Thinking on Paper – IMPORTANT.

As in all cities, there are the poor. I’ve been in many homes most Americans would not consider liveable. In fact, I’ve lived in some that didn’t meet the standards of many people.  In fact, I’ve lived in some homes that didn’t meet the standards of many people.
But one thing I have learned: It doesn’t matter as much what you HAVE as it matters WHO you are. Peace and joy do not come from “things” but come from what we have in our spirits.
The “good news” we have from Jesus Christ, makes far more difference in our lives.

THAT is the reason I normally spend more time in Natal and Brazil than I do in the USA. Most of the people who read this are Christians who live in the US. Each one of you are delegated by the Lord to be missionaries here…Including my adult children and grandchildren. (Most of my great-grandchildren are still too young.)

I love Brazil,,yes.    I’ve become a citizen there, yes.    But that isn’t why I live there. Rather, it is because THAT IS WHERE GOD HAS PUT ME.

For comfort? the US is definitely better. The pot holes in the streets, the unexpected speed bumps on streets where neighbors have built them (there is one particular one that if you hit it too fast your head will definitely hit the roof of the car – hard, and you may cause damage to your car  as well as yourself  ) AND many more big differences

My apartment – my “Nest” is tiny – that’s the only word for it! The 2 bedrooms are ok. the 2 bathrooms are small – no bathtubs, only showers. the kitchen is minuscule – only one in it at a time,

Dining  Table is 3 ft diameter circle (small) with 3 chairs. A small sofa, seats 2 and 2 more iron chairs for sitting… over flow of people sit on the floor – which is common.  and you would be amazed at how many we can crowd in:)

We have a small frig, small 4 burner gas stove, very limited counter space, hot water in the showers only – yes, dishes CAN get clean washed in cold water! Done it for years. (Most homes in Brazil do NOT have hot water in the kitchens.)  And we have a small balcony where you can step outside IF the hammock isn’t hanging in the way.

Did I forget something? oh – a washing machine and a dryer and a dishwasher – NONE. 
No washer and dryer and no tank to wash clothes in by hand – that presents some interesting challenges… but we do have clean clothes. You might laugh at some of the things we do, but they work 

If you want to come down and find out, you are wanted and welcome. We have two beds ( which are usually full) room for two or three single mattresses on the floor, and a hotel across the street.

Oh – one other necessary thing we have: wi-fi-
for teaching and studying and writing.
And smart phones. 
And I can’t get away from my cane and those who love me and keep a close eye on me.

I’m laughing – and getting homesick – so I’m quitting.
I hope I get to go back in January, 2019

This is called the City of the Sun..In our apartment the doors and windows are open almost 24/7. and there are miles and miles of dunes – everywhere. IF you want an unforgettable adventure, spend a day on the dunes in a dune buggy. – something one never forgets!

Our apartment is out of sight – right side of photo – about 1 inch beyond the beach, if that makes any sense. This is Ponta Negra Beach, and the dune is called Duna Careca (bald head  ) People used to climb it and slide down, That is now prohibited. Brings down too much sand.

NATAL, RN. Brazil.
Some of you have visited Joe and I here.

–  Voni

A Reluctant Missionary

Something happened to me .

I don’t know how to explain it. . . except that it is a God-thing.

I never wanted to be a missionary … I wanted to marry a farmer.
I don’t like big cities. .. never wanted to learn another language…

I never wanted to be a pastor’s wife nor a leader of any kind.

I wanted to be available to my parents, since my brother was handicapped, and they were older.  (At some time in the future I will write more details.)

BUT – since childhood I told God I want to do His will in my life.
THAT is what He listened to. The biggest God-thing.

He opened my eyes and my heart to the needs of the globe, not to only my own country.
He made me aware that His command to “Go into all the world …” was to me;
that His challenge to me was to open my hands so He could remove what He didn’t want me to hang onto, and could place in my hands what He wanted.
Over the years, I became a “cultural marginal” – one who no longer fits into any one country. . . a pilgrim.

I’m now 86, a widow – and what He placed in my hands has not changed.
I am still a pilgrim.  He takes me to be close to my children and their families in different places.  He takes me to Brazil and other countries …
I do not have a permanent home here on earth.  Yes, there are some places I love more than others – but where I am does not depend upon my desires.  He is the one Who opens and closes the doors.

Fortunately, God’s plans for each one of us are different.  Can you imagine what it would be like if each one of us were an international pilgrim?  J

I would have no special bedrooms waiting for me! J

 

  • Voni