Author Archives: saralroyer

Fórum Missionário

It’s been almost a week… and I’m still not sure what to say about last weekend…
But, I know some of you were in prayer, so I have to share!!

Andy’s been planning this Missionary Forum for months— a weekend for Brazilian pastors and church leaders to come to Peniel to be exposed to the need for tribal missionaries, and to learn more about getting involved— from praying, to sending, to building a missionary care team, to perhaps…. going.
 
It was lots of work, for a lot of people. And alllllll the labor would have been nothing if the Spirit didn’t move. So, we asked God for this over and over and over.

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Your name goes all the glory
for Your unfailing love and faithfulness. {Psalm 115:1}

It turned out to be a very teary weekend, as I kept seeing evidence of His presence, HIS work in people’s lives, HIM raising up His church, the display of HIS splendor!!
 
I was challenged by the speakers’ motivation for missions– “to love God and serve wherever He wants.” Not the lost, not the dying, but the LOVE OF GOD should be the motivation for our mission!

He also said, based on Acts 13:1-4– “We are instruments of the Holy Spirit. Where the Holy Spirit is at work, there you will find missionary work.” (the best translation I could come up with 🙂 )

I was moved looking out over the diversity in the room– diversified, yet unified.
 

I was so encouraged by this missionary couple who has stepped out of the tribe for a year to take care of some health issues. As we are about to do the same, I asked her if it was hard for them to be away. She said it is, but that she’s committed to use this year to take every opportunity she has to share a vision for reaching the unreached.
 
She also told me, “You just keep inspiring other women to love God.”
Oh, how I needed to hear that!

I am so inspired by the faithfulness of these dear white-haired missionaries, who yeeeeears ago, put their hand to the plow and never looked back (Luke 9:62).

I love that when one couple was asked what impacted them most, they said, “the faith and the happiness of your students.” SO true. LOVE it 🙂
 
We pray that the Lord would raise up more workers, that He wouldn’t just bring more students to Peniel, but future missionaries!

I guess I didn’t think he’d be raising up our boys… After the Forum, Jack told us, “You know, God did something in my heart. I mean, I’ve thought about missions. But I’m thinking about going to those places that are really hard to get to.” Jude chimes in, “Me too! I just keep thinking about those missionary stories we’ve been reading, about those men who were killed because they went into tribes who had never heard about Jesus. I want to go there, to tell them about Jesus.”

Can’t say what all that does to my momma heart…
It made me wonder if the strong-willed children of today are growing up to be determined missionaries to take the Gospel where it is most difficult. Oh Lord, give us wisdom and endurance, grace and faith to parent our strong-willed children today to be the strengthened church of tomorrow… 

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however,
it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.
{Hebrews 12:11-12}

From the opening prayer to the last line of the last song {Marcheremos},
there is NO doubt that the Lord is at work in and among His people!!
So, Marcharemos na coragem do Senhor. 
{We march on, in the courage of the Lord.}

      // Marcharemos //
Nós queremos ouvir tua voz
Teu louvor sempre esteja entre nós
Queremos ser, Senhor, mais sábios
Na verdade e no amor
Marcharemos na coragem do Senhor

Marcharemos cheios de coragem
Seguiremos seja onde for
Embora a dor nos cerque na viagem
Marcharemos na coragem do Senhor

E quando a escuridão da noite descer
Queremos só pela graça e fé viver
Com esperança e com coragem
Na alegria ou na dor
Marcharemos na coragem do Senhor

Resurrected Hope

Holidays can be hard to be away. Easter was no different.
We felt the absence of our family, friends, church, Cadbury cream eggs.. 😉
But we do our best to make it special– invited some families over for a cookout and opened our home to students who don’t have a car (or a way to get to church) for an evening Easter service.

 

While Andy was passing around the bread and the communion cups, it hit me.

Sometimes following Jesus doesn’t look anything like the path you had planned.

His disciples have always had these moments…
It’s not too hard to imagine how they felt the day their hope died…
because how many of us can relate.

The Bible doesn’t really say what they were thinking, although we can read between the lines—
the disappointment, fear, confusion— so intense that Peter would, for a moment, deny Truth Himself.

They were told they’d never be left, but sure felt alone.
They expected to reign with Him, but weren’t thinking that meant a crown of thorns.
Who would have ever dreamed He would take up a literal “cross”!

At some point, Jesus’ disciples have a choice to make—
To leave, or believe.  John 6 tells us that after some hard teachings, many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. He didn’t seem surprised by this. Instead, he asked the twelve, “Do you want to leave too?” I love Peter’s response: “Lord, to whom would we go? YOU have the words of eternal life!” In essence, we may not understand Your ways, but we will trust Your word.

So, those moments of disappointment, fear, confusion— what do we do?
I think we take our cues from those who have gone before us.
We look back and see that He has always been faithful, so
we remind each other of His words.
We do what He said, and
we wait for Him to show up.

Just like His disciples have always done—

They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.
{Acts 2:46}

That right there is the dawning of resurrected hope!

Leaving a Legado

In January New Tribes Mission in Brazil (MNTB) hosts a field conference for its missionaries. This week is always a highlight of our year, as brazilian missionaries gather for a week of meetings, fellowship, and of course, “futebol” (soccer)… ’til all hours of the night. 🙂
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img_1143I treasured it all up as best as I could–
the dear ladies who gave me these tribal treasures and soap made from exotic fruits,
to see not 1 blue macaw in the wild, but 16!!
our boys translating for those who don’t know Portuguese, chatting in the gazebo, seed pod-swords,a coworker asking Miles to take their family pic,former students lending Jack their bike, Jude saying Brazilian food is the best food ever,
sitting on the couch of a couple who sat on our couch for premarital counseling, now married and deciding which tribe they will go,
all the stories from the field…

This year’s theme was “Legado” {Legacy}. The focus was on what kind of legacy are we leaving; what kind of legacy do we want to leave. {I’ll tell ya. I’ve been thinking long and hard at this. And I fear that the kind of legacy I want to leave doesn’t always match up with the kind of legacy I’m actually leaving. SO, I’m gonna do some more thinking and praying bout that and talk more today about the kind of legacy that has been left for me. Mmk? 🙂 }

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A special surprise was when Andy’s parents were honored for their 41 years of service in Brazil. They are in the process of moving to serve at the NTM Headquarters in the US. Their leaving is certainly bittersweet–Bitter because of all those who will miss them. Sweet because of all those they have impacted in their 41 years here.

Andy’s grandparents moved to Brazil in the 60’s, with their 7 kids {their pic above on the screen}. His dad grew up in a riverboat on the Amazon river until he went back to the US for Bible School, met his wife, and they moved to Brazil in the 70’s, where Andy was born and lived until he went back to the US for college, we met, and now here we are.

{Andy giving an update on Peniel}
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{Our little (and giant!) MK’s singing their song}
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I don’t think I ever realized the legacy we’ve been left— more valuable than gold, more secure than any trust fund– the conviction that there is no hope apart from Jesus, perseverance to be a part of making Him known where He is not, and faith that He is absolutely worth it all, even our very lives. The stories they have to tell…… {are cRaZy!!} but testify to how faithful God has been through it all.img_1084

But it’s not just Andy’s family. We sit behind all the white hairs and it’s humbling. People who have done this for 30+ years with no fanfare. Just faithful servants who have kept their hands to the plow. Even when the path is harder and rockier than they had hoped. Some of them are in more pain than we can imagine (and they will ever tell). Yet. FOR THE JOY they endure hardship. We have got a lot to learn from them.

And it’s not just the white haired-missionaries. But when there’s talk about legacy, I think about my parents….
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My parents have been by our side for birthdays and surgeries. They have come to our rescue when we needed a date night or our laundry folded. They have planned family vacations and silly-string wars. They have not only listened to their grandsons talk for hours about fishing and minecraft, but they have even taken fly-fishing lessons to teach our kids how to tie their own flies and played minecraft with our kids. They flew down to be with us and write emails when they can’t.

It’s hard to condense the legacy they are leaving into words, but here’s a few…
Affirmation— The other day our kids got off the phone and said “I like talking with them. They’re so warm and comforting. And they only say things to compliment.” That’s high praise from a 12 year old boy!! It’s the truth! Just scroll down the comments and you will see.
Belonging— It’s a big thing to be welcomed home, regardless of whether or not you have colicky babies or jet-lagged teenagers, and however long you’ve been away. But it’s what they do. Dad fires up the furnace and mom makes your favorite pie.
Faith— How many times have I called and heard “we were just praying for you.” People often ask me how my parents feel about us being missionaries. I’m sure it doesn’t “feel” good, but I’m thankful for their example of faith, that God is good and He can be trusted… even with our kids.
Joy/Gratitude— (Both, because I don’t know that you can have one without the other). I never realized how much my mom says one phrase until our kids picked up on it. Whether we’re headed to the store or just sat down at the table together, she’ll say “Oh, yeah!” But it’s not just circumstantial. Their joy is a matter is of perspective– looking for grace and celebrating it.
Love— I don’t know how they do it. They have beared all things, believed all things, hoped all things, endured all things. Not just when we’re love-able. In spite of our multitude of sins and offenses, they have given us the greatest gift of all– Love.dsc_0309

I don’t know if their photo will ever be on a projector (although it should!) I don’t know if they’ll ever be recognized for all their years of faithful service (atleast on this side of heaven). But I have no doubt that one day they will hear those words “well done, good and faithful servant,” because the legacy they are leaving is that whether you’re a mechanic or a cook or retired or a missionary, what is important is in all you do, you do it for the glory of God.

Peace out, 2016!

I can’t look back over 2016 without feeling deep gratitude. Not because it was easy in any sense of the term! But, because we made it through! “The Lord stood by my side and gave me strength.” {2 Timothy 4:17} #thankyouJesus

2016 started with some major blows that left us feeling knocked down. A year ago, I couldn’t even stand to ring in the New Year; we were kneelin’ in the New Year. Turns out it’s right where we needed to be to face what we would face. The blows kept coming and we found Shelter and Strength on our knees.

One of my favorite New Years’ traditions is taking time as a family to share our highs and lows of the year. We fondue and reflect. Then for the next couple days, they keep telling me, “Oh, I thought of one more.” Too many highs to count!
But here’s a few:
~ Xtreme weekend (Miles)
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~ Hiking in the creek with dad (Jack)
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~ Riding the crowded bus (Jude)
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~ Finishing up the 6th grade (Miles)
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~ Camping with friends (Jack)
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When I caught 2 gars (Jude)
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Going to grandma and grandpa’s house (Miles)
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Staying at other people’s houses (Way to look on the bright side, Jack 🙂
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~ Star Wars Marathon weekend with mom (Miles)
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~ LeCrae Concert (Jack)
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~ Finding shells (Jude)
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Their list goes on…
Hocking Hills with Maddie, all the fish we caught, Silver Beach with friends, Vacation Bible School, Saída da Liderança, campfire with our Brazil grandparents, using a port-a-potty, City BBQ with Maddie, going to Wisconsin to see our cousins, basketball camp, turning 13 and getting Facebook, when we went to that couple’s house for tacos who had the tiny doggie and pool, jumping on the trampoline with Laina and Landon, watching Rogue One with friends, the vinegar store…
Of course, they all said their birthdays; and that they liked each other’s birthdays.
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We were given another year, full of uncertainties and disappointments.
And yet, each day was a fragile and precious gift, to be fully unwrapped and enjoyed. 
How grateful we are for the gift to be here, to do this!

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[Xtreme]
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[Andy speaking at Peniel’s graduation]
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[Rio 2016, which happened to be 7 hours from our house]

This year, my highs were more about the beauty in the everyday. Like that time we were on a date and rounded the bend to see this– a timely reminder of the greatness of our God:
All the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. (Psalm 50:10)
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OR like the humor our 13 year old brings into our days,2016-01-06-11-03-51
the tender side of our 12 year old (of all the places he could sit in the house, that he would snuggle right up next to me);
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that every flower our 8 year old sees is for his momma,
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and how this man has stood by my side, for better or worse.
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Thimg_20160404_154553460_hdren there’s the lows…
For me, it was when my 4-6 week recovery turned into 4-6 months when they found a blood clot 4 weeks after surgery and I had to go on blood thinner injections, which made me very sick, like couldn’t even drink hot tea-sick; and we prayed and prayed and prayed that I would be able to go off the injections by my birthday, but my levels weren’t where they were supposed to be, so I waited in the car (because I also couldn’t walk without feeling lightheaded and dizzy) when my hubby went to pick up my prescription refill. And nabbed these pretty hydrangeas while he was at it. It just amazes me that even in our lows, there is evidence of grace. Even if the grace is “this life is not all there is.”

Andy’s lows included spending extra to buy what you think is a better van… only to have it break down again and again and again… leaving us stranded yet again (below). AND being the one to give me the injections.
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But that was all SO 2016.
Turn up the music. It’s time to ring those bells!!! We’re happy you’re here 2017!!!

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go; 
Ring out the false, ring in the true…
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
{Alfred Tennyson}

Time to resolute! We’re thankful for second chances.
There is a word that keeps coming to mind.

It’s how I want to respond when my teenager rolls his eyes and mumbles under his breath, when things don’t go “my” way, when I disagree, when there are muddy fingerprints on the refrigerator door… yet again.
It’s what I want to be when I feel misunderstood, unappreciated, hurt, insulted.
Who I want to be when confronted, intimidated, opposed, challenged.

meek
/mēk/
adjective
 
  1. an attitude of humble, submissive and expectant trust in God, and a loving, patient and gentle attitude towards others.

    πραΰς, πραεῖα, πραΰ
    Transliteration: praus
    Phonetic Spelling: (prah-ooce’)

John MacArthur writes, “Pride has been redefined in American culture as a virtue. The strong, the beautiful, the powerful, the intelligent, and the privileged take every opportunity to put themselves forward. Politicians manifest pride in speeches and debates; entertainers glamorize pride in their movies and lifestyles; educators teach pride by emphasizing self-esteem and making every child a winner (whether they deserve it or not); and sports icons reinforce pride as the path to greatness.

Probably the least admired character quality in America is meekness. And yet the greatest Person who ever lived was a meek and humble man — “learn from Me, for I am gentle [meek] and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29). Jesus exemplified meekness during His first advent, even as He ministered in the power of God. Those who follow Him will also demonstrate meekness, or gentleness as fruit of a Spirit-filled life (Galatians 5:22).

“Meekness” is a humble attitude that expresses itself in the patient endurance of offenses. Meekness is not weakness; it is power under control. As the writer of Proverbs says, “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city” (16:32).” {John MacArthur}

“Picture a wild stallion that has been broken and is now tamed. That stallion still has as much power as when he was wild, but now that power is bottled up for the master’s use.” {Rick Warren}

If meek had a theme song, pretty sure it’d be this. And if meek had a manual, it’d be Psalm 37.

I don’t know what all #meek entails. 
I just know I’ve got my work cut out for me! Because this does. NOT. come. natural.
BUT, it seems worth it:

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Matthew 5:5

Thank God for second chances. A new year, full of hope!

Missão Impossível

In November, Instituto Bíblico Peniel hosted another Xtreme weekend! A mission camp for youth– packed with challenges, endurance trails and dynamic games, all illustrating some aspect of tribal missions. The theme for this year was Missão Impossivel (you can probably gather what that means). With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
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It’s a family affair, down to the very last dab. (Note Jude in the front 🙂 )
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Andy and our coworker (to his left) are in charge of events at Peniel. Together they planned and ran the whole long weekend (with the help of our amazing students!) This year was different though, as our coworker and his family are moving to a tribe to plant a church among the Kaingang (which is super fun to say: kai.in.gung’.ghee). Bittersweet for all of us, for sure! We may talk about the need for tribal missionaries, but I don’t think there’s anything so powerful as seeing someone you hold so dear leave and go do it! Needless to say, it was a weekend full of impact. Here’s a little glimpse 🙂
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No Peniel camp is complete without an endurance trail (picture a tough-mudder experience with tribal indian encounters). This is a highlight of Jack’s year (below in the yellow hat). For the one who scrubs all the mud out of his clothes (me)… not so much. 😉
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This year it rained the whole. livelong. weekend. You know the crazy thing?! I didn’t hear a single complaint! From the looks of it, they didn’t mind a bit! The brazilians are a hearty, happy bunch.
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Peniel students travel to churches sharing a sketch entitled “Each stick had a name.” It’s a true story about a short-term mission trip to some missionaries in PNG. Men from a neighboring tribe came and asked for missionaries to come live in their tribe. They knew they were lost, and wanted to learn the way. When the indians heard there was no one who could come, they were devastated. They came back with sticks, each one representing people in their village… family… friends… children… who would die without ever knowing the truth. dsc_3207 dsc_3220 dsc_3235
The real story happened in Papua New Guinea, but the map below dialed it in, closer to home. Each stick/pic represents the unreached tribal groups in Brazil. Still. In 2016.
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The main speaker for the weekend was one of our students, Zénilton (pictured below). Zé and his family are from the Gavião tribe. He shared that if it weren’t for a couple from Germany who left their country, family, language, etc. to come to his village and stay 40 years to see a church planted, his people would still be one of those pics on a stick. Now he hopes to dedicate his life to strengthen the church among his people, and reach out to unreached”sister tribes.” He and his wife graduated from Peniel a few weeks ago and will start the next phase of New Tribes in Brazil’s training to be tribal missionaries.
“We are rocks in God’s hands. He can throw us far, or he can throw us near if He wants.” 
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There’s strong challenges all weekend, but plenty of fun as well. Always a good time when a mechanical bull shows up on campus!
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We praise God for the 150+ who came! After months of work, planning and prepping, it was so encouraging to see the Lord at work in the hearts of those who particpiated– some pursuing plans to come to Peniel, some committing their lives to tribal missions, and ALL leaving with an encounter of believers impacted by God’s work in their lives.

Now that they’ve packed their bags, boarded their bus and gone back home, we keep praying that God would continue the work only He can do. That He would move in their hearts, give them a passion for His fame and call some of them to come back as missionaries in training.

Would you take a moment to join us in prayer
that the Lord of the harvest would raise up more workers?

Your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul. | Isaiah 26:8

Third Year {Our Normal}

Three years ago today our family of 5 packed 15 bags, and moved our life to Brazil. 1095 days ago (but we still remember it like it was yesterday). We’ve felt alot of feels in those days. But one thing we’ve never felt is alone. Because, this. Sometimes still can’t believe we’re here! AND no doubt we couldn’t be without all those journeying with us… despite the distance. We appreciate you all, more than words can say.

First year. I wrote New Normal, about the little things that have made their imprint on our thinking and our ways. 
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Second year. Some things became even More Normalas we continued to figure out what life looks like in this country.
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Third year. The longer we’re here, the more we adapt and adopt parts of this culture and that, finding what is Our Normal.
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You were expecting the ol’ Brasil cup, right?
Another one bites the dust. Literally, broke on the dusty tile floor.
But this mug… I’ve had it for 20 years! That’s longer than I’ve known my husband!!
(For a missionary, it’s pretty much a miracle to have anything that long 🙂 )
And the red lipstick?
Well….. I decided it wasn’t my thing. There are some ways I will never adapt… like red lipstick. {Even though a student offered to watch our kids so Andy and I could go on a date, then gave me her red lipstick to wear, so I could look more “gata” (cat).}

You’d think we’d be running out of things to write, wouldn’t you??
It took awhile to think what to list that hasn’t been posted before.
* Then I asked my child if he needs a tissue, and when I handed him a roll of toilet paper (not thinking anything about it), Andy looked at me and smiled. Then it started to come to me…

I don’t realize how much we’ve changed until
* I cover my baked goods with a towel rather than plastic wrap. It’s what we do in a land where “plastic wrap” melts to itself in the heat and is SO irritating to try to pull apart.
* Our favorite date activity has become driving around town, taking pictures of VW bugs; capturing not only the car, but the culture.
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* Just take out the gnat that landed in your nightly tea and keep drinking.
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* Our weekly fresh banana delivery!
* When you drive by the hospital and see a toucan, stop to take a selfie with a toucan!
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* The banks in our area went on strike for a few months. Not sure how this works– the workers would sit behind locked doors and they wouldn’t stock the ATM’s (demanding a raise), but they would still set out coffee and cookies for their customers.
* It has become totally normal for people to just stop by; to drop whatever we’re doing and put on the coffee.
* We’re not surprised when there’s a pile of bugs under the Christmas tree (that were attracted to the light). In fact, we start to appreciate the phenomenon (my hubby wrote about it here).
* My grocery lists are a mess of languages – some things are just funner to say in portuguese, for example “pipoca” /pee.paw.kuh/ (popcorn).

You never realize how “MK” your kids are until
* your son goes to call his friend for his birthday and can’t remember how to sing “Happy Birthday” in english.
* OR, your child goes to school in the States for the first time in 2 years and doesn’t know his ABC’s. {He is fluent in portuguese, but somehow I forgot to teach him the ABC song.}
* MK ping-pong (2 with rackets, 1 as the net).
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* Your son now makes his own fishing poles with bamboo he cuts down with a machete.
* And shows up at the kitchen window with critters like this.
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* Haircut bribes look different these days: fresh coconut water.
* Pictures on their ipods look like this:
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* When a storm rolls in and doesn’t take our electric out, our kids are actually bummed! So much so that sometimes we turn off the lights and eat by candlelight anyway.
* {filling out a crossword puzzle} Jude says, “A crunchy fruit that’s red…..hmmm, all I can think of is pitanga!” {the answer was apple:)

Our kids have grown up so much these last 3 years— learned a new language, earned new freedoms, made so many memories, created their own nostalgia right here in Brazil.
* They camp on their own (even though it’s basically in our backyard, they still have seriemas trying to sneak into their tent).
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* They head to the creek for an afternoon of fishing.
* We can leave them with a big bowl of popcorn and a movie while we run to town.
* Some nights we have to call them home from “hide and seek” at 11:30 so we can go to bed!
* They appreciate the humor of  things like “Star Wabs” or “Wood Box” or #ricefordays.
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I’ve also had a bit of growing up to do myself. This is where…
* I have come to appreciate simplicity. Many days I can’t remember when the last time I went to town was. Some weekends our only expense is going out for popsicles. And I love that.
* “Stop, it’s hammock time” (to the tune of MC Hammer) has become a daily ritual–keeps me sane.
* “I need Thee every hour” is on repeat in my mind.
* the Lord is teaching me that we can’t truly know the fullness of God until we have empty spaces for Him to fill.
* Living on a dirt road with 3 boys has stretched me uh-lot, and I am learning to be at peace, even with so. much. mud.
* The Lord has been faithful to help me stand up to the bully known as fear, over and over again. Do not be afraid…for the Lord will be your confidence” {Proverbs 3:25-26}.
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* Peer pressure kicked in and I find myself doing things like painting my toenails.
* OR, ironing my kids’ shirts. T-shirts! (Which I used to mock, by the way, until our kids were the only ones without ironed t-shirts.)
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* I’ve had to buy fabric… not by the yard… not by the meter… by the KILO! #notJoannfabrics

Three years. We’ve learned alot.
We came to Brazil to teach, but these dear people keep teaching us!
There are phrases they say that will forever ring in my mind, such as,
“It’s so much work to be happy!”
{Meaning– do we really need all this to be happy, or could we be truly happy without so many comforts? Hmmm…}

Don’t get me wrong. I mess up and lose perspective and need put in my place. Regularly.
We still get frustrated and discouraged by this culture.
 I could write a whole ‘nother post about things that get under my skin (like, ticks), and I can’t stand it! But. This is where we live. So, we’re gonna embrace the quirky and learn to make the most of it!

Day by day, year after year, this is my prayer– may we live fully and love deeply and shine brightly for His glory, wherever we are, even if it all sounds a little crazy. 😉

Overcomers gonna Overcome

I’ve kept my mouth shut this whole presidential campaign (atleast on social media). Andy has listened to all my conspiracy theories, so you should thank him for sparing all y’all from that.  🙂

But there is one thing I read the other day, something that I haven’t seen in any headlines, something that jumped right off the page and I’ve been thinking about it ever since, something I have to share.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

I immediately thought about this whole election and whatever the outcome will be.
But it didn’t stop there! The very next phrase—

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
{Romans 12:21-13:1}

In other words, “All authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.” (NLT)
Wait, what?!?!
This whole election seems like such a mess. {and I’m not just talking about the candidates!}
We rant and jab and complain. Because, quite frankly, it’s hard to imagine anything good could possibly come from this!

We worry about how our next president will change our country.
How the outcome could affect our freedom, our comfort, our children, our grandchildren.
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We read things like this {which is really insightful about the importance of our vote}, but also unnerving that much power falls into the hands of another person– into the hands of one of those people!

Or does it.

Could it be that God is orchestrating something bigger and even more beautiful than we could ever imagine— something we may never perceive in this world as we know it. (Hebrews 12:28)
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If that’s the case…
Let us not forget that this world is not our home and it will get ugly. But take heart because our Savior has OVERCOME. (John 16:33)

Let us not act like orphans, worrying about what will be. Instead, may we cling to the fact that, no matter what, we have an Almighty Father in heaven, who will never leave us. (John 14:18)

Not only that, but we can cast all those cares at the feet of the Most High. Because He cares for us! (1 Peter 5:7)

Church, eyes are on us.
Whether we realize it or not, we are that city on a hill that cannot be hidden.
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We can either keep on ranting against policies and people we don’t agree with.
OR, we can draw from the wells of the deep deep love of Jesus and be bearers of the living water to a world that is dying of thirst.

We can either continue putting off a shocked-and-disgusted-by-this-generation vibe.
OR, we can be heralders of light to a world stumbling in the dark.

We can either complain about the outcome of this election.
OR we can trust that the Lord is sovereign, even in this.

We are not victims. We choose our response.
O Lord, help us.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Voters gonna vote. Haters gonna hate. Overcomers gonna overcome.DSC_0709