Guess what?! I will be back in the States visiting with all of you in about a month and a half! I am so excited, you have no idea. As much as I love being here in Brazil, there is still no place like home.
However, the more time I spend here, the more comfortable with my surroundings I become. I notice little things that change with me. For example, I find that I can have conversations in Portuguese for longer without getting tired. I have even started praying for people in Portuguese sometimes. Also, when I travel, I don't get as exhausted afterwards as before. Basically, I judge everything by how long it takes me to get tired, and that's how I know I'm improving!
We take for granted in the States our modern conveniences. I'm not complaining, but I will just point out some differences. There are no dishwashers or dryers. Because there is so much dust from the streets, your whole house gets covered in layer of it daily. You constantly have to fight bugs and spider webs and dust, so you basically have to clean your house from top to bottom once a week. Also, for the water I use to wash my clothes, I have to use a pump about once a week to move the water to a larger tank. And sometimes, the water doesn't come. That's a headache, let me tell you. There are not any "fast food" restaurants around here either, so most of the time, if you want to eat, you have to cook yourself! I actually like cooking, but sometimes, you get busy with other things and don't really have time. Anyways, all this stuff adds up and takes a lot of time.
Well, I hope that gives you a better idea of some of the mundane things I have to do everyday. Now, on to the more exciting stuff.
So, last time I wrote, I told you I would be traveling to a city called Portel with Richie Bouthillier and his family. Well, it was a great trip and a great time on the boat getting to know their family better. It took us about a day to travel from their current city, Porto de Moz, to arrive in Portel. It is a very small town that is shaped like a peninsula on the river. From one side to the other is about a 15 minute walk. One side is a harbor with many boats coming from all over the Amazon region as well as from the large city of Belem. The other side is a very shallow beach area that stretches far out into the river. Even though the city is very small, it still seems to have a lot of activity because of the harbor. We spent the week checking out the different parts of the city and swimming at the beach. Richie found a piece of property right on the water, which is a perfect place to dock his boat as well as build a church building. He has already bought it, and his family were fortunate enough to also find a house to rent.
While I was there, I was asking myself if I could see myself working there. I like the city because of its beachy feel. (I always told the Lord I wanted to plant a church near the beach!) However, I was concerned if my abilities and passions were a good match for the city. As I have said, I really enjoy teaching English and the kinds of doors that are opened through the benefit of the school. I would want to start a school wherever I go. After talking to Richie and a few of the locals, it was clear that the people there would really be blessed by an English school, especially because of their proximity to a big city like Belem where there are a lot more opportunities. It gives them a chance to better prepare for their futures, as many of the Brazilian public schools in this region are of a really low quality.
Anyways, when I came home from my trip, I talked it over the Steve and Elba and all the other missionaries here, and I have decided that I am going to move to Portel with Richie and Christie and help with their new church plant! I feel like this will be the best fit for me at the right time. I am going to stay here in Altamira probably until June or July of next year and then move. I want to spend the next 6 months learning as much as I can about how CDR (the English school) works, and also give Richie and Christie a chance to get settled in there before they receive me.
I am very excited about this. I am especially excited because I feel like I have a great opportunity to really make a difference within the community I will be serving. One of my greatest hopes is that my life will make a lasting and powerful difference in the world, and I feel like Portel is a great place to start.
Please, pray for me as I work to make plans and get ready to move. Please pray that God orders my footsteps and directs all the timing and necessities. Thank you for moving along in this journey with me. You guys are really the ones who have positioned me to make a difference. I could never, ever do it on my own. God bless you!!!
Check out the beautiful pictures from my trip below!