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Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Blessings from Brazil

We first met Giulliana when she traveled from Brazil to Hughson, Ca. to visit her cousin.  She found us via Facebook and asked about worshipping with us at Sovereign Grace during her time in the United States.

Hughson is a small community so we had many opportunities to get to know her.  She would join us at the table while I was homeschooling, or come over in the evening after church.  She even watched the kids for several days while I was out of town.

Monterey Bay, California
Because we couldn't speak any Portuguese, she persevered and greatly improved her English, which was one of her goals.  I still remember a time when we came to a standstill in a conversation. 

We were in the front seat of the Ford Expedition that night, waiting in the Starbucks drive through.  She didn't have the English words, and I wasn't able to guess the correct context or meaning.  We just looked at each other, wishing we could break through the language barrier but also content and secure in our shared faith and friendship. 

She returned to Brazil but promised to keep in touch.  We Skyped on occassion and also saw photos of her wedding on Facebook.  And we prayed for Lucas, her husband, when he broke his ankle.

The unexpected blessing from Brazil was their visit over Christmas.  I still can't believe that they left behind their own families to spend time with us over the holidays in Uruguay.  They came for a week, suitcases laden with gifts and hearts ready to love and serve. 

Lucas preached his first sermon at Iglesia Presbyteriana, translated by Mauricio.  And they both spent time with the kids, sitting on the floor with them to play monopoly or running around in the sand to play futbol, football, volleyball.  And most exciting of all was the realization that a mixture of Spanish and English vocabulary made our conversations much easier.
They were family during a time when we may have been tempted to feel despondant and lonely.  Washing dishes together, shopping at the mall, visiting parks and beaches, talking at the table, sharing a Brazilian breakfast, taking the kids on an ice cream hunt, feasting on asado and turkey on the hottest day of the year... all made this first Christmas in Uruguay unforgetable. 

When you pray for the gospel to advance in Uruguay, please also remember our Christian brothers and sisters in neighboring Brazil and their labors.  Lucas is working many hours at a hospital while he attends classes at the seminary and studies, and Giulliana is also working at the same hospital as they prepare to enter full time ministry.

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