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.















Happy Faces!

Shopping cart loaded with turkeys for the rehab and the Lar Bom Jesus.


Happy face at the Lar Bom Jesus



Yummy! Our favorites! Turkey, raisins for the rice, peas and corn, farofa, Coca Cola and ice cream!


Visiting the Favelas

Felipe Camarão-driving into the favela, the truck ahead of me.

Child sleeping under a tree


Getting in the line



Planalto- This little girl brought her own plate


Kilometer 6- Rita scoops out the beans. The kids in line are rowdy, but happy to see us!


Zona Norte, Natal- kids in line on a street corner. It was great to be on the streets and we fed more people than ever.Hundreds of bibles were given out and we pray God will bless His word to those who were given a bible.

Feijoada, Rice, Farofa and Juice on the Streets!

Rita, Layane, Natalia and I before we head out.



Ponta Negra stop. “We were so hungry,” they told us.



Everyone gets a Bible.



“Hey! Your feijoada is pretty good, for a gringa!”


“Can we have more?” (Yes!)



Waiting in line. Rita dishes out the beans, I scoop the rice, Natalia sprinkles the farofa and puts the spoon in the bowl. Mark gives out the Bibles.

So many happy faces, lots of hugs and everyone had plenty to eat.


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!


Bulls, Pigs, Horses, and Donkeys!



This guy had quite the farm in his backyard. Natalia got to ride his mini boi (“boy”), or miniature bull, which she was very excited about! The owner, besides his horses, pigs, and bull, adopts stray donkeys, and cares for them.




Fancy looking pony, with a 5-star mane & tail. “Be careful, he bites,” his owner warned us. Same could be said for the 5 star mosquitoes.




Unthinkable in the U.S., but this is a Brazilian horse trailer!


Thanksgiving Day in Brazil

Thanksgiving day. Balmy 85F here, so it didn’t really feel like it. But there’s always so much to be thankful for!

I set out this morning with the girls, Natalia & Layane, to search out some more horses. As of this AM, we had already given out a total of 60 cotton nosebands with Bibles. The girls are calling the horses we help “cavalos salvos” – “saved horses.” 😂 With our time here already more than half over, we really wanted to reach 100.


We drove slowly down a road called Estivas, near Mark & Lori’s house, looking like owls back and forth across the road for any signs of a horse, mule, donkey, or cart. We found a few horses that were riding on the road itself, but not enough to increase our numbers significantly.


Time to bump up our game. Windows down, we continued driving. Every time we approached someone sitting on their porch, or the side of the road, we stopped to ask if they owned horses, or knew of anyone nearby who did. Jackpot! People started giving directions – “Keep going a little bit more, and pull in at the white & blue house; they have two horses.”


Cowboy-to-be Diego, after taking a noseband for his own horse, led us on his bike to other houses nearby that had horses.

Some people even rode their moto or bicycle in front of our car, to lead us to their house directly! By 11:30, we had given out 27 nosebands, and many more Bibles. In fact, we had run out of Bibles!


We zipped back to the house and loaded the car with 3 new boxes of Bibles. Restocked and ready for action, with only 13 nosebands left to hand out to reach our goal of 100! But now the clock was ticking. Thanksgiving mealtime was set for 4pm. I had wanted to make some dinner rolls to contribute to the glorious meal that Lori was making. So before heading back out, the girls and I whipped up the bread dough, and popped it in the fridge for a slow rise. Washed our hands, and then back out on the street!


We returned to Estivas, this time closer to the house, again going door-to-door, asking if anyone had horses. We were keeping count as we handed them out. Twelve left…8…5…1…DONE! (Or so we thought…) Excited with reaching our goal of 100, I returned the girls to Aningas and then headed back to the house to finish up the dinner rolls.


Back home, I scrolled through my photos and double-checked our horse count. One short. Ninety-nine total. How could it be?! We had to use two nosebands on one of the horses today, because the metal piece was so wide. So 100 nosebands handed out, but only 99 cavalos salvos. Oops!



Enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving meal prepared by Lori, and counted my blessings. The dinner rolls weren’t quite as fluffy as we’d hoped for, but for baking bread in the tropics, they weren’t too shabby 😌 After dinner, I FaceTimed my family from the roof of the house (Mark built a staircase up to the rooftop patio, which has the best view of the beach).

And lo and behold, while Facetiming, what do I see galloping down the beach? Horse #100!! I didn’t want to yell from the rooftop to the guy riding, so I just watched him pass by while I finished talking to my mom, and then passed the phone to Nonna & Papa. Meanwhile, I rushed out to my car and grabbed a Bible and noseband, and then headed out to the beach on foot. I jogged down the beach following the horse’s hoof prints in the sand, my Thanksgiving meal weighing heavily in my stomach. I went as far as the hoof prints took me, and then asked two ladies sitting on the beach if they’d seen a horse pass by recently. Nope. Fail.


So the total remains, technically, at 99 for the day. I sent a message to the girls and they got a good laugh out of my beach escapade. God-willing, tomorrow we’ll cross into triple digits.

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.


Knowing His Provision and Protection

On Friday morning, we set out for the clinic again, at 6am with Lizandra, Dona Geralda and Natalia & Layane. We dropped them off at the clinic and ran some errands in the meantime – bank, bills, Nordestão (the major grocery store here). Lori picked out 60 fresh rolls from the bakery, planning to make ham & cheese sandwiches for a young group of street kids that appeared at a street corner in Natal a few weeks ago.

Why only 60 sandwiches, you ask? We usually take 500, yes. Unfortunately, last Wednesday morning, Mark’s truck wouldn’t go into gear. Welcome to Brazil. The mechanic told us it would take 20-30 business days for them to get all the necessary parts to fix the truck. So, street feedings like we normally do won’t be possibly for the next month (or more). Please pray for a speedy repair job for Mark’s truck! Thankfully, the day after we arrived here, we rented a little four-door Ford car for me to use for the month, so we still have two operational vehicles.




After our errands, we drove back to the clinic and picked up the ladies. Dona Geralda got a good report from the cardiologist; he wants to see her back in two months to ensure the lower doses of medications he prescribed continue to work. Now, back to Dona Geralda’s house to drop off her and Liz, and then back to our house with Natalia & Layane. After lunch, Lori, Nonna and the girls put together the ham & cheese sandwiches (I was napping in the hammock 😳😴). At 4pm, we set out for the city with the sandwiches, looking for the kids on the street corner that Lori had seen them. It was still light out when we got there, and the stores on the corners were open – the kids wouldn’t be coming until the shops were closed up for the night and it was dark. So we sat in the car at the corner for about 20min (sunset here is around 5:30pm, so we weren’t waiting too long). The shops closed up, but still no kids. Determined to find them, we drove around the city for a half hour or so, looking. Just as we were about to give up, a family showed up at the corner – parents with two young girls, sitting against the wall, packing up peanuts in little bags to sell at the traffic light.




We hopped out and started handing out the sandwiches, chocolate milk and tracts. Natalia immediately hit it off with the two little girls, and played peekaboo with them using their cardboard mat. It didn’t take long for some other people across the street to come over – adults, but homeless nonetheless. They told us that usually the kids hang out here at night, and that they should be coming soon. We stayed out there for awhile, chatting with the people and offering refills on the chocolate milk.

Coincidentally, one of the ladies from the favela Leningrado walked by, with her husband and 5-month old baby, Anna Luisa. They were on their way home from the city, walking to the bus stop. Lori talked with Sabrina while Natalia held sweet Anna Luisa.




Unfortunately, only two more little boys showed up – not the usual 20-30 kids that Lori had been seeing. But, we made new contacts, and handed out the Word. God had in mind some different mouths to feed than we had intended. His ways are higher than ours.




Leaving the city, we headed straight to Aningas to bring home Natalia and Layane. Nonna & Papa had come with us for the street feeding, so it was a full car- them, the girls, me and Lori. We crossed the bridge out of the city, and made it onto the BR-101, which is the main road to Aningas. All of a sudden, we heard a very strange, loud noise at the back of the SUV, like a whirring, whistling sound of a wire vibrating in the air. Haha, sorry for the bad description… but was very strange. And less than a minute later, ka-thunk, ka-thunk, ka-thunk – we had a flat tire! Dead flat.




We pulled over to side of the BR, and put on the fourways. Let me take a quick detour to tell you a few things about the BR…it’s a one-lane highway, speed limit 80km/hr, with ZERO lights, and about 8″ worth of space for a “breakdown lane.” And the cell phone service on the BR is next to none. Yeah. And our back right tire was flat.

By the grace of God, we were in a spot with just enough cell service to call the house and inform Mark & William of our state of emergency, who immediately came to our rescue (which was 20min later). Luckily, this wasn’t Mark’s first rodeo, and with William’s help, they had the tire changed in less than 15 minutes! Lori, William, and Nonna & Papa drove home in the SUV, and Mark and I took the girls home to Aningas. We got home around 8:45pm. Not too shabby, considering the day’s events!




We take His provisions for granted far too often. How great, and gracious is our God. We are so thankful for His protection. There are so many other scenarios that could have played out last night. The fact that we got the flat tire in a spot on the highway WITH cell service is a miracle itself. Changing a flat on the BR is exceptionally dangerous, but we all made it home safely, thanks to His preserving hand. We’ll see what tomorrow brings for adventures!