My New Brazilian Student

Yesterday I had the first online lesson with a Brazilian student living in Winnipeg Canada. She was enthusiastic about learning and a quick learner. I wish all of my students could have the same eagerness and energy.

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She is the five year old daughter of friends of mine who lived in my city 2006 to 2011 when they were graduate students at the university here.

She had some questions about Jesus which is why her parents asked me to teach her. Her parents came to my Sunday morning bible study while they were living in my city. We started with Jesus loves all children and wants all children to talk with him. Then she had a question about who the people were that stayed at the cross. I explained it was his mother Mary, another woman named Mary that Jesus helped and John one of his followers.

She had thought maybe the man was the father of Jesus. Then I explained that God is the father of Jesus and the man Mary got married to was his step father. She left to go to her room to sit and think. Her mom told me that is what she does when she is trying to understand something. A few minutes later she came back out and was ready to go.

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I realized we made a good connection when she went to her room and brought out every toy animal and doll she has, so she could show them to me and tell me their names. 🙂

Today I will meet a new student from Brazil living in Winnipeg, but she is an adult and mom, so I don’t think she will show me her toys. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

My Summer Teaching Brazilians in Canada

One dream summer for me would be to drive across Canada. There is so much to see there in nature and in urban settings. This summer I will be teaching English for Brazilians living in Winnipeg Canada. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, the lessons will be via Zoom not in person.

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Brazilians are so much fun for me to interact with. I studied Portuguese for one year just so I could interact better with my Brazilian friends. One such friend lived in my city while she and her husband were both working on their Masters Degrees. They now live in Winnipeg where the husband is working on his Phd.

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They have Brazilian friends there who expressed interest in English class. My friend told them about me, so this week we will begin lessons.

I looked it up on Google Maps and found out Winnipeg is only a 10 drive from my city. If the COVID-19 thing clears up by next summer, I plan to drive up there. Perhaps that will be the beginning of a dream summer for me.

It is exciting for me to see how God fits things together for us. He connects dots for us to complete the big picture. When I first me my friends when they lived in my city, I had no idea it would lead to teaching their friends in Winnipeg. Jesus knows our future because he is eternal. He does not have the boundaries of time.

Thank you for reading, God Bless.

My Fibro Fourth

Living with chronic illness means one never know when it will rear its ugly head. Yesterday started off great with a blogger chat. Then I was blessed to give an English lesson for a friend from Bosnia via Zoom. As we were studying, that old nemesis fatigue decided it was time to visit again. So I had what I call my Fibro Fourth of July.

It could have been any of the three chronic illnesses I live with causing it, but Fibro Fourth sounds fitting.

As I write this on the evening of the 4th, I can hear the fireworks going off. As I write this I am also grateful for something that happened Friday. A friend and former student from Brazil messaged me that she has a friend who needs help with English. By the time we finished chatting, we set up an appointment for my friend Monday afternoon and one for her to introduce me to her friend on Tuesday. So I will be providing English lessons for Brazilians living in Canada. 🙂

So even though we are still in the midst of COVD-19 problems, God blessed me to interact with friends from Bosnia and Brazil. Jesus has work for me to do. 🙂

Oh forgot to mention that my 4th of July did involve me taking a four hour nap, so that was good. I love naps 🙂

How was your 4th of July or if you live in another country how was your Saturday?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Q and A with Me- My Answers

I got carried away with myself sharing the post about my doctor visit and realized I promised the people who asked me questions from my Q and A with me that I would answer today. So here we go 🙂

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Q and A with Me- My Answers 🙂

Dawn of drawingclosertochrist.com asked – What’s an important lesson you’ve learned in life? What’s your favorite color?

The most important lesson I have learned is that God is God and I am not and to trust God.

My favorite color? I like many colors. Pink is okay for others but not me. lol I tend to wear blue a lot.

Pooja of lifesfinewhine.com asked-

What is your favourite thing about your job? My favorite thing is that I have the opportunity to connect with world and diverse cultures because my students are from all over the world.

What’s your favourite food?- My favorite food is food other people cook for me 🙂

What is one thing you are looking forward to doing after the pandemic is over?- Visiting my refugee and immigrant friends in their homes and being back in the classroom although I will need to remember to wear shoes and socks. Teaching in Zoom I don’t need to 🙂

Barbara of mylifeinourfathersworld.wordpress.com asked -Which characteristic of the nature of God gives you the most comfort/joy/peace & which is the hardest for you to understand/ accept? That is he is ever present help gives me a lot of comfort. That he is eternal blows my mind when I ponder it.

Georgetta of journeythroughlifeministries.com asked – In several of your posts you mentioned you traveled to many countries, which country spoke to your heart to visit again and why. Also, how did you handle rude and inpatient travelers?

Brazil and Romania spoke to my heart the most. I really connected with the people in both countries and loved the cultures.

Rude travelers it depends on my mood and how tired I am. Sometimes I make a polite comment. Sometimes if I am tried I simple glare at them

Mercy of herrychiccounsels.com asked – My question – What has been the most challenging part of being a grown-up and how have you overcome it?.Are you afraid of anything?

Sometimes I am not sure if I am grown up 🙂 But seriously it has been living with chronic illness. My times with Jesus in the mornings help me the most.

I am afraid of heights, doctor’s offices and doctors, and my own cooking sometimes 🙂

Bekah of owlservejesus.wordpress.com asked

When and how did you get saved? I first came to know Jesus when I was 19. A friend of mine had become a Christian and I joined him and the older woman in the neighborhood he was having a bible study with and she shared with me. I trusted Jesus that day.

How much would you say your relationship with God has grown since you came to know him? A LOT. Too Much to say in a short answer. I have been through so many things with Jesus.

What is your favorite vegetable? broccoli, avocado, spinach. What is your favorite fruit? ALL fruit 🙂

Lydia of inhisserviceandlovingit.wordpress.com asked-

Are you an early bird or a night owl? Definitely a night owl. Mornings are torture for me.

How much coffee do you drink each day? If my doctor reads this I only drink one cup a day 🙂 lol

What’s your favorite part of being a teacher? Meeting people from all over the world 🙂

Cheryl of parkinsonscaregiver.net asked -Here’s my question: Have you studied the Enneagram, and if so, what number are you? I know what the types are and honestly for me it depends on the day, my mood, and the situation. I tend to bounce among all 9.

Alimw of forhispurpose.blog asked- Did you grow up in a Christian home? We went to a church and celebrated Christmas and Easter. But not it was not a Christian home by any means. Church was a Sunday morning go for show thing.

Mrs. Mariposa of alwaysajesusgirl.wordpress.com asked-What has been your favorite country to visit and why? It is a tie between Brazil and Romania. Romania was the first country I went to for a ministry trip and it was not long after the fall of communism there. They did not have much, but the people were wonderful to connect with. Brazil was so fun. I love the culture and the people.

I want to thank the bloggers who participated. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Others Watch How We Handle Hardship

A conversation last night reminded me of something that has been a theme in my life. Since I devoted my life to Jesus in July 1989, it has not been an easy road. There have been difficult times, chronic illnesses diagnosed, times of financial hardship and more.

2 Corinthians chapter 1 has been a theme for my life- Blessed be the God of comfort who comforts us……. so that we in turn my comfort others.

The verse in the image relates to Paul’s suffering and how it blesses others.

Last night I had a Zoom chat with a friend in Brazil. I shared with my friend about what happened in March when I lost three weeks of income because of the shutdown but also how God helped me. I also shared with my friend about my autoimmune flare this week. My friend’s reaction was, “You have all of that happening and you still teach us the bible on Sunday morning. You are a model for me for following Jesus.”

I was not expecting that comment at all. All I could say was thank you. No one had ever said that to me at least in person or video chat.

Other people watch how we handle hardship. They watch how we treat other people. They watch what we do.

This is something I wish more Christians would stop and take in at this time. Our focus should be on showing the love of Jesus at this time, trusting him in this crisis, and helping others not feeding into conspiracy theories or arguments.

Let’s be the church and show the love of Jesus.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- Did Your Teacher Call You?

Severe weather season is here in the Midwest. I live in what is called tornado alley in the plains of the USA. My city has never had a big tornado, so people here do not stress about it.

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But a friend of mine from Brazil, who was an international student, would get so stressed out when a thunderstorm would come that she would call her mom in Brazil crying because she thought she was going to die. When she told me about this, I told her she only needed to worry if I called her to tell her to go to her basement. Otherwise there was nothing to worry about. She told her mom what I said.

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A few weeks later, a thunderstorm came into my city, not a severe one, just an average thunderstorm. She called her mom in Brazil crying and her mom said, “Did your teacher call you?” She said no, so her mom told her there was nothing to worry about.

It is a fond memory for me, but in her defense they don’t have tornadoes where she comes from. I had the benefit of living all of my life here and understanding what the various weather warnings mean and for where.

When we face difficulties in life, often we worry because of the unknown. Whether it is a medical diagnosis, the current COVID-19 crisis, what schools to apply for, car problems, etc the future is an unknown for us.

The good news is that Jesus knows the future. Jesus lived in this world and understands the problems we live with. Jesus said in John 16:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

We don’t need to worry about knowing the future. We just need to know Jesus. He knows the future because he is already there.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- Trying to Order Food in Brazil

I love Brazil and if it wasn’t for the COVID-19 virus, I would have made plans to visit there again in June. I love my Brazilian friends, the food in Brazil, the culture, and loved my two trips there.

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During my first trip to Brazil in 2013, I tried to use Google translate to teach myself some phrases. I would type in a phrase in English and see the Portuguese translation. I would click on it to hear it and then practice it with my Brazilian friends.

My last few days I visited my friends in Belo Horizonte. I tried practicing Portuguese with them. One evening we went to a restaurant and my friends told me that I should order the food.

I looked at the server and wanted to say- “Estou aprendendo português e fazendo erros” – I am learning Portuguese and making mistakes. But what I said was- “Estou aprendendo português e fazendo arroz” – I am learning Portuguese and making rice. My friends laughed as the server looked at me confused. My friends told me what I said and I laughed.

When learning a language, mistakes are going to happen. When trying to communicate with other cultures it is easy for communication to not be clear.

Thankfully we do not need to worry about that when it comes to praying.

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When we pray, we can be confident God understands us. Romans 8 says:

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”

When we pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. He is our translator. He helps us to pray. Even if all we can do is groan and utter a few words, God understands us. We can also be relieved to know that God is the ultimate polyglot-a person who speaks several languages- because God knows every language spoken on earth.

So as we share our burdens, concerns, and worries with God during this time, we can be reassured that he understands us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Have Fun With Me to Break the Boredom- Part 2- My Responses

Last Friday I posted- Have Fun With Me To Break The Boredom inviting people to share their assumptions about me. Today I am sharing their assumptions, links to their blogs, and my responses.

It was a fun game to play with my fellow bloggers 🙂

Dawn of drawingclosertochrist.com said- You love trying different foods from around the world.

Yes that is very true. I love food from other cultures 🙂

Beverley of becomingtheoilandthewine.com said- My assumption is that you are a no nonsense kind of guy.My second assumption is that you have a special “liking” for one of your blogging friends 

I guess I do tend to be a no nonsense kind of guy. Special liking? It depends what that means. There are bloggers I follow whose blogs I enjoy following 🙂

Lily of the Valley 777 said-  I assume you’re a good listener, and by listening to others, learn how you can best help them achieve their goals.

I try to be a good listener. I think if we listen we learn more about people.

Kim of fearandoovercome.wordpress.com said- You enjoy your students and love to teach

Yes I love to teach and be with my students.

Jenny of ofprogressandpurpose,com said- Hmm… I assume that you love kids? Is that daring enough? Or too easy?

Maybe it is obvious from some of my posts. I do love kids. They are so much fun too interact with and encourage.

Michelle of apudiem.wordpress.com said – You love music 🎶

I do love music especially worship music because it helps me be in the presence of Jesus 🙂

Alive and Well of enterhispeace.wordpress.com said- You got to be organized to teach as you do.

Organized? hmm- well I have been teaching for a long time so I have many teaching plans in my mind to draw from. My teaching is organized, but if you saw my desk you would think otherwise 🙂

honeybeewhisperer.com said- You prefer microwave to stovetop

Yes I prefer the microwave because it is so much easier especially just using the popcorn setting. 🙂

Tina of pippispoetry.com said – My assumption is that you never assume too much about people. You ask questions and get to know them.

I have learned no to assume about people because people will surprise us. I don’t like putting people into boxes.

Hannah of hannahhibiersack.wordpress.com said- My assumption is your a helper. Your a kind soul and always willing to help others.

I hope I am kind. I do love helping people especially my refugee and immigrant friends 🙂

messybunandgettingitdone.home.blog said- You are a helper and encourager. And, duh ;). Love some Jesus.

I do love Jesus and hope I show his love 🙂

jlp260 of gardenfaith.com said- Hi, my assumption is that you enjoy music and books more than television.

I love music but watch a lot of music videos on youtube so that might be considered television. I love books too 🙂

parkinsonscaregivernet.wordpress.com said- You have more than 5 copies of the Bible right now on your shelves?

Yes I do have more than 5 copies. I have 2 bi-lingual English and Spanish bibles. I have 1 bi-lingual Portuguese and English bible. I have an NIV bible, a NIV New Readers bible, I have a Greek New Testament and a Hebrew Old Testament.

Tracey of traceysworld.com said- Your prefer Pepsi to Coke?

I used to prefer Pepsi, but now I mostly drink water and in the mornings coffee.

nopassingfancy.wordpress.com said- Hmmm… how about…. you didn’t like vegetables as a child? 😉

I liked broccoli and corn but that was about it. If I didn’t life the vegetable, I would dip it in the potatoes and gravy and be sneaky to feed it to my dog. 🙂

Robert of roberlain.wordpress.com said – My assumption is that you don’t love mornings- you hate them! 

You are correct. I have never been much of a morning person. The only things I like about mornings are coffee and seeing my students but if my morning class could start at 11am I would be happy.

Lucas a friend in Brazil said- My assumption is that your favorite foreign language is Portuguese :D. Not talking about the people or culture related to the language, just about speaking the language (not trying to give you a hard time answering!)I don’t have a blog so you don’t need to link anything to me :).

Sim eu amo portugues Eu também amo o brasil O brasil é legal. 🙂

I LOVE Portuguese. That has a lot to do with my Brazilian friends because they are so fun to be with. I love Brazil too. 🙂

I also enjoy Spanish 🙂

Patty of hesaidwhatks.blog said- I assume that you are going to take online cooking classes during this break and learn to love you oven more than your microwave

Sorry but I won’t be taking any online cooking classes 🙂

bigskybuckeye.com said – You don’t like certain vegetables, especially beets and brussel sprouts. If you do, more power to you, but I don’t expect to be eating them anytime soon

I love brusel sprouts. I don’t like beets. Nothing against beets and beets lovers, but I never developed a taste for them 🙂

Deborah of greatisgodsfaithfulness.blog said- I assume you didn’t make a run on the store to buy groceries because you don’t like shopping and you don’t like cooking

No, I did not make a run on the store, but friends have gone for me 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Blessed by Small Moments

Sunday Morning I woke up feeling fatigued which is normal in my life. I made myself get ready, so I could go to church. On such mornings it is a temptation to stay home all day in my sweat clothes and relax or just stay in bed.

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But I had a very important thing to do.

My young friend from Vietnam, who has come to my Sunday morning group since last summer, will move to Texas this Wednesday. Sunday morning was time to say goodbye. We prayed for her at the end and after we finished praying she cried. It was a poignant moment.

Then as I went to worship service, I saw my friends from Rwanda. I always enjoy greeting them in French and welcoming them. I like to joke with them by asking if they had any tests and if they did I congratulate them.

Before I went into worship service, a friend from Brazil introduced me to a new family from Brazil. We spoke in Portuguese which was fun. While we were talking, one of the pastors came by to introduce me to a woman from Mexico. I spoke with her in Spanish and shared with her about my Sunday morning class.

If I had given in to the fatigue and pain, I would have missed out on those wonderful moments. Moments of sharing Christ’s love with people from four different countries.

Small moments of blessing are too easily overlooked by us especially if we are only looking for the big moments.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

The Decade Tag

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With this being the end of not only a year, but also a decade, I thought I would look back at what the Lord has done in my life the past ten years. Also I would like to make this a tag- The Decade Tag.

To play along:

1- Please share a link to the creator of the tag- jesusluvsall.wordpress.com

2- Share some highlights for you over the past decade and if you want a few low points

3- Tag whoever you wish to.

4- Ask them some questions

5- Use any picture appropriate for such a tag.

Highlights for me are:

2 trips to Brazil one with a group from church and one to teach English at a univeristy

1 trip to Mexico with a group from church

Studied Spanish for one year

Studied Portuguese for one year

Began and continue to teach in a specialized program- Family Literacy

Had a mentoring/study group for young people from Vietnam

Low points for the Lord has helped me with

Found our I have Celiacs Disease

Found out I have Fibromyalgia

Waiting to find our about another autoimmune problem

My questions for those I am tagging

1- What was your favorite song or songs from this past decade?

2- What was your favorite movie or movies from this past decade?

3- What was your favorite book from this past decade?

If they wish to participate, I am tagging

Purple Rose

Sharon

Deborah Marie

Jenny

Garden Faith

Sarah

Joy Cottage

Nikita

Noah

Angelica