Sunday, November 30, 2008

November in a Nutshell

Well November flew past like it was only about a week long. Where have I been since the Costume party at the end of October?

Well, first I spent a fantastic week at a women's conference in Sao Paulo. The Continent Connections Conference was hosted by a team of facilitators put together by Continent of Great Cities and included an all expenses paid, week-long stay at a beachside resort. Fifty missionary women attended and the conference included classes on prayer, worship, ministry, and lots of small group discussion. It was an uplifting week as well as a very insightful time for me to reflect on my ministry here in Natal. I came back feeling refreshed and part of a community (hence the name Continent Connections) of incredible women throughout South America. I also had the chance to meet up with many people who had known and worked alongside my parents during their time in Brasilia, and even two women who worked with my mom when she was a two-year apprentice just out of college! It was a wonderful week and if I'm still around I look forward to the next conference in 2010!

The hotel where we stayed for the conference

All of the single gals holding up our framed Bible verses. The CCC team gave us gifts at every single session, and this gift was really special. They had printed out and framed our favorite Bible verses!

Rachel McClure, a dear family friend who worked on my parents' team in Brasilia. Thanks for leading singing at the conference, Rachel!

Around the same time of the conference I was dealing with some pretty scary health problems. The story is pretty detailed, but it had to do with a series of headaches that led up to a migraine that caused me to lose the ability to speak coherently. That only lasted for a few hours, but then I had a strong reaction to the migraine medicine. For about three days my pulse was racing and I was really low on energy. I didn't find out that the two were related until I went to see a cardiologist (the best doctor I have ever seen, by the way) and she told me that it was all part of a really weird big picture. I have been feeling much better this last week, finally like I'm back to normal, and I'm happy to have some answers or be heading in the direction of some answers. I will be going to see a neurologist next week to see what the deal is with the headaches and migraines. I have always taken my health for granted and this has all taught me how blessed I really am. God has been faithful and led the way to doctors who know what they are talking about and people who are willing to take care of me. It reminds me, once again, of how God takes care of me even in the details I don't think about. He is so good!

So...that brings us to this past week. Last Friday my sister and Mark arrived to spend a week with me in Natal! They took advantage of Thanksgiving and took some vacation time to come and see what the buzz is all about in this beautiful city! I have had so much fun taking them around to my favorite places, introducing them to my church family and readers, stuffing our faces with delicious Brazilian cuisine, and just hanging out and catching up on life. Kelly has been having a blast filling up on all her favorite treats from when we were kids, and making sure Mark fills up on them, too. (The poor guy was already tired of pao de queijo after their layover in the Sao Paulo airport.) It was wonderful to have family here on Thanksgiving, and we had a really fun celebration on Thursday with the other Americans and some of our Brazilian friends. The time has flown quickly but we are already planning their next visit to hit up all the spots we didn't get to this time around! Mark has also had a lot of fun taking pictures to put in my newsletters, since apparently I'm a bit lazy to take the ones he is interested in. And I have gladly allowed him to do so. :)

English Worship Service on Sunday. Mark taught a great lesson and we had a big turnout!

Natal is famous for beautiful beaches and beautiful sand dunes.

At Parque das Dunas having a picnic. The monkeys apparently had the day off, which made Kelly really happy.

You may remember from this time last year that we had a big Thanksgiving feast for our readers. It went so well we decided to do it again, and it was a huge success! However, that is an entirely separate blog post, so please check back soon to find out more about what Brazilians think about dressing and to see pictures!

I hope all of you have a great week. Happy Carnatal! (You get points if you remember what that is.)

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Hey Cris... I can't believe you had to go see all those doctors! Scary! I feel like I haven't talked to you in forever. We need a gmail chat date soon! Love you!!