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!