Birthday in Brazil

My first trip to Brazil was in 2013. I landed in Rio de Janeiro on my birthday that year. The travel time from leaving my place to go to the airport to when I landed in Curitiba Brazil, my final stop, was about 24 hours. One thing about international travel is that I cannot sleep on planes. So there I was waiting in the Curitiba airport for an hour for my ride to Rio do Sul which was a three hour drive.

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I was exhausted as we approached Rio do Sul, so I asked the pastor if I would be going to my host home. He told me he needed to stop at the church first. We stopped there and went to the back and saw there was cake. They had two kinds of cake for my birthday. It was also the first time I drank Guarana which is a soda made from a berry that grows in Brazil and by the way has a lot of caffeine, After two pieces of cake and a few cups of Guarana, I had a caffeine/sugar buzz going which allowed me to stay for an hour. But then the crash came and it was time to go to my host home.

As the group of brothers and sisters in Christ I had just met sang Parabens to me, Brazilian birthday song, I thought best birthday ever to land in Brazil on my birthday.

What is one of your favorite birthday memories?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

June Is Here-Now What?

Here we are in the month of June. June has been a month of new adventures for me. It has also been a month of God doing something new in my life. So each June I tend to have a sense of expectancy about what will happen.

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A few examples:

June 1997 I had my first trip to Romania.

June 2010 I had my one and only trip to Mexico which led me to study Spanish.

June 2013 I had my first trip to Brazil which led me to study Portuguese.

One change will happen today. I will go do my employment paperwork for the school system here. My morning class had been a collaboration between the community college here and the public school system. It will only be with the public school system and I have been hired. But I knew that was coming.

Either today or Monday I will find out about starting a new medication. But that does not seem so exciting to me.

So I thought I would share an idea and get feedback. I have written short stories in my other blog- encounterswiththeancients.com. My idea is to make short films from them and post them on YouTube. Let me know what you think.

So June is here. I have had 5 of my 11 international ministry trips in June. I wish I had one this year too but COVID is still an issue in many places. So it will be staying at home.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Question and Answers with Me- My Answers

I would like to thank the bloggers who participated in my Questions and Answers post. I enjoyed their questions. Please check out their blogs.

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Here are the questions, along with a link to their blogs, and my answers.

Herry of herrychiccounsels.com asked- Do you have a favorite childhood memory and what was it?

My dog was my best friend. She followed me around the house. She slept in my room. She is my favorite childhood memory.

Ryan Callahan of authorryanc.com asked- Of all your trips to foreign countries, which is your favorite?

My second trip to Brazil in June/July 2015. I went to teach English at a small university in a city of about 65,000 people. I was the only American in the city for most of my time there. It was so much fun to experience the culture, improve my Portuguese, and live in an apartment taking care of myself for most of my time there. It gave me a taste of what it would be like to live there.

David of davidsdailydose.org asked– Who is your favorite disciple of Jesus, and why?

John because I love to teach from John in the bible. It gives such a close view of Jesus and his interactions with people. I also admire Paul even though he was not one of the disciples. He was an apostle. I admire him for his passion and missionary work.

Barb of mylifeinourfathersworld.com asked- If someone gifted you cooking lessons, would you use them?

Even though I had a high GPA in college, I am sure that I would fail cooking lessons so better not to try. πŸ™‚

Catsandcoffee of midlifecatlady64.wordpress,com asked- What is your favorite wild animal?

I love dolphins. I have never seen one except on TV. When I was young I was on a swim team and loved the butterfly stroke because it imitated how dolphins move in the water.

Ariel of arielaonthego.com asked- When it’s safe to travel, where do you plan to go for a vacation!

I have some Brazilian friends living in Winnipeg Canada. I could drive up there in 12 hours. I would love to visit them.

Georgetta of journeythroughlifeministry.com asked- Question, how do you repost another Bloggers article to bring awareness of them to others?

At the bottom of the post, you can click on share. This is a picture from your most recent post.

After you click on share, there will be options to choose from. You can choose from. One of them will be for you blog. Once you click on your blog to share, it will create a post for you to publish.

bigskybuckeye.com asked- In your first year of teaching, what subjects and/or grade level did you teach?

I have always taught English Second Language. I started with teaching adults and then began working with teens who want to go to college.

Crissy of walking-by-faith.blog If you could have a conversation with one person, alive or historical, who would that be and why?

First it would be with Jesus to just sit and listen. There are many to choose from. I would love to have a conversation with Dr. Martin Luther King because as a child he inspired me. Mother Teresa would be another person.

Alicia of forhispurpose.blog asked- Do you have siblings?

I think I have four siblings but am not sure. In my family I have 3 brothers and 1 sister, but my sister’s family she has 4 brothers, so it seems we might be from different families. πŸ™‚

Dawn of drawingclosertochrist.com asked- What is some of the best advice you’ve ever received?

Focus on Jesus while in the midst of difficult times.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Winter Is Here

Winter is really here as in winter weather. It had been mild in my area until ten days ago when we had 16 inches, 40.64cm, of snow. It took a few days to get back to school after that. πŸ™‚

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We had more snow yesterday and then again last night. Then we will have ten days of temperatures below zero overnight and day time highs all the way up to 5 degrees fahrenheit, -15 celsius.

The picture above is a view outside my window yesterday. πŸ™‚

Two winters, 2014 and 2017, I arranged for small groups of students from Brazil to come to my city to study English. It is summer time there when it is winter time here. I will never forget their reactions when they walked out of the airport into the cold winter air. It was interesting with both groups that the most pictures they took were when we went to a lake and they could walk on the icy lake.

For my readers from places where it never snows, I wonder if you would like to visit my city in the winter time here. πŸ™‚

Would you like to try sledding? Would you like to try making a snowman?

For my readers from places that have winter weather, do you love it, like it, not care, or hate it?

I just looked out the window and saw that it is snowing again. I don’t think it will be enough for a snow day canceling school tomorrow though. πŸ™‚

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Let’s Be Jesus to Others During This Pandemic

A wonderful blessing for me last year was meeting new friends even in the midst of the pandemic. God knows that I am very much a people person. Even when I travel, most of the pictures I take are of people not places.

Midway through last year, Jesus connected me with some Brazilians living in Winnipeg Canada for English lessons via Zoom. Our lesson times were some of the highlights for me week to week as I stayed home due to COVID. Jesus knows how much I love my Brazilian friends and even in the midst of the pandemic, he connected me with a few married couples in Winnipeg.

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Studying online it is a bit more difficult to gage the impact meetings are having on a person. Visiting people in their homes or having them in person in my classroom is much easier to get a feel for how they are reacting.

Last Wednesday, I had my final lessons with the two couples. At the end of the second lesson, the wife started to thank me for our lesson times of the past year but burst into tears unable to communicate.

It was then that I realized what our lesson times meant to her. The shutdowns where she is living are much stricter that in my small Midwestern city. For her the shutdown experience is compounded by the fact that for her Canada is a foreign country and she has a only handful of Brazilian friends there. However, she cannot visit them in person, so she feels isolated.

As long as I am in this life, my desire is to represent Jesus to those who are suffering whatever the suffering may be.

Dear reader, let’s be the hands of Jesus in the midst of this pandemic.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

My New Brazilian Student

Yesterday I had the first online lesson with a Brazilian student living in Winnipeg Canada. She was enthusiastic about learning and a quick learner. I wish all of my students could have the same eagerness and energy.

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She is the five year old daughter of friends of mine who lived in my city 2006 to 2011 when they were graduate students at the university here.

She had some questions about Jesus which is why her parents asked me to teach her. Her parents came to my Sunday morning bible study while they were living in my city. We started with Jesus loves all children and wants all children to talk with him. Then she had a question about who the people were that stayed at the cross. I explained it was his mother Mary, another woman named Mary that Jesus helped and John one of his followers.

She had thought maybe the man was the father of Jesus. Then I explained that God is the father of Jesus and the man Mary got married to was his step father. She left to go to her room to sit and think. Her mom told me that is what she does when she is trying to understand something. A few minutes later she came back out and was ready to go.

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I realized we made a good connection when she went to her room and brought out every toy animal and doll she has, so she could show them to me and tell me their names. πŸ™‚

Today I will meet a new student from Brazil living in Winnipeg, but she is an adult and mom, so I don’t think she will show me her toys. πŸ™‚

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

My Summer Teaching Brazilians in Canada

One dream summer for me would be to drive across Canada. There is so much to see there in nature and in urban settings. This summer I will be teaching English for Brazilians living in Winnipeg Canada. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, the lessons will be via Zoom not in person.

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Brazilians are so much fun for me to interact with. I studied Portuguese for one year just so I could interact better with my Brazilian friends. One such friend lived in my city while she and her husband were both working on their Masters Degrees. They now live in Winnipeg where the husband is working on his Phd.

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They have Brazilian friends there who expressed interest in English class. My friend told them about me, so this week we will begin lessons.

I looked it up on Google Maps and found out Winnipeg is only a 10 drive from my city. If the COVID-19 thing clears up by next summer, I plan to drive up there. Perhaps that will be the beginning of a dream summer for me.

It is exciting for me to see how God fits things together for us. He connects dots for us to complete the big picture. When I first me my friends when they lived in my city, I had no idea it would lead to teaching their friends in Winnipeg. Jesus knows our future because he is eternal. He does not have the boundaries of time.

Thank you for reading, God Bless.

My Fibro Fourth

Living with chronic illness means one never know when it will rear its ugly head. Yesterday started off great with a blogger chat. Then I was blessed to give an English lesson for a friend from Bosnia via Zoom. As we were studying, that old nemesis fatigue decided it was time to visit again. So I had what I call my Fibro Fourth of July.

It could have been any of the three chronic illnesses I live with causing it, but Fibro Fourth sounds fitting.

As I write this on the evening of the 4th, I can hear the fireworks going off. As I write this I am also grateful for something that happened Friday. A friend and former student from Brazil messaged me that she has a friend who needs help with English. By the time we finished chatting, we set up an appointment for my friend Monday afternoon and one for her to introduce me to her friend on Tuesday. So I will be providing English lessons for Brazilians living in Canada. πŸ™‚

So even though we are still in the midst of COVD-19 problems, God blessed me to interact with friends from Bosnia and Brazil. Jesus has work for me to do. πŸ™‚

Oh forgot to mention that my 4th of July did involve me taking a four hour nap, so that was good. I love naps πŸ™‚

How was your 4th of July or if you live in another country how was your Saturday?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Q and A with Me- My Answers

I got carried away with myself sharing the post about my doctor visit and realized I promised the people who asked me questions from my Q and A with me that I would answer today. So here we go πŸ™‚

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Q and A with Me- My Answers πŸ™‚

Dawn of drawingclosertochrist.com asked – What’s an important lesson you’ve learned in life? What’s your favorite color?

The most important lesson I have learned is that God is God and I am not and to trust God.

My favorite color? I like many colors. Pink is okay for others but not me. lol I tend to wear blue a lot.

Pooja of lifesfinewhine.com asked-

What is your favourite thing about your job? My favorite thing is that I have the opportunity to connect with world and diverse cultures because my students are from all over the world.

What’s your favourite food?- My favorite food is food other people cook for me πŸ™‚

What is one thing you are looking forward to doing after the pandemic is over?- Visiting my refugee and immigrant friends in their homes and being back in the classroom although I will need to remember to wear shoes and socks. Teaching in Zoom I don’t need to πŸ™‚

Barbara of mylifeinourfathersworld.wordpress.com asked -Which characteristic of the nature of God gives you the most comfort/joy/peace & which is the hardest for you to understand/ accept? That is he is ever present help gives me a lot of comfort. That he is eternal blows my mind when I ponder it.

Georgetta of journeythroughlifeministries.com asked – In several of your posts you mentioned you traveled to many countries, which country spoke to your heart to visit again and why. Also, how did you handle rude and inpatient travelers?

Brazil and Romania spoke to my heart the most. I really connected with the people in both countries and loved the cultures.

Rude travelers it depends on my mood and how tired I am. Sometimes I make a polite comment. Sometimes if I am tried I simple glare at them

Mercy of herrychiccounsels.com asked – My question – What has been the most challenging part of being a grown-up and how have you overcome it?.Are you afraid of anything?

Sometimes I am not sure if I am grown up πŸ™‚ But seriously it has been living with chronic illness. My times with Jesus in the mornings help me the most.

I am afraid of heights, doctor’s offices and doctors, and my own cooking sometimes πŸ™‚

Bekah of owlservejesus.wordpress.com asked

When and how did you get saved? I first came to know Jesus when I was 19. A friend of mine had become a Christian and I joined him and the older woman in the neighborhood he was having a bible study with and she shared with me. I trusted Jesus that day.

How much would you say your relationship with God has grown since you came to know him? A LOT. Too Much to say in a short answer. I have been through so many things with Jesus.

What is your favorite vegetable? broccoli, avocado, spinach. What is your favorite fruit? ALL fruit πŸ™‚

Lydia of inhisserviceandlovingit.wordpress.com asked-

Are you an early bird or a night owl? Definitely a night owl. Mornings are torture for me.

How much coffee do you drink each day? If my doctor reads this I only drink one cup a day πŸ™‚ lol

What’s your favorite part of being a teacher? Meeting people from all over the world πŸ™‚

Cheryl of parkinsonscaregiver.net asked -Here’s my question: Have you studied the Enneagram, and if so, what number are you? I know what the types are and honestly for me it depends on the day, my mood, and the situation. I tend to bounce among all 9.

Alimw of forhispurpose.blog asked- Did you grow up in a Christian home? We went to a church and celebrated Christmas and Easter. But not it was not a Christian home by any means. Church was a Sunday morning go for show thing.

Mrs. Mariposa of alwaysajesusgirl.wordpress.com asked-What has been your favorite country to visit and why? It is a tie between Brazil and Romania. Romania was the first country I went to for a ministry trip and it was not long after the fall of communism there. They did not have much, but the people were wonderful to connect with. Brazil was so fun. I love the culture and the people.

I want to thank the bloggers who participated. πŸ™‚

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Others Watch How We Handle Hardship

A conversation last night reminded me of something that has been a theme in my life. Since I devoted my life to Jesus in July 1989, it has not been an easy road. There have been difficult times, chronic illnesses diagnosed, times of financial hardship and more.

2 Corinthians chapter 1 has been a theme for my life- Blessed be the God of comfort who comforts us……. so that we in turn my comfort others.

The verse in the image relates to Paul’s suffering and how it blesses others.

Last night I had a Zoom chat with a friend in Brazil. I shared with my friend about what happened in March when I lost three weeks of income because of the shutdown but also how God helped me. I also shared with my friend about my autoimmune flare this week. My friend’s reaction was, “You have all of that happening and you still teach us the bible on Sunday morning. You are a model for me for following Jesus.”

I was not expecting that comment at all. All I could say was thank you. No one had ever said that to me at least in person or video chat.

Other people watch how we handle hardship. They watch how we treat other people. They watch what we do.

This is something I wish more Christians would stop and take in at this time. Our focus should be on showing the love of Jesus at this time, trusting him in this crisis, and helping others not feeding into conspiracy theories or arguments.

Let’s be the church and show the love of Jesus.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.