Sunday, June 29, 2008

This week.

Is there anything better than a picture of a little girl swinging??- not a care in the world! I love baby cows! This pic is for the Moffats! (im secretly naming the calf on the left.. maestro!)
Hey all- another week has flown by here in Brazil- we are now well over half way done our time here, and can hardly believe it! This week we spent time at the mission's farm on a field trip with a grade 1/2 class from the school- which was a lot of fun, except for the numerous bug bites!Aparently I am slighty more allergic to these "borrachuda" bites than rick is, as my legs were quite swollen and hot to the touch for two days before they started to heal.
I got UNDER the tree swing for some good pics!
I just love it when teachers are "cool" enough to play with their students!! rick... up in a tree rescuing the soccer ball. Rick and the boys at Soccer Outreach doing some pushups. We also spent time in Curitiba with Mariana (our teacher) and her husband working on learning more vocabulary as we made a traditional brazillian meal and enjoyed it together! Celso remembered that i wanted to visit the famous opera house- constructed entirely of steel and glass. So after our enormous meal yesterday we went and took some pics. I wish we could have stayed longer! All in all it was a great week, we learnt alot, as we were able to again visit with people. Just today i spent nearly an hour just talking away with Suely- It is quite satisfying to know I can do that now!!!! We are enjoying Brazil... but on days like today we long for rural mozambique.. (or rural anywhere for that matter!) For some reason every car in town is driving around honking their horns... (and have been for several hours now). Brazillians love to celebrate.. and celebrate they do! We were awoken this morning at 7 am by fireworks, and the celebrating has not slowed down much since. I have no idea what they are celebrating... but right now.... i would love to be in mozambique. in the bush. in the quiet. :) ( i was just informed... it is the festival of saint peter!) And of course.. i must leave you with a final note about snakes. This past week while working up at the farm, Rick and Claudinho encountered some snakes.. there is some debate as to whether they were actually dangerous or not, but my theory is.. the only good snake is a dead snake. And since the mission has lost several cows recently to snake bites, nobody is taking chances. Anyways, Rick had to kill four snakes- and on thursday when we returned to the Chacara he felt he needed some pictures of the bodies. So here you go... here is Rick and one half of one of the snakes he killed. (the other half was way, way to gross to pick up)

Monday, June 23, 2008


This week was one of those weeks that just flew by! Between lessons, visiting friends for supper, volunteering and trying not to freeze we have been rather busy! Despite the rather cold weather at the beginning of our week, we managed to stay warm for the most part. We did however wake up on Monday morning with a heavy heavy layer of frost! It was almost ubelievable to me that we are in BRAZIL, and are waking up with the windows of the vehicles covered in ICE!
We also spent time this week at Mount Horebe helping out. This week I was actually needed in the kitchen, as Cirlene (head cook) was ill for few days and the kitchen needed an extra pair of hands. I am enjoying helping in the kitchen, because I am learning how to cook a lot of things that i would never have even thought of! Like this week I learned how to make home made onion rings. mmmmmmmmm... so good. Im also learning to bake cakes, make cookies, bread, a million different ways to fry meat, and of course a lot of salads. (hopefully i can remember all this once we get to Mozambique!)
Although our view of sunsets is now somewhat blocked by the house extension project of our backdoor neighbor, I managed to get these gorgeous pics this week. Amazing the amount of creativity and beauty God manages to pour into such a daily act as the sun setting!
It was also Rebekas birthday this week, so we bought her a cute little makeup set (im sure Suely - her mom- was thrilled! LOL) I have already had my first makeover involving the set, and Im sure there are more beauty sessions to come!
Please pray for us as we are now over half way thru our time in Brazil. We are beginning to really feel the strain of language training, and can feel the inevitable frustrations with verb tenses and conjugations creeping in! We know it is thru the prayers of our many friends and family at home, that we are able to continue learning at this pace- and although we have no illusions of being fluent in portuguese in two months, we know we can at least get our point across! Also please uphold the Mozambique mission in prayer as well, currently they have been waiting for lumber to arrive for several weeks! This lumber will be used for roof trusses for Dwight and Lynn's home. When their home is complete, we will live in the cottage- instead of a tent!
Thanks for all your prayers, God Bless.
Rick and Heather

Monday, June 16, 2008


Hungry- in more ways than one! This past week we purchased a small BBQ to cook with. BBQ'd meat is way better than fried, and it saves us from having to eat the creations I come up with(for a few nights every week anyways)- I am not the worlds greatest cook by any stretch of the imagination!
This was a grilled cheese sandwhich at one point.
We were also very priviledged on Saturday night to attend the Mount Horeb Festa for Dia Des Namorados- similar to valentines day. It was a great party, and they had amazing amounts of food.. Im sure we didnt even eat half of it! Chocolates, pies, appetizers, punch, pop you name it... they had it.. mmmmmmmm. We definetly were not hungry when we left there! It was a fun evening, Mount Horeb has put it on three years in a row, and it is open for the community to come, they have live music and everything... but no alcohol. It is a great way to show the community that you can have fun and dance and have a great time, without getting drunk or high. We invited three couples we have met over our time here& it was a lot of fun to get to know them better.
They had a projector set up, and you could send messages to your loved one... I had written it out for the guy.. but i guess the spelling got lost somewhere between the paper and him!!
Rick and I trying out our new dance moves at the festa.
This past week I also was "told" I would be doing special music in church. Well.. actually I was "asked" but "no" was not one of the options for my answer. "Yes" "of course" and "yippee!" would have all been suitable. I was terrified, but I got up and played the worship song "Hungry" and sang in English. We had just finished singing it in Portuguese as a congregation so it went rather nicely together. There are many days here where we feel so exhausted and tired! Some days it feels like our brains cannot take any more learning... on those days.. we run to the Father .. HUNGRY for help & comfort. God has been so faithful to keep us healthy and has enabled us to learn so so much in such a short time.. we are so grateful to Him and to all of you who continually hold up us and this ministry in prayer.
We know there were people praying this past weekend when Abel (works for the mission) was in an accident with the MH truck. He came around a corner and a guy driving a motorcycle was on the wrong side of the road. Abel tried to brake and avoid him, but the guy was going to fast and crashed right into the front of the truck. It is by God's grace alone that Abel was not hurt and the other gentleman was not killed. Thankfully he had on a helmet, which protected as he hit the windshield and then cartwheeled over the back of the truck. Praise God that he was not injured more seriously than he was. However.. please pray for the provision of a new vehicle or funds for one, as the mission is in need of a vehicle that can handle driving to the rural communities.
Also, please pray for the grandmother of little Marta. ( I stole this pic from Lynn) Marta passed away last week, they came to the mission for help, but her little 2 Kilo body was just too weak to survive. The grandmother still has two other grandchildren to care for, as both of the parents have passed away. Situations like this are not uncommon in Mozambique, and it is these kinds of things that we will be faced with all the time. Please pray for these people, and also for us. We will need a lot of strength, physically and emotionally to deal with these situations.
The news from Mozambique is encouraging, work is progressing on the projects. We cant wait to get there and begin our ministry in Mozambique!!!!!!
Thank you so much for your prayers,
God Bless,
Rick and Heather

Friday, June 6, 2008

Mightier than the Thunders of Many Waters

This past weekend we were able to take a much needed little break, and we headed off to Foz Do Iguacu, to see the absolutly awesome Iguacu Waterfalls. It was a good experience for us to be away from Itaperucu, and all the people who know we are learning Portuguese- we did fairly well at communicating what we wanted/needed, and talking with people! It was especiallly encouraging when several times during the weekend our ability to speak at least some portuguese, had people mistaking us for Brazillians! Wooohoo.. now THAT is progress!

On the Argentinian side of the falls there are many Guarani Indians who come to the national park to sell their handcrafts. These children were singing and dancing while their parents sold the many colorful bags, bracelets and carvings! The land surrounding Iguacu falls is traditionally Guarani land, and if you have seen the movie "The Mission" this is the same people group as is depicted in the movie.

We visited both the Brazillian and Argentinian sides of the falls... its hard to say which is better. From the Brazillian side you can see the whole thing in panoramic splendor... but on the Argentinian side you are so close to everything you feel like you will go rushing over the edge with the water at any second!

This plaque is so powerful... its in the middle of a National Park, where millions of people walk by every year, from hundreds of different countries and religions- I just love it.. what a great way to think of waterfalls!

It was an amazing experience, and there were several times where I just had to stop and stand in awe of this amazing display of God's power. The second day I decided I didnt care who thought I was insane, I just stood there and sang a P&W song- it was so incredible. The other interesting thing is that the name of the biggest set of falls is "The Devils Throat"- bizzare how something that so clearly points us to the Creator is named after satan!

Me walking down an incredibly high shaky set of stairs (this is only one section) to get down the the river bottom for our rafting trip... I am scared of heights to the point of tears and unstoppable shaking so this was a big deal for me! (and yes i did cry almost the whole way down!)

We were able to do some more touristy things as well, like whitewater rafting down the rapids directly below the falls, and taking a boat ride up right under one of the smaller falls. We also had the chance to visit the Bird Park, where Rick insisted I face another of my fears- I held a Boa Constrictor (I think the air down here is getting to me!)- I managed to hold it until it started turning its head with the intent of slithering up my arm- at which point I turned to the Park attendant and practically hurled the thing back at her! It was an great weekend, and we definetly enjoyed our time together, just relaxing and taking in the beauty around us!

Rick, Hockey Dude, and the head of the same Boa Constrictor I held!

This parrot had a thing for the zipper pulls on Rick's pack.. he flew onto Ricks back TWICE! And managed to break three zipper pulls in the process!

On tuesday we came back to Itaperucu and continued with our studies! We are looking forward to the next couple of weeks when Brazil will be celebrating their version of Valentines Day, and we have plans to visit with several families. Visiting at the homes of other people is allways interseting for us, but most definetly our most educational experiences! We are forced to speak portuguese the entire time, and by the end of our visits we have usually learned several new words, phrases, and of course.. more verbs!

Please continue to keep us in your prayers, as we study, and volunteer at Mount Horebe. It is challenging and very tiring to continually be educated, but we know it is worth it! If you would like to send us a card, note of encouragement etc, we have posted our address on the right hand side of the blog- mail from home is allways the highlight of our day! God Bless, and thank you for your prayers!

Rick and Heather

It wasnt that it was cold here... we were just getting drenched! The mist coming of the "Devil's Throat" falls was incredible!