Thursday, March 23, 2017

Traveling Song

When William and Dalton were small, we took them to the States for the first time.  On the way coming and going, William sang a different little song for each of the airplanes we rode.  He was so cute.  There we were getting on one plane at midnight with a four year old singing at the top of his lungs and his little toddler brother ringing in on the la, la, la's. I'm getting on a plane to Brazil... la, la, la!  People commented about how cute he was and how much he must love to travel.  Since then he has done he fair share of wandering on mission trips and to places all over Brazil and the USA.

This next week we will take off to parts unknown to us all around Brazil.  We won't have Dalton and William to sing-along as we go which makes us sort of sad.  But we will be making new songs as we go with lots of Greyson's instruments tagging along no doubt.  If you want to keep up with our travels, please check out my travel journal at the link below.  As we go, I'll try to post some pics from time to time.  Upon our return, I'll make more detailed entries about the places we visited along the way.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Patience and Faith

Last week I wrote a little about knowing that I wanted to be a missionary when I was a little girl.  Sometimes it takes a long time before a dream actually can come true.  For me it took quite a few years.  When I was about ready to graduate from high school, I had to decide where to go for college.  I was interested in teaching but knew that I wanted to do this on the foreign mission field, so I chose to go to Piedmont Bible College and start a five year program to be a teacher.

Somewhere in the middle of those five years between 1983 -1987 is when I started dating Uncle Byron and visited Brazil for the first time.

Clube Náutico, Fortaleza, 1986
The trip was a confirmation of what I had dreamed about as a girl.  I was ready to come back to Brazil and start working at the missionary kids' academy, but that was still a ways down the road.

In 1987 Uncle Byron and I got married one year before I was to finish my studies at college.  In the announcement for the newspaper it was stated that the lovely couple would soon be leaving for foreign missions work.

After I graduated from Piedmont in 1998 I started teaching at a small Christian school there in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where we were living.  Uncle Byron had sat out of school for a year to work so I could finish and start teaching and to take some technical classes at a community college.  He went back to Piedmont and we started looking to go to Brazil for a one year short term to fill in for teachers at the missionary academy.  That was 1990 or so. 

Try as we might, we couldn't raise up the funds that we would need to go.  We were a little discouraged.  The pastor of the church where we attended in Winston-Salem called us one afternoon to meet him at the Dunkin Donut Shop near the college.  We talked about our plans and how it didn't look like we would make it for the short term service.  I remember that he encouraged us that God had a plan for our lives and that we needed to remember that sometimes it takes a lot of patience. 

Uncle Byron finished college in May of 1991 and we went to missionary candidate school that very summer.  We started visiting churches and trying to raise up our monthly support commitments right away.  It took three long years of traveling around to visit churches and conferences on most Sunday and lots of Wednesdays before we had enough money that we were allowed to go.

FA Guest House, Aldeota, Fortaleza, 1994
We applied for our Brazilian visas in the Spring of 1994 and waited for three long months before we finally got approval to go.  When we arrived in Fortaleza we had less funding than we should have had to be full-time missionaries.  But there was a terrible need for teachers for that year, so it was decided that we could stay for the year and after that we would have to return to the States and raise more monthly support.

We stayed on the field until 1998 and never once missed a rent payment or had to borrow money for anything.  We didn't have much but we helped a congregation build their church building, had two babies, and bought a car!

Now we have been in Brazil for almost 23 years this year.  We had to wait awhile to get here.  We sometimes lost our patience in all that waiting, but God had a plan for our lives. We both knew that and chose to stick with it.

Whatever it is that God wants for each of you boys, it is important to start dreaming and praying.  You will have to get some training whatever it is.  If it's missions work, you might have to visit lots of churches and raise up funding.  If it's being a doctor, you will spend lots of years in practice before you can actually work alone.  But if God is in it, be patient, have faith, work hard, and don't give up - He will make it happen!

I'm still waiting to hear what it is that you fellows are thinking about being in the future.  Get your Mom to let you each send me a message and tell me what it is!


Aunt Michele

Crazy Experience

And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you,  he shall by no ...