Friday, October 26, 2007

Change is Good

I've enjoyed hearing of the changing season back home. I miss the colorful fall leaves, apple cider, and Ohio State football. Here the season is starting to change too. It is getting much hotter, there are more mosquitoes (mainly only problematic while we sleep, but a simple fan has fixed that). There are not many guests like the one pictured here that I found on our front door, but the ones we find are not quickly forgotten! And thank the Lord, after an odd dry spell we are starting to see some much needed summer rain. California is in our thoughts and prayers as they come through this rough time. Hang in there David & Carrie!

We are also enjoying progression in our ministry here as we become more integrated into our new settings as regulars, rather than as the new guys. Right now Ali is off at a national ladies conference. She and Phyllis will be teaching a class to single women. When asked to teach they were provided with a title, "I'm about to do it." They will be discussing many taboos that need to be discussed, and could definitely use your prayers. It is often repeated that our faith should produce righteousness and discretion, in addition they will be communicating the mercy and forgiveness freely provided to those who have made mistakes.

Here in Itu we have the Bible Study at Yesky, the English school (Ali is pictured there from an earlier week). We will be discussing Acts 17. There as Paul is preaching he is kicked out of a town for causing turmoil, and the residents who kicked him out follow him to the next town to stop his ministry there too. In Portuguese the "causing turmoil" phrase is written with a word that means, "turning things upside down." It is interesting to think back on the words of Jesus and to realize how true that should be of us all. With teachings like loving your enemies, laying down your life to receive true life, the first shall be last... may we all be turning the world around us upside down. That is the only way for it to be set right again!

Earlier this week a close friend was relaying some major struggles to Ali. Her words were said in frustration, but I think they are filled with hope. She said, 'I know I need God to make this work, but it is so hard to change when I am 29 and just now hearing about Jesus for the first time.' Thank God for willing hearts to do what is tough! And thank you Jesus your longing to accept the humble in whatever state they may come!

Buckeye is doing great too, and hoping for a National Championship from her boys back home. Go Bucks!

No change in the soccer department, they are still mopping up the floor with this yanky! I am still having fun getting beat though. :)

Thanks for all your prayers!
The Kaisers

Thursday, October 25, 2007

another member of the Kaiser family!

well. we are proud to announce the arrival of our brand new little puppy : BUCKEYE!
she is adorable, playful, sleepy, and bilingual! fits right into our small family!

we got her last week, and at 3 months she weighs 30 pounds!
Rotweiller was the breed of choice for her guard dog qualities - as soon as she is actually awake for 4 or more hours/day.

enjoy the pics!

now with 3,

Monday, October 22, 2007

As promised this posting is a little more colorful than the last. But... not by much. Consider this as an installment as I continue to fight against a lethargic internet connection, it is all I can get to load right now. :)

This picture is of the home group Bible study we've been teaching with Antenor. We have made great connections with the families there (some new Christians, some not there yet) and it has been a great stretching exercise for my Portuguese.

Okay, I know one picture is lame - more to come. Thanks for keeping us in your prayers!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Just a Tidbit From Friday's Bible Study

It has been another great week in Itu, Brazil. Last night I taught the Bible Study at Yeskey (the English School owned by a couple of members of our church). We were reading in Acts 16, focusing on verses 16 - 34. We had a great discussion about faith in hard times. It is great to praise the Lord during times of smooth sailing, but to maintain a steady heart of worship, even in the midst of anguish and turmoil... first off, there is no greater or more fulfilling peace than the peace that passes understanding - the peace that God brings when we lay it all down before him. Second, we give those around us a great opportunity to see the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us. In Acts 16 a prison guard and his entire family come to know the Lord through this witness. A crisis can be an amazing blessing if we give it, and God, the opportunity.

I have some fun pics to post, but posting pics is crashing my internet connection lately, and I do not have the energy left right now to fight against the machine. So please forgive my blandness for tonight, and come back in about 24 hours. Deal? Thanks.

Thank you for keeping our work here in your prayers!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

one month

today is our one month aniversary of being in Itu. wow. in some ways it seems longer, and in other ways shorter.
one thing is for sure, i do not miss that crazy trip! we were completely overloaded! we both had hicking packs that weighed about 50 pounds, plus "personal items" the size of small cars.

this week there is one thing we witnessed: my parents' ministry here is a national ministry. you can only fully comprehend this once you've lived in their home and realized how many times you have it all to yourself. =)

i.e. my dad left for Belo Horizonte (a large city about 600 miles N from here, where all the TV programs are recorded) last Thursday -- second time in 1 month. he got home yesterday for lunch, repacked and took my mom to Porto Alegre (another large city about 1000 miles S of here) to offer a marriage seminar. They will be back next Wednesday. Mom and I will speak at a National Christian Women's Conference that weekend. Between now and the end of the year (2 months), they will be in 4 different Brazilian states teaching and encouraging churches. It has amazed me how God has blessed their efforts.

As a consequence of their national wide activities, Mark and I have the privilege to lead Dad's Wed and Fri Bible studies (there are some older blogs that talk about these get-togethers).

All of our full time ministries will start in November. We will be hosting the youth group, young married couples and young professionals weekly, as well as the Wed. and Fri. groups.

I have caught myself several times at church on Sundays sitting amongst people and day dreaming about different ministries, and community outreach, and youth activities... it's an inspiring place to be. What a blessing to be part of a church that is thirsty for creative leadership, spontaneous outreach and big - nation wide - vision for the church.

Monday, October 8, 2007

last friday

This week our internet has been out here and we are continuing to have problems with it, so I am glad to finally have the opportunity to get this post up. Thanks for waiting!

The class that we taught at Yesky, an English school here, went very well. We were in Acts 15 where some of the established Christians were denying the new gentile converts inclusion because of not having been a part of their tradition. We had a great discussion about the human tendency of imposing our restrictions, and how God has extended such a loving invitation to all men of all traditions to be redeemed through Christ.

Here is a fun cultural fact for you - if you get together with a group of Brazilians at around 7pm or so, don't plan on being done before it is time to go to bed. Around midnight seems to be the expectation. After the class we went out to grab a bite to eat: a guy in the town square with a mobile cart made burgers and hotdogs for our dinner. Then it was back to Yesky, the English school, where George (he is co-owner of the school and a member of our church) sliced up mangos, papayas, and bananas and we hung out, as expected, till midnight. I guess Brazillians just don't require the sleep that we Americans do.

more stories to come...

much love!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Where are you going?

we're back from our trip to Belo Horizonte!
It was a blessing to be a part of the celebration with the church!
there were over 900 people present, representing 20 congregations scattered throughout the state of Minas Gerais (north of Sao Paulo).

Our lives in Itu continue to be a transition. But one we welcome with open arms! =)
Mark takes about 8 hours of Portuguese classes a week, and has lots of practice time around our friends.
Tonight we will be leading another Bible study at YESKY, an English school in town, and i will not be surprised if he ends up teaching in Portuguese again. I will add in some pictures from the study soon.

There is a song that I have been listening to quite a bit lately, and I want to share it with you.
It is called "Where are you going?"
and i have listened to it as a conversation between God and me.

Where are you going, with your long face pulling down?
Don't hide away, like an ocean
That you can't see but you can smell
And the sound of waves crash down

I am no superman.
I have no reasons for you
I am no hero, Aww that's for sure
But I do know one thing:
Is where you are is where I belong.
I do know, where you go, is where I wanna be.

Where are you going? Where do you go?
Are you lookin' for answers to questions under the stars?
Well if along the way you are growin weary, you can rest with me
Until a brighter day, you're ok.

I am no superman.
I have no answers for you.
I am no hero, aww that's for sure.
But I do know one thing:
Where you are is where I belong.
I do know, where you go, is where I wanna be

Where are you going? Where do you go?
Where do you go? Where are you goin? Where do you go?

I am no superman.
I have no answers for you
I am no hero, awww thats for sure.
But I do know one thing:
is where you are is where I belong
I do know, where you go, is where I wanna be.

Where are you goin'? Where do you go?

Tell me where are you going?
Where? Let's go.