Monday, February 17, 2014

Back from Brazil

Hello friends,

Ryan and I are pretty much settled back in at home after our time in Brazil.  It was a great trip.  We feel grateful for the opportunity to have joined such a great team and to learn with them while working alongside the missionaries as well as many other Brazilians and Peruvians.  The missionaries - Wilson and Lori Kannenberg - and others there work tirelessly for the Lord.  I was so challenged by how intentionally and intensely they love others and point others to Christ.  It is my prayer that I may grow in that regard.  

We are also very grateful for the outpouring of prayer, monetary donations, and gifts/supplies given to us to take to Brazil.  Know that your giving resulted in - 

Bibles in hands that may have never held one of their own
Sunday School materials for churches who previously may not have had a children's program
Food for over a hundred seminary students whose pantry did not hold enough food for the rest of the month
A stove and washing machine for a pastor's family who holds a Christian preschool in their home.  
School Uniforms for all the children attending that preschool.
Additional finances for the missionaries to finish ongoing projects (plane hangar, boat, etc.) at their discretion
Reading glasses for many who needed them 
Tooth brushes in the hands of many adults and children
Little girls and women with bows and flowers in their hair

Without saying a lot more, I want to go ahead and share a few pictures of the time Ryan and I spent in southern Brazil.  I had some trouble loading the video montage of the mission trip on here, so I'll post it on Facebook at a later time...oh the teaser!  :)

 At the Redondo Falls

The Redondo Falls

The Acaba Vida Falls

MILES of farms

Reconnecting with old friends

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Why I like Winter

I was recently asked if I was going to continue blogging.  I was (pleasantly?!) surprised anyone noticed I had taken a hiatus.  But the break was actually quite unintentional.   Life on a farm is active during the summer.  But the speed of life shifts into high gear starting in September.  Ry's pulling long hours at the farm...I'm trying to keep our household in order...Just doesn't leave much time for sharing thoughts and giving updates on the blog. :) 

Thankfully the pace of life starts to slow...probably starting in December.  

And we make it to January.  Now folks have different feelings about January.  Some associate January with new beginnings and the new year.  Others see it through the bleakness of winter.  

I have experienced both viewpoints at different times.  Yet at this stage in life, I like January.  And for the most part, I like winter.  Here's why - winter seems to me to be the longest stretch of time throughout the year where farmers are able to spend time at home.  Simply put, Ryan's home.  An added bonus - the frigid weather gives us good reason to cuddle up with each other and hot chocolate.  Now really, what could be better?  

Not to beat a dead horse here, but anyone else notice the majority of farmers get married during winter?  (And the other 5% get married in late July/August?)  This is no coincidence.  

Now, do I like everything about winter?  No.  But on the whole, winter provides opportunities for things we just can't enjoy throughout the rest of the year.  If you will allow me to elaborate - 

sledding | hot chocolate and other hot beverages | the beauty of snow and ice-covered landscapes | fireplaces | snowball fights | Being bundled up for winter walks | four-wheeling in the snow | Enjoyable travel to warm climates 

We anticipate enjoying a number of those this winter.  Two in particular. 

Despite the 11 degree temperature, Ryan and I went four-wheeling in the snow this afternoon.  Much to his amazement, this was my idea.  My winter-worthy apparel included cuddle duds (Your Nana's version of long-johns) and two stocking hats under my hood.  [No selfie provided.]  Unfortunately, I was only able to withstand about seven minutes of drift-busting before succumbing to the elements.  Incredibly, the arctic weather seemed  lost on our Lab/Husky pup, Kinze, who had the vigor of a pup half her age as she bounded through drifts alongside me.   

Additionally, we will be joining a mission team going to Benjamin Constant, Amazonas, Brazil.  We are excited and privileged to learn from the missionaries and Brazilian believers there, and with the Lord's help, we hope to share His love in word and deed.  Among other things, our trip plans include building a church in a village along the Amazon River.  Please pray for us, that we will be useful servants to the Lord and the missionaries.  Below you will see our team photo and map marking Benjamin Constant.  We will use this blog to provide updates about the trip.  

May you enjoy this winter and stay cozy with your loved ones!