Heaven & Highlights

I realize it’s been a while since my last update. I thought I had my internet situation all figured out, but alas, I do not. Even as I write this, I’m not really sure how long it will take to get it posted.  Instead of trying to detail my entire week in one blog post, I've decided to share one of my favorite moments, and hit a few other highlights. Here we go…

My favorite moment of the last week came yesterday during our club for teens. The lesson was the first of a 5-week plan in which we’ll work through the “wordless book” which uses colored pages to walk through the plan of salvation (much like the salvation bracelet that many of us remember from VBS). Yesterday’s lesson focused on Heaven: what Heaven would be like, things that would exist in Heaven and things that wouldn't exist in Heaven. We split the teens up into two groups and had them work together to complete a worksheet of questions about Heaven based on verses in John and Revelation. I followed along in my Bible (English, of course) while they looked up the verses and answered the questions. Other than helping them locate the assigned verses, they didn't really need my help.  They worked through most of the questions on their own until we came to the last question. The question focused on Revelation 22:4, and basically asked “what special thing will we be able to see in Heaven?”  Despite the fact that my Portuguese is still extremely limited, I was able to help them understand that we will be able to see Jesus’ face! We've read about Him, trusted Him, felt His comfort and guidance, but even with all of that, the only actual visual image of Christ that I have to fall back on is a cartoon drawing or actor’s portrayal of a guy with long hair and a nice face. In Heaven, we won’t have to guess anymore. We’ll be able to see Him for ourselves!! Now, I wish I could say that I was able to articulate all of that to my teenage Portuguese friends, but the language barrier kept us more on the point of simply seeing His face. It wasn't a huge moment of revelation for them, but for me it was another much needed moment of affirmation that God is working and using me. I am limited by language and cultural understanding, but God is not. I may not understand all the conversations or be able to share a life application with them yet, but God is allowing me to invest in the lives of these teenagers, to show His love to them. I’m so grateful to be a part of this!!
Learning about Heaven!

A few highlights of the things I’ve experienced/learned over the last week or so (in no particular order):

- I’m way more reliant on the internet than I ever realized!
- There’s something so entirely refreshing about worshiping the Lord and studying His word in the language you understand, especially after two whole weeks of almost complete immersion in a different language.
- When you’re faithful to serve others, God will bring growth in your ministry. Last week one of our clubs doubled in size, literally, because we were able to reach out to a family in need.
 - Hot tea made from fresh tea leaves (grown in our own back yard btw) is really good! So far I’ve had lemon, mint, and orange!
- Playing a game with small children breaks the ice and the language barrier a lot faster than anything else!
- It’s basically free for me to text back and forth with iPhone users, even internationally!
- When you live in a quiet place and church bells ring on the hour, there’s not really any need for a watch J
Our Lajes club...double in size from last week!

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