Greetings, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, tidings of comfort and joy!
This newsletter is divided into three parts: News & Prayer, Financials, and Photos.
News & Prayer
Wow, well-beloveds, what a month and what a year!
We appreciate y’all being patient with us as we’ve been more or less incommunicado for a few weeks. We still don’t have internet access at home, but hope to have it soon. Still, the fact that we don’t have internet at home is a cause for thanks. We got an apartment! It proved to be quite a challenge, but we now have a three-bedroom apartment with a large living room/schoolroom and access to a park with a sweet hill and a basketball court.
Both Kimberly and I have struggled with some frustration over the bureaucracy and paperwork that reaches into so many aspects of life, as well as, occasionally, the attitude of others about it. Kimberly made the comment recently that everything is is more difficult to do here than in the States, and that it’s one thing to know it intellectually, a whole ‘nother to experience it. We often get the feeling that the paperwork exists for its own sake, without any connection to what is being attempted. Kimberly has often made fun of me in the past for demanding “efficiency” at all times, and getting very grumpy at wasteful processes. Not that I don’t waste time, because believe me, I do. But when something’s being done, let’s do this thing, y’all. Kimberly’s often told me to take it easy in that department; well, now I’m being sanctified. We’re being sanctified. Growing in patience and whatnot. And we’re grateful.
Our new church family here in Porto Alegre has been wonderfully supportive. There are four other member families of this new plant, and they (we) do a great job of living life together, as a people. We were able, thank the Lord, to celebrate Christmas morning in our own home, but we actually spent most of the day with two of the families from the church, eating steak and potato salad and being loud. Some of the women from the church took Kimberly shopping for fabric, and the dudes and I have gotten together a few times as well for some good ol’ manly fellowship. I had the pleasure of teaching Sunday School a week ago; I recorded myself to listen to my own Portuguese, and I’m pleased to report that I sounded better than mediocre. And it’s only going to get better from here!
Now that we are finally settling in, we will be looking to normalize our family life (come on, internet, we need you for homeschooling!) and I will begin our ministry work. By God’s grace I have already made some contacts I have high hopes for in the area, and I look forward to keeping all y’all abreast of our labors.
Thanks to all of you for your prayers and financial support this year. We’re looking forward to the 2016th year of our Lord being full of work and pain and joy for us. Please pray that the Lord increase our joy and gratitude daily.
There are a few more days before the end of the year. If you’d like to get a gift in before then, you can easily do so at my OMI website, in the right-hand sidebar. Getting us all here and setting up a home was an expensive endeavor. Now that we are all set up, we would like to get a little more financial security (i.e. back-up). Please also consider monthly giving. That will enable us to use all our personal funds as a reserve, for travel back to the U.S., and, years from now, our return trip to the United States.
Currently all the funds we are receiving are designated for living expenses. We would be very pleased if we could also begin to designate funds specifically for my work in sports with churches and youth in the southern region of Brazil.