Sunday, January 27, 2008

Our Week of Camp

  This past weekend Ali and I returned from an exhausting and blessed week of camp.  We directed a Saturday-to-Saturday session for 13 to 18 year olds.  The theme was, “Jesus me amaria, Cantando minha historia” (Jesus would love me, Telling my story).  It is impossible to put all that took place there into words, but God showed up in an amazing way, and He was glorified in the lives of our campers and our team.  
pic #1- Ali & I introduce the camp session

  Our main message was that the love of Jesus for us is amazing, not just because of what he did once upon a time, but because of what he does, every day in our lives.  Each morning one of our counselors would reinforce this by talking about someone who Jesus interacted with whose life was a lot like theirs, and how just like the Bible characters, they received the love and acceptance that changed their lives.  At the end of each day we offered time for any of the campers who were touched by this story to share from their hearts as well.
pic #2- Guto shares parallels                                 pic #3-  Lucas reflects on how
between his life, and that of Peter                    the message of the day spoke to him

This morning class was followed up with group time where campers wrote down their thoughts on the message, talked about what the application of it would look like in their lives, and put together creative ways to demonstrate it in the evening gatherings.  These groups were used incredibly by the Lord to touch lives and to bring the message into the practical realm.  All of the campers were put into four groups, shown below in pics 4 - 7.

  In the afternoons campers chose what classes they wanted to take part in.  Choir, arts, nature and culinary classes were daily options.
pic 8 Choir class                                                           pic 9 Art class
pic 10-  Nature class and hike                                            pic 11-  Culinary class

After these classes we had some  free time, group games, and sports.
pic 12- Chillin' with the Gee-tar                     pic 13- My cousin Jeff leads a treasure hunt
pic 15 & 16-  Brazilians try out the pigskin...       and love it! 
pic 17- Playing soccer, my foul caught on      pic 18- Soraya (Counselor) and Buckeye (my dog) 
  camera. Sheesh!                                       catch a recovery nap

Ali's birthday came mid week, the campers secretly hung around late to surprise her just after midnight on the big day, then sang to her again at lunch, dinner, and night time tea.  She also received three cakes throughout that day! 

pic 20- midnight surprise                                                  pic 21-  cake #1


And that's a wrap!  This picture was taken just before getting on the bus to head home. Yes, that is my dog Buckeye with the camp dog's throat between her jaws, but they were great friends. Really!

Starting Saturday is take two, a four day encounter where Ali and will be running the youth part.  We pray that He will bless this second round as he did the first.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

a mini album of a new year

We have spent 1 week in Rio Grande do Sul. It's the most southern state of Brazil. And the coldest state of Brazil. It was heavily populated by Italian immigrants in the 1800s. 
It is also our equivalent to Napa Valley for it's fine production of extraordinary wines. 
We came to Rio Grande do Sul for a Missionary Conference, where we met amazing workwers of the kingdom... then we stayed around this part of the country for some R&R with my parents and friends. 
Mark and i want to share with you some new friends, new pics and new stories we collected along the way... 

Some precious friends! Girls, have fun in Paraguay!

The town the conference was in is the National capital of Christmas!
so we all enjoyed a beautiful light show and a choir in a tree!

768 steps down to this picturesque waterfall! totally worth it!

Walking at the top of a waterfall 

and of course Mark had to walk way too close to the edge...!
We searched the entire city for a place with cable so we could watch the National Championship game. There was a pizzaria that let us stay till 3:00 am!!! bad game, good story! 

Our post-conference traveling crew: Matt & Waleska  (missionaries in Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul), mom & dad & mark  

the gorgeous vineyards

have a little wine!?

Train ride thru traditional cities and vineyards
Trying some Mate tea
Lost in the vineyards

and here you have it! 

we are off to camp tomorrow! please pray for us as we minister to the teens there. 
we love you so much. 

mark and ali 

Sunday, January 13, 2008

2008 kick off

It has been a busy time, hence the lack of time to blog. We recently had a great practical day with our youth group. We have been talking to them abo
ut using this vacation time to bless the lives of others, and they suggested a trip to a nearby orphanage. It was a fun time watching them interact with other children and teens and finding that selfless acts of love can bring great joy and satisfaction.  (orphans below are blocking our exit... sad to leave)

Today, Ali and I are in Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state in Brazil, where we spent the last week attending a missionary conference attended by missionaries to Brasil, Chile and Paraguay.  It was an amazing time of sharing dreams, considering new ideas, and fellowship with new and old friends.  (fun night with fellow missionaries in pic) 

This week we will travel back to the state of Sao Paulo and make final preparations for the camp session we will be directing next week. PLEASE join us in prayer as we prepare ourselves and our team of counselors to serve an unknown group of teenagers for 7 days. There will surely be many a stories to share with you after that!! 

we love you and miss you. 

please do not give up on our blog. =)


Thursday, January 3, 2008

Quick message from the "dark side of the moon"

Right now, Ali and I feel a little like the astronaut rounding the moon who loses all contact with home base till emerging on the other side. The internet provider of our city is not doing much providing right now, so we have been unable to post blogs or even send e-mails. I am sitting in a LAN house in Votaporanga now. I can´t post pics from here, but at least we can let you know that we are still alive!

Christmas and New Years were wonderful. On New Years Eve Ali, Phyllis and Antenor took part in a 15k rase in Sao Paulo called the Sao Silvestre that had more than 20,000 runners. (I sat out as I am trying to recoup a bum knee) We then spent the New Years with Aunts, Uncles and cousins who live in Sao Paulo, and on the 1st of the year traveled to Votaporanga where we have spent the last days with more family on a small farm that is home to one of our uncles here. It has been a good opportunity to do some planing and scheduleing of ministries for the coming year.

On Sunday we will be attending a Missionary conference in the south where we will meet other workers from cities throughout Brazil. It will be a good time to build our network and learn from the experience of others. After this confrence comes the first of two camps that Ali and I are directing. The theme of this camp will be, "He would love me." Classes will be taught by various people whose lives have parraleled the lives of individuals who Christ met and interacted with. These will include Peter (who turned his back on Christ and then came back to Him), the Pharisies (whose religious pride did nothing for their relationship with Christ), the woman who descretely touched Jesus's cloak as He passed and received healing (who while being too ashamed to seek out Christ publicly, was saught out by Him), and the children (who Jesus welcomed to come to Him in their inocence and used as an example to His adult followers).

Thank you for your prayers for our work, and please keep this upcoming camp, AMO, in your prayers. Pray that both the counselors (who will be teaching the classes) and the campers will be prepared, used, and changed by the Lord through this effort. And while your at it, pray for our internet connection too!

Thanks for reading, and Happy New Years!

-the Kaisers