Saturday, January 31, 2009

Iguassu Falls

We're in a different world here. 

 As we sat in the Rio airport waiting on our flight to Iguassu Falls we remembered.  The sights and sounds are different here.  The smell is different, not bad, just different.  Things are more sparse, not a bunch of stuff cluttering their lives.  The food choices looked nothing like a burger and fries and there were no Starbucks on every concourse of the airport.  Actually we didn't see a single Starbucks.  The money is strange looking and it's whole new dimension to figuring out how much things are costing or whether or not you have the right change.  The people are friendly and notice you. They will greet a total stranger and act like they want to be your best friend.  The sounds are different as you hear people conversing in another language.  It's exciting and a little bit intimidating.  And we're looking at it all a little bit differently as we think of this (Brazil) going to be our new home.

Flying into Iguassu was beautiful.  Trees, lots and lots of trees.  Quite different from the land of "Rio" where everything is concrete, blacktop and beaches.  The trees were a welcome sight! 
The Roger family have been wonderful to take us into their lives and let us see what living would be like if we should choose "the Falls" to be our home.  It's a wonderful place, but life is not easy here.  It's not all about taking it easy in the tropical heat.  There are things to be done and EVERYTHING takes longer than in the states.  What they consider conveniences are hard work to us spoiled Americans.  People here, like all Brazilians, are friendly and immediately make you their friend.  The Rogers are continually welcoming guests and pulling out things to eat.  So much for taking off a few pounds while we're here!  

We were able to go to Argentina last night for dinner.  We left at 9:00 and were still eating ice cream at 11:00!  Great food.   Again, different sights and sounds.  Another country to add to our list of where we have been!  (is that cheating by just crossing the border?!)

We are realizing that this change in life will be even more of a journey than what we had imagined but we are excited.  I think.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sing Along......

"I'm leaving on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again. Ohhhhh babe, I hate ....."

No wait a minute! I don't hate to go. I am so excited I can hardly stand it! That's right. Surprise, surprise, we are going to Brazil for 3 (count them 1,2,3) weeks!

Be still heart.

We're looking forward to seeing:

Tim, TaLisa and Kids- Iguacu Falls
John, Flavia and Daniel-Curitiba
Claudio, Jess and Zeph-Florinopolis
Alex, Lilian and Lydia-Rio

All you prayer supporters, now is the time!
1. Travel mercies
2. Health
3. That our hearts would be taken by this country and have a strong desire to go back :)
4. That God would show us where our home base is to be
5. That we would begin with this trip to be a blessing to those we are called to serve.

We truly covet your prayers. We feel very inadequate and in need of God's leading. We also have a great desire to be used by Him on this trip.
And to all of you in Calvary Corvallis we are praying for you during the week of fasting.

We have a great God.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

27 Years

January 26,2008

Happy Birthday, Jodi!!!!

From the time Josh was a little boy, we prayed for you. And, once again, we are in awe of God's answer.

We love you.

You are a daughter to us and we are overjoyed to have you as part of this crazy family!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

One Year Old

Happy Birthday, Noah!!!!

You have captured our hearts.

Grandma & Grandpa

note: We don't know Noah's actual birth day. His was given a date in December by the Ethiopia police. The doctor that examined him, however, felt he was born the end of January sometime. His legal birthday is in Dec. but Josh and Jodi felt he was just to "young" to be a year old so they decided to wait (this year only) to celebrate his first birthday.
Isn't he adorable?


This is our Noah.

We prayed for him before he was even born - not even knowing he was to be ours. And now our lives would have a huge empty spot without him.

He IS our grandson.

We knew that Josh and Jodi wanted to add to their family by adoption and it did not come as a surprise to us that they would go to Africa to find the child that God would have for them. As a family we began to pray for this, still unknown to us, child. It was a year and a half journey and in the mean time another boy was added to the family. Josh and Jodi didn't waiver. They wanted this child that they had been praying about and with three boys already they were still leaving it up to the Lord to choose for them.
And then the picture arrived. Sweet little Noah. Another boy. We really couldn't have cared less. We were taken by him already. We would wait for a new picture each month to see this still unknown, but very much loved, child. And then at last the day we never thought would arrive came. Josh, Jodi and little Ollie boarded the plane for Africa. Jake and Max, the brave big brothers, came to stay at our house for the two weeks. We talked often about the two babies. Wondering what Noah would be like and praying big brother prayers.

And then he was here.

I believe he captured our hearts immediately. However, I don't think we did the same to his! He was reserved and observant. He was in his own little world for awhile. Max got him to laugh first. We all cheered. He expressed emotion so seldom. At six months of age, what had this little baby already gone through? We will never know. But we do know, even as a baby, he went though a time of mourning once he was here. There was a longer period than what we expected for him to feel as though this was his family rather than just another orphanage with care givers. But he has - made it his family I mean. And he is ours.

We really don't even think about the color of his skin other than the fact that

he is so beautiful!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

PLEASE be my Friend

I are not too old. I are not too old. I are not too old.....

I thought maybe if I repeated it enough I would begin to believe it. And I am.

I, Sheri Yoder, have set up my own facebook page, I am learning how to operate a Mac instead of a PC ( today in the mail I received an instruction book from my favorite son-in-law!) I have an ipod and actually HAVE used it (okay, I've had it since July and just now have figured it out enough to use) and Warren and I GPS ed our way to California and back!

If you are beginning to think you are too old to learn such things, be encouraged. I find if I can do it anyone can!

Today it was the oddest thing, I actually found myself telling someone how to scan pictures and such. I even used the word "browser"! I was amazed to have found someone that actually knew less then me. Oh the joy!!!!

And the highlight of my day - when I turned on Facebook a little bit ago, what did I see but an invitation
to be my best friend's friend. Deb you did it....I'm so proud.

repeat after me:

WE are not to old. We ARE not to old. We are NOT too old. We are not TOO old....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Different Life

I don't know what "normal" is anymore.

We had a wonderful time with family over the Christmas holidays and from there moved right on to the Mission Conference in California. We met wonderful people there. Some in the same situation we are - getting ready to go - and others that were senders and some that have been on the field for a long time. We heard a lot. (How can I say learned when we haven't had a chance to put it into practice yet?) A sweet, sweet time.

Leaving there we drove to Pacific City where we were able to spend time with Dennis and Virgina (Warren's sister) in their travel trailer at the beach. Now believe me, I had some reservations about 2 couples sharing a travel trailer (even if it was a good size) for 3 nights but we had a wonderful time and left feeling as though our relationship with them had been renewed. Walks on the beach, a boat show, lots of time talking and quiet times reading. I could like retirement. Thank you, guys!

On Monday night we got home. Even though it feels good to be home again things are not the same as every other time we had come home from a vacation.

We are restless.

The business isn't ours. We have a house to put on the market and things to disperse of. We go to church meetings and they talk about a future we won't be part of. We're not retired but we're not unemployed either! Shopping isn't the same because, well you can figure that one out! Everything feels temporary.

We want to savor this time with family and friends and yet at the same time, we want to get on with it.

It's a hard, sweet time. Go figure.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Worth of One

"I don't know why God would have me go to Hungary. I always thought God would have me go to Africa."

Josh had said that to Warren and I only weeks before he was to begin a mission assignment in Budapest, Hungary. I remember the day we took him to the airport. I came home, sat on the couch and stared. This was my first introduction to missions and I was not too impressed!

He hadn't been there long when I received a phone call from him. "mom, I know why I'm in Hungary." He was working in the refugee camps with African people! Amazing!

Right now, Warren and I are at a missions conference in Murrietta, California. Today we were able to meet and share a meal with Argaw and his wife, Rachel. We met them for the first time here but our connection goes back in time. Argaw was one of the young men that Josh had met in one of the camps. When we met them today I hugged Rachel and she said in my ear," I love your son and I haven't even met him. I love him for the difference he made in my husbands life." Argaw had known of the Lord when he arrived in Hungary but he wasn't walking with the Lord. As we ate dinner together he told us how Josh had made a difference in his life. How Josh had discipled him. He had planned to leave Hungary with the rest of the African people that he had arrived with but instead had stayed behind because of Josh's discipleship. He eventually went on to Bible School and then back home to Ethiopia. Right now they are in California working on green card stuff but they are soon returning to Ethiopia with plans to start a church. They continued to speak of their love for Josh and Jodi.

We left them knowing God had used the time with them to not only show us how our son had been used by Him but also to encourage us. I wept later as God quietly spoke to my heart that

it is worth it - for just one.

(sorry if this is poorly written. I am sitting in a LOUD coffee house, trying to think, write and talk. A bad combination for me!)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Week of Memories

I've always known it but it was confirmed over this last week.

I am a proud mother.

We had the joy of having all of our kids home for the holidays and though it wasn't planned we just continued Christmas day after day. No one said it but I think we were all thinking about the fact that we weren't sure when we would all be together again. So we were selfish. We didn't go out into the world much and we didn't bring too many other people into our lives for that week.

We simply enjoyed one another.

There was a lot of laughter, some debate, a few tears and even some disagreements. But it didn't matter because in the end we're family and during this last week that was all that mattered....

It's a joy to see who my children have become and they have shown a lot of courage in giving us their blessing. It means changes for their world too.

I love you much Josh, Jodi, Jason, Kellie and Brett.

And as for those 4 grandsons, well, where do I begin.....!!!!