Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Amigas Especiais

I want to introduce you to two of my very special friends. I spend all day every day at the church building, and these two friends are often the ones who make my time there so much fun and so special. Today I had a particularly fun day with each of them, and decided it was time you got to know them, too. Did I mention that one of them is 10, and the other is 42? :)

This is Isabel. She, her sister, her brother, and her mom are some of the most faithful members of our church. They are there every Sunday, Wednesday, and special occasion without fail. Isabel's mom works full time as a house cleaner, which leaves her home alone with her siblings every day with little to do. They live just around the corner from the church building, so most days the kids come and spend the afternoon with us. They always find something to do, whether play games on the computer, water the plants for Marisa, run errands for any one of us, or do their homework. They feel at home at the church building and count us as a part of their family. Isabel is only 10 years old, but she is one of my most special friends here. I always take her with me to buy fruit, because I believe she has special papaya-choosing abilities. She has a fun sense of humor and knows to never, ever take me seriously- except when I tell her I love her. She knows I mean that. :) Isabel is probably one of the most responsible people at church. Yes, I said people. Definitely more responsible than most of the young people my age, and maybe even more responsible than some of the adults! We all know that if we ask Isabel to do something it will get done quickly and efficiently and without a single problem, and that she will do it with a cheerful, servant heart.

This is Marta. Marta is one of the missionaries who works with our church. You hear me mention Roberto and Marisa more often, but probably only because I lived with them and they take care of lots of things for me around Natal. However, I love Marta and her husband Osmildo just as much! They are such special people in my life in Natal, and in recent months I have gotten especially close to Marta. She is very motivated to learn English, and despite studying for almost a year she has recently gotten extra-motivated and has asked me to study with her any time we are both free. Today two of my readers in the afternoon canceled, so I spent a good two hours with her, practicing verbs and forming sentences. She learned how to say "I am blessed," "I like to pray," "Really? Wow!" "Already?" and several others. :) She is such a joy to work with, and told me later that she loved our time together because she doesn't get tired and she has fun. I would say the same! Marta has received me with open arms a couple different times when I was having whatever cultural/emotional crisis of the week, always giving wise, honest advice filled with godly encouragement.

I like showing you pictures, so here are a few of my advanced group class. We met for breakfast this morning at my apartment. It was really fun, and I look forward to doing that again! Sergio took better pictures, but here's what I have so far:Rodrigo and Junior listening to Toni answer the question "Once a person knows the Truth, what keeps them from making a decision/delays the decision to follow Christ?" (We read the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch from Acts 8 today...would you like to explain what 'eunuch' means? Neither would I...)

The crew (l-r Rodrigo, Junior, Sergio, and Toni) eating breakfast

1 comment:

Cyndi Needels said...

Thank you for sharing! I am so blessed to read about Isabella and Marta. Reading this entry makes me ready for one of Marta's special hugs. I miss her so much! One of my motivations to work on my portuguese is the desire to talk to her!