September 30, 2004

I Made The Switch

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I have been contemplatin using the Firefox Mozilla browser for some time. Today, with tech support from Nikkiana, I made the switch from Microsoft Internet Explorer. Already I am liking the change. Here are some of the reasons:

- Tabs, so you don't have to open the program again every time you want to visit a new site while still browsing the old one.

- Faster page loads, even on dialup. Or at least it seems that way to me.

- A feature that allows you to search using any search engine you want.

I am sure there are others. I am just getting started.

Posted by Andrew at 1:12 AM // Comments: 5 //
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September 29, 2004

Another Regular Read

Please welcome Avoiding Evil to the list of Regular Reads at the Comings Communiqu.

Actually, this should have been added quite some time ago, since I have been reading it for a while now.

Posted by Andrew at 12:22 PM
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Politics

Since the beginning of the year, I have mostly avoided politics in this blog. However, in case anybody is wondering what my political leanings are, check out the graphic below, picked up over at Avoiding Evil.

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Also, if you read Portuguese, you might want to check out this little election year project of mine.

Posted by Andrew at 10:46 AM
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September 28, 2004

Come And Visit

In a rare non-missions, non-Brazil post, I wanted to share this, courtesy of the bloggers over at DeadYetLiving:

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Posted by Andrew at 5:01 PM // Comments: 2 //
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In Case You Were Wondering...

Our house in Florida survived Hurricane Jeanne. Thanks for praying.

Posted by Andrew at 10:09 AM
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September 27, 2004

And More (Less Important) Progress

This blog has "evolved" to a "flippery fish" in the TTLB Ecosystem. w00t!

Posted by Andrew at 12:07 PM
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Progress

Thanks to the commitment of a dear friend, our support level has risen to 54.3%. Once again, the mercury on the thermometer has risen!

Posted by Andrew at 12:04 PM
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September 25, 2004

Good News

Just got off the phone with Jim and Julie Leonard in Brazil. They are doing well, despite a physical concern. Jim also informed me that the Seminary where It and I will be working just received a significant donation for a music center. This is a significant step toward a full music program, a goal the seminary has had for years.

Posted by Andrew at 1:33 PM
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Looking for Z Carioca

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I am searching for comic books or other items related to Disney's Brazilian parrot, Z Carioca. Can anybody out there help?

Posted by Andrew at 1:29 PM
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Hollywood, Brazilian Style

Here is an interesting article about the Brazilian film industry. My observation has been that Brazilian movies have been getting progressively better over the past five years, an opinion shared by the author of the article.

The two films reflect the renaissance of the Brazilian film industry. The country is expected to produce 50 feature-length films this year -- the most since the 1970s and almost the double the number produced last year.

Interestingly enough, only recently has this rise in quality been reflected by an increase in Brazilian audiences.

"The Brazilian public likes films that have a mass appeal, not art-type films," said Steve Solot, the Motion Picture Association of America's vice president in charge of Latin America. "City of God wasn't much of a hit at first because a lot of people didn't want to see a movie about the slum that's just around the corner. But when it got the Oscar nomination, all that changed."

This reflects a curious aspect of Brazilian culture: the mentality that something is only quality if it comes from outside the country. Even the true superstars of Brazil are those who make it big in Europe or America--Pel, Ayerton Senna, Tom Jobim, Carmen Miranda. Others do well in Brazil, but never achieve the status of Brazilian superstar because they never make it big in the "exterior".

This is a blessing and a curse for American missionaries. Many times we can gain an audience because we are "imported". Yet, it is hard to shake that "foreigner" status once an audience has been gained.

Posted by Andrew at 10:33 AM
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September 24, 2004

Prayer Request

I just got a letter from my dear friends Jim and Julie Leonard, faithfully serving God in Crato, Brazil. I have included the entire letter below, because the request shared therein are especially urgent. Please be much in prayer for them during this difficult time.

Dear Praying Friends,


It is so comforting to know that you are praying for our family. The interest that you have shown in our lives and ministry has been a great blessing to us. This past week has been one of new surprises and blessings, too. In writing this letter, we share a new challenge for you to take before the Lord.


In our last letter, we mentioned that all of us needed to see some kind of doctor or another in the coming days. The first appointment on the list was for me (Julie) to take my MRI results to my ear doctor. The exam was actually done in late May, but in our busy lives this is the first opportunity that has opened to return to the doctor. There's good news and bad news. For the good news; well, they did find something in my head! The bad news is what they found is actually an "acoustic neuroma", more correctly called a "vestibular schwannoma", located on my left auditory nerve where it goes from the ear to the brain. From what the doctor said and from other research we've done, this kind of tumor is virtually always benign and it grows very slowly. But it is there and it has already caused some hearing loss.

Jim was in Fortaleza on Tuesday afternoon, but the Lord was right there by my side as the doctor looked at the exams, mumbled to himself, then roughly told me the news. PTL, Jim returned home the next morning. My doctor asked that I repeat the hearing test to see if there has been any more hearing loss since the last one was taken in February. I was able to schedule an appointment for Thursday morning. I came away from the test feeling as if the Lord Himself had just given me a big hug.


My audiologist is a sweet Christian lady. She does hearing tests; her husband fits people with hearing aids. They came to know the Lord a few years ago through the deaf ministries in the Cariri. As we chatted, I asked Dr. Ana Lscia lots of questions and voiced some of my concerns. It turned out to be a very special time of sharing and encouragement between doctor and patient; sisters in Christ; friends. She knows my ear doctor personally and assured me of his excellent professional capability, despite his lack of tact. The Lord knew that was what I needed to hear and that fact was proved later that afternoon. I called to mark a time when I could quickly show him the results of the tests: PTL, there had been no change. The secretary couldn't find a time until next week, but when she transferred my call to him, he told us to come right away. When we arrived in his office, he had already received a reply from a neurotologist in So Pauloto to an e-mail he had sent along with some of the MRI images and my case history. He shared some more information, including the fact that he has seen other similar cases; however, I am the first case that he has personally diagnosed. He sent us home with a diskette of the MRI images that we can send by e-mail to have evaluated and later that evening, he sent us the address of the Mayo Clinic's web site about acoustic neuromas. We appreciate his expertice and care. Please pray that this will be an opportunity to get to know Dr. Jorge and his family better. They live just down the road, two blocks from our front door.

After reading the Mayo website, we are pretty sure that mine is a typical, not extremely urgent case, although we're obviously looking for professional confirmations from the States and Brazil. The MRI showed the tumor to be 2.2 cm. in diameter back in May; 2cm. is referred to as "small". We are hoping to have more information so that we can make somewhat tentative plans within the next week, if possible. Surgery has been recommended but in our reading, traditional surgery could probably have worse results than the tumor itself. The most common surgery is done by the Gamma Knife, arresting the growth of the tumor by using miscroscopic radiation blasts. There are still many unknowns, but for this we ask your prayers. We are specificially praying about having this proceedure done at Mayo Clinic. Having our Home Church and family in Austin, MN, we have closer access to the Mayo system and a great support system both in Rochester and Austin. We think that this is a very important detail in our situation. Either way, brain surgery is probably inevitable.


We are confident of the Lord's timing (why would He allow a 5 month delay in the reading of the results?) and His faithful leading (what type of surgery; when; in Brazil in the States?). It's overwhelming to think of all the details that He will have to work out for what is ahead. But these plans don't just involve one person; they also include 3 home-schooled high schoolers and the director of a Bible college coming up on the busy time of year-end activites. We cherish your prayers for all of us right now.


At the moment, we're trying to keep up the normal schedule at home, in school, and at the Seminary. PTL, all this has come up while I have a two-week break from teaching my Pastor's Wife class. As much as I enjoy teaching, this has been a very welcome and timely break. School was pretty messed up yesterday because of my appointments, but we can get back on track. PTL, we've been slowly cutting back on our church responsibilities, so that is not such an immediate pressure.


So please rejoice with us that the Lord is good, and He is in control. Some have asked how I'm doing. Physically, I'm the same as I was last Monday. Emotionally and spiritually, a person can't be told that they have a tumor on their brain and walk away the same. My desire is to truly learn the awesome things that God desires to show me through all of this.

Thanks so much for your prayers. It is a busy and challenging time for us. It is getting a little bit hotter every day. That makes sleeping uncomfortable and sometimes restless. Then we get run down and extra tired. But we are not complaining. Just sharing so that you can pray more knowledgeably for us. Thank you.

Posted by Andrew at 6:27 PM
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Boy Scouts in Brazil

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Just spent some time on the home page of the Brazilian Boy Scouts. I would like very much for my son to get involved with this group when we get to Brazil. I can't think of a better way to get involved in the community.

Posted by Andrew at 6:16 PM
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New Feature

We want you to keep up with the things that are going on in the country where your missionaries are serving. To this end, we have installed a news feed on the sidebar, that shows all the latest headlines from Brazil

Posted by Andrew at 3:47 PM
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September 22, 2004

Pics of Family Day in the Adirondacks

Here are some pictures of our trip to Old Forge, NY on Monday.

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Mikey taking his turn at the wheel of the boat that toured the chain of lakes.

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After a few minutes of "driving" the boat, Mikey was dubbed a "junior captain" and given this certificate.

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After the boat ride, we climbed Bald Mountain. Mikey walked the whole way. I don't know where the energy comes from, but I want some of it!

Posted by Andrew at 8:51 PM // Comments: 1 //
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September 20, 2004

Family Day

Today is family day. Since I am no longer at McDonalds, that has freed us up to have family day on Monday instead of Wednesday. Soooo, today we are off to Old Forge. Not sure what we are going to do there, but at least we are going, and it is a place my wife has not seen yet.

I leave you with this quote from Richard Bach:

Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you are alive, it isn't.

Posted by Andrew at 7:47 AM // Comments: 1 //
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September 19, 2004

A Plea From The Field

In my mailbox this afternoon was a letter from the director of the Fortaleza Academy, asking for help. Here is the letter:

Fortaleza Academy exists to assist missionaries in the education of their children in 1st to 12 th grades. For over 50 years, FA has provided quality education from a Christian perspective.

For the past several years, FA has struggled to provide the personnel needed to meet the educational needs. Though we have a lovely facility, ample income and a student body of 39, we have had to cut out courses this year for lack of teachers.

We anticipate an even greater lack for the 2005-2006 school year. Perhaps you would consider meeting this need for teachers, temporarily or permanently.

All BMM children attend FA tuition free. The city of Fortaleza has a population of about 2 million and offers plenty of areas for additional ministries.

You may be between assignments or considering a change. Would you consider teaching at Fortaleza Academy? Do you know of someone (an MK or retiree) qualified that might be interested?

For an application or more information, please contact FA at: bmmfa@secrel.com.br

Sincerely,

Bruce T. Dennis, Director
Fortaleza Academy
a ministry of Baptist Mid-Missions
in Brazil

I can attest to the good work done by Fortaleza Academy. I can also attest to the genuine need for personnel the school faces at the moment. So, Comings Communiqu readers, are there any of you who will rise to the challenge, or know someone who might?

Posted by Andrew at 5:21 PM // Comments: 2 //
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My Brush With Fame

No, I have not yet met the president (sigh). I did, however, send a couple links that I posted (the Brazilian police getting robbed, and the Brazilian frog darts getting stolen) to Dave Barry's blog, and he posted them! He even included my name! Woo hoo!

Posted by Andrew at 9:20 AM // Comments: 1 //
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September 18, 2004

New Pics

If you go to our homepage, you will see new portraits of myself, Itacyara, and Mikey.

Posted by Andrew at 9:19 AM
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September 17, 2004

And in the Ensuing Crime Wave

...not even poison dart tips are safe.

Posted by Andrew at 10:27 PM // Comments: 1 //
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Only In Brazil

...would thieves hold up a bus full of police officers--and get away with it!

Posted by Andrew at 6:59 PM // Comments: 1 //
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September 16, 2004

The Train

Earlier I wrote an article about my dream camp in Brazil, in which I said that the various sections of the camp would be connected by a train. Today, doing a little surfing, I found the train. (Note: video may take a while to download if you are using dialup.)

Posted by Andrew at 3:25 PM // Comments: 1 //
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Family Day

Yesterday was family day, and we sure had a lot of fun. We went to Steamtown USA, in Scranton. Check out the "vintage" pics below:

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Posted by Andrew at 10:59 AM
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September 15, 2004

Zé Carioca

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Last night I watched the Disney film The Three Caballeros with my son. Of special interest to me was the section where Donald Duck goes to Brazil, accompanied by his Brazilian parrot friend, Zé Carioca. (The picture above is a scene from that part of the film.)

Not too many people here in the US are aware that Brazil has its own Disney character. Zé Carioca was created as a result of a trip to Brazil Walt Disney took with his wife and several of his key artists in 1941. The backdrop was WWII, and the US was very interested in maintaining good relations with it's largest neighbor to the south.

The result (for Disney) was the creation of a whole series of films and comic strips featuring the Brazilian parrot Zé Carioca.

Comic books featuring the aviary malandro are still published in Brazil.

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Posted by Andrew at 10:50 AM // Comments: 2 // TrackBack: 0 //
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The Whole Story

I just received permission from Steve over at Voice in the Desert to publish the story that I linked earlier. Steve is a great missionary blogger, and you owe it to yourself to visit his site. I am linking it under the "Regular Reads" section of this site.

Stephen Davies 4 September 2004

I first meet Carlos in an ice cream parlour in Governador Valadares. He and one of his students have come here after an English lesson, so that Carlos can have a quick Cornetto. He greets me in English, and introduces his student, Mario.

'Mario is a hairdresser,' he says, 'aren't you, Mario?'
'Hello Mario,' I say. 'How long have you been learning English?'
'Don't confuse him,' says Carlos, his mouth full of ice cream. 'Use the simple past.'
I try again. 'When did you start learning English?'
'When?' says Carlos, speaking loudly into his student's left ear. 'When did you start my course? Yesterday? Last week? Ten years ago? When?'
The hairdresser looks startled.

'You have to give them options,' confides Carlos in an undertone. 'Three months,' he continues. 'He started learning three months ago. For three months he has been learning.'
'Why do you want to learn English?' I ask Mario.
'Why?' repeats Carlos, spraying cone at his student. 'Why English? To work where? To work in China? Morocco? Latvia? Peru? Where? Where do you want to go work? The United States of America?'
Mario nods uncomfortably.
'Options,' says Carlos, pleased. 'America. He wants to cut hair in America. You got a minute? Come and see my language school. Tchau, Mario. At a vista.'

'Smart Course' language school is two blocks away. Carlos ushers me into a simple office with a desk, telephone and bookshelf. There are two certificates on the wall. One is from a TEFL day-course Carlos attended in London. The other I am unsure about; its calligraphy is extravagant and illegible. On the window sill is a framed photograph of Carlos in an intimate embrace with Whoopi Goldberg.
'I had an affair with her,' he says sadly. 'It did not last long. Come and see the classroom.'

The classroom consists of eight chairs in a semi-circle around a white-board. At the top of the board in uneven capitals is the challenge DO YOU DRINK VODKA? Below, a line of qualifiers: Never, OCCASIONALLY, sometimes, Frequently, often, ALWAYS.
'Where would you put sporadically?' says Carlos, raking a hand through his thinning hair. 'Before or after occasionally? Come and see the storeroom.'

The storeroom houses a collection of miscellany, all of it for sale. In the Brazilian Way you need a sideline. Cherubs and longhaired dogs gaze out from various oil paintings, competing with each other for wistfulness. An icon of Mary changes to Jesus as I walk past it. In the corner there are two saddles and a large, mysterious metal box.
Carlos does not call this stuff miscellany; he uses a less polite word for it. But he surveys it all fondly enough.
'Hair conditioner,' he announces, pointing at the metal box. 'Sorry, air conditioner.'
That should sell quickly. On average, Governador Valadares is the hottest city in the country, and my experience to date has backed this up. Valadares is a three showers a day city.

'What part of America are you from?' asks Carlos, and I tell him.
'I hear the English are racist,' he says. 'Are they?'
I sift options in my head. None of them, hardly any, some, most, all of them are. All and none are the most attractive, of course, generalisation being the traveller's constant temptation. In the end I go for bland honesty.
'A few are, sometimes.'
'And what do the English know about Brazil?'
Pick a clich. Football? Samba? Carlos saves me the decision.
'People seem to hear only the bad things about Brazil,' he says. 'They watch City of God and Anaconda and they think they know Brazil. They think Brazil is all drug-wars and man-eating snakes. Men who would shoot you for your watch and snakes that would leave only your watch behind.'
'What about the beautiful game?' I ask, grinning inanely. No reaction. 'Ronaldo?' I plead. 'Pel?'
No, Carlos is not interested in football. He is interested in ice cream, grammar and kitsch.

Students are arriving, but before I leave I cannot help but ask, 'Where did you meet Whoopi?'
'London,' says Carlos, reaching for his white-board pens. 'Madam Tussauds.'
Like Mario, I leave 'Smart Course' feeling foolish.

Posted by Andrew at 10:12 AM
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September 14, 2004

Brazil's Government and Slave Labor

From Knight Ridder news services comes this article:

PARAUPEBAS, Brazil - The pro-labor government of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is the first to move seriously against modern slavery in Brazil. It has vowed to end the practice by 2006.

"This government is determined to relentlessly combat slave labor and all forms of degrading labor," Ricardo-Berzoini, Brazil's labor minister, said.

It has been 116 years since Brazil officially abolished slavery. The Labor Ministry's mobile anti-slavery teams managed to free 6,465 Brazilians in Lula's first 19 months in office, but 25,000 to 50,000 workers remain enslaved.

A proposed constitutional amendment pending in Brazil's Congress would permit authorities to seize land where slaves are found working. But the powerful Brazilian landowners who have defied existing laws and made enslaving workers a rural tradition won't easily be brought to heel.

For now, Brazil's proposed remedies, plus doubling the number of slaves freed in 2003 over the previous year, have made the country a reform leader compared with India, Pakistan, Thailand, the Ivory Coast and Mauritania -- other countries where slaves are known to be held.

"Never have there been so many cases before the courts, nor were there ever so many rescues as those carried out by anti-slave teams in 2003," said Patricia Audi, anti-slavery coordinator for the International Labour Organization, in Brazil's capital, Brasilia.

Brazil, Audi said, is now the ILO's "reference country," the one that shows others what can be done.

Toughening Brazil's penalties won't be hard. Administrative fines start at $107 for each slave worker. By comparison, the country's updated environmental laws carry fines of $1,700 or more for capturing an endangered parrot.

Although more than 100 landowners face criminal slaveholding charges, no one has been imprisoned for it.

When I was in Brazil earlier this year, I saw many evidences of the fact that the Brazilian government is getting serious about cracking down on this horrible practice. It is about time.

Posted by Andrew at 1:08 PM
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English Teachers in Brazil

I can identify with this story, as almost identical conversations took place on a regular basis between myself and the English teachers I would encounter in NE Brazil.

Posted by Andrew at 9:42 AM
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Another Brazilian Ad

This ad features Brazilian soccer player Roberto Carlos discovering a unique way to beat the opposition. I don't remember seeing this play in the US, but it may have. Enjoy.

Posted by Andrew at 9:38 AM // Comments: 2 //
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New Quotes

I have added a little levity to the sidebar by putting a few funny sayings in the "random quotes" section. I also added a quote from my Dad's message of last Sunday:

"God cannot show Himself mighty unless we come up short in the area of self-sufficiency."

Posted by Andrew at 8:57 AM
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September 13, 2004

This Worries Me

As a general rule, I have a decent opinion of Brazilian president Lus Incio Lula da Silva. However his close relationship with the likes of Hugo Chavez does worry me a bit.

Posted by Andrew at 8:19 PM
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Show De Bola

Click here for a great commercial featuring the Brazilian soccer team. I remember when this was actually on TV.

Posted by Andrew at 2:03 PM
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Please Pray

A friend of mine from Brazil just wrote and told me about an acquaintance of ours who just committed suicide. She was from the city of Joo Pessoa, and well-known to many good friends of mine who work in that city.

Please pray for them, as well as for the family of this poor young lady for whom life seemed too difficult.

Posted by Andrew at 9:48 AM
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September 11, 2004

God's Gentle Reminder

For the past few weeks, I have been scrambling to set up meetings for the rest of this yearand on into 2005with varying degrees of success. Usually when I call a pastor, I get a variation of the following responses: Our schedule is full. Send me a packet. We cannot support any more missionaries. We already have too many missionaries in Brazil.

Needless to say, this is very frustrating. The last few calling sessions I have had have been notably un-fruitful. I have been wracking my brain to try to come up with new ways to contact pastors, and new ways to convey our passion for the field of Brazil.

Today, God demonstrated, in a wonderful way, how much more effective He is at setting up meetings for me than I am. A pastor whom I do not know, and who had received no phone contact or packet from me, sent me an e-mail wondering if we had any free dates coming up in the future. To make a long story short, we were able to set up a meeting in their church.

The ministry is like this, I guess. We work, we sacrifice, we shed blood, sweat, and tears. And in the end, when we look back to see what we have accomplished, we discover that we have accomplished nothing at allit is God who has accomplished His perfect will.

Posted by Andrew at 5:23 PM
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We Must Never Forget

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Posted by Andrew at 11:49 AM
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September 7, 2004

Happy 7th of September

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Welcome to our second annual celebration of Brazilian Independence Day. On this day, in 1822, Brazil declared her independence from Portugal. If we were in Brazil right now, this day would be marked by parades and fireworks. As of yet, I have noticed no such celebrations around about the greater Cortland area.

Below are the words to the Brazilian national anthem.


Verse 1

Ouviram do Ipiranga as margens plcidas
De um povo herico o brado retumbante.
E o sol da Liberdade em raios flgidos,
Brilhou no cu da Ptria nesse instante.

Se o penhor dessa igualdade
Conseguimos conquistar com brao forte,
Em teu seio, Liberdade,
Desafia o nosso peito a prpria morte!

Ptria amada,idolatrada,
Salve! Salve!

Brasil, um sonho intenso, um raio vvido
De amor e de esperana terra desce,
Se em teu formoso cu, risonho e lmpido,
A imagem do Cruzeiro resplandece.

Gigante pela prpria natureza,
s belo, s forte, impvido colosso,
E o teu futuro espelha essa grandeza,

Terra adorada,
Entre outras mil,
s tu, Brasil,
Ptria amada!

Dos filhos deste solo s me gentil,
Ptria amada,
Brasil!

Verse 2

Deitado eternamente em bero esplndido,
ao som do mar e luz do cu profundo,
Fulguras, Brasil, floro da Amrica,
Iluminado ao sol do Novo Mundo!

Do que a terra mais garrida
Teus risonhos, lindos campos tm mais flores,
"Nossos bosques tm mais vida"
"Nossa vida" no teu seio "mais amores".

Ptria amada,
Idolatrada,
Salve! Salve!

Brasil, de amor eterno seja smbolo
O lbaro que ostentas estrelado,
E diga o verde-louro dessa flmula
- Paz no futuro e glria no passado.

Mas, se ergues da justia a clava forte,
Vers que um filho teu no foge luta,
Nem teme, quem te adora, a prpria morte.

Terra adorada,
Entre outras mil,
s tu, Brasil,
Ptria amada!

Dos filhos deste solo s me gentil,
Ptria amada,
Brasil!

And now for the English translation:

Verse 1

The Ipiranga's placid banks heard
The resounding cry of a heroic people.
And the sun of freedom, in bright rays,
Shone at this moment in the homeland's skies.

As the promise of this equality
Was secured by our strong arms,
In your bosom, O Freedom,
Our heart defies even death.

O beloved, idolized homeland, hail, hail!

Brazil, a vivid dream, a lively ray
Of love and hope settles on the earth,
As in your beautiful sky, smiling and limpid,
The image of the Southern Cross shines resplendent.

A giant by nature, you are beautiful,
Strong, an intrepid colossus,
And your future mirrors this grandeur.

O land we adore,
among a thousand others
You are, Brazil, the beloved one!

You are the gentle mother of the sons of this land,
Beloved homeland,
Brazil!

Verse 2
Eternally laid in a splendid cradle,
To the sound of the sea and the light from the depths of the sky,
Brazil, you gleam, fleuron of the Americas,
Illuminated by the sun of the New World.

Your smiling, lovely fields have more flowers
Than the most attractive land elsewhere,
Our forests have more life,
Our life in your bosom more love.

O beloved, idolized homeland, hail, hail!

Brazil, may the starry banner you display
Be a symbol of eternal love,
And may the green laurel of this pennant speak
Of peace in the future and glory in the past.

But if you raise a strong cudgel in the name of justice,
You will see that a son of yours does not run from a fight,
Nor does one who adores you fear death.

O land we adore,
among a thousand others
You are, Brazil, the beloved one!

You are the gentle mother of the sons of this land,
Beloved homeland,
Brazil!

Posted by Andrew at 10:59 AM // Comments: 2 //
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September 3, 2004

Mikey is Three

It seems like yesterday that I was holding this "little" nine-pound, four-ounce guy in my arms, watching as he took in the world around him for the first time. Today my son is three years old. He talks, goes to the potty (most of the time) and has a personality all his own.

Here are a couple pics of the festivities today:

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Mikey preparing to blow out the candle.

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Mikey playing with one of his new toys. Mom and Dad had as much fun putting it together as Mikey did playing with it.

Posted by Andrew at 10:40 PM // Comments: 6 //
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One Classy Brazilian

Vanderlei de Lima, the Brazilian runner who was denied the gold medal by a mid-race attack by a crazy Irishman, has accepted an invitation by the Irish government to run in a marathon in that country on October 25th.

You can read more of his comments here.

Posted by Andrew at 12:40 PM
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September 2, 2004

Somebody Call the Men in White Coats

The Irish guy who messed up Brazilian Vanderlei de Lima's chances for the gold medal is certifiably loony.

Posted by Andrew at 3:01 PM
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Family Day Report: The State Fair

Yesterday was family day, and it found us at the New York State Fair in Syracuse. Below are a few pictures of our adventures:

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You meet Baptist Mid-Missions people everywhere! This is Beth Calhoun, working at the maple sugar display. Her parents are missionaries in Quebec.

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The Sons of the American Revolution booth. I am eligible to join. I just might.

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Feeding my passion for trains.

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Oh to have a garden railroad again!

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Syracuse, NY was the last place I expected to see anything having to do with Publix Supermarkets--a Lakeland, FL concern.

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This is an actual piece of the World Trade Center. This memorial was very touching.

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Mikey strikes a "conquering hero" pose.

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Living out my dream of driving a hummer--sort of.

Posted by Andrew at 1:39 PM // Comments: 1 //
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Not Frightened by Externals

This story from our mission's new website illustrates what happens when Christians are not intimidated by how a person looks on the outside.

Posted by Andrew at 1:21 PM
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September 1, 2004

Kidnappings in Brazil

Read this article, then remember to pray for missionaries you know in Brazil.

Posted by Andrew at 2:00 AM // Comments: 1 //
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