Monday morning this site has received 100,000 pageviews. It has averaged about 6,000 a month for a little over 2 years. I am always encouraged to look at how many people read my blog. It always spikes on the week-ends, an I send out an email with links. This does not include all the traffic that goes to other people’s blogs, when I send out links that others have posted.
I am glad for everyone who is interested in missions. It is a very rich and rewarding task, and everyone who wants to can participate in some way. Now with the internet we can work closer together than teams in past generations. How cool is that?
Pageviews during this past month:
Emma and Bella look at our yard through a camera lens.
Halfway through the Cristovál event our septic tank started caving in. Our last guest flew out on the 3:00 airplane. We went home to rest easy for a day or two after all the rushing around. When I got home the backhoe called, that he could come and did us a new hole. To our dismay he broke our main sewer pipe, which meant no toilets in our house until the new septic tank was in. The next day I was did not want to get up because I knew how much work was ahead and how much it would cost. Once I got going though, things got a lot better. I ordered the steel, cement and bricks. Thank the Lord the rains held off. In two and a half days it was all done except the backfilling and the drainage field. It’s working again.
We can see how God likes the idea of transformations.
We all need times in our life, frequent times, where we can sit back and say to ourselves, “This is a good life.” God wants us to do this. God did an indescribable job of making a spectacular world for us to live in, full of limitless variety in colors, textures, sounds, and sizes. And then He gave us senses, though which we can experience His bounty in different ways.
So…after everyone left, and it was just our family, we made calzones. And the four of us ate calzones and pop for supper. It was a rich feeling.
I am curious. What is your way of enjoying God’s blessings?
We just had a debriefing meeting about Cristovál.
1. The growing sense of community. Everyone helping everyone else to win their team events, and especially during the two big races.
2. Their were more adults and families participating than ever before.
3. We have such good cooks in our midst.
4. We have more leaders to help than ever before.
5. Art and Aline did an excellent job coordinating the game events.
For me, a great highlight was how God healed Nailson’s foot. A week ago Nailson was at our door with a 26 oz. bottle of cachaça, that he was drinking straight out of the bottle. Our neighbour, two doors down, was stabbed and killed in the night, while trying to break up a fight. Her family wanted to go to the graveyard to bury her body, but no-one had a vehicle. Would we take them?
A week later I saw him hobbling down the road on crutches. I pulled over, and found that he was sober. He had punctured his foot with a nail. He was sober because the doctors gave him some strong medicine and told him he could not drink alcohol. I invited him to come spend the week-end with us for the Cristovál event.
The first night Chris Wiens preached. Then he invited people up for healing. Nailson hobbled up, leaning heavily on his cane to lessen the pain from his injured foot. Chris invited the children to come up and pray for him. Over about 5 minutes, the pain completely left his foot, and the swelling went down some. Nailson did not need the cane anymore. Over the next day and night the swelling went away completely, and Nailson was keen to enter into the races. “The only bad part about this week-end is that I didn’t get to enter the big mud race yesterday. If it was today, I would be running”.
I don’t have a “before” photo, but you can see all the wrinkles on his foot from how big the swelling was. He could barely fit into his flip flop sandal. It was about double in size.
After everyone went home, exhausted, those of us who were left shared a meal of soup and clay-oven baked buns. There is nothing like an evening of friends who have just shared a great marathon-like event, gathered in a safe place.
Keith and Marsha brought a van-ful from Pacajá and Anapú. Chris, Jane and Joanne were here.
A hightlight of Cristoval, for the last four years now, is the “Tea Game”. Everyone is divided into teams with equal amounts of children and youth on each team. Then they have to scour the 14 acre property looking for six ingredients, wood, matches, water, tea, a tin can, and rubbing alcohol. They cannot start their fire until they have everything. The first team to boil a pot of tea wins.
Other highlights include the Jail (25 cents to put someone in, 25 cents to get someone out), the rocket contest, throwing an American football and kicking an soccerball through tires, a pellet gun, a tug-of-war with water balloons, and a three-person race.
The winning team from all the days got two boxes of chocolate, and 4 2-litres of pop.
Of course, lots of good food is also a highlight. And we have some great cooks in our midst!
Most of the kids ran hard all day. They hardly slept at night. Breakfast at 8:00…hot chocolate, bread and cake for the most part. Then from 9-11 there was a service, followed by more games, food, games, etc. Exhaustingly fun for all those who never seem to run out of energy.
God’s presence, good food, teams and games, spinning lights, costume night, speakers from three different countries, this Cristovál had it all. This really felt like three days of bonding and building a church community.