December 30, 2005
Quote of the Week
Overheard as we were passing a group of taxi drivers:
Look at these American guys who come and marry the prettiest Brazilian girls. We need to start charging them an export tax.
December 28, 2005
Yesterday we went with Tassie's family to a town about 100km away called Axixá. There we hiked, swam, and visited Val's parents (Val is the wife of Itacyara's brother, Paulo). We also looked at a piece of property--which we affectionately called "Bezerralândia".
In the above picture, Paulo is hefting a fruit called "jaca", while Mikey looks on with great interest. Jaca is plentiful in this region, and grows larger than in other parts of Brazil. It is quite tasty.
More pictures of our outing can be seen here.
A Couple More Christmas Photos
I have been trying to find my way around the new Moveable Type spam controls. I think I have a handle on it now. If anybody commented, and their comment failed to appear, I think I have fixed the problem. We shall see.
December 26, 2005
White Christmas (Photo Essay)
"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know..."
"Where the treetops glisten..."
"...and children listen, to hear sleighbells in the snow."
"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, with every Christmas card I write."
"May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white."
December 25, 2005
Feliz Natal para todos, e um feliz Ano Novo! (Merry Christmas to all, and happy New Year!)
December 22, 2005
Off to São Luís
In a few minutes, we will be heading to São Luís, to spend the Christmas holidays with Tassie's family there. We will be driving throught the states of Ceará, Piauí, and Maranhão. We are taking our camera, and I hope to have many pictures to post in the next few days.
December 20, 2005
Casa de Gente
Our house is beginning to look as if people lived in it. Most of the boxes have been removed. The refrigerator and washing machine have been hooked up (yay! clean clothes!). Tomorrow we are going to take care of some odds and ends before heading off to visit Itacyara's family in Maranhão.
December 17, 2005
At 5:20 pm Brazilian time, the truck arrived carrying most of our earthly belongings.
Shortly thereafter, fellow missionaries accompanied by a couple seminary students arrived to help us unload. Here is a shot of Jim Leonard and Mark Lounsbrough wrestling with a refrigerator. They won, but it was close.
This is the end result. What you are seeing is the actual state of our living room at the time of this writing. Hopefully, we will have cleared this out in another couple of days.
The World Is Mine
Well, the world wide web anyway. Today we got internet access at the house. Finally. After four weeks of asking for it. Velox (the high-speed internet company here), has no competition, so they have little need for haste.
Whoever designed the house did not have dsl in mind when they put in the telephone wires...but some creative networking on our part should care for that inconvenience shortly.
The other day we went downtown and bought a computer desk. Now we await it's delivery (up to 7 business days) and it's assembly (up to 5 business days after delivery). So...for now my laptop will live up to it's name.
December 16, 2005
Last week was set aside for staff meetings at the Cariri Baptist Seminary. Mark Lounsbrough took some pictures, and one of them--which includes yours truly--is on his website. I am the one in the Palmeiras shirt.
December 15, 2005
Free At Last!
Our container has been liberated from customs at the port in Fortaleza. We should receive it's contents no later than Saturday morning.
December 13, 2005
The Priest is Dead. Long Live the Priest.
The city where we live, Juazeiro do Norte, is notorious as the residence of Padre Cicero, a priest who lived here in the late 1800's and early 1900's. He is thought to have performed many miracles, and is worshiped as a god by the locals--as well as by multitudes who live in the surrounding areas. This cult has been growing since Padre Cicero died in the 1930's.
One of the big proponents of the Padre Cicero cult was a priest named Murilo. I say "was" because he died last week. According to one person I talked to, he died of cirrhosis of the liver--result of excessive drinking. Driving downtown the other day, I saw a banner which read "Padre Murilo, you led us by your example." This would explain why alcoholism is rampant in this region.
The day after Padre Murilo died, it rained here in the valley after a long dry spell. This immediately sparked the notion that Padre Murilo had talked to Padre Cicero, and Padre Cicero had sent the much-needed precipitation. One wonders why Padre Cicero needed to be told by Padre Murilo...but that is beside the point.
This form of "Christianity" has no basis in the Bible. There is no code of ethics that I can see. There is simply blind devotion to certain human beings (dead ones, at that), in hopes that such devotion will be rewarded by material blessings.
Honor Where Honor is Due
We, the Mid-Brazil Field of Baptist Mid-Missions, congratulate Harold Reiner on being received as an honorary citizen of Remanso. In an age where there are anti-American feelings, it is especially noteworthy for an American to receive such an award.
The e-mail went on to say
As far as we know, this is the first time one of our colleagues has received this honor. We know that there is a street in Juazeiro do Norte named after Guy McLain.
That happens to be the road I live on--which means I get strange looks from people when asked to give my street address. Nobody here knows how to spell "McLain".
December 10, 2005
Preaching at Zion Baptist Church
People seem to get a kick out of seeing me preach in Portuguese. So, in the interest of the public getting their kicks, here is the latest video of me, this time preaching at the church of my friend Roque.
After the service we all went to a pastelaria. Too bad there is no way to post "yummy" on this site.
The "100 Voice" Choir
Ok, so it was actually only 87 voices. Last year they had 100. This choir was made up of people from the Baptist churches in the greater Juazeiro area. Their first presentation was Thursday, and it was a smash.
Itacyara and I would have sung, but we arrived in town too late to attend practices. We were still able to participate in various ways.
Before the presentation, I went with another missionary and a couple MK's to load the bleachers into the truck. We then drove them downtown, where we set them up again.
Even Mikey got into the spirit of things, handing out tracts during the performance.
Speaking of performances, one of the most entertaining aspects of the evening was the drunk guy who tried to immitate the director during the songs. Apparently, he got tired, because he lay down right in front of the choir--all the while continuing to wave his arms about. A policeman finally came and escorted him out.
One of our MK's here in Brazil has caught the blogging bug.
December 9, 2005
Pray for Renata
Please pray for Renata. I have never met her, but she is very important to me. She is the fiscal who will be making the final decision on Monday as to whether or not our sea container is liberated. So pray for Renata.
Pray that she wakes up up the right side of the bed.
Pray that her relationships are in tip-top shape.
Pray for her salvation.
If she is saved, pray that she has GREAT devotions Monday morning.
Pray that traffic will be good for her as she goes to work.
Pray that her boss is nice to her.
Pray that she gets a raise.
Whatever you do, PLEASE PRAY FOR RENATA!!!!
I enjoy looking at the blogs of other missionaries. It is inspiring to see what God is doing around the world. A friend turned me on to blogging about two-and-a-half years ago, and it has proven an incredible communication tool--and a lot of fun as well.
As far as I know, I was the first missionary with Baptist Mid-Missions (our mission agency) to blog. If someone out there knows differently, please inform me. As of now, there are four of us.
The first is the blog of the Waldock family, missionaries with BMM in India. I met them at the last tri-annual conference I attended in July of this year. She was a single missionary, and met him while he was a short termer. There blog looks very interesting.
Next on the list is the Missionary Broadcasting Blog, run by the Harper family--on their way to Jamaica to start a radio ministry. I met them also at the conference in Ohio.
Finally, there is the blog of Mark and Becki Lounsbrough, fellow missionaries here in northeast Brazil. I am particularly happy to introduce you to their blog, because I was able to help them get it up and running. If you stop by there, be sure to let them know I sent you!
December 6, 2005
This is a Test
This is only a test. If this had been a real emergency, who knows what would have happened. We are testing the links and various font types. Thanks for your comprehension.
There are two types of people. Those who divide people into two types, and those who don't.
December 3, 2005
This is a video of the singing of the Brazilian National Anthem at last night's graduation ceremony. I apologize for the jerky panning...I am still figuring this whole video thing out.
I am hoping to have some more clips from the graduation posted shortly.
This was the scene at the seminary graduation last night. The youth group from Igreja Batista da Paz (Peace Baptist Church) piled into the pickup for the trip to Crato, where over twenty graduates walked the aisle in a beautiful ceremony.
The seminary graduation is held outside in an ampitheater on campus. On the photo page you can see pictures of the preparations for the event. The lighting was not good for pictures of the actual ceremony. A video will be available shortly.
Brazil--Capital of the Missionary Bloggers
The folks over at Missionary-Blogs.com have declared Brazil to be the capitol of the missionary bloggers. Included in their list of missionaries blogging from here was--you guessed it--yours truly!
December 1, 2005
A top government minister here has been impeached on corruption charges. This is bad news for the current administration--but unfortunately it is old news for Brazil.
At a going-away service for graduates of the seminary on Monday, one of the Brazilian professors read an article written by a well-known Brazilian author decrying the corruption that exists on every level of Brazilian society. His theory was that corruption at high levels of government would not end until it ended in the day-to-day life of regular Brazilians.
In the midst of all this, Brazilian believers are somewhat confused as to their role in government. On Saturday I will be attending a symposium at one of our local churces which will deal with that very topic. I am very interested in the conclusions they will reach.