Sunday, October 26, 2008

Not Your Average Sunday

Today was one of the best days I have had in a long time. Everything about today was out of the ordinary, which is probably one of the reasons it was so fun.

For starters, our church had the weekly service during the morning rather than late afternoon. Usually the church meets for Bible class at 5 and then worship at 6, but every once in a while, when there is a special guest in town, the church will meet in the morning either to allow for the special guest time to travel back home or in order to have a big lunch together afterward.

This weekend Randy Short, a missionary from Recife, joined us to put on a mini-seminar about personal ministry. He focused on the example of the church in Ephesians, and also talked quite a bit about spiritual gifts, encouraging the church to explore our own spiritual gifts in order to serve the body better. The class was great and I pray that it will have a positive impact on our church. We had worship in the morning so that Randy and his wife, Kathy, could be with us before going home, then a big group of us went out to lunch at a restaurant. All twenty of us sat around one table, and I felt like I was in college again. (Except we didn't get the dirty looks my friends and I got in college when we went out in groups of twenty. I guess a group of twenty adults is different from a group of twenty college freshmen. Go figure.)

After lunch, Lacy, Cyndi, Greg and I went with one of Cyndi's readers to the state park here in Natal. They were as shocked as I was that I had never been there before today, and once I got there I understood why. It is now my FAVORITE place in Natal. Parque das Dunas, or Dunes Park, is a park built at the base of the giant sand dune that follows Natal's coastline. I was always curious to know how they made a park out of a dune, but today I saw that it is not unlike your average giant park in the States, except more awesome because it had live music and MONKEYS! Every Sunday, the city sponsors a free concert in the park, and every day there are monkeys. :) For the R$1 we each paid to get in, it was the cheapest but also the most FUN entertainment I have encountered in Natal. Sundays are family days, so today the park was crawling with parents and very cute kids riding bikes and playing in the dirt. I could have spent the whole day there, spending half of it sitting at the base of the cashew tree with the monkeys.

If any of you ever come to visit me (ahem, sister and brother-in-law, ahem parents again, ahem anyone who wants to!) I am definitely adding Parque das Dunas to the list of tourist attractions. For those of you who know me well or have seen all of my pictures, PDD has now replaced Ponta Negra as my favorite place in Natal. YEAH. I liked it THAT much. of the monkeys. :)Monkeys #1, #2, and #3: Lacy, Cyndi and I, in front of a very inconspicuous statue upon entering the park. :)

Real monkey #1 with a baby on her back. CUTEST THING EVER. She jumped around the whole tree (cashew tree, in case you were wondering) with that little monkey clinging to its mom for dear life.

Just another monkey. There were probably about seven climbing around the whole time, and a few even did a balancing act crossing the power lines to hang out at the top of a light post.

Andre the reader, Cyndi, Greg, and Lacy during the concert

The band, Diogo Guanabara e Macaxeira Jazz. They played really great music, all instrumental, no vocals, and even did a few Beatles covers with a jazzy twist. They have toured in Europe and Japan and are worth checking out if you can fine them online. In this picture we noticed that their frontman only plays tiny instruments. Beginning with the mandolin-type thing...

...and finishing with a tiny electric guitar. Compare it to the size of the normal guitar behind him and you'll see what I mean.


Michael Dodson said...


I just wanted you to know that I have really enjoyed your blog. I found it from Lacy's because my sister knows her. I have been to Uberlandia and Cuiaba with LST and I have really been moved at times by what you have written about the work you are doing. I wished I could find a way to do it. I just wanted to say thank you for your postings.

Sarinha said...

sagüi, é o nome dos macacos fofinhos :)
sabe a sua primeira foto? o parque das dunas também é chamado de bosque dos namorados por causa daquela estátua que tem no fundo da foto..


Lois said...

hi, my husband and i have just recently moved to Natal (3 weeks ago) and are looking for a church to go to. Can you tell me the name of your church? I had a quick look on your blog site for the name, but couldn't find it. your blog is great. much love, Lois