We haven't written a post in a week, sorry for our absence! It has officially been a month since we moved to Brazil. Beauty and misery have never been so close as they seem to be here. Here are some random reflections of our first month in the Cidade Maravilhosa-
We have spent lots of time with Pastor Sergio, pastor and church-planter in Rio das Pedras and Sitio. We hope to do a blog profile on him soon. He has been a joy to work with and for some reason keeps speaking to us in Spanish.
We have seen some behind the scenes hurt in some of the families that we can't just shake off. For instance, when we asked a 5 year old boy in Rio das Pedras why he wouldn't go home to use the restroom instead of wetting his pants, he answered that his dad told him to stay on the street and not come back.
Our getaway spot is the beach. It's no more than a 20 minute walk. The waves are fun and sometimes ginormous and the water is awesome. The sand is so thin that it squeeks when you walk on it. We should have brought a boogie board.
Language update- I finished Rosetta Stone the other day! Some days I feel like I understand a lot, other days I feel like I am not getting anything. Generating conversation has been the hardest for me but we are looking for a tutor to change that. Christy is able to have conversations very easily and has learned so much already.
What Giulian's learning:
About God. Studying and working through A Body of Divinity to supplement Bible reading has increased my view on God's vastness.
About church planting. I am studying through J.D. Payne's book, Discovering Church Planting and I love it. It made me want to be a circuit rider. Small joke. Also Christy and I have been thinking through the churches we are involved with and not only what we can do to help, but to talk through Biblically how it should start, be stabilized, and how it should reach the people.
About how natural disasters fit in God's redemptive plan.
About how to lead Christy well in a context where she is the main communicator. Harder than I thought it would be.
What Christy's learning:
I'm very excited to begin #12 on my Reading List- Hoping for Something Better by Nancy Guthrie. It's a commentary on Hebrews written by a woman to help women better understand it. Already by reading the Introduction I can tell it's gonna hurt as I find out the ways that I'm not viewing Jesus as I should.
That church-planting isn't always pretty. It's hard, and if you aren't prepared to go with the flow, you'll go down the toilet instead.
About the value of children and the importance of their understanding of simple Bible truths. How to lovingly and graciously discipline children that have only ever been abused.
About how to submit to Giulian well in a context where I am the main communicator. MUCH harder than I thought it would be. :-D
In all, it has been an amazing (quick) month. We are really being stretched like we hoped for. We have broadened our perspectives, and seen God's grace in all situations. Tonight was supposed to be our date night, but Christy has a cold again. Please pray for her health.
Much love to you all,
Giulian & Christy
A few more funnies:
They have parrots in the shopping center by our apartment.
Our land lord's monstrous dog is always stalking us (around meal time).