Thursday, July 28, 2005

PICTURES!!!!!

Me and Marcio (as he eats a Crunch bar... a present from the American team, of course).


Standing left to right: Marcos Frietas, Antonio Carlos, Joilson, Pablo. Sitting left to right: Linaldo, Rodrigo, Marcos Roberto, and Junior.

Juracy, the construction leader, with Nilzania, our co-worker, friend, and doctor! :)
Anne with the boys during one of our afternoon sessions.


Silva, the cook at the orphanage.



The staff at the orphanage. From left to right: the general cleaning lady, the clothes washer, Deborah, the director, and Germinia, the house mom.


Brothers (L to R) Carlos and Crispin.



Left to right: Donizete and Linaldo.


Junior eating lunch!


Pablo Diogo (closest to the camera) eating lunch with Joao Pedro.



The boys eating lunch on a typical day. They eat rice, beans, spagetti noodles, and some type of meat every day.

Left to right: Joao Pedro, Marcio, and Junior.


Cute Ronielson and Marcos Roberto cheesing for the camera.


From left to right: Antonio Carlos, Lucas, Lazaro, Rodrigo, Ismar (no longer at the orphanage), and Tiago.


The boys are lined up waiting for their presents! Closest to the camera is Marcos Paulo (no longer at the orphanage), Donizete, Junior, Marcio, Joao Pedro.....



This is Laura Brown with her buddy for the week, Joel.

List of the boys



Here is a list of the boys who are currently at the orphanage:

Name Age Birthday

1. Rafael 9 January 29

2. Junior 9 September 7

3. Ronielson 10 July 11

4. Marcos Roberto 10 November 22

5. Marcio 10 October 14

6. Rodrigo 10 unknown

7. Joel 11 June 25

8. Linaldo 11 June 25

9. Donizete 11 July 24

10. Antonio Carlos 11 November 14

11. Lazaro 12 November 20

12. David 12 September 25

13. Joabe 12 August 3

14. Carlos 12 March 4

15. Joao Pedro 13 June 13

16. Crispin 14 unknown

17. Joilson 15 December 12

18. Pablo Diogo 15 December 20

19. Lucas 17 February 20

20. Antonio Carlos 18 October 15

21. Tiago 18 November 27

22. Marcos Freitas 19 June 2

23. Junior 21 August 10







Monday, July 25, 2005

I AM HOME!

Please pray for Jeter. Last night after leaving the airport, a thief with a gun entered the bus that he was on, fired the gun, and demanded Jeter's wallet as well as the wallets of others. Thank God that no one was hurt! However, pray that God's will be done as Jeter has lost all identification cards, bank cards, drivers license, calling cards, some money, etc. that were very valuable to him. Pray that he can get a new copy of these items quickly and easily.

Now the sequence of events that led to my safe arrival at home:

I spent Saturday downtown doing some last minute shopping and hanging out with friends. Then Saturday night the young adults from Second Baptist had a worship time/fellowship at a young man's apartment complex. It was fun! :)

Then Sunday morning I packed my bags and headed off to church. After the service, they had a church-wide lunch to raise money for missions. So, I ate feijoada, comida bem baiano (very Bahianan food).

After church, Anne, Nilzania, Josiney, Jeter and I were off to Salvador in a mini-van that we rented. It was a sweet time together. We were able to spend time talking on the way to the airport as well as spend a good bit of time together talking and eating in the airport.

Anne and I traveled together to Sao Paulo. Then we parted ways as I caught a flight to Atlanta and she flew to Miami. I changed planes in Atlanta and arrived in Charlotte this morning at 11 am. I have talked to Anne on the phone and she also arrived safely at her apartment in San Francisco (though a little later than expected due to a missed flight).

Continue to pray for Nilzania as she plans to visit the orphanage on a regular basis.

Pray also for Josiney as she has planned to give music lessons to the boys on Saturdays.

Pray for Jeter as his university will stop the strike and classes will resume on Wednesday. Thank the Lord that even though this strike was a seemingly bad thing, the Lord used it for good because otherwise Jeter would not have been able to work with us at the orphanage. Pray that he can make up for the time that he missed at the university due to the strike. Pray for him also as he visits the orphanage periodically.

Thanks to each and every one of you who have taken the time to read this blog and to pray for the prayer requests mentioned here. May God repay you bountifully through His glorious riches in heaven.

Keep checking the blog. I plan to add photos as well as the names of each of the boys so that you can continue to pray for each of them.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The last day at the orphanage

Well, I went to Salvador as planned with Lucy and Luis but there was no baptism. We did met Keith, Deborah, Morgan, Christa, Kassia, and Leticia at the Mercure Hotel. There was only enough time for me to eat supper with them because the American team that was arriving missed a flight, they were scheduled to get in at 10 pm. So, after supper I went directly to the bus station and the rest of the crew went to pick up the team at the airport. Anyway, I did get an "executive" bus back, so thanks for your prayers.

Then yesterday was the dreaded last day at the orphanage. We left the seminary around 9 am and stopped by the vegetable market, as usual. Anne bought vegetables for the boys to make vegetable soup with. She has been teaching them how to cook! :) Anyway, we got there and everyone who goes to school in the morning was already back. We had the boys help us clean out the supply room and prepare 23 sacks to with presents for each boy. We got the boys to do some chores that Juracy, the construction leader, had ordered. We ate lunch and then began our daily activities with the boys. We sang songs, had prayer, and read a Bible story. Anne and I also acted out the sequence of events that led to our two month stay at the orphanage! All the boys loved it!!! Ha! Ha!

Anyway, I had one last computer lesson with David, Marcos Frietas, Joabe, and Linaldo just to make sure they will be able to use the computer on their own. Pray that Deborah and Germinia will let them use the computer. Pray that they will use it for good and not for evil.

While I was dealing with the finances that the team left, Anne, Josiney, and Nilzania let the boys play soccer, bowl with toy bowling pins and bowling balls. They had a blast.

Finally, we called each of the 23 boys by name and they came to pick up their sack of presents. Each sack contained shampoo, soap, crayons, markers or colored pencils, a notebook, a toy, tooth brushes, tooth paste, a hat, and a tee shirt.

Pray for Anne and I as we spend our last night in Feira tonight! Pray for safe travel and prompt arrival at the airport tomorrow. I believe we will go to church tomorrow morning and then head out for the airport!!!

Thanks for your prayers on this journey!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Baptism in the Swimming Pool

Tomorrow afternoon I will travel to Salvador with Lucy and Luis to see Morgan and Christa´s baptism. Deborah and Keith Jefferson were here in Feira yesterday and invited me to come to witness their baptism. They will be baptized in the swimming pool at the Mercure Hotel in Salvador. Like many of you, I didn´t know that they have never been baptized.

Anyway, I will go to the orphanage tomorrow, but I will leave early so that I can be ready at 5 pm when Lucy comes to pick me up. Then I will come back later tomorrow evening. I want to come back in the same day so that I can still go to the orphanage on Friday. Pray that I can get an "executive" bus back to Feira at a decent hour tomorrow night. The alternative would be a "commerical" bus that stops in every little town and neighborhood. In other words, what would be an hour and a half ride could be two and a half hours. Plus, it is not as safe because there are many people getting on and off throughout the ride.

More meetings

We met on Monday with Deborah, Germinia, and Joao. We told them what we thought were the highest priorities at the orphanage and asked them if they agreed. The priorities are as follows:

1. The children
- their spiritual growth
- their physical health
- food
-their studies

2. Leadership at the orphanage
- they have a heart for the children
- they discipline the children in love

3. Maintenance
-payment of bills
- finances
- cleaning of the grounds
-general maintenance

Deborah, Germinia, and Joao all agreed that with these priorities. Therefore, we explained that if these are the priorities, in every decision they make, they should think about how it will help them to accomplish these priorities. We talked about other things we have observed these two months and made suggestions about ways they could improve their situation. We encouraged Deborah to lead a weekly meeting with all of the staff.

Therefore, yesterday we sat in on the meeting Deborah held with the staff-- the lady who washes the clothes, the cook, and the lady who cleans-- as well as Joao and Germinia. Anyway, we asked them to establish a plan for discipline that will work. They came up with a point system. If a boy does a good job helping in the kitchen, Silvia, the cook, will give him a point. Then we talked about the rewards. For example, if a boy receives four points he can get 10 minutes of time on the computer. There were many other rewards such as watching tv, going into town with a staff member, getting to use the art supplies, etc.

Pray for the situation between Silvia, the cook, and Deborah. Silvia comes to work late and Deborah wants this to change. However, Silvia is upset I think because Deborah is usually late in paying the staff (due to financial struggles at the orphange). Pray that they can learn to work together. Pray that the staff will be united.

Pray for Anne and I as we prepare to leave. Pray for the boys as they grieve the loss.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Responsibility and Change

Well, it turns out that Thursday when we got to the orphanage that Deborah wasn´t there; however, we had another problem. The boys had all left for school that morning, but Joel was the only boy who went into the classroom. Also, the boys refused to do their daily chores. So, because the boys disobeyed, Germinia did not allow them to eat lunch. Right now, this is one of the ways that they discipline the boys... right or wrong... So, it was quite crazy when we arrived. Germinia was frustrated and the boys were mad and hungry. Anyway, we made all of the boys go into the cafeteria and we basically made them be quiet and sit still for almost three hours as Nilzania, Anne, and I lectured about obedience, respect, and how they needed to change their behavior. We also told them that we wanted to give some of the older boys more responsibility.

So yesterday when we arrived we were finally able to talk to Deborah and Germinia. It was difficult because it is hard to get a straight answer from Deborah. Anyway, we asked her about her priorities and what changes she wanted to see at the orphanage. We spoke seriously about how the Americans need to see some changes in leadership and discipline if they are to continue to help the orphanage.

Juracy, the leader of the construction projects (who is a Christian), and Jeter talked with the older boys about responsibility on Friday. Then we gave each of the older boys a responsibility at the orphanage.

Pray specificially for:

Marcos Frietas - in charge of getting clean clothes to all of the boys

Antonio Carlos- in charge of the computers

Pablo Diogo - in charge of giving out the vitamins and medicine

Tiago- in charge of getting all the boys to brush their teeth

Davi - in charge of getting all the boys to take a bath

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Pray today!

Pray today as Anne, Nilzania, and I talk with Deborah and Germinia about serious issues at the orphanage such as leadership, discipline, and the responsibility of the boys. Pray that they will both be there and be open to this conversation. Pray that God would speak through us and that His will would be accomplished. Pray that He would get the glory from this conversation.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

So much to say...

This is going to be a crazy blog... I have lots of catching up to do....

Okay, first of all, I must let you all know that Edson is no longer at the orphanage. Deborah mandou ele embora de novo (sent him away again). So, Deborah assured me that he is living with his father, his aunt, and two of his siblings. Also, Rafael, the tall, 13-year-old, and Ismar have also been sent away. Marcos Paulo will soon be sent away as well. Crispiano was sent away but his mother brought him back. Deborah sends them away when the leadership cannot get them to obey. Pray for these boys. I do not know their current situation, but just pray.

Second, I am finally getting better-- really!!! Whoa! You just don´t value your health until you lose it! I have definitely found this to be true. What a blessing it is to be feeling well again!!!!!

Third, please pray that God´s will be done concerning the leadership at the orphanage. Pray for the current leadership: director- Deborah, house parents- Germinia and Joao. Pray that God would renew or rearrange according to His will.

Fourth, pray for Anne and I as we prepare the boys--and ourselves-- for our departure next weekend! We only have 7 more days with the boys at the orphanage. Pray that we will use this time to the fullest!!!!!

Fifth, the internet at the orphanage is finally working properly! We are creating email addresses for each of the boys. Be on the look out for an email from your buddy! Respond to them soon... they are really excited about it!

blessings to you all!