Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Special Prayer Request

I know that many of you who keep up with this blog are great prayer warriors for me, my ministry in Natal, and the church here. I decided to take advantage of that and give you something specific to pray for!

We are entering into LST season here in Natal. The first team arrives on May 24th and has six members, two of whom just so happen to be my parents. Their project will last three weeks, and after their project ends, we will receive three more teams between June and July.

My prayer request is that you will pray specifically for readers to respond to our advertising and come study in the LST program with these teams. We are beginning our advertising this week, and are hoping to distribute 1000 fliers between now and the end of May. With six workers on the first team, and a limit of 15 readers per worker, we have the capacity to accommodate a whopping NINETY readers in the first project alone. Please pray that God has prepared/is preparing/will prepare these people to take interest in free English conversation classes and come find out what LST is about. This means our first team could potentially be studying the Bible with 90 people a month from now....can you imagine?

So please pray. This is a very active and essential way for you to be personally involved in our work. God has shown me very, very clearly over the last 2.5 years that He LISTENS to your prayers and has no reservations about showering blessings upon our ministry. I have faith that this year will be no different!

Thank you! Happy praying!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Beach Day Fun

Yesterday was a national holiday, so rather than do what we usually do on middle-of-the-week holidays (sleep in, stay home, etc) we planned a church-wide picnic. Enjoy a glimpse into our midweek escape to the beach!

About 25 of us gathered here... about 10 in the morning. Does anyone want to play "where's the American"?
(Hint: I'm the glowing one down front.)

We made sure to apply sunscreen throughout the day... that we could play a little futebol...

....and a little volleyball....

...and even some father-son paddle ball!

We made sure to take a few naps... rest up for great fellowship and conversation.

Then we ate. We do that well.

We stayed until 4 in the afternoon, just as rain clouds rolled in. It was a wonderful day, and we are already looking forward to the next peeky-neeky!


P.S. We also tried to make 5-month old babies crawl...

Because they're cute!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Easy Peach Cobbler

I'm reluctant to write this post because it's so trendy to put recipes on blogs, and I am no Pioneer Woman. However, I feel like I am justified in doing this because I don't cook. Well, I do cook, but I can't cook. Well, obviously I can cook, but I am most definitely not gifted at it. Nor do I particularly enjoy it, although that is changing. And so here is my justification for this blog: this recipe is one of the easiest, if not the easiest, things I make, and it's delicious and a huge hit. People here always, always ask me to make this dessert for showers or events at church. Just this week I hosted our team meeting at my house on Wednesday morning, and when I woke up an hour before everyone arrived, I realized I only had water to serve. I whipped this baby up in exactly 6 minutes and popped it in the oven. So, when I realized I had timed myself to see just how fast it was, I decided it was blog-worthy. I owe a big thanks to my Aunt Nell for sharing this recipe. It's definitely a hit in Natal!

(Easy) Peach Cobbler

Mix in 9 x 13 pan:
1 stick melted butter
3/4 C flour
3/4 C sugar
1/2 t salt
2 t baking powder
3/4 C milk

Pour one big can sliced peaches over mix. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until brown.

You can also cut the recipe in half, use a 16 oz can of peaches, and put it in a 9x9 pan.

My mom suggests cutting the sugar back to 1/2 cup because the peach syrup makes it too sweet, but I think that's a really sad idea. If you're averse to sweet things, though, that might be a good suggestion for you. I never do that, but sometimes I keep out some of the syrup.

It's really hard to mess this up, and that might be the #1 reason I make it all the time.

I bet this will be the only time you will ever see a recipe on this blog, so I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Church Without a Name

Over the past 5 months I've participated in a lot of phone conversations on the church's phone line that went a bit like this:

Me: Comunidade de Cristo, may I help you?
Caller: Yeah, I'm calling about ______ that I heard about from _______. Where are you located?
(Note: The _____ can represent English classes, church events, worship services, a delivery, etc.)
Me: On the corner of X Avenue and Y Street, in between B Boulevard and C Avenue.
Caller: Ok, and what's the name of your church?
Me: Comunidade de Cristo....
Caller: Ok, well, thanks...
Me: But wait. Our name is not on the front of the building....
Caller: What do you mean?
Me: Well, you see, we've been remodeling our church building and...well...the name hasn't gone up yet.
Caller: do I know where it is?
Me: Well, it's next door to the aluminum store. It's a big white building with a green front.
Caller: Ok, green front.
Me: But don't come in through the front, come in through the side. The front is the auditorium, and during the week there is no one at that door. Come to the side gate.
Caller: Ok, is there a sign over the side gate?
Me: No.
Caller: Ok, well hopefully I'll find it anyway.
Me: Me too. (Hang up with my head hung in shame.)

For months we've been called "The Church Without a Name".

For weeks our members have been asking (read: bugging) us about how weird it is that our church doesn't have a name--and they don't even spend the day answering phone calls like I do! And we reply like this: "Well, we'd be happy to accept your donation for R$X to cover the cost of the letters. We'll have them up by Tuesday." You see, these things cost money, people!

Of course our church has a name. And anyone who knows the 10-year history of this church in this neighborhood knows we have a name, and that name is "Comunidade de Cristo".

But what about those who don't know our history? What about the newcomers, the parents of a teenage girl who came to pick up their daughter who was visiting a Bible study on a Saturday and started getting worried when they could not find this mysterious church, not to mention their daughter who was supposed to be inside?

Have I dramatized it enough for you???????????????

Well, my dear readers, you know me. And you know I am no bad news bear. So this post will likely end with some exciting news. I present to you:

The Building Formerly Known as the Church Without a Name

Igreja Comunidade de Cristo

And just a little reminder as to why this is all so exciting and blog-worthy (to me, anyway...)
You may call this BEFORE. I call this YIKES.

Special thanks to a handful of generous contributors who helped make the naming process possible. The money came from a few individual church members, as well as brothers and sisters from other congregations in Brazil who stayed in our building while on vacation and left behind some cash to help us out. Hooray!

Coming soon...

It's been a month since my last post, and that depresses me. Sometimes I go a month without posting because there's not much to blog about, but that's not the case this time around. There's been lots going on, including my getting my very first foreign stamp in my Brazilian passport on a quick little journey to Paraguay a couple of weeks ago. As well as some freaky little Paraguayan bug that bit me on my toe and prevented me from walking correctly for about a week. And the completion of an exciting new phase in the church building's remodeling process.

See? Lots been goin' on. I'll be back later this week to share (I hope). Just going to acquire some photographic evidence so that those of you who prefer looking at pictures to reading narratives can stay updated, too. :)