Monday, September 20, 2010

The Simple Life.

When I was a little girl my good friend Beth and I would often tell people that we had been born in the wrong era. We were obsessed with the 1800’s and what we thought would be the “simple life.” Now that I am a little older and actually living a much simpler life than most of my American friends, I thought it would be fun to write about some of the differences between my life in the U.S. and my life in Brazil.

I realize that not all of Brazil is the same kind of living as where I live in Rio Vermelho. If you were to travel to the Amazon you would find that some people live with far less comforts than we are blessed to have, but if you were to visit Rio, or some of the other bigger cities you would find that there are parts of the city that are very modern and not so different from cities that you would find in the U.S.

In our town of Rio Vermelho life seems to move at a much slower pace. We have lived here only three and a half years but we feel like we know everyone. If we don’t know them by name or nickname (such as Water Guy, Bakery Guy, or Cat Lady) we recognize almost everyone. Most of the people I know do not have cars; we obviously do a lot of walking. Some people would think that this would be such a pain, but I think it is part of the reason that everyone knows everyone. When we walk we are always waving and saying hi to our neighbors and friends as we pass by.

Besides walking being a way of life there are other differences as well. One of the more obvious differences would be the lack of all of those modern machines that I so often used to take for granted. Here we do pretty much all of our housework by hand. When we wash clothes we wash them by hand and then hang them out to dry. When we wash our dishes we wash them by hand. When we make coffee we boil water and pour it through a funnel with a filter. When we cook we peel, chop and dice everything by hand – the only food processors in this house are attached to my wrists. ☺ A few other little differences that have made our life interesting in teaching our newest additions to adjust to their new home would be - we can not drink the water from the sink, we have no hot water in the house (our showers do plug in to get hot though), the houses have all tile instead of carpet, and the most fun one of all … we can’t flush toilet paper. Lets just say that my six year old had a bit of a hard time getting used to that last one. ;)

Some people might think that all of these differences are a bad thing, but I have found that I really do prefer the simple life. Of course I have had moments that I miss having some of those conveniences that we had in the U.S., but if I had those things I would be missing out on other things. I would miss laughing with Nate outside as we desperately try to stay caught up on laundry for eight people. I would miss playing detective with the kids to figure out who tried to flush the toilet paper, and I would miss the talks that I have with my oldest as I wash and he dries the dishes. The simple life can be difficult at times but it can also be simply sweet.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Update September 2010

Update September 2010
Dear Family and Friends,
As most of you know we have one GIANT praise report – We are HOME! Praise the Lord!! We would like to take just a few minutes to catch you up on some of what the Lord has been doing in our family, and in Calvary Chapel Mocamba this past month.

Calvary Chapel Mocamba-

In August the church family of Calvary Chapel Mocamba celebrated its two-year anniversary of meeting for Sunday services. It was such a blessing to be able to have our church family all together again- worshiping Jesus, learning from His Word, and spending time in sweet fellowship! It is such an awesome thing to be able to look back over the past two years and see all that the Lord has done. We have had the privilege to see people develop a hunger for the Word and mature in their relationships with Him. We are so blessed to have been given the opportunity to minister to the people of Rio Vermelho, and we are so excited to see what else the Lord has in store for these beautiful people.

The church service schedule remains similar to what it has been. We are going through the book of Genesis on Wednesdays, the book of Acts on Sundays, as well as staying busy with the other weekly activities that go on at the church such as Ladies Art class, Jujitsu, and English class. Surf School is taking a break because of the cold weather and also because of the fishing season.

Another praise report is that by the grace of God Nathan has been teaching the studies in Portuguese without a translator!

Our family has been very busy getting settled into our new house and getting our kids adjusted to life in Brazil. It has been so much fun introducing them to all of our friends here, and the kids are adjusting well. They love their new rooms, new friends, and of course all the new foods. They also are enjoying learning lots of new words in Portuguese. We have noticed they always remember the words for the things that they like. I believe that Josiah’s first word in Portuguese was “sorvette” (ice cream)!

Nathan has been very busy getting our family settled as well as taking care of the church. Now that we are not living in the church building, he is going there five days a week, in addition to the weekly services.

We are so happy to be home! The Lord has truly had His hand in every detail of the past eight months. He was faithful in taking care of His church while Nate was in the U.S., He was faithful in His provision for the adoption, He was faithful in His provision for our airfare home, and He has been faithful in giving us the strength needed in the past month of getting adjusted to our new family in our own home.
We thank you all so much for your prayers and support!! No words could ever say how much it has meant to our family knowing that all of our brothers and sisters in Christ are there for us, praying for us, and lifting us up to Jesus.

Keeping our eyes on Him, The Cates

Prayer Requests:
• Pray the people of Rio Vermelho come to know Jesus.
• Pray for Continued growth, maturity, and hunger for the Word in the body@C.C.M.
• Pray for provision to be able to attend the Brazil C.C. Pastors Conference.
• Pray for the safety of our family in our new house.
• Pray for wisdom and vision for Nate in leading the church.
• Pray that God would raise up servants to help in the work of the ministry.