Archive for April, 2011

A few years ago a Brazilian pastor in one of our Wesleyan churches here in Manaus began to hold Good Friday service.  Why was this so unusual?  Evangelical churches usually do not hold such services since it is viewed as a Roman Catholic tradition. Yesterday we attended for the first time.

The cloudy, gloomy day helped prepare our hearts to think  about those last hours on Calvary.   The church was crowded and beautifully decorated for the occasion.  A table gorgeously ornamented with gold candlesticks, vases and adorned with large crystal goblets of  grape juice, honey and milk provided an expectation that something significant was about to take place.  For me every nuance of the service was new.  I came away with a fresh sense of God’s love for me a sinner.

The pastor gave me much to ponder. He asked us how many sins we thought we had committed in our life time.  Not a happy thought.  Then he asked us how many sins it takes for us to be separated from God.  Just one.  So Christ came to die for our sins, yes, but just one was enough for him to go all the way to Calvary.

After spending those precious couple hours with fellow believers, raising our voices together in song, meditating on the Word, participating in choral readings, sharing the bread and grape juice, I felt glad to be apart of this new tradition. 

This church has also begun to hold a Sunrise service which begins at 5:30 a.m., which we will try to get to in the morning!   How significant to gather and experience the wonder of seeing the brilliant light pierce through the dark of night and perceive anew the spiritual reality of worshipping a risen Lord who broke the reign of the evil one.  He is Risen!  He is Risen indeed.


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Last week I gave you a little tour of our new house. This week I want to show you what we see everyday. Out our front door we see the district building where the offices of the Wesleyan Church of the Amazon state.

District building of the Wesleyan Church

Looking towards the back of the seminary you can see the dormitories which serves as housing for an international student and a couple who works at the seminary. This is also where workteams and retreats stay.

Right next to our house is the seminary building, where we enjoy ministry with students from all over the city who seek to hone their ministry skills.

Seminary building

 Behind our house is a work in progress.  Controlling the growth of vegetation in the rainy season is a never-ending task.  You will see two trees, one on the left is a cupuaçu tree (Amazon super fruit) and the other is a mango tree. (This is the mango tree which does not bear tasty fruit, which I wrote about a few weeks ago.)

Cupuaçu and mango trees


Out our back door is one of my most loved views.  Many times a day I soak in this view of the mango tree which drops its delicious fruit and extends its lovely branches offering shade and beauty.   To the left Hudson has built a pond.  I enjoy looking out onto the rock/pond garden as I hang up clothes, feed the cat or retreive any number of cleaning items.

Hudson's pond and fruitful mango tree. (Cashew tree to the very left)

I love seeing gorgeous palm trees on the horizon.

Way in the back of the seminary property live any number of lizards, iguanas, snakes, sloths and sometimes monkeys. 

Justing hanging around

 I am always amazed at God’s sense of humor when he made the sloth, so slow and odd looking. Of course he may be thinking the same thing about me, odd looking creature who hurries around frantically accomplishing little.

Next week I want you to meet some of our awesome students who will come and study either Homiletics or Overview of the Old Testament (which I, Grace, will be teaching.) Pray for these classes which begin on Monday evening.

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Changing Houses

Not only has our address changed but the houses we left and moved to underwent some metamorphoses of sorts.

The old mission house which we are in the process of selling needed lots of work to make it saleable.  You can see from the old yellow walls that the walls were not a welcoming sight.

But with a lot of effort, kid-coaxing, and a hand from a friend or two we were able to transform the house into a more inviting look.

Our new home still needs painting on the outside but that will be a later project. 






We had fun tackling the inside changing wall colors,



painting over decorated ceiling tiles,

knocking out the base of an old kitchen sink,

replacing some windows and giving everything a new look.



We love the lay out of the house because even if I am in the kitchen preparing something I am not cut off from what is going on the living room or dining room.



The kitchen is very spacious and very breezy. 

Hudson’s room is a bit smaller but he has his dream of being surrounded by his aquariums.

The blue walls that you can see in the first pic of Hudson’s room is a part of the girls’ room.

Although it looks like there is only one bed, there are several hammock hooks where the kids hang their hammocks at night to sleep.  I am not sure what Anna will do next year at college.  I don’t think they have hammock hooks readily available.

We still have a ton of fixing up to do.  I did not show you our back porch because it looks a bit like the Clampetts before they moved to Beverly Hills.  

We are asked daily by our friends how we like living at the seminary.  It is a pleasure for us to be so close to the goings-on on campus.  Although the classes are nightly and we only have one international student living on campus there is always something happening that brings us into contact with the people we have come to serve so that makes us very glad indeed.

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