"Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words." Saint Francis of Assisi

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mother's Day

I always love Mother's Day because I am really spoiled by my great husband and my 5 great kids. This year's Mother's Day was especially great. This is the first one that we've celebrated with our house church. For those of you who don't know, our church plant has become a network of house churches. This has been a wonderful experience for our family and, I think, for the families in our church.

For Mother's Day, all the dads in the church (even the ones who aren't yet Christians) read scripture, prayed and said kind words about all of us moms. The kids also participated, reading and praying. It was beautiful. Then our husbands served the Lord's Supper to us and gave us roses. We ended our time together taking family pictures. Here are some special moments from our day.

Here are all the moms with our roses. On the front row is Rosana, me, Ivoli and Moema. On the back row is Flavia, Johanna, Miriam and Gabriela.

A special moment in our worship with all the kids, moms and dads reading the Bible. In this picture, Bronwyn is helping Carys read a scripture about mothers.

After church, we took family pictures. Don't I have a beautiful family? (OK, lets ignore the lovely face that Garrett decided to make.....)

Silvio and Miriam's daughter didn't come, so they borrowed everybody else's kids for their family picture. They are dearly loved by all the kids. Here's one reason why......

Hope your Mother's Day was as great as mine!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

God's Big Family

I never stop being amazed at just how God's family takes care of each other around the world. I (Kevin) experienced this myself when I went to the Ukraine more than 10 years ago. To go somewhere, not know anyone and within a matter of days (sometimes hours or minutes) feel the peace of God's presence that only comes through His family. It's amazing. Two weeks ago Benay and I went to an art exposition here in Porto Alegre. While there we met two women from Uganda. Benay began having a conversation with them in English about the paintings they brought from their country. We stayed and talked for a while, traded emails and spoke about them coming back next year. The exposition was really a neat experience as around 20-25 different countries were represented. We decided to take the kids a few days later and let them see all the different things as well as meet our two new friends. The kids had a ball with Alinda (with the shaven head) and Reste. Our kids were taught new words in a new language and they learned things about another culture. We found out that Alinda and Reste would not be leaving town for a couple of days so we invited them to dinner the following night. They came and enjoyed some of Benay's beef stew. The night was fairly cool (45 or 50 degrees) and, because we have no central heat as well as them not being accustomed to colder temperatures, they were FREEZING! They were happy to eat a warm meal and drink hot tea. Benay and I told them how happy we were to have met them and that they were eating and spending time with us and our kids in our home. Alinda said she had been praying that God would bring some people into their lives on this trip that would treat them nicely and He had. We felt honored to be used by God to reach out to these women. We prayed together with our sisters in Christ asking God to bless their trip and their businesses as well as their country. We have some friends who were missionaries in Uganda and it was a blessing for us to meet people from the land where they taught, lived and learned for many years. God blessed us so much from our time with our new friends and we hope to keep them in our house next year when they come back.