A Different Kind of Christmas

For Christmas this year Byron and I traveled to the far south of Brazil with some friends.  We enjoyed learning more about the culture of the state of Rio Grande do Sul with its German and Italian roots.  We saw beautiful churches and more waterfalls than I can count.  We got to see several Christmas programs and ate more good food than I even need to track.  All in all we had a wonderful time and are in great debt to our good friends and hosts.  Here are few of my favorite photos from our travels...

A Precious Christmas Smile

This little girl was sitting beside me when gifts where passed out at a little one room school house in one of the interiors where we've been reaching out these days.  Youth from the local church did a Christmas presentation with songs and puppets, games and cake, and presents!  Dolls for the girls and soccer balls for the boys.
When blondie here got hers, she said, Awww!  Then her little sister who was sitting on my lap, said the same thing!

Prayers for the boys and girls who live in the little interior villas near Fazenda Santana, 
Juazeiro, Bahia.

When It Seems God's Answer is No

Do you know that one request always on your mind? That request you make in every prayer service in the church?  The one who seems to never have a firm and positive response? That one it seems God doesn't seem to hear?

Hear my prayer, O Lord,
And let my cry come to You.
Psalm 102: 1
I have a request like that. For a long time I pray for a boy who is very dear to us. I pray that he will have a stable home full of love. I pray that he will have wise adults in his life teaching him to live well. I pray that he may have those who teach him well about spiritual concepts.
Hear my prayer, O God;
Give ear to the words of my mouth.
Psalm 54: 2

I think I started praying for this boy while he was still in his mother's belly.I remember when I met her in the shade of a peacock-eye tree with it's little red seeds that my boys loved to collect in jars.She probably does not even remember ...

When he was three years old, he came to spend time every day in my house. I knew that my time was limited, a…

Proud of My Birthday Boy

Today my oldest turns 23! Whew!  It's been an incredible year for him and I was so pleased to spend a good part of it nearby. We got to be in the USA for Christmas last year and for William's wedding to the lovely Kerri Potter.

Our whole furlough was full of many happy reminders of how proud we are of each of our sons.  This photo from the wedding is just one of many that make me smile from 2018.

William, I am especially very proud of you individually.  You made it through homeschooling with your missionary mama as your teacher at home and Sunday School teacher at church. You became a missionary at an early age and made it official at the age of 18 when you filled in for your parents on the field, all on your own, for six months.  And you didwell!  
You figured out life in the States with flair and with little help from mama and papa.  You've proven yourself worthy over and over.  Keep up the good work, buddy!
Be diligent to present yourself  approved to God,  a worker who does n…

Finding Hope Again

Just a few years ago horrible sadness lead me down farther and farther into the dark tunnel of overwhelming grief.  My thoughts were only of all the bad around me, all the bad that had happened to me and all the bad that would undoubtedly occur soon enough.  

What brought me back from the rim of that deep abyss?  Gratitude for the small things of each day and the prayers of many faithful friends!  

Recalling the Blessings of God in the past brought Asaph back  from the grief of the present and forward to the reality of hope for the future.  In Psalm 77 we can see the progression from woe to hope as the author reconsidered how great was his God.

Grief is based on mixed up feelings =  abstract and untrue.  Basically it's based on ME and my interpretations of circumstances.
Hope is based on the facts of who God is = concrete and truthful.  Hope is based on a reliable GOD.

Somehow in the midst of our problems we stop looking to God and what is good and get rolled around in the muck of all …

Interior Evangelim and Dirt Roads

Brazil Road Trip: Interior Evangelism: Imagine you want to take a survey of the counties nearest to where you live.  You're looking to see what churches have works in which city...

Click on the blue link to read more about our most recent trip interior.

Import-Export Business

I had a silly thought while talking to my dog the other day to import all my story posts from my Missionary Mama Stories blog to have everything in one spot.  Then my plan was to delete the other blog.  I had a whole list of good reasons...  I don't post there every week as I had been. Chase and Mariyah are too little to read.  My three nephews are big and most likely past the read a story from auntie missionary stage.

Alas, I followed all the steps and bingo!  All my posts from one blog went to the other.  And apparently the few who follow my blog by email received a hundred email alerts in the process!  Please, forgive me for spamming your inbox!  It with totally unintentional!  I only realized that's what was happening when my mother starting commenting on old posts and then...

Poof!  All those imported/exported story posts were gone!  I'm imagining Blogger decided it was a spam game on the part of some Brazilian mafia unit.  Needless to say I was not a happy camper, but …