Sunday, September 14, 2008

Random Really Cool Things

The interesting life of a blog includes the fact that any entry seems like it is going on the runway at a fashion show. It feels naked if it doesn’t have all the right pictures or the latest most up to date information, but I thought about all the blog posts that don’t make the “style” cut and realized that if I put them all together, someone find this information more interesting than all the pictures I could ever post!

AS OF TODAY, I just got back from my visa trip to Uruguay. A tourist visa has to be renewed every 90 days, so Carol and I took advantage of doing that before life here gets even crazier. I will save more about this trip for it’s own blog entry.

Every Thursday night Mark and Ali host the youth group at their house for a Bible Study that is on a rotating basis. The structure is in a 4-week set of “Scripture”, “Media Activity”, “Scripture”, and “Service Activity.” Lately we have been talking about slogans for your life. Using various scriptures from the book of Matthew, the youth breaks up into groups, summarizes the scripture, and then writes their “slogan” for the week on the garage wall. The last media activity was the movie “Pay it Forward” which has the concept of doing a big gesture for another person and simply paying it back by doing something big for someone else. The service project was a collection of used clothing that will benefit some other ministry projects including the Sito Shalom (see below), and the Lar (orphanage), and also as a way to promote a culture of re-use and recycling. We are planning on attending a soccer game at the end of the month and our next service activity involves a design project for a nail salon that I am working on. Overall, I adore the youth group. They are a lot of fun and bare with my lack of Portuguese. Carol and I even joined two of the youth (Kelly and Isaias) at and elderly home where they volunteer their time twice a week. Mark and Ali call the youth group, “The Kaiseres (their last name)”, but I like to refer to them as the Kaiserettes!

The Sito Shalom is a drug and alcohol rehab facility that was just started about 3 or 4 months ago in a nearby town called Indaiatuba. The facility was started by another church in the area and Mark and Ali were recently introduced to it by a young man that came up to them one day seeking their help. They were able to get this man help at the facility and in turn it has opened up a place with vast opportunities for service projects. A few weeks ago we took the youth group there and helped with gardening for a Saturday afternoon. The young man, Odair, it turn out love AutoCAD and has worked with it for seven years. So, me and my computer might be making our way out to the Sito Shalom and seeing if we can help this man get back on his feet and actually have a future. The ministry there is very similar to a facility Carol and I worked at last summer in Porto Alegre for a week.

That is actually the word for gym here in Brazil. I have been attending a local gym for the past month with Guto and Ivan, two of my friends from church. Sadly, Ivan will no longer be able to join, but Guto and I are trying to keep each other accountable. I have lost a few pounds, but have quite a ways to go. I am gaining more muscle and can definitely tell a difference in being able to get around this city by foot and bike a little easier. Guto and I usually use the time to talk about the church and God and what we think he is calling us to do so it is rather productive on many levels.

Carol has three or four Spanish students. I have one English student. David and I will meet for our third class tomorrow. It has been a little unstructured, but I hope we will soon iron out the best way for him to learn better and for me to teach better.

Carol and I are still taking 3 classes per week with Alini. While I was in Porto Alegre I actually spoke in a little Portuguese in front of a group at the Chacara and at House Church. So, I understand more and can say more, but it is still tedious and much studying ahead is needed.

That is a lot of random for now; I will add more as it comes. I hope you enjoyed it!

Love ya and God’s Blessings, Amanda

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