Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way to the beach

It's hard to get into the Christmas spirit when it's 6 gazillion degrees outside. Okay, fine, I'll admit that's a bit of an exaggeration. I think the weather man said this morning it was only 6 trillion. Okay fine, I'll admit that that's a bit of an exaggeration too. I learned two important little words while living in Oklahoma in the months of July and August, and those two small but deadly words are HEAT INDEX. I learned that heat index allows you say "I don't care that it's only ___ degrees, it FEELS like 6 GAZILLION degrees!" God bless that heat index factor, because I declare that the heat index in Natal today was 6 gazillion degrees.

Anyway, Christmas. My calendar says it's December, but I refuse to believe it. Usually, if I were in the States, I would be listening to Christmas music by now. In particular, the Greatest Christmas Mix of All Time, compiled by yours truly. TGCMOAT is waiting for my in my iTunes library, begging to be played, but it's hard to think about chestnuts roasting on an open fire when my body literally feels like it's on fire. Just wanted you to know that this little chestnut is definitely roasting, 24 hours a day. Just some pleasant Christmas imagery for you folks out there....

So really the reason I sat down to blog tonight was to tell you about the Carnatal Retreat, the Carnatal Retreat that was W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L with a capital W. (Ok, all the letters were capital.) Not only did I get to relax with my friends for 4 days at an amazing house...



And spend some great God time on Friday afternoon here...








And listening to fantastic messages (really, they were fantastic, and I actually understood them...) from many....

The HIGHLIGHT of the retreat, without a doubt, was on Friday afternoon when two girls who have been visiting our church decided to be baptized. This is always an exciting event, but was particularly exciting for me because one of the girls is/was (haven't determined the protocol yet for how I will continue with her!) one of my readers.

My precious, precious friend Sarah first came to the church through the LST team that was here in June. She soon began a Bible study with Marta, one of the missionaries, in Portuguese, but continued studying the Luke and Acts LST books with the other LST team and then with me when I arrived. This day was a long time coming, and everyone knew it (and she made no secret of it with me,) but oh what glee filled my heart when she told me on Thursday night, just as I was drifting to sleep. (So much glee, in fact, that I yelped and jumped on top of her on the bed. Yep. Yelped.)
On Friday afternoon, we all made a trek from the house down to the river for the baptisms. There was an amazing, "John the Baptist" feel to the whole thing, as we prayed on the bank and then as they waded into the water for the baptisms. But, in true Brasilian fashion, the guys running the little ferries for dune buggies back and forth across the river brought me back to reality and provided nice background noise for the lovely moment. :)

So, December is getting off to a great start, despite the unfortunate weather. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement, as always. When I tell you that YOU are a part of my work here, ^^^^^ this is what I'm talking about! Without you, and all the people who support the LST ministry, contacts like Sarah wouldn't have been reached with the Gospel. You are doing good work...keep it up!!

2 comments:

lhall said...

it really fills my heart with so much joy to know that TWO things from the admissions office were there to experience that amazing baptism!

...praying for you cris...YOU are such a vessel of JOY!

brenna said...

lindsay and cris... i just opened up this comment thing to share the exact same thing you had to share.. i love the ACU recruitment shirt.

love you cris!