdened their hearts for the lost and the need that exists around the world! There are so many cities in Brazil that have churches that teach a lie, but no one to tell them the truth.

Our door is always open, so come on down!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Valentine's Banquet

In Brazil, Valentine's Day is celebrated in June. (My husband really likes this because his birthday is Feb. 14th. He feel like he gets a real birthday like everyone else - no pink or red stuff, nothing in the shape of a heart, etc.) Last Saturday, we had our banquet. This year's Valentine's Banquet seemed to go really well. We started off with salad and bread, followed by chicken stroganoff, rice, carrots, and broccoli. For dessert, we had chocolate cake with chocolate and strawberry syrup on top and some whipped cream. It was all very yummy! The young ladies did the decorating and the cooking. The young men served the food. Pastor Weber preached a great message. Charlie and Isabel did a little skit for us. It was hilarious! Everyone had a good time.

My Visit to Boticao

On Tuesday, June 9th, I went to Boticao with Dona Vera to visit her son, Anderson, and his family. We had such a good time! Anderson is the pastor of the church in Boticao. He currently has about 30 people that come to the services. You may think this is just a few, but there are less than 100 people that live in the town of Boticao! They are currently building a building to hold services in. Praise the Lord, they have plenty of space to grow. Anderson and Marianne had their first baby in April. Little Alexandre is such a cutie! He smiles easily and often. He is the only grandchild on both sides! He would definitely be spoiled if he lived near either set of grandparents!

While we were there, we went to the nearby town of Aguanil to visit Lucimar. Her husband was killed in a car accident in December. At the time, they had six children and Lucimar was eight months pregnant! The husband left behind a lot of debt. Needless to say, these last six months have been a time of trial, but also of blessing. God has provided marvelously for Lucimar and her children (ages 5 months to 12 years)! The mayor of Aguanil gave Lucimar a house to live in. Churches in the area have sent money, clothes, furniture, and food. It truly has been amazing to see God provide for this family!

Dona Vera with Alexandre


The church in Boticao

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Baptismal Service May 17, 2009

Last Sunday, we had a baptismal service. (Since we don't have a baptistry at the church, we only baptize 2-3 times a year.) There were seven people that needed to be baptized. It was a pleasant sunny day with temperatures in the mid-70s. However, the water was very cold! Praise the Lord, everything went well. It was such a blessing to watch them follow the Lord in believer's baptism!




Joao Paulo




Saturday, May 2, 2009


There's a group of ladies from my home church, Madison Baptist, that get together once a month to play Bunco. I never had the opportunity to play. Last night, it was at Myra Limbaugh's house. I got to play via Skype. Woohoo! It was a lot of fun and very interesting too! We had to do a little adjusting to make it work, but I was able to play. It was so much fun to interact with some folks from home! Thank you ladies for including me!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"One Vision Only"

I just finished reading the biography of Isobel Kuhn, "One Vision Only" by Carolyn Canfield. Isobel was a missionary (approximately 1930-1960) in China for many years and Thailand for a few years after that. Her motto for every aspect of life was "God First". That is exactly how she lived her life. With her husband, John, they accomplished great things for God, sacrificing time with each other and with their children. It was amazing to read about how God used her and met her needs. Unlike many missionary biographies, it does not romanticize the mission field. It tells of the hardships that are sometimes endured by serving God. Likewise, it shows that there is no better way to live than serving God. Neither does it make Isobel appear to be perfect...she wasn't, neither are we. It's encouraging to read about people that serve God in spite of their failings. How God can bless when we humble ourselves before Him, confess our sins, and trust Him to do the work!

Couples Retreat

On Tuesday, we had a couples activity. Originally, it was supposed to be an overnight retreat, but that didn't work out. God knows what is best! Having a day activity instead, worked out so much better, with a lot more participation. We had a lot of fun. We played games, watched "Fireproof", ate some good food, and had a couple of great messages on marriage. One of the games we played was especially fun. Charlie would ask Bible questions. The guy that got it right had to pop a balloon and do whatever the paper inside said - tell what attracted you to your wife, what has made your marriage a success, look into each other's eyes for 30 seconds, give a long kiss, whisper sweet things in her ear, etc. A good time was had by all. Not only was it a blessing, but it was a great opportunity for each couple to do a reset on something in their marriage.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Visiting the Public Schools

Steve has been visiting us from Louisiana for the last week and a half. When he contacted us about visiting, he asked if we could arrange some visits to the local schools so that he could present the Gospel. I talked with my friend Enio (an English teacher) and he made all of the arrangements. On Monday, we visited three schools in town. The Gospel was presented to about 150 students. On Tuesday, we visited another three schools. Two of them were rural schools and the other was in town. Another 150 students heard the Gospel. On Wednesday, we visited two more schools. One in the country and one in town. About 120 students heard the Gospel. Though I cannot say with certainty how many were saved, I can say that they heard a clear presentation of the Gospel and that many showed intetrest. God is so good!

While at the school in Fazenda Velha, we met an assitant to the Secretary of Education in Formiga. She was very interested and impressed with what we were doing. She has asked us to come by the office to discuss visiting other schools in our area. God is opening a door for us. We cannot begin to imagine what will be accomplished as a result! Please pray that God will give us wisdom to know what we are capable of doing and to know His will in this matter!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Seven Blessings

1. An awesome home church and incredible pastor - being away from Madison Baptist Church and Pastor Allison's preaching makes me even more thankful for it! Thankfully, I can get the CD's.

2. A Godly husband - Tim has a lot of insight and wisdom. I love his preaching. He's doing such a great job preaching in Portuguese!

3. Mrs. Allison - the best pastor's wife and friend a person could ever want! I miss her so much! Thankfully, I can (and do) talk to her on a regular basis!

4. Charlie and Isabel Nichols - they help us out with a lot of stuff here.

5. Joao Paulo - he got saved in February. I've never seen someone so excited about being saved! He is an absolute joy to have around!

6. Support - despite the troubles in the US economy, our suppport has stayed stable. God continues to provide all that we need.

7. Church services, especially when I can understand them! I generally catch the topic or theme of the message. It's difficult to keep up throughout the entire message, though.


During the month of March we had a campaign at church. The people were divided into two teams. You earned points by attending (100), bringing your Bible (50), and bringing visitors (400). The campaign ended with a five-day revival (this past Wed.-Sun.). Though my team did not win, we had a great month! There were many visitors that came, two of which got saved! One of my visitors, Valter, also brought visitors. How crazy is that! I don't think I have ever heard of or seen a visitor bring visitors! It was so awesome. When I talked to Valter today, he said that he was bringing more visitors this Wednesday night! All I can say is wow! Please pray that Valter and the other visitors will be saved!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

White Sauce

The recipe for white sauce is:

2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. flour
1 cup of milk
Salt and pepper

Melt butter in a pan on low heat. Add flour. Mix together well. (I use a fork or whisk) Stir in milk, a little at a time while stirring to get rid of lumps. Add salt and pepper. Remove from heat when it starts to thicken.

Now isn't that simple? The white sauce is the base for gravy, creamy sauces, and cream soups. It adds a little flair to vegetables or meat. You can add any seasoning you want. I like to add chicken boullion, onions, and sometimes mushrooms. Experiment and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My First Brazilian Funeral

Yesterday, Dona Ana went to be with the Lord. She was 89 years old. She had been bedridden for a long time. It was a very sad day for our church, because she will be greatly missed. She was a great prayer warrior and a blessing to many. It was a happy day because she no longer suffers and is in the presence of the Lord that she loved so dearly. Though I don't know much about her testimony, I can share a few things. Dona Ana spent the majority of her life as a devout Catholic. She was saved at the age of 77. Without anyone telling her to, she promptly took all of her Catholic icons/idols outside, broke them, and burned them! (Sounds like a story right out of the Old Testament!) She was faithful to church as long as her body allowed. Every month she would learn and recite 10 verses from Proverbs. She prayed for those she knew daily. My only regret is that I didn't get to know her better (language barrier).

Funerals in Brazil are very different from those in America. They do not embalm the bodies. This means that they have to bury them quickly, usually within 24 hours. For example, Dona Ana died around 11:30am. The body was delivered to the church between 2 and 3pm. The service was at 4:30pm and she was taken to the cemetery at 5:30pm. Whew! Talk about being quick! I think it's the only thing in Brazil that happens fast! The casket was a simple wooden box. The cemetery was a little different also. There were holes dug and lined with cinder block. Each hole can hold up to three caskets (stacked). Cement slabs are placed on top of the hole and covered with 3-6 inches of dirt. There is no meal after the funeral. Food is not prepared by others and delivered to the family. A Catholic funeral has a lot more wailing and praying for the soul of the person that died, I've been told.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

First English Class

Today, we taught our first English class at the church. We had 12 students, one of which was not from our church. As others hear about the class, we expect our class to grow tremendously! The class went well. The students seemed to enjoy it. We covered the alphabet/phonics, practiced an introductions dialogue, and taught them a verse and song. Some students have very good pronounciation while others have a heavy accent. We are excited to see how the class goes and what God does with it!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New Adventure

For the last couple of weeks, Tim has been throwing around the possibility of starting English classes as an outreach opportunity. He didn't say much, just a comment here and there. Last night, just before the service, he decided to start on Saturday! Aaaaahhhhh!!!! Wow! We have a lot to do today and tomorrow to prepare. A number of people from church showed interest plus word of mouth. I have no idea how many will show up Saturday morning. I'm sure that we will have to divide the class into different levels. We will be requiring the students to attend a minimum of one church service per week in order to attend the class. The minimum age is 13. The difficult part will be getting started. Most Brazilians under 30 have had an introduction to English - some good, some bad. One lady from church teaches English in the public school. She can read it some, but can't speak it hardly at all! Anyway, pray for us as we prepare to teach. We want to use this time to present the Gospel as well as to teach English. I'll let you know on Saturday how everything went!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Camp vs Carnaval

Every year Brazil celebrates Carnaval (same as Mardi Gras). It is the most wicked time of the year and is celebrated throughout the entire country. The largest celebrations are held in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It's basically a 5-day party where anything goes. The most unimaginable things happen during Carnaval. The Catholic priests even encourage people to be "safe" and pass out condoms.

That being said, the Nichols run a camp during Carnaval each year. It is such a blessing for the people to be able to get away from the city and the events of Carnaval. Other churches also come. This year, we had the biggest turnout ever - about 125! The preaching was good, the food was good, the weather was good, and everyone had a great time!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

About Formiga

I know the map is a little hard to read, sorry! Formiga is located in the state of Minas Gerais. It is southwest of the state capital, Belo Horizonte. Formiga has approximately 80,000 residents. It is a quiet and calm city. It has all of the basic necessities and many modern conveniences. It does not have any American stores or restaurants. The downtown area is located at the base of several hills that surround it. The city is aptly named...formiga means ant. There are all kinds of ants here! You cannot get rid of them! Sugar cane is one of the primary crops in the area. The people are friendly. Most people are Catholic. Those that aren't tend to be charismatic. They are willing to hear the Gospel, but hesitant to receive it.

Trip to Belo Horizonte...What a Treat!

Yesterday we went to Belo Horizonte with Charlie and his family. We needed to get some paperwork for our visas done and Charlie needed to buy some chairs for the services out in Corrego Fundo. It was a fun day and a profitable one as well. We were able to go to TGI Friday's for lunch. Wow! Everything was so good! We also went to a store called Carrefour. It was a lot like Wal-Mart. I found M&Ms, Twix, and my favorite, Snickers! It was like Christmas or winning the jackpot! It was a nice day, full of treats!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Oh! The things we can live without, but sure are nice to have!

I think we, as Americans, take so much for granted! I understand that when you are used to having certain things, you may not even realize how fortunate and blessed you are!

At the beginning of our deputation, someone offered us their camper to live out of. That way we wouldn't have to pay rent. As we moved from our mobile home into the camper, I discovered that there were alot of things I could live without. It was an adjustment, but we were gone a lot too. So, not too bad! After all, it was just temporary.

Now that we are in Brazil, there are a lot of little things that I don't have here. Nothing major really, just some things that, as an American, I was accustomed to having. You know, things like hot water, a bathtub, a dryer, a large selection of cheese, seasonings, and anything else I cared to buy. Now before you get too concerned about the hot water, the showers have an electric water heater on them. As for washing dishes, I just heat up some water on the stove and go. The lack of a dryer is not an issue unless it rains nonstop for more than a week. Hanging clothes on the line works just fine. I'm just glad I don't have to wash them by hand! :) A tub would be nice, but a plastic stool in the shower gives you almost the same affect!

For my husband's birthday, we went away to a place out in the country. They have pretty nice rooms. We of course got one with a jacuzzi. Oh the joys! It was so nice to sit and relax in a tub! Now, if I had one at home, that would not have been such a treat! I'm beginning to think that I'm not going to know how to act when I go back to America!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

25 Things About Me

Ok, I'm going to give this a try. Enjoy!

1. I am the oldest of 6 - 4 girls, 2 boys.
2. I got saved when I was 19 years old in Augsburg, Germany.
3. I have been married for 10 years.
4. I was in the Army for 4 years.
5. I taught at MBA for 5 years plus a lot of substituting.
6. I have a Master's Degree in Education Administration.
7. I love to cook...and eat. :)
8. I like to travel.
9. I grew up in Rockford, Michigan.
10. I like to watch NCIS.
11. Unfortunately, I have a bit of a temper.
12. My favorite time in my marriage was our trip out west.
13. I have the cutest and smartest nieces and nephews!
14. My first pastor was Rick Kelley, now a missionary in Guam.
15. I like to keep things simple.
16. My favorite food is lasagna.
17. My favorite restaurant is Cracker Barrel.
18. I enjoyed our time working with the youth of MBC.
19. I love going to camp.
20. My favorite age group to teach is junior high.
21. I like to play board games.
22. I enjoy listening to music.
23. I like to look for short-cuts, within reason of course!
24. I know how to sew simple things, and would like to someday finish a quilt!
25. Last, but not least, I am privileged to serve God in Brazil.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Walking by Faith

Since I finished reading the biography of C.T. Studd, I have been thinking a lot about the idea of walking by faith. Truly, it has always seemed an insurmountable task that results in frustration
and disappointment. Only those heroes of the faith have successfully attained it. Then it dawned on me. Maybe it isn't such a huge mountain to climb after all. Could it be that it is really simple? Maybe walking by faith is merely taking God at His word and trusting Him every day. You know, living life according to the Bible with God's help. I don't know if this makes sense to anyone else. All of a sudden, walking by faith looks a lot easier to me.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Biography of C.T. Studd

I just finished reading "C.T. Studd: Cricketeer and Pioneer" by Norman Grubb. I first heard of C.T. Studd when I was teachng history at Madison Baptist Academy (MBA). I was interested but way too busy to find out more at the time. The book was really good. C.T. Studd was a man of faith that accomplished great things for God. For those of you that have not read about C.T. Studd, I will not summarize the book or give away the story. Here are some things that were an encouragement or a good reminder for me:

  1. If you want to be a successful Christian, then you have to be completely surrendered and sold out to God. You have to be willing to give anything, go anywhere, and do anything.

  2. You have to live by faith.

  3. You have to walk with God.

While this seems obvious, how many of us can honestly say that we do or will do those things listed above? We all like to think so. Does our walk match our talk or thoughts? I know that I definitely have some areas to work on. Read about C.T. Studd. He was a great missionary and an example to be followed!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 in Review

2008 was an interesting year for us. It was our first year in Brazil. We have been learning Portuguese, and continue to do so. God gave us a great house to rent. My sister, Elizabeth, gave birth to Quinn in January. My dad's mom passed away at the age of 95 at the end of January. Then God provided the money to buy a car. Woohoo! In April, my nephew, Jack (Melissa's) arrived. Our container finally arrived at our house at the end of April. It was so much fun to officially set up house! It was like Christmas, as we rediscovered what we had. We had a couple of visitors from Alabama in May. Tim started preaching short messages in Portuguese in August. We also had the privilege of visiting a couple of public schools and presenting the Gospel during August. We had more visitors at the end of September, when Nita had her baby. We started the adoption process in September. Now we are just waiting for God to give us the child(ren) that He wants us to have. I organized the food for the International Banquet during Mission Conference in November. We visited Leandro's family in Araras in December. We ended the year with Christmas parties and a watch night service. It has been a good year and we have much to be thankful for. Can't wait to see what 2009 brings! Happy New Year! Feliz Novo Ano!