Saturday, September 8, 2007

Sightseeing on Saturday Morning

We were able to go sightseeing this morning. I also took some pictures of my classroom which is more or less ready for school to start on Monday morning! Enjoy the pictures (they're the first 4 albums in my gallery)!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

One Week In and God Is Still Faithful

It's good to be able to write again after one week. Of course, I've experienced many new things, some good and some frustrating, but God has been faithful and things are going well. I had through about Saturday to get over the jet lag as Sunday was my first day in a Portuguese church and I felt I should be awake for it! It was certainly a different experience and I missed my family at Bethel very much, but it was also funny how some things were similar. The songs we sang were all songs we sing at Bethel... just in a different language, so I was able to hum along and get some words out every now and again. I was able to talk with a few people who spoke some broken English and overall, it was wonderful to be able to worship with other believers. Even if we couldn't communicate with each other clearly, we all have the same connection to God.

Sunday afternoon, Monday, Tuesday and
today were all taken up with preparing for school. On the right you can see a picture of the front of my classroom, pre-decorations and also pre-student desks, actually. I've been able to do a lot of work on it since then and I will be sure to take some pictures of it when it's finished. There is a lot of prep-work that goes into teaching so I have been very busy and actually am going to spend the rest of tonight working on lesson plans. I had the privilege of meeting one of my students today, Noah Thomas. His parents are fairly new church-planting missionaries to the field of Portugal. He seems to be excited about school starting on Monday and was eager to come up to the room to see his new books and check things out. Tomorrow evening we have our Parent-Teacher Tea, where we have an open house for the parents and get to meet them and they can come up and see our classrooms and talk with us. I'm looking forward to being able to this beginning of what will hopefully be a good partnership with my students' parents.

Today I was able to join the ABWE Portugal Field Counsel for their meeting. The field counsel is just all of the ABWE missionaries in Portugal. It was such a great time. They had a luncheon for the new missionaries which include me, Leslie Kidd, who is my roommate and also the 1st grade teacher, and also Brent & Tammy Lowe, new
church-planting missionaries that just arrived yesterday with their 4 children. After lunch we had a time of sharing praise, prayer requests and items of business. After that we broke up and prayed in smaller groups. It was a wonderful time of getting to hear in more detail the work that God is doing in Portugal. Please pray for these missionaries as their work tends to be long and "slow" in human terms. Portugal, and in fact most of Europe, is a place steeped in post-modernism and the missionaries here are doing their best to do God's work in reaching these people. We heard today from Bob & Jo Fry, missionaries supported by Bethel actually, who are working with Answers In Genesis to bring more about Creationism to the people here. They have discovered that a "chronological" presentation of the Bible seems to reach more people here. Overall, I feel blessed to be able to assist these missionaries in any way, seeing their devotion to God to take His Word to these Portuguese people who He loves, and who they have grown to love as well.
Things to praise God for:
My cough is almost gone!!
I have adjusted to the time change
I seem to be adjusting well to other changes, such as driving in a foreign country,
learning to speak pleasantries in another language, shop with different money, etc.
School preparation is coming along well
Things to pray for:

There are a few annoying things (many have heard me talk about the rooster who lives 25 feet from my window!) and our apartment water shuts off for hours at a time. These things are so small but you know how it can be sometimes with small annoying things. I would just like to keep my perspective in the right place!
Please pray for me as school is starting on Monday!! God equips us for the jobs He calls us to do, so I pray that I will have abundant faith in Him for that.
Please pray for the Portuguese people, that God woul
d save as many as possible.

Thanks for all your prayers guys!! I'm going to leave you with just a few pictures so I hope you enjoy.
Love you all,

This is the little road we have to drive down to get to our house.

This is our house!! We live on the bottom floor.

First is the view from our parking lot. Next is the little gate we have to go through to get down to our apartment.
Finally, the view from the front of my classroom.