It’s so hard…

Saying good bye is never easy for me! I cry when Tim leaves for a week. I bawl (ugly bawl) instantly when I have to say goodbye to family that I won’t see for a long time. Ok, i cry when I SEE people saying goodbye! In so many ways Cobe is a carbon copy of me. He loves well and becomes attached! This morning he broke down 4 or 5 times telling his new friends especially Wellington good bye!

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Cayden, on the other hand, doesn’t typically wear her emotions on her sleeve…ok disclaimer as she approaches womanhood we are seeing the unwanted dramatic side a little more! Today, however, as they pulled away from their home for the week, tears streamed down her face. I know she will miss the people she met, but I also know her little heart witnessed a lot and I can’t help but wonder when I look at this picture if she is sad that she has to leave some of the people she met living in the poverty that she now has first hand knowledge of.

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I cannot WAIT to hear about their trip and all the stories they will have to tell. I wish so bad that I had been with them to witness what their eyes took in! I am anxious to see how what they saw will affect them! I only have a few more hours!!!!

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The last full day.

The last day for the May 2013 Brazil trip is coming to an end! Tomorrow they return home! Today was a day filled with good-byes!
The team visited the orphanage one last time. As a surprise they brought the kids ice cream and toys. They also spent 3 hours just playing with the kids.

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While I am looking forward to hugging my family tomorrow, I have a son who is having a very hard time saying good-bye to a country he has fallen in love with. He is extremely sad about saying good-bye to his friend Wellington, who got to go everywhere with them today.

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I have already received a few texts where Cobe is telling me that he is going back to Brazil in October. I would love to see that relationship continue. Maybe soon we will all go back together!
And just maybe we will see about bringing this little cutie back with us. Tim did ask if I’d want a 4th!

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5

Day 5 was more of a day where the kids (and the entire team) got to see a little of the city they have been ministering to.

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That evening the group got to eat at an authentic Brazilian steak restaurant. While they were there my son got to meet the worlds greatest indoor soccer player! He doesn’t know soccer too much but still thought it was super cool!

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Day 6 is coming soon!

The little children.

Matthew 19:14

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”

The church in which we are connected with in Brazil, and also staying at exists to be the light of Jesus in their dark world. A world where poverty exists. A world where kids are abused. A world that NEEDS to see the hands and feet of Jesus!

A year ago when Tim and I first met Mozart we knew we wanted to partner with his church, Igreja do parque das flores (or Church of the Flowers).

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Every day this church works in the “favelas” or the slums. This is the poorest part of the city. The conditions here are unimaginable. This church distributes food and clothes to those who need it. During the week the church is open providing music lessons (guitar, keyboard, and now violin), computer classes (to help prepare these kids for life OUTSIDE the slums) and dance classes. On Sundays over 200 kids come in the morning.

Here they are fed 2 meals. For a lot of these kids this will be the most they eat all week. CAN YOU IMAGINE????

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20130520-121138.jpgOnce a month on Sunday, The Church of the Flowers hosts a service for adults. Here they distribute food packages to families. This will feed them for up to two weeks. Starting soon this church will be starting a martial arts school 3 nights a week and it will be FREE to kids. This night will also include a free meal and bible time. What an opportunity for us, Genesis, to help support this church and be a part of not only physically feeding these beautiful children but also supplying a spiritual need as well.

On top of all the things they are doing within the church. They also pay rent for 2 elderly women and are currently building a house for a single mom and her 8 children. They do all of this with the help of outside churches helping pay an income of only 500 dollars. Seems like a lot of stuff for such a small salary!

The Pastor of The Church of the Flowers also holds down a full time job as well as leads this church full time. WHAT AN AWESOME RESPONSIBILITY!

Genesis gets to be a part of all of this. Seeing pictures of Cayden and Cobe feeding the children yesterday made me step back in awe that my kids get to be a part of something so much bigger than themselves. Yes it was VERY hard for me to say good-bye to them. AND YES, it was extremely hard to know that my oldest baby girl was so far and so sick and telling me how much she needed me there. HOWEVER, I tear up when I see them being the hands and feet of Jesus to this tiny little part of Brazil. Thank you to all of you who helped make their trip possible. YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF KIDS IN BRAZIL!!!

Last night Tim was able to speak (with an interpreter) to a record crowd of 255 at the night church service. Big things are happening in The Church of the Flowers.

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For those of you who didn’t get to see the picture Tim posted. This is a few of the things we were able to purchase and bring to Brazil to help the church further it’s help with music lessons during the week!

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The Fatherless

I believe with my whole heart that one of the greatest things anyone can do is love on the children who have no mother or father. To take in the orphan, to clothe them, feed them and do what is necessary to make them feel loved. I am so proud and honored to say that today Genesis was all of that to an orphanage in Brazil! I got this text from Tim:

If u happen to get this. We are in the mountains at a ranch. Had to run to get bottles of water so I’m hoping this worked. We don’t have service up there and wont be down until later this afternoon. We are with the orphanage. They brought them up with us. Its a farm/ranch with soccer field, playground, pool and farm animals. Remember the kids in this orphanage are from babies to 18. All have been sexually or physically abused. Gonna be with them all day and do a cookout with them. I miss you and love you

I cannot tell you how proud I am as a mom to hear the stories from my children on Skype tonight! They are telling me things like how appreciative they are and how sad it is to be with kids whose mom or dad (or both) abused them or didn’t want them. Here is Cayden holding a two month old who has AIDS. 20130518-222544.jpg I can only imagine her thoughts knowing this baby is only one month younger than her baby sister. Here is a picture of Cayden playing with kids from the orphanage. 20130518-222742.jpg That little boy right there wearing Cobes’s hat was the fourth child born in his family. His mom didn’t want to deal with another kid so she had him aborted…only it didn’t work and now he is left to deal with the deformities and scars from her decision. Of course a visit to the ranch wouldn’t be a ranch without some animals! 20130518-223042.jpg 20130518-223109.jpg I would bet this picture, of the boys coming back from the ranch, sums up the feeling at the end (or middle)of every day.20130518-223235.jpg I miss my family so very much and so does Cyndell. We try to Skype or FaceTime whenever we can but it just isn’t the same. 20130518-223755.jpg Tomorrow should be big! All the kids will be joining our team at church! What a celebration it will be.

The goal…make that two.

Today was especially exciting because my kids got to witness not one but TWO brand new basketball goals go up in the church where they are staying. So maybe you’re thinking that seems a little simple to be such a big deal. What some of you don’t know is that my 2 kids were part of a group of kids at Genesis church who raised money to put the goals up!

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Tim says Cayden is feeling much better today! Words this mommy loves to hear! In fact she and I texted for a little bit. She REALLY misses her baby sister but then again, I think little C misses her just as much!
Today the kids got to go to the favelas or “slums” and deliver tooth brushes and other supplies to people who don’t have very much. Everywhere they go they meet new friends.

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Cayden’s highlighted moment was seeing a “giant pig”! She thought that was different. She also loved watching one of her new friends ride the pig. I love hearing about the new things their America eyes are seeing for the first time (not to say that people in America don’t ride pigs because I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that before!)

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As for Cobe, well I hear he is adjusting just fine. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up living there one day. It’s hard not to love a place where you can play ball all day and where the girls call you Cody Simpson and your friend Justin Beiber. I’m sure I’m gonna have to bust a bubble when he returns to America! (I haven’t been sent any pictures of him with the ladies so this will have to do :).

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Ok I was just sent this so I am adding it to the blog:

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“I am grateful for what I have.”

Technology is amazing in the fact that over half of my family can be existing in a completely different culture and yet I am able to somewhat follow their journey. Of course nothing compares to walking and breathing the experience but I am so thankful for every little detail I can get.

This morning my kids got to meet kids. Not kids who are just like them. Kids who speak differently and who’s life is much different. I’m not exactly sure what was going through their minds in this instance.

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I think they mentioned a few times about how nervous they were. I even remember them wondering if the kids from Brazil would like them. I’m not there but it appears that they have nothin to worry about!

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This morning they got to walk and see the slums. This place where some of their new friends live. They loved passing out candy and inviting them to a big celebration service on Sunday. I asked Tim to tell me what the kids were thinking. I am dying to know how they’re processing what they’re seeing. Cobe told him that he is grateful for what he has. Wow! In one day I am already hearing that!

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I know my baby well enough that when I look at pictures she looks tired and not quite herself. Tim said she slept all afternoon and just got up asking to eat something. Whew! Maybe we’re on the upside of whatever she is dealing with! Please continue to pray for her health! Cobe on the other hand has not stopped playing ball with the kids all afternoon! I can only imagine the withdrawal he will feel in one week!

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As I’m closing this I just got one more picture. Cayden playing musical chairs!

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More to come soon…