Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Making of a Table

We have been "home" for 2 weeks now and I realized that I still hadn't
put any pictures of the table that Warren built while we were in Brazil.
Alipio (director of the Bible School) and Ashley have been living there since Nov.
They are doing some work on a house, trying to make it their home.
We had asked if there was anything Warren could do for them 
and they came up with the idea of a table.
Their dining room is enormous.
The table had to be large.
and weighs around 500 lbs.
It is made out of recycled lumber from an old building
with minimal tools.

This was delivery day!

 Ashley's face as they were bringing it into the house!

I'm not kidding when I say it weighs about 500 lbs.  
It took 5 guys to carry the top and they had a hard time with it!
The top boards were 1 1/2" thick.

Gently boys, without landing it on any ones foot!

The base in place.
It had to be positioned correctly because that table
wasn't going anywhere once the top was on!

The finished table
with the owner and the builder!


You might have noticed from the beginning pictures
 what Ashley and I were doing that day.

Yes, painting!

The room had a two-sided rock fireplace that was in bad condition
so they had had it covered with sheet rock.
Because there were a lot of void places behind the sheet rock
we couldn't lean a ladder against it.
Now, how do you paint out the trim if you can't get up there?
This was Ashley solution:
A paint brush taped to the end of a broom handle.
And you know what?
  It worked!!!!

The finished look.

Remember how big I told you the table was?
The room is huge!!!

Warren enjoyed doing the project
and we are told that the table has already been used for a staff breakfast.
Knowing the two of them, it will be used often.

Just one of the things that kept Warren busy
while in Brazil!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Random Doings

We are about to leave on a "short term" mission trip with the students from the school.
We are headed to Foz do Iguassu were we will be seeing some of the people
that we ministered with 3 years ago as well as dear friends.

Please keep the whole team in prayer as we are sent as the first team from the school.
I'm sure it will be a learning experience for us all!
Pray for the hearts that are going to hear the gospel message,
that they will be soft and ready to hear and receive.
Also pray that the team will be going with an attitude of servanthood and hard work
rather than a "vacation" mentality!
We also ask that you pray for our safety as we travel and that we all remain healthy.

This post is rather random
as I just have a few minutes
but I thought I would just catch you up on a few ordinary things
that take place here!

Laundry day:
We use the washing machines at the center so we make a trip down there about once a week. (these pictures are one of the trips back with a few things
after having checked to see if things are dry)
There are no dryers there so we hang them to dry.

I put this picture up not only because Warren is so handsome :)
but also because you can see the conference center in the background.
The area to the right is the cafeteria where we eat with the staff and students Mon - Fri.

One of the smaller racks of clothes.....

when the laundry basket is full (most of the time)
we both grab a side and carry, otherwise the plastic digs into the hands!

This is the "Beast"
talked about in the previous post!
We haven't driven it since
(I don't think anyone has!)
They did give us another pickup to drive
and it starts every time!

This is our duplex.
The pastor and his wife live on the other side.

Just so you will believe me when I say the spiders are big here!
And, yes, I killed this one myself!
This was on our front porch and the following night we saw another one.
He got away before I had a chance with the shoe!

Last night we heard quite the noise from behind our curtain
and when Warren pulled it back this was what we found.
A gecko eating some kind of bug.
It was on the outside of the screen
but we have geckos in our living room on a regular basis.
They are kinda cute!

On a side note:
I drove Ashley and Alipio's care (with Ashley)
into town yesterday.
Stick shift and all.
It felt so good to have the freedom...
Ashley and I were really patting ourselves on the back until...
it started to rain - HARD.
(remember the red, slippery mud?!)
We walked 4 blocks to the car...
soaked to the skin.
I actually could hardly see to walk because my mascara was running
into my eyes and they were burning so bad.
Ashley said, "I'll be your eyes"!
Ya, that works like a charm!
Anyway, we got in the car, prayed and took off for home.
Just outside of town the roads were dry.
Thank you, Lord!
A successful first day of driving!
Watch out husbands - how will you ever keep us at home now?!

I know, no great stories or anything this time
but I noticed how long it had been since I updated
and I wanted to at least let you see how brave I am (killing the spider and all).

Warren and I are planning to return here on Monday
and then I (and Ashley) are going to be painting and cleaning up an apartment
that a new staff couple are going to be moving into.
Warren is actually building a table for Alipio and Ashley
and will be working on that.
Once we get back we have a little over a week before we head to Curitiba.
It's going to be hard to say good-bye here.....

Friday, March 2, 2012

Telling stories....

Okay, everybody, stay with me.
There are plenty of pictures at the end of this post!

I thought I'd tell you a story today....

When we got here we were given a gift.
Warren was handed the keys to the "beast".
The "beast" being a old, white pickup truck that they have here at the campus.
We are thankful for it.
It gives us some freedom.
We don't go into town often but it's nice to know we can -
without having to ask.

So, we made a couple of trips with others following us -
we felt okay about it but they know the "beast"
so I think they needed to know Warren could handle it.
Handle it is exactly what you have to do.

The steering is exceptionately loose
so it feels and looks like you are all over the road.
The first time I was nervous
but Warren did great.

Soooo, one day we decided to give it a try alone. No babysitters.
We drove to town, did some errands, had some coffee and made the last stop,
the bread store.
While there it started to rain.
Not slowly, not by the bucket full, but rather by the kiddy pool full!

Where had all the water come from within minutes?!

We waited out the worst of it
but then decided we had to take off.
Now it was raining hard (which was an improvement)
and so Warren was being extremely careful.
We were just about out of town when it happened.
The "beast" started backfiring and sputtering
and died.

Sad. Very sad.

We were able to pull to the side of the road but were not in a safe location.
We did not have a phone
or phone number even if we did.
We sat there about 45 minutes praying it would start.

At last, it sputtered
died again.

Great! Another couple minutes wait and we would have it made!

oops. dead battery.

Warren got out of the truck and walked to a car wash that we could see.
He had someone call for a taxi.
It came.
The driver didn't speak english but somehow we let him know what we wanted.
We didn't have an address.
Warren kept motioning for him to continue on.
A couple of times he pulled to the side of the road
and communicate that he wanted to make sure we knew where we were going.

We did.

Then we came to the lane.
It's a long (very long) red dirt (at this time mud) road.
And it's not flat and graveled.
And it is slippery when wet.
Very slippery.

Finally Warren told the guy to turn around and we would try the better way in.
It's longer but with a little bit more gravel.
At least part of the way there is more gravel.
When we got to the red mud again the taxi driver stopped
and motioned for us to get out.
He had gone as far as he was going.
We had about 3/4 of a mile yet!
In the rain on red muddy roads.
I was in flip-flops.

I'm sure we were a sight!

We made it safe and sound.
The truck was towed.
(we were told afterwards that it does this all the time in the rain!)
And we got some good laughs.
Yes, laughs.
We find that it's usually the little things that trip us up.

We are still thankful for the "beast". We just haven't driven it since.

We have gotten stuck in the ditch coming home when we were with some friends.
The guys got out and pushed us out.
It just part of living here, they say.

I thought I'd show you some pictures of the roads that we travel on out here by the campus.
This is not the one I just told you about
but it is the one we take to church on Thurs. nights.
Warren and I decided to walk it this morning in order to get some pictures.
It's quite the ride at night
and especially during/after a rain.

starting out.
rutted but not too bad.

beautiful country.

it's hilly in this area.
see the person going up the hill?
that's where we are headed.

coming to the bridge.

I try not to think about it
when we are crossing.

Warren's resting his arm on the railings - NOT

another hill

notice how the car is on the wrong side of the road?
that's because he is looking to drive on the best part of the road.
that doesn't leave many options.

See what I mean?!
(Dad, your little ruts in Nampa aren't looking so bad anymore, are they?!)

We made it through the worst part.
Now we are in the village on the other side.
A very poor neighborhood.
The roads are flat but still the red dirt.

The sign around the property telling people not to enter.
Things are stolen there all the time.

The building.
Welcome to Thursday night church.
Just so it doesn't rain before we head back....

We walked so we are taking the short cut home
which means going across this river on the log.
I wasn't so sure
but I did it.

through the grassy meadow

At last, a good road!
We're just about home.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's a New Day

Really, most of life, whether it is on the mission field or not, is full of ordinary days. They are the hard ones to write about because there is nothing to tell. I did laundry today. I mopped the floors. I cooked a meal. I slept till 7:00. I went on a walk. etc. All things I could have done at home in Cleveland, Tennessee. Those are the hard days. Ordinary - could have lived it in my own house, in my own country, with my own family, kind of days.

Then there are the amazing days where you know God did amazing things but you can't write about them because they involve people and confidences. And people (hopefully) read this blog....

Sometimes you just don't know what to say and yet you have so much to say.....

Today started out as an ordinary day. I woke up an hour earlier than I wanted to, made coffee and breakfast. We headed down to the campus for the morning devotions and then I went for a walk with my friend Ashley. We talked. And talked. And talked. It was iron sharpening iron and before we knew it it was lunch time.
At lunch we found out that they were moving classes downtown. Did we want to go? Yes, we did. Warren hung out with the school and 3 of us ladies hung out in town together. Bonding.
What a great afternoon.
Came home to dinner and then one of the students and I made brownies together. She can't speak english and I can't speak Portuguese but we communicated with the little that we both knew and had a great time. We WILL do it again.
Then we had a ladies study at our house. It was so good to get together and share from God's Word. I'm loving these ladies.

An ordinary day turned anything but.

I'm hoping for another ordinary day tomorrow.....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Back in the Saddle....

We are back in Brazil!!! We arrived on Feb. 8th in Sao Vincente where we were able to see Larry and Karen Lyon, our former missions pastor from Calvary Corvallis.
It was such a great time. We were able to attend two of the church service (Warren taught on Sunday evening) and also a neighborhood outreach for children. Someday we hope that God calls us to spend some time in that city of Brazil! We got a day of encouraging the pastor and his wife (Celso and Tati) on the beach! It really was a wonderful time sharing with one another while we enjoyed time together in such a beautiful place. We also were invited to the Assoc. Pastors house (Cristof and Kelly) for good food and fun games. It was a joy to be there.

We've been in Campo Mourao for a little over a week now and came at a time when the crew was in full swing getting ready for the Carnival Retreat. We joined in the fun (and work!) of getting ready. IT WAS AMAZING!

There were great times of sharing, praying together, good teachings, counseling, kitchen work, bathroom details and just renewing good friendships.
I was reminded why we do this.
Come so far at a cost to us.
Because it's worth it.
The people are worth it. And we love them so. To have seen so many faces of people that are now dear to us from so many different cities in Brazil. Well, there are just no words except we are blessed and God is good.

I was able to teach a session for the ladies on Monday afternoon. All I can say is that if there was any good in it, it was the Lord! I love to be with the ladies and God uses those times to stretch me. I always find that He has me share about things I am going through in my own life.
On the whole it was well received.
On the last afternoon we had a baptismal service which is always the highlight of the weekend. Praise the Lord for what was done there.

It was sad to see the buses pull out, taking all back to their cities but we went to bed that night feeling very excited about all that we had seen God do and so very blessed that we got to be a part of it.

We are now settling into ordinary life here. If you can call it that! We got moved into the apartment that will be our home for the rest of the time. It feels good. Today we were able to spend a good portion of the day with the director of the camp and his wife. It was good and we see a great friendship developing even though they are young enough to be our kids!

The camp staff (us included) is considered on vacation since the campers left of Tues. afternoon and believe me it is needed. It was A LOT OF WORK to have 280 people to attend to.

We spent the entire afternoon with our friends at the coffee shop in town (first time!), Warren just got back from a swim and we are headed to church soon. No, this is not an ordinary day here but it's been good. Very, very good.