Day 77 – November 29th, 2017
FYI: writing this on day 77, but I will be going back to some days over the past week or so. This will be a little long and scatterbrained.. part of me apologizes for that, part me just wants you to buckle up and get ready for the ride that is this blog.
So I’ll start by going back to the 23rd, which was Thanksgiving. My family may kill me for saying this, but I surprisingly wasn’t sad about not being with them. Of course, I would have loved to go to the family dinners and see everybody, but I thankfully wasn’t homesick. We celebrated with a few other families that will be discussed next. The first family was Phillip and Sarah, their children: Mason (7), Micah (5), Sophia (3), and Sadie (1). Phillip’s mom and dad were also here. Phillip and Sarah have been missionaries here for like 8 years. There was the Nunes family (by the way, we ate at their house). The Nunes include Pastor Nunes, his wife Anna, then their children Joseph (who is pretty close to my favorite person because he loves UGA football too), Arthur, Anna Laura, and Jonathon. The Nunes are from Brazil, then they lived in the States, all over the states too might I add, and now they are here. They lived in Georgia for a time which is what started Joseph’s love for UGA football. There was Jared who is a missionary here. He’s only been here a few months longer than us, but I think right now his plan is to stay here. And there was Geneva and Muhammed. They are from the African mainland (I would name the country, but I forgot.. plus I would almost be willing to bet that none of y’all would have ever heard of it). They own a restaurant called Africafe. Geneva can cook a mean cheesecake yall. They aren’t believers, but I hope and pray that they will come to know Christ soon.
My favorite part of Thanksgiving was either.. actually I don’t have a favorite part. Too many good things happened for me to pick just one. We’ll start with this awesome corn salad salsa stuff that Mrs. Anna made. It was amazing!!! I ate 4 helpings.. large helpings, too. Also sweet little Sophia sat with me all night and just loved on me and I just love her to death. This is a bit embarrassing, but I noticed they had a WWE video game and for those of you who don’t know, I love WWE. So, I got to bond with Arthur about that. And we had an awesome time of praise and worship. I can’t even describe why it was so great, but you just had to be there in the moment.
The 24th (the Friday after Thanksgiving) we had a bonfire on a beach here. We ate supper and sang along to everyone’s favorite songs and we had smores which was such a blessing. I was extremely tired, but I love fires. I could sit and watch a fire for days. I was also thankful that me and Hadassah had time to talk and grow even closer. It really was a good night, but I got a little sad thinking about all the times I’ve sat around a bonfire with my friends. Good memories, but a little painful here because I know it’s bonfire season back home and I’m not sitting around a bonfire with all my best friends. (This is also a test to see which of my friends mention this to prove that they actually read this thing).
This past Sunday, the 26th, we had baptism Sunday. There were a total of 20 people baptized. How awesome is that?? I like the way we do baptisms here, it’s a little chaotic, but I wouldn’t change a thing about it. We start at the church where the people getting baptized tell a bit of their story and why they wanted to be baptized. Then, we go to the beach where we all sing worship songs together while waiting for everyone to arrive. The people being baptized get in a line facing the water and one by one they go in and are baptized. But the best part is, everyone is cheering and celebrating. We were chanting people’s names as they went in the water and running out to meet them as they were coming back to shore. It was a real celebration. Like I think it should be. Lastly, we go back to the church to eat lunch. I helped serve food first, which was fine, but anyone who knows me knows that I occasionally get very anxious in chaotic crowds which is what this was. By the end of it, I was so anxious I felt like my insides were vibrating (weird picture, I know). I also helped wash dishes, which I didn’t mind, but it did gross me out a bit. If I survive African germs, I’ll feel invincible in the States.
This past Tuesday we swapped Pepe’s. Which I was drreeaadddinnngg. Emphasis added. BUT I love my new location. I don’t know if they will ever fill my heart as much as the teachers and kids at my first Pepe in Terra Branca, but I do like it a lot in Achada Mato. My teacher is super nice and funny. She speaks very very very little English, but we communicate best we can in Portuguese. Also, the kids were immediately super loving to me which was an even bigger blessing. I’m excited to see how the next two months go!!
Tuesday I also got to go to a prayer meeting at the house of our good friend and neighbor, Elisangela. Prayer meetings kind of freak me out because on the inside I look at 40 minutes and I sometimes think that I don’t even know what I’ll pray about for that long. Yet, every time it seems I haven’t even finished praying about everything I needed to when the time is up. Also. Isaac led us in a great Bible study so shout out to him for that!
A lot happened Tuesday, but anyways, I got to babysit Sarah and Phillip’s children. They were already asleep when I got there, but I got to watch regular late night TV! And it was in English!! I watched some talk show.. never seen it before.. still better than anything that was in Portuguese. When you’ve been in Africa for 10 & 1/2 weeks, you’ll understand why that is such a big deal.