Monday, January 26, 2015

Why I am a Missionary

In a recent conversation, one friend remarked about a missionary who'd recently shared at church: "They just seemed to really be doing what missionaries should know...orphans and widows and such."
A wise older woman replied, "You know what missionaries do? They live their lives. They do life and wash their underwear just like you do."
"Except it takes three times longer." I added. Everyone laughed and nodded.

I ask myself (often and repeatedly) why I am a missionary.

Why I am a Missionary:
1. Because I have found something good--the Way of Life--and I want everyone who comes into my world to know Jesus--whom they need. I am sold out to this idea.
2. Because I have been invest in and given the set of skills needed to the job--and a darn good job--in Brazil. The workers are few. I can go where many others cannot.

I think most missionaries would tell you these answers. But there are more.

3. Because people who have need to give just as much as people who have not need to receive, and I have a gift in connecting those people.

Honestly, some of the main reasons why I am a missionary are just about ME.
4. Because it makes me happy. I want and desire to go to Brazil. I LOVE working with Living Stones. It lights me up, it is my passion. "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ― Howard Thurman. Is God big enough to match what He wants me to do with what makes me happy? YES!
5. Because I need to learn how to walk in grace, not control.
This might be the biggest one, really. I am a missionary because this is what God knows will work in me to make me more like the image of Christ.

I was clipping my toenails and noticing my growing belly getting in the way. My first thought was, "Well, good thing I will be in Brazil and able to get cheap pedicures when I can't reach my toes anymore!" Then came my "What missionaries should do" thoughts. And pedicures are not on the list. I get a mental image of a supporter saying/thinking, "You are spending my sacrificial support donation on your toes? I didn't have enough money to get my toes done because I gave that money to you."

Because here is the truth: every time we go to the movies, every time we buy some food we like, every time we go out to eat or do something special...that was donated gift money. We work just as hard (harder) as when we were in the USA and working normal jobs: but it isn't ever money we EARN. That means always feeling indebted. It means always have to receive/accept (and in turn give) grace. And sometimes, I don't want to stay in grace: I want to stay in control. I want to stay where I know I am making $9 an hour and can spend that without answering to anyone. I struggle. And that is why I am a missionary.

Monday, January 12, 2015


Caid and I are getting closer to becoming parents to our very own Jamaican-American-Brazilian. We are trying to figure out how to best impart all parts of Jamerazilian-ness to this little bundle of joy. Caid and I both went through a stage of figuring out where we fit, and what culture we identified with (Rachel born American, choosing Brazilian, Caid born Jamaican choosing American). The whole mixture can be very confusing. Here are so ideas that we want to incorporate for our future children:

Holidays:  August 6 Independence Day and third Monday of October National Hero day.
Music: Caid
Food: rice and peas, veggie patties
Language: (Caid) movies and tv, Caid's family

Holidays: September 7 Independence Day and October 12 children's day
Music: church
Food: meatless fejoada
Language: movies/tv/community (when in Brazil)

Holidays: July 4 and February 14 and March 17 and Thanksgiving
Music: all we know
Food: mac 'n cheese
Language: movies/tv/family

Do you have any other ideas, no matter where we are living, on things/how to pass on our different cultures?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Four Months Pregnant

and in Brazil
and one year married- morning sick all day and not happy
Getting ready for Christmas and so glad to be moving into the second trimester! 
There is really a bump there!

It has been a wonderful holiday month, just as it should be. I still needed lots of naps, but I was able to get all my Christmas presents and plans done, including the girls annual Christmas caroling party, Christmas with the Potters, Winzeler Christmas, driving to Connecticut, and Ferguson Christmas. New Years was a perfect date with my husband, who fell asleep slightly before midnight. Driving home from Connecticut was a different adventure, as our faithful family car (aka "goldie") died, and we rented a car to make it home. 
January 2nd began a new (and very real) phase for me: NESTING. I could NOT draw myself away from Pinterest--planning how to change around not only our USA little nest, but our future Brazilian apartment. As soon as we arrived in Indy, I got out the trash bags and began sorting and cleaning. Three days later I calmed down a bit, 5 trash bags gone to the trash, and 6 bags gone to Goodwill. Whew! 
Caid is working on his last three college classes (end in sight!) and taking over all the fundraising/planning/scheduling for Brazil (We are over half-way to our goal!), while I am recovering from my nesting spurts, surviving the cold, and working. We are excited about a new year, and hopefully finding out if we have a lil boy or lil girl this next month! 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Goals for 2015
Verse: Matthew 4:4 “But he answered, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

I am here. “Wherever you are, be all there.” Not yesterday, not tomorrow—worry has no place here.
I am alive. Working on living a healthy lifestyle that means God first, my husband and our relationship next, and making sure I take care of myself and my family.
I am thankful. Each moment is a gift, and I will use it to glorify God.

Daily: morning devotions and evening prayer together. Daily exercise, eating well, drinking lots of water.
Weekly: Sunday Sabbath, Wednesday Worship, date night

 Monthly: (ministry and family)
January: Learn more about Jamaica—how we will pass on our cultures
February: visiting churches/raising funds for Brazil, baby showers
March: Ready/leave for Brazil, Caid graduate college
April: Prepare/decorate our apartment, settle into ministries
May: focus on making our marriage strong
June: have a baby
July: form new routines/schedules that work
August: singing/creating something new
September: Pictures and documentation updated for Brazil
October: 2016 calendar and other booklets/resources done, Rachel one book written
November: Figure out how to pay for the rest of the student loans

December: Home for Christmas?! Regroup and raise final funds for Brazil