Easter Morning in Aningas!

These two sweeties open the truck’s door for me.

Kids waiting at the door.


Handing out the chorus books




1. After the lesson, the kids help make a cross.  2. Our result needs help.  3. Our inspiration

Joab starts the Candy Scramble!


the kids go wild!!

we get the cutest thumbs up!

Fun in Aningas!

Today was a fun day in Aningas, with games for the kids, popsicles and popcorn. Hundreds of kids came, and this year lots of adults and teens came too.

Everyone got a pocket calendar with John 3:16. As it got dark, we cleaned up, got ready to leave, and collected a bunch of hugs from the kids.
















Saturday evening, Layane, Natalia, her brother Pedro and I went to a rodeo-type event called Vaquejada, close to Aningas. In the U.S., this sport would be considered animal cruelty; it is in the process of being banned in Brazil. The object is to make a cow fall down between two lines at the end of the arena – to achieve this, two riders gallop on either side of the cow, and one grabs the cow’s tail and pulls it over until it topples. Bonus points are awarded if you get the cow to roll over. 😞 Depending on the force of the pull, the cow can be left paralyzed in its hind end, unable to control urination or defecation, or unable to walk normally. Many cows actually lose their tails…

We attended the Vaquejada not to support it (attendance is free, anyways), but to hand out Bibles and the cotton nosebands for the horses. There wasn’t anything we could do for the poor cows.


Before pulling out of Aningas and onto the BR-101 on our way to the Vaquejada, we stopped to pray. Holding hands in the car, Layane prayed for protection, an abundance of horses, and the opportunity to hand out the Word, with good receptance. And the Lord gave us just that.


We arrived at 7pm – early enough that the drinking hadn’t yet begun (the event begins Saturday night and continues through Sunday morning). There were easily more than 200 horses there…within an hour, we had given out all the nosebands that were left! And after we’d run out, there were still guys coming up to us asking if we had anymore of the “horse protection.”


One guy had come up to us earlier, asking for a noseband to put on his horse. Natalia handed it to him, and he turned and walked away. Layane yelled after him, “Wait! There’s something much more important here for you!” She reached into her cardboard box and pulled out a Bible for him. “Here – the Word of God,” she said as she handed the Bible to him. “Oh yes, of course, how good it is to have the Word of God! Thank you,” he replied. The acceptance of the Word of God in this country, and the gratitude for having received it, is amazing and extremely encouraging.


After we had run out of supplies, we returned to Aningas, saddened that our horse work was over. Out of the 250 horses total that we had helped, and probably around 350 Bibles that we’d handed out, only two people had said “no” to the Bible! Not wanting to have the work end here, we started scheming how we could buy supplies and have the noseband made here, in Brazil.


On Monday, we went in to the Alecrim, an extremely congested shopping area that is used for a produce market every Saturday, to buy more Sunday school prizes. While Lori waited to pay for the prizes, the girls and I went across the street and started looking in the fabric stores. Four stores later, we found an acceptable material. Not exactly the quality of material I’d brought from home, but it would get the job done.


We bought about 1.5 square meters of material, 7 meters of Velcro, and then went on foot in search of a seamstress. “The building has scissors on it,” the cashier had told us, along with some directions. We found the little hole-in-the-wall shop, and explained to the seamstress how to sew on the Velcro. “Pick up tomorrow morning,” she told us.



Tuesday morning, we went back in to the Alecrim and picked up the material, Velcro now stitched on. We thanked and paid the seamstress, and later cut the material into the size and format we needed. It had made close to 80 nosebands. Praying to come across 80 more horses or donkeys before it’s time to go home, this Sunday!


A Joyful Noise!

Last Sunday, we told the kids that we were putting together a new song book for them. The girls and I spent a few hours last week gathering songs and pictures and formatting them into a PDF. After three visits to the print shop in the city, Casa Da Cópia, we had the 60 books in hand.




Today was the big reveal. The thin, spiral-bound book contains 38 songs, some of which they already know. The rest will be a challenge to teach – not all the kids here are star singers (and by “not all,” I mean to say barely any)! A handful of the songs are ones we sing at home – Jesus loves me, who made the twinkling stars, read your Bible/pray everyday, His banner over me is love, stop & let me tell you, and others). I told the kids that these books are for them, and it’s their responsibility to take good care of them, because it was more than pocket change to get them printed. They all smiled and agreed, anxious to see what songs were inside.




As soon as the books were handed out, the kids were flipping through the pages, looking for their favorites. A group of kids in the front row starting singing “Opa Jesus me ama” on their own, while Mark, Lori & William tried to get the speaker system up and running (without accompanying music played off of Lori’s phone, it’s difficult to stay on tune). 🙂

After 5 min of fiddling with the speaker, we determined it was going to be an A cappella morning – everybody fasten your seat belts! We sang three songs that I had picked out, thinking we’d ease the kids back into singing and learning the tunes. Nope! As soon as we finished the three, kids were raising their hands and calling out numbers – so we kept singing, another 3 or 4 songs. It seemed like the book was a big hit, and the kids were thrilled to be “making a joyful noise.”




Here are two short clips of the kids singing:






Enjoying their snack – cookies and drinkable yogurt.



After the kids recite their memory verse to Geovane, they can pick up a prize from Joab.



Big group for the adult class today – studying the purpose of the local assembly.




Behind Dona Geralda’s farm is a trench-like path of orange sand leading down to the farmland far below. Lizandra, Natalia and I went exploring before lunch, and had quite the workout descending and climbing back up the path.




Lizandra told us that in 1997,   heavy rains caused a mudslide that almost completely wiped out the small village of clay houses below. Three lives were lost, and only two abandoned houses remain. Now, no one lives on the land below, but the fertile ground is used to grow crops, and pasture their horses, cows and sheep.






On the way back, we encountered a donkey carrying a large load of grass, with his owner perched comfortably on top. You could barely see the donkey’s face from the front, or his little rump behind; living up to his kind’s title, beast of burden




Farm to Table



Dona Geralda, her son, Rildo (Lizandra’s husband), and another woman, Vera, prepared a wonderful meal for us for lunch. When we first arrived at the farm, we saw Vera plucking feathers off a chicken…and it was that very chicken that we ate for lunch, bringing a whole new appreciation to “farm to table” for me 🙂 Everything was delicious, including the famous feijão verde (green beans), which Lori, Dona Geralda and Rildo had tediously shelled out earlier.







On the Farm



This morning, we set out at 6:30 to take Lizandra’s mother-in-law, Dona Geralda, to a clinic for a follow up doctor’s appointment. We arrived after a 30min ride, only to find that follow up appointments are given only on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Whoops! So we drove back to Dona Geralda’s farm and spent the rest of the morning there with her menagerie of critters.














Door to Door



Layane, Natalia, Pedro and I went door-to-door in Aningas and another closeby village today, looking for our four-legged friends. We fitted 17 horses & donkeys with the cotton noseband, and passed out Bibles at each house. So far, everyone has been very receptive of both the equipment, and the Word. Please pray that God continues to bless this little work, and opens hearts for the seed to be sown.







English Lessons



We use a small classroom in the school in Aningas for our English lessons. Today we practiced pronunciation of words and phrases they’ve already learned. Then we added in some new vocabulary – knife, fork, spoon, plate, napkin, etc – and acted out a mealtime scenario.



Passing through the cafeteria on our way out, we saw the kids munching on their afternoon school snack.


Getting Ready for Market



Prepping veggies for the feira (market) is a family affair in Aningas. Here, the boys sit on Natalia’s porch, peeling mandioca to sell later this week.


*Daily Life update from Stephanie