Monday, December 28, 2009

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

being back in a land where it snows is so exciting!
being here with 2 brazilians who had NEVER SEEN snow makes it that much more entertaining.

gabriel, my cousin, at first contact with snow said, "hey, it's fluffy like i imagined it would be"
the fact that flakes actually look like miniature stars has also been fascinating!

tomorrow we leave for NYC -- New Years at Time Square!
we will then proceed to Washington DC to visit Mark's brother and wife.

unforgettable memories in the making...
much love!

Friday, December 25, 2009

feliz christmas!

we are in columbus, ohio! home of the buckeyes! and the kaisers...
as you can imagine, mark treasures every moment here!
we are off to Scott and Laura's - brother and sis-in-law - for the family celebrations.

we hope you have an incredible day with family and remember what this day is all about - Love came down.

much love from the kaisers to your family!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fun from Houston

This is a peek at one of the adventures we've had on this trip - when we were in Houston we got to meet up with Carol's mom and sister Marlene (Carol interned with Ali and I in Itu for a year). We've loved meeting the fam of our favorite little Mexican!

Then we embarked on a whole new adventure with Amanda (who served as an intern alongside Carol). Our dear friends Jonathan and Jessica run an annual fair trade show to provide economic opportunity for refugees in Austin amongst others around the world. The show was to take place the next day. When we talked to Jessica she mentioned that there were 150 lbs of African purses stuck at the Houston airport needing to arrive in Austin, so we asked, "where can we go to get 'em?"

The warehouse guys doubted me, but the pictures show that it can be done, in a Kia, with three passengers!

Ali sat in the back amongst all the purses. I'm pretty sure I could've rolled the call and she wouldn't have felt a thing. :)

But what bothered her the most was not the lack of space, it was the warehouse guy's warning, 'If you see any black spiders crawl out of the purses... you better get out.' She didn't find that nearly as funny as he did!


we have been in the States for 6 weeks now!

we were not ready to leave for so long. we first planned on coming in mid-december and being here for a TOTAL of 6 weeks. so considering 10 was quite overwhelming.
our prayer became, "if 10 weeks, then allow us to learn and be inspired and dream bigger"

and we are still overwhelmed. overwhelmed by the response of our ultimate provider and inspiration.

we have received books, we've had conversations, we've met amazing and generous people, we have listened to dreams that include Itu, and we have continued to be amazed and curious at God's incredible creativity.

here are some pics that tell some stories.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

where we've been

since we left Granbury a week ago, we've been to:

* College Station (aggieland, WHOOP!) where we enjoyed some Free Bird (than you, blake bahlman!), met some aggies, reminisced with Langfords and Blake Smith, and enjoyed our time with the AFC leaders!

* Houston, and met up with our precious amanda (intern in 2008). she took us to meet the Mendoza family, which was amazing, and she also helped us reconnect with one of Mark's old time friends - Heidi Felix. Our second day there revolved around picking up African purses from the airport and transporting them to...

*Austin. We've spent some fun time with family and "practically family" - Jonathan, Jessica and the girls.
we've been to a Fair Trade art festival, pre-school Thanksgiving feast, Panera, Sunday night family dinner, all in 3 days!

we will be in Austin until Tgiving, and Saturday we head to Belton to visit the SMITHS! yay!

thanks for journeying with us...

Monday, November 23, 2009

trying something new.

excuse us while we play with different formats for our blog.
we are loving all the new ideas and information flying our way
and we are trying to apply and adapt.

so enjoy the ride!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

you will not believe it!

our time in granbury is coming to an end, and our hearts are a little tight about it.

the two weeks spent with the church here have been unforgettable, in many ways.

we've met and shared meals with wonderful people, we have participated in very entertaining life groups (including one that had a "hobo party"... and mark and i were like, "hey, we have one of those every friday. a legit hobo party!" ha), we've been treated like family, we've learned from experienced followers, and we have been inspired with direction and passion and many books for our ministries.

and one other thing: when we arrived the church provided us with our DREAM CAR - A VAN! it was such a treat to drive around dreaming of filling those seats with our crazy brazilian teenagers.

we then joined a life group on Sunday evening (and enjoyed it thoroughly), and on our way out of the home, the Berrys saw our borrowed vehicle parked out in front of their maibox. Jason and Elizabeth asked us if that was our car, and we proudly declared we would be driving it for our time in granbury. they very kindly offered for us to drive one of their cars, and even tho we were trying to tell them we were happy to have the van, Jason interupted us with, "dudes, you will WANT to drive her car! trust me..."

elizabeth then drove out of the garage with this machine

HOLLY COW (and if to you cows are holly, please take no offense) !
so we have been cruisin' in style for the past week. i'm going to go ahead and say that we are the most stylin' missionaries texas has ever layed eyes on! woo hoo!

so yes, our hearts are tight to leave, and not just because we leave our Mercedez behind.
we are leaving new friends, new bonds, a new home-away-from-home.

(** a very special shout out to the amazing Caseys who have been incredible hosts, special mentors and our favorite breakfast companions for the past 2 weeks! thank you, dave & jan.)

off to Houston ... here we come, amanda!

Monday, November 9, 2009

the first stop... granbury

we arrived on American soil last tuesday!
after leading a regional youth retreat at the church's orphanage on friday, sat, sunday and monday, we were on a plane monday night headed to DFW.

our first week has been so much fun! we could not have picked a better church/town to land in! everyone in granbury has been so hospitable and generous and kind. we ate mexican food, brownies, chicken fried steak, blue bell, wheaties cereal, bought milk in galon bottles and drank bottomless iced tea - all during our first week here!

we have also increased our running distance and speed and joined the YMCA today.

we cant wait to see you!
much love

our first sight of deer in Texas

some pics of the youth retreat

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

have we told you about Barbara?!

Barbara and our "son" Manu.

we have a dear friend. her name is Barbara!
i have known her since i was 17, when the Itu youth group went to her home town for a Carnival Camp.
barbara and i became great friends back then, but lost contact when i moved to the States for college.

but she showed up again last year... randomly, as she does it best. i received a phone call from her saying that she was spending a weekend in Itu, and wanted to have coffee. the date turned into coffee, conversations, hours of sharing life stories, and learning more about our purpose and ministries in itu.

to make a long story short, Barbara is our newest team member in Itu!
she moved here in August, and is serving as an intern until the end of the year.
once January rolls around, she will be blessed by the church & leadership as an integrated part of our church workers team.

she has blessed us immensely in the past 2 months, working side-by-side with the youth group, homeless ministry, rehab ministry and dreaming of ways she can serve the community and church in the near future.

Barbara is also one reason we are at peace about leaving for 3 months for furlough.
we know she will continue to serve and challenge our group while we are gone.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

dates and places

many of you have asked about our specific destinations during furlough

so we want to share with you the places we plan to visit: (this is when you imagine the crowds cheering for their city)

GRANBURY - November 3rd - November 17th

COLLEGE STATION - November 18th

SAN ANGELO - November 19th - 23rd

AUSTIN/BELTON - November 24th - December 2nd

OKLAHOMA - December 3rd - 7th

DALLAS/FORT WORTH - December 8th - December 11th

ABILENE - December 12th - December 18th

OHIO - December 20th - January 20th.

we want to see all of you, this may require a few parties along the way!

t minus 4 weeks!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

mexican food, here we come!

ANNOUNCEMENT: we are headed to the USA for our furlough in NOVEMBER!

We will be spending close to 3 months traveling around Texas (from Nov-mid Dec), Oklahoma (early Dec) and Ohio (from mid Dec-mid Jan) visiting all the wonderful people we miss so much -- and stuffing our faces with mexiacan food while we're at it!

please put us down on your calendars, so we can be sure to visit with you and your family!
and churches, please be patient as we are organizing this monster for the first time... we will contact you soon.

you have helped us live our dream!
much love


Monday, September 14, 2009

glimpses of our summer

our incredible CAMP VICTORY 2009

our new church building innaugurated!

medical campaign volunteers (amazing people!)

medical campaign doctors, nurses and med students (amazing people!)

mark and i celebrated our 5th year anniversary in the midst of the medical campaign

Max Lucado's visit

Lucados with our house crew

the acappella show

Sunday, September 6, 2009

hundreds have helped

as you well know, multitudes were involved in all the campaigns this summer (camp, medical campaign, lucados' visit, acappella show, and follow up)! and we could not have survived the rush without them!

but we wanted to make sure that our interns got a special mention, that we paid our due respect to these friends that dedicated continuous time to the ministries here in itu!

Mary Lou, Kris, Katie, Garrett and Carol helped keep us alive, energetic, laughing, brainstorming, creating, dancing, singing, and enjoying the hectic speeds.

we love you, beautiful people!
may our journeys overlap again!


Monday, August 24, 2009

left on a jet plane

we are not in Itu currently.
we had the sense to get away and replenish for a few days.
some of our best friends came to visit us from Ohio, and after spending a week with them in Itu, we all boarded on a plane to FORTALEZA, brazil. gorgeous. you might want to "google images" it.

so we will be back soon.
at which point we'd love to tell you some stories.
(please don't give up on our blog! we haven't =)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

abundant living

Bilingual Camp,

Community Party,


Medical Campaign,

Max & Denalyn Lucado's visit,

Acappella Show.

this was our month of July!
we have spent today recovering.
and tomorrow i will attempt at painting the picture of how each of these events have changed our community, our church, our ministry and our lives.

Resting in His arms...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009

excerpt from our life

God is at work in wonderful ways here -  I don't have it in me to blog about it so I am just going to post an email I just sent to my family. More to come when we can get a breather. Understand that the language used in this email was selected in part because one of the recipients was my sister who serves as a missionary undercover in China - her email is subject to being looked at so they request no overt Christian lingo. God is good, all the time. Here's the update -

We are in a final stretch of a string of back to back campaigns here - last week we directed a camp with a group of about 30 americans and 70 brazilians, it was amazing and we saw some incredible work that was not of us!  There are a couple newbies in our family now. :)
Today we dropped Carol off at the airport to fly back home after having worked with us for a year. She has been an intern of ours since the last bilingual camp, there is no good way to do a update on this part - we sent away a big piece of who we have become. 
We drove from the airport back to Itu where we had the first day of a medical campaign we have been organizing. 140 some people were attended by a mix of American and Brazilian dentists, gynecologists, psychologists, med-students... I pitched in with translating and crowd control. We also offer a time of sports, I taught a jujitsu class to the kids. It's been a great way to show the love of the great physician. 
Ali and I have a packed house during this week - 4 in our 2 bed rooms, 3 or 4 in the living room, and the rest in a tent that's set up in the garage. Last night we had one in the tent who left early this morning, and we have been trying to figure out all day who it was! The two guys who slept with him thought it was Bruninho, but he slept upstairs with Manu... crazy life! 
Okay, i'm going to get some sleep.
love you guys!

Monday, June 29, 2009


tomorrow at 10 am we will be loading 2 buses and headed to CAMP MOTION! there will be 100 campers, between americans and brazilians. 

please lift us up in prayers! 

*this is a big evangelistic effort, since several of the teens participating are not connected to a christian community.
*please pray for the health of the leadership. emotional, physical, spiritual wholeness. 
*please pray that our bodies will resist fatigue. we've been at hallucinating speeds for the past 5 weeks, and very little rest. 

the weekend we get back in our CHURCH INAUGURAL WEEKEND -- we will have a community party on saturday night and church celebration on sunday morning. then on monday we begin our medical campaign. 

so more prayer requests to come... 

much love to all of you!
ali, in name of kaisers

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


hello my friends -- i hope that you have not given up all hope on us and our tremendous inability to blog as constantly as we should.  

we have been hit by the winter wave. in more than one way. 

way one: we are living in temperatures that flutter somewhere around 40-50 degrees most of the day and night. but unlike the US, whatever tempt it is outside, subtract 5 or 10 degrees in the house. our home is mostly concrete and tile flooring, both of which absorb cold weather like a sponge. it makes for very stiff nights, and requires great courage in the mornings to get out of bed as you watch your breath spread in the air above your head. 

way two: our winter is your summer. your summer = campaigners galore in itu! we are amazed at all the activity that God has brought our way this campaign season! "greater things have yet to come" ... and arrive in 2 weeks! =) we have our BILINGUAL CAMP, our FIRST MEDICAL MISSION TRIP, MAX LUCADO will be spending a weekend with us and offering a seminar, and  ACCAPPELLA is coming for a concert at the end of the month.  
all this, my dear ones, will be happening within 30 days. 
and all the planning and developing and launching and marketing for each event happens now. 

this is why there has been less action in the blog world. well, that's our NOW excuse, anyway. 

please lift us up. 
we are in great expectation to see what God and His amazing power will do with each week that unfolds. 
we love you and miss you. 

more to come... as always. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

backtrack about 3 weeks with me

hello blog!

as you know, we had a great month of March full of fundraisers and anticipation of our first youth group mission trip. on April 17th, we packed the Kombi + 2 cars, and ventured down to Praia Grande, where we met with the youth group of a brand new church.

there were 21 in our group, and about 11 in their group. it was a very manageable number to handle, which we were thankful for, especially during the afternoons at the beach (mark and i both have life guard training and experience, which makes it hard to relax with 30 teenagers at a beach). 

although the weekend brought about several unexpected factors (1.their group was significantly younger than ours;2. some rainy days; 3.a few adolescent radical, unpredicted mood swings-- to the fans of Animaniacs, we had Katie KaBoom along for the trip) we were very proud of our Kaiseres (the name of our youth group) and how they entered into the new dynamics of the event. 

mark and i presented 3 discussion themes. first, "who is Jesus"  exploring the deeper meaning to the text "i am the way, truth and life". second, "wall or trampoline" a beautiful metaphor originated by Bell to explain the roots and consequences of legalism in our hearts. third, "what now?" helping them understand the next steps of faith. 

our next big youth event: JUNE 7TH : VIRADOS PARA FORA - Turned InsideOut. The group *not us* is planning and organizing a weekend with all the regional youth groups. we are anticipating hosting over 60 kids in Itu. the Kaiseres are preparing homes, meals, classes, games, sports,  Sunday service.... it will be a fantastic weekend! please pray in their favor. 

thank you for your interest in our lives.
we know the blessing of having friends and family that are in tune and supportive of the life we lead in the name of Christ. 

with much love --