Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Back From Brazil

I had an amazing time in Brazil. It was so beautiful and the people are just the nicest people you will ever meet. They have nothing but their hearts are so full. What a blessing to have been a part of it all. I left on March 11 and got to Sao Paolo on the 12th and flew straight to Campo Grande. It was good to get on the ground after flying for so long. We were met by missionaries Walter and Carole Ponder. They took us to our hotel and then we drove around the city. That evening we had dinner at an amazing restaurant. They just keep bringing skewers of different meats one after another until you just can't eat any more. It was so good, and I was so full! The next day we went to Bandierantes. A small town/village about 1 hour out of Campo Grande. We had vision casting that evening and then actual training the next day. The people were so receptive! They were the first church to ever do an Upward league in Brazil and several other churches came to train and are very interested. After training we went back to Campo Grande and had training at a church there Boas Novas. They had also run a league and were in the middle of evaluations. That evening they had a fund raiser for their Upward league and many people brought food and other items to sell. It was such a fun and festive atmosphere. The next day we trained at the church. The next day we left for a 5 hour drive to Corumba, which is on the boarder of Bolivia. On the way we stopped on the side of the road in the Pantanal (similar to the everglades) and a man took us to the waters edge and banged on the water and all of these aligators just came out of nowhere, at least 20. It was amazing and a little scary! We got to Corumba and held vision that night and trained the next day. Again the people were just so friendly and excited about Upward. The next afternoon we flew to Campo Grande on a prop plane, which I was not thrilled about but it was fine. Actually some dignitary was on the plane. Military personel lined up and he saluted each of them before boarding the plane. Not sure who he was but he must have been someone important. We flew on to Sao Paolo and met up with a pastor there, Ailton. He had a tiny tiny car and we tried to explain that we did not need all of our luggage we could store it at the airport and he kept saying it would fit in his car. We finally got him to understand that we didn't need all of it and got lockers. When we saw his car, we just laughed and laughted, there was NO way any of that luggage would fit in his car. We all had small carryon's and backpacks and we ended up having some of that in our laps. That is the Brazillian way thought, they want you to be happy and will tell you "sure" when there is no way it will happen. It was pretty funny. We drove 3 hours to his village and got to our hotel (that was over an auto station) at 2am. The next 2 days we drove around different villages where he wants to start Upward leagues. It was some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. Just breathtaking!!! I was ready to come home, 9 days was a long time to be away. We drove to see the largest Catholic church in the world, so I am told. It was really really big and then to the airport. We stopped by a sports store and I was able to find 2 cycling jerseys for Stephen. I was so happy to find something nice for him. Sometimes it's hard to find that perfect gift. I also found a stuffed piranha fish. I didn't want to get it, it was ugly and gross but I was told about them before I left and mentioned it to Stephen and he insisted that if I saw one, to get it. I reluctantly complied. I think he was happier with that than the cycling jerseys!! It was good to get home to my family even with Alex's double ear infection and Ella's strep was so good to be home!

Next week.....Vancouver


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Canada and Brazil

I got back from my trip to Canada. We flew into Buffalo and drove to Toronto. I flew in a day early with a co-worker to have an early meeting so we had the chance to spend s couple hours at Niagara Falls. I had never been and I just loved it, it was so pretty with the snow. I missed the kids and Stephen though! He did fine but the true test will be this week. I leave today for Brazil and will be gone for 9 days. I am excited about the opportunity to go and to meet with the churches there and help them begin Upward!!! I hope to be able to connect via Skype with Stephen and the kids. I was able to while in Canada and Ella loved being able to talk and see me talking to her via the computer. I don't know what kind of connection we will have there but we should at least be able to talk on the global phone. I ask for prayers for safe travel. Lots of flights getting there and back and several within Brazil. I never was nervous flying until I had children so it's a little harder for me now. I also ask for prayers for Stephen & the kids while I am away and also for our work in Brazil. That we will be able to be used to help pastors there use Upward to reach kids and families!

Photos of Niagara Falls and Brazil to come soon.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009


It finally snowed in SC and more than just a dusting, we actually got about 4". Which of course closed down the schools, businesses and just about everything else. It was so much fun to see Ella enjoy her first real snow.