Unsent Letter from Long Ago

 Sometime last week Byron found this printed letter in a stash of old papers.  I can't help but wonder if I ever mailed it?  It's hard to say, but I'm almost certain my mother will remember!  It must have been meant to send to several friends as it has no Dear so-and-so listed.  It has some interesting insights into my early days on the mission field. I found a few photos of the time frame and added them to the bottom of this post.

Sometime around 1997 in Fortaleza, Brazil...

You'll just have to forgive me.  I haven't written anyone for months and months.  First one thing and then another kept me from having the time.  And then I simply felt that I had little to nothing that was good to write.  All my potential letters were full of all the sad, bad, and ugly things in life or were complete and utter lies.  So I would write a few and never send them and then I just stopped trying.  I think my state was certainly one of real depression based in many things.  But I thank God for His sustaining power.  And Byron for sticking it out.

One important thing that has helped my "recovery" was our fourth move in four years.  At the beginning of June, we moved to the neighborhood where our congregation is.  And I discovered people knocking at my door wanting to clean my house, wanting to know if I needed help since William had pneumonia, just wanting to check and see how I was being in my eighth month of pregnancy.  I found myself needed and wanted and maybe even appreciated. Byron pitched in like he has never before to make yet another rental house feel more like a home.  And I think God knew what I needed.  I'm finally beginning to feel like the missionary I felt called to be.

Things are certainly different in our new neighborhood.  The first two years we lived in the ritziest and wealthiest section of Fortaleza.  Last year we lived in a nice area with large houses behind big, tall walls.  Now we are in a very poor area where we actually had a hard time finding a house with ceilings and nice floors and places to park cars.  But don't worry we did find a nice, reasonably priced house.  we had just about given up when we happened on this house on May 30th, the day of graduation at Fortaleza Academy and the day of our tenth wedding anniversary.  We can see in so many ways how God has lead us here and we are looking forward to putting in a good year before we go on our first furlough in June of 1998.

Even though I'm in my last month of pregnancy, I'm able to continue helping with many of our outreaches since we live right here nearby now.  Hopefully next week a girl from the church is going to be able to start helping with some of the housework and watching William the Wildchild some.  The new baby arrives shortly.  He slotted for an August delivery, but I've felt so much pressure because of his big size and position that the doctor has asked me to take it easy and even prescribed some medication in hopes of delaying a premature birth.  We aren't real set on the name.  William's was so easy because we had so much time to considered it and we agreed early on.  This time has been much quicker, and agreement has yet to be reached.  But we'll see.

William is 18 months now and learning to speak in several languages:  English, Portuguese and Williamese.  He's a crowd pleaser.  Right now he's become very demanding having just gotten over pneumonia and being babied for a few weeks added to his increasing awareness of self.  He can count to three in Portuguese, but for some reason he frequently leaves out "1." Important things like "give me" and "I want" and "NO" he declares with great gusto in Portuguese.

Pray for us and our year here before furlough.  We hope to have a building for the congregation completed soon, paperwork has been incredible.  And more than a building we hope to have an infrastructure of dedicated people built up in the Word of God.  Thanks for your friendship and prayers and don't give up on me.  Once again please forgive me.  We look forward to the summer of 1998 and seeing all of our friends again.  Won't things be different.


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