Jevon and Danica Rich

connecting you to tribal missions

What We’ve Been Up To

Posted by Jevon and Danica Rich in Family, Ministry on Apr 5th, 2014 | Discuss This Post

Drawing up plans for a water system, to filter rain water for drinking and pump river water for washing.

Cutting PVC for gutters.

Helping custom order solar freezer, not only for us but for other missionaries here in country.  A business man has agreed to make some modifications for us, such as thicker insulation so that they can be turned off all night while there is no sun.

Buying materials for mosquito nets for our beds.

Learning about volcanoes.

And place value.

Getting to know the littlest members of our team.

Making them laugh (Tio Jevon is good at that).

Learning to play nicely with them (at least working on it).

Trying to climb the açai trees,

which is hard, because they are very smooth and it is very easy to slide back down.

Learning to cook with new foods (like green cooking bananas).

And learning to eat new foods (like lots of macaxeira).

(Only to clear my conscience I have to be honest and let you know that the cheesy grin is just because he loves the camera.  He actually pouted when he saw me put it on his plate.)

But little by little…we’re getting used to the things that are new in our life.

And all the while holding on to the things that are the SAME in our life.

Isaiah’s comforting SAME thing = bear

A comforting SAME thing that is for all of us = Who God is

I’ve been reading through Matthew these days, in Portuguese this time.  And even though the language is different it is the SAME powerful truth coming through to me – the authority of Jesus Christ over all things.  He is the supreme, sovereign Lord and Savior.  He has all things under control.  Everything obeys His commands – even stormy waters.  Even sickness.  Even demons.  Everything moves forward according to His plan.  Even the crucifixion.

Taking a Saturday off to all squish in a car and go visit some friends of our coworkers at their sítio (farm/place out in the country)…

…and feed the chickens…

…and check if the ingá was ripe.  (It mostly wasn’t).

But it sure is a fascinating fruit.

Taking a nap when necessary.

Praying and learning to depend on the Lord more consciously and intentionally and in a more unified way.

Worshiping together with the other team that is here, and encouraging each other in the Lord.

The theme song of our time here has turned out to be “No horário de Deus”.  We laugh as we sing it but the words really do hit the spot.

 

No horário de Deus,  (In God’s timing)

Na maneira de Deus  (In God’s way)

A montanha de lá  (The mountain from over there)

transportada será (Will be moved)

ao mais fundo do mar.  (To the depths of the sea)

 

No horário de Deus,(In God’s timing)

Na maneira de Deus,(In God’s way)

Tudo certo dará,  (Everything will work out right)

Deus por cima está  (God is above)

Basta só confiar.  (You only need to trust)

 

No horário de Deus,(In God’s timing)

Na maneira de Deus,  (In God’s way)

Ele tudo fará,  (He will do everything)

Pois escrito está,  (For it is written)

Deus não pode falhar.  (God can not fail.)

 

Packing for the guys to go ahead on foot.

Choosing carefully what few things will go with and how to package them.

And weighing every bit of it.

Saying goodbye to the guys.

Taking time for important things, like suddenly running to buy popsicles for the kiddos right before the boat leaves.

Taking off.

Saying goodbye can be hard, even if it is only for a short time and for an exciting purpose.  I think Everaldo’s little girl, Ester, will have it the hardest.

Karina cried, too.  But who wouldn’t miss such great papa bears as these kids have?

Cheering up the kids…with laundry basins and kiddie pools on a hot day…

and a favorite meal… (everybody in this house loves a good fish!)

(fish, rice, mashed macaxeira, farofa with tiny little beans in it, salad, and vinagrette)

…served in a fun way.  (outdoors, together with friends).

Since the dads are gone, Cali got her wish and had the head all to herself…

…which was fine, because the rest of us would prefer the ribs.

More please?

——-

So… suddenly I feel a little sheepish because it seems like a lot of our blogs end with food.  Maybe we are trying to make you hungry so you’ll want to come to Brazil. :)

But what we hope you REALLY are getting hungry for, is to see God in action changing people’s lives.

That is worth any plane ticket, or boat ride, or hike…or any number of changes of plans…or any number of months in any number of guest houses.

Let’s keep praying and in God’s timing we will see a harvest.

 

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Busily waiting

Posted by Jevon and Danica Rich in Family, Ministry on Mar 9th, 2014 | Discuss This Post

Here’s just a peek into these last few weeks – what we are busy with these days and why this waiting time is not a bad thing but actually a big help.

Jevon making plans for the electrical set-up of our house.

The breaker box he made with added surge protection.

Three shopping carts full of food.  And my amazingly patient coworker who stayed with me for a few hours, helping, offering advice, inspecting every bag for any tiny sign of bugs or mold, and waiting while I thought things through and made decisions.  Hopefully this will be a lot easier and faster the next time I have to do it.

Packing some of the food in boxes and taping them up.

Washing bottles.  A taxi driver friend of the mission heard we needed bottles for storing dry foods, so he went to the factory for us, and came back with 108 bottles of out-of-date, fizz-less, or spoiled soda in his trunk.  The kids had fun dumping it out, and the adults spent an afternoon and then some washing bottles.  The next day God provided a super hot and sunny sky with no rainy season rain, which was a much needed help in getting all of those bottles perfectly dry.  (sidenote: When we signed up to be missionaries, we didn’t know that washing out a hundred-some pop bottles was part of the assignment.  The moral of that story is: Be ready to do whatever God asks of you!)

They tell us that pop bottles do even better than tupperware for keeping food dry, mold-free, and bug-free for months on end.  Since our tupperware is still on a barge on its way here, and since there isn’t enough of it anyways for that much rice, beans, and flour, we decided to try the bottle advice.  Jevon made a funnel out of another bottle and two bottle caps, and it is a lot more efficient than a typical kitchen funnel.  But it still took all day to finish the job.

Aren’t they so pretty?  I love all the colors.

Jevon looking at the airplane measurements on line and trying to imagine how things are going to fit and how many flights its going to take.

Meanwhile, Cali is continuing with first grade, and Karina is starting My Father’s World kindergarten.  (Last semester we let her just focus on her Brazilian school.  That’s why we are starting American kindergarten in the middle of the year.)

Counting seeds, observing seed arrangements, and recording her findings.

Reading race track – just for fun, to change up the reading practice.  The car involved made Isaiah wish he was in first grade, too.

Climbing the coconut tree.

Drinking coconut water from a straw.  Yes, we really do drink coconut water from a straw.  (When we have lots of coconuts to spare, anyways, which isn’t all the time.)  It’s fun, super hydrating, and tastes good.  The girl in the middle with blond curls and big brown eyes is Ester, our coworkers’ daughter.  She is about Isaiah’s age.  The two of them run around together, playing happily one second and getting in fights the next.  We are glad they have each other.

Enjoying the rainy season puddles.

Trying to make the biggest splash she can.

Sharing a Sunday dinner – roasted chicken that Cris prepared for us, rice, and macaxeira (manioc root, boiled and eaten like potatoes).  Getting to know our coworkers has been one of the special blessings of this time in the guest house.  We didn’t plan to have both our families here together right now, but God knew it would be a valuable time for us, especially since we had not met before we joined their team.  How thankful we are to know that, when our plans A,B,C,D,E, F, and G don’t work out, God is in control and His plans are never frustrated.  HE knows what is best.

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Sitting on the Ground

Posted by Jevon and Danica Rich in Heart, Ministry on Mar 9th, 2014 | Discuss This Post

“A little more povilho” my coworker said.  I reached for the bag and poured a little more manioc flour into the strainer in her hand.  She shook it gently to sift the flour into the bowl on the counter, where she was mixing the dough for pão de queijo.  (Cheese bread rolls).  We were making a Saturday evening snack for our two families to share.

I turned my back momentarily to rub a little oil in the baking sheets, and when I looked back at Cris, she was sitting on the floor.  “Licença,” she excused her un-conventional behavior, “I have to sit on the ground to mix the dough with my hands.”

I have only been in Brazil for a year and a half, but I have spent a lot of that time with women in the kitchen.  Their kitchen, my kitchen, big shared kitchens, and little family kitchens – all kinds of kitchens.  And I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that sitting on the floor in the kitchen is not super normal here.  Actually, the ground itself is avoided much more carefully than it is in the States, probably because it is much more difficult to keep the ground perfectly clean here, and Brazilians in general value cleanliness very highly.  I actually sort of miss the ground sometimes…because in my own culture back home I never stopped to think if it was normal or not – I just plopped on the ground whenever I felt like it.  Here, we do stop to think about what’s normal and what’s not, in order to avoid making huge cultural waves where they are unnecessary.  So I haven’t done much sitting on the floor lately.  Especially in kitchens.

But there sat my born-and-raised-Brazilian coworker Cris, on the floor of the shared kitchen in the guest house.  So I picked up the baking sheets and sat down beside her.  The two of us oiled our hands and started rolling the dough into little balls and placing them on the sheets.  While we worked, she explained to me that the indigenous women always sit on the ground to work.  She said that when she first came, and the women started teaching her how to cook their foods, they would always sit down on the ground and indicate for her to do the same.  At first, it felt very awkward to her to work in that position.  Now, it feels so right to her that she sits on the floor in her own kitchen to work dough with her hands.

I know what she is talking about…that change of nature that occurs in you, where the norms of someone else’s lifestyle begin to make sense to you.  Such good sense, in fact, that you start to do certain things their way even when you are alone in your own house, and don’t have to be doing it that way to make them comfortable.   You might even start to do things their way when you are with other people of your own culture.  Because…their way just works for you.  And because that other person’s lifestyle has become a part of you.  Or because you have become part of them.

I know, because we’ve spent the last year and a half intentionally becoming something more like Brazilians than we were before.  “Becoming” has become a very significant word in our vocabulary.  And it can mean anything from changing the clothes we choose to wear, to what we consider “clean” or not clean, to the manner in which we demonstrate “welcome” to a friend at our own table.

But I have felt a little apprehensive, trying to fathom what it means to “become” in an indigenous context.  I’m guessing it doesn’t have half as much to do with clothes and outward appearance as it does here in the city.  I know it won’t mean adopting their beliefs about the spirit world.  So what does it mean?

As we sat on the floor rolling balls of pão de queijo dough, Cris talked about the indigenous women.  She talked about the first time that they took her fishing with them.  She talked about how they accompanied her while she was trying to tip-toe across a log.  She talked about how much she has come to appreciate the care that the women show for the other women in their family.  She talked about the lady who adopted her as her daughter in the culture, and how much she has come to love this dear woman.  As she talked, it was clear to me that she genuinely appreciates the women she lives and works among.  She doesn’t just love them; she likes them, too.

It’s not the first time she’s told me stories about them, or talked about things of their culture that she appreciates.  She has told me about their fish-and-cooking-banana soup that she likes so much.  “You don’t have to like everything they eat;” she says, “because they are the same as we are.  There are some things they like to eat, and some things they don’t.  But you will learn to really like certain foods, and ask for more.  They will know that you really like it.”  She has told me about the way the women teach their daughters how to sit and how to reach for their food.  “It’s not just any old way you sit and grab food,” she explained, “There is a way that you are supposed to do it.”  And the way Cris talked, I perceived that she finds these women gracious and feminine in their cultural way.

She has told me about how they feel when it rains, too.  Cris loves rain, and at first she thought that their distaste for it had to do with fear of the spirits.  So she played happily with the indigenous school kids in the rain, demonstrating, in her mind, that there was nothing to fear.  Later she found out that grey weather and rain reminds them of their loved ones that have died.  So now, when she sees the melancholy faces on a cloudy day, she understands why they are so somber.  “I still like rain,” she said, “but I try not to have a big party in front of them.”

Listening to my coworker talk encourages me.  I can see that she is becoming.  And this kind of becoming is not about learning to use the right clothes at the right times, as we were expected to learn when we came to Manaus.  Brazilians, and especially Manauaras, have a pretty high standard of dress and expect others to follow it, too.  But dress is not a big deal to every culture.  Nor does this kind of becoming mean adopting their religious beliefs, because we believe the one Truth that supersedes all cultures.  We believe that there is only One Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one can come to God except through Him.  But this becoming is about finding out what matters to them, and what makes them feel at home with you, and what makes them know that you like them.  It’s about capitalizing on the things that you like and appreciate in their culture.  It’s about recognizing when some of the cultural values they hold are the same as your cultural values, but demonstrated in a different way, and when they feel the same as you feel, but express it differently.  And it’s about understanding, too, when their values truly are different than what your culture values, and when they really feel very differently about things than the way you feel about them.

And it’s not just about becoming friends.  It’s about becoming meaningful in their lives.  So that in time, we can become instruments of peace and hope in their lives.  Vessels of light.  Vessels of truth.  It’s so that we can follow Jesus into proclaiming freedom for the captives and opening the eyes of the blind, bringing good news to the spiritually impoverished, turning mourning into dancing, and clothing people with a robe of joy.  A figurative robe of joy, that is – a condition of the heart, which has nothing to do with either our culture or theirs, but which is a gift from God to whomever will receive it.

I am glad to have a coworker who is becoming.  And who has a heart to become.  The humility needed to learn, and the willingness to like, another culture.  She also has true desire to see a mature church grow up among this precious people.  That is our desire, also.  We are here because we believe that that is, first of all, God’s desire.  And, with the existing team that is here, we are following His heart into the midst of a people that were not our own, to become theirs.

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Honey for a Pilgrim’s Heart

Posted by Jevon and Danica Rich in Heart on Feb 16th, 2014 | Discuss This Post

Some notes I took in my devotional journal when we first got back to Manaus

12/30/2013

In my reading through the Bible, I’ve finally come back around to 1st Peter, and 2nd Peter.  And it’s such a timely encounter for me, with these letters.

We’ve moved again.  And once again, it’s not to anywhere even semi-permanent.  We’re back again to a guest room in Manaus.  I can no longer remember clearly what it feels like, to not be a wanderer.  To be settled in a place.  Our sights are set on the unknown road ahead, on a time and place that only God knows, and a ministry full of giants and strongholds.

And in this context, oh how sweet the words of Peter are to my ears.  Words breathed by the Holy Spirit, through the pen of someone who clearly loved Jesus and treasured Him above all else, addressed to “strangers in the world, scattered…”

And the language is the language of what John Piper would call “Christian hedonism”.

Over and over, urgently and insistently, Peter underlines and emphasizes the temporary and perishing nature of this world in which we live as estrangeiros (foreigners, strangers), and the permanence and superiority of that which we have in Christ.

  • he reminds us by whom and for whom we have been chosen (1 Pet. 1:2)
  • he reminds us of our hope and our inheritance (vs. 3-6)
  • he reminds us of the worth of our faith (vs. 7)
  • and the joy we have in Christ (vs. 8 )
  • he reminds us that prophets and angels have longed for what we have (vs. 10-12)
  • he reminds us of the precious blood of Christ – the perfect lamb, that redeemed us from empty lives
  • and he reminds us of the eternal, imperishable nature of the Word of God.

And he keeps going:  In chapter 2 he reminds us

  • that we have tasted that the Lord is good (chapter 2, vs. 3)
  • our identity (vs. 9-10)
  • the example we have in Christ (vs. 21-25)

And listen to the kinds of adjectives he uses (in these two chapters)

  • new
  • living
  • of greater worth
  • inexpressible
  • glorious
  • precious
  • imperishable
  • enduring
  • good
  • chosen
  • royal
  • holy
  • belonging to God
  • wonderful

In opening his second letter, Peter speaks of

  • “a faith as precious as ours”, and
  • “His very great and precious promises”.

On this basis, with this motivation – consumed by the greatness and preciousness of what we possess in Christ – Peter urges us to be holy, to love, to submit, to suffer, to shepherd the flock, to be godly, to be fruitful, and to hold on to the truth.

I keep reading and savoring these thoughts.  As a stranger my heart grabs on to these truths and I am comforted, steadied, and spurred on my them.  I NEED to focus my mind and heart on the superior treasures and rewards that we are inheriting.  On His very great and precious promises.  On the joy of having received, through the righteousness of Christ, a faith as precious as ours.

It’s a faith worth leaving home for.  A faith worth missing loved ones for.  Even family.

A faith worth sleeping in guest rooms so much for.

A faith worth using somebody else’s old pans for.

A faith worth pulling homeschool out of a packing crate every day for.

A faith worth sweating in the Amazon for.

A faith worth taking joltingly cold showers for.

A faith worth uncertainty and not knowing what tomorrow holds…because we have the word of the prophets and the promises of God for certain.

 

THANK YOU GOD FOR THESE LETTERS OF 1 and 2 PETER!!!!!!

-danica

 

 

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to walk humbly with my God

Posted by Jevon and Danica Rich in Heart on Feb 16th, 2014 | Discuss This Post

At the risk of over-simplifying and over-generalizing, I make this statement: The missionary life is just the normal Christian life lived in a different context.  God deals with us just like He deals with all His children – using His Word and His Spirit to bring to light sin in our hearts and to bring us back around to right thinking.  And as we open our hearts to this kind of interference, we get to know Him better through life’s journey.

Ellen Halverson said, a couple nights before we took off on the plane for Brazil that first time as a family, that walking with God in Brazil would be the same as walking with God in the States.  And I know exactly what she meant.  We didn’t know how to live in our new context.  But we did know how God wants us to live with Him. “He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”  (Micah 6:8)

And so, at the risk of un-impressing anybody who may have mistakenly been impressed with me, I offer this blog and the next…the true story of God dealing with my heart along the journey.  And may God get the glory.

 

*          *           *           *          *           *           *          *            *          *           *          *          *          *

 

While we were still in the States, the LORD gave me this warning (and promise) through His Word:

Solomon forgot the LORD his Wisdom, and Samson forgot the LORD his Strength.  I will give you both wisdom and strength to accomplish My will for you. But:  Do not forget Me.

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.  (1 Pt. 5:5, Ja. 4:6, Prov. 11:31)

Somewhere the Scripture says that God will turn the sky to bronze above the proud, and the ground to iron under his feet.

Today my heart trembles at these words.

Today I tremble as my own heart asks WHAT IF after coming SO FAR…way out here so far from “home”…I found myself far from God, alone, apart from His help?

What if He opposes me?  What if He closes His ears to me?  What if He hardens Himself against me, closes His sky above me so no merciful rain will fall on me, and dries up the ground under my feet?

What a terrifying thought!

I ventured out here ONLY on the understanding that He is with me, upholding me by His right hand, sustaining me, comforting me, protecting me from evil, and supplying strength and wisdom in my not-enoughness.  Because He said, “I am with you always.”  Because He promised, “I will never leave you.”

But He warned me.  And God does not make idle threats like a man who bluffs and manipulates his fellow man.  Where God advises of danger, there is danger.  He is not a man, that He should lie.

He is with me, as He promised.  He will not leave me.

But He opposes the proud.

The only thing, that I can think of, worse than being deserted by God, would be to be opposed by Him.

The reason this scares me, is because I have sinned.  In my heart I have gloried in my language learning in wrong ways.  And I deceived myself like this:

I did not forget that the Lord was my wisdom.  I did not take credit for intelligence or understanding.  But I did take credit for my “esforço“  “I did work hard,” I thought to myself.  “I did really stretch myself.”  And I began to take pride in that.

You foolish heart!  Who gives man strength?  Who sustains you day after day? Quem é que renova os seus esforços dia apos dia?

Lord, have mercy on me; I have sinned.

It’s okay – and sometimes profitable – to say, “I worked hard.”  Paul said that.  But he did not forget the Source of his strength.  “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect.  No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”  (1 Cor. 15:10)

With tears I sought the Lord and asked that He give me this language.  And I found mercy in His eyes.  Not because of my tears, but because of what they were expressing – the humility of a desperate human soul that recognized it’s own not-enoughness. And because it was His will to use this jar of clay in a capacity that required language ability. Só isso, e mais nada.

And in the faith that God was helping me, I threw myself into the task, laboring, struggling, “with all His energy, which works so powerfully in me.”  (Col. 1:28)

“With my God I can scale a wall.”  (Ps. 18:29)

Not only was it God who opened my mind and stretched it around another language, but it was also God who renewed my esforços day after day.

And now, why do I feel so doubtful about the idea of learning the indigenous language?

Because I don’t think I can put out that kind of effort again.  There are forward thrusts that can be sustained for a length of time – say, a year – but not indefinitely.  Not three more years, or however long it takes to learn the next language.

But

it really makes no difference.

Because the truth that God and I know, is that I didn’t have the strength for the forward thrust of this past year, either.

I just banked on the confidence that if I worked, God was working, that if I expended esforço, God was supplying, that if I ran dry, more would be there the next morning.  Sometimes I slowed down because I was spent, but kept moving forward believing that, (as the song says) “strength will rise as we wait upon the LORD, as we wait upon the LORD, as we wait upon the LORD” and (as another song says) “I will serve You while I’m waiting”.

And so…

I repent.

And humble myself before the mighty hand of God.

And as I do, fear melts away.

Love casts out fear.

I love you, O LORD my strength.  (Ps. 18:1)

I will trust You in my not-enoughness.

 

–danica

 

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Meet our Coworkers

Posted by Jevon and Danica Rich in Ministry on Feb 14th, 2014 | Discuss This Post

Everaldo is from Rio Grande do Sul, the most southern state of Brazil. (Random fact - it is far enough south that it even snows there once in a greeeeeaat while.) Cris (Ana Cristina) is from Belem, the capital city of Pará, a state up here in the steamy rainforest of northern Brazil. (Interesting fact for West Hills people: that's where Jake and Izzy Schoff worked.) Everaldo and Cris met in Bible School on their way into missions, just like we did. They have already served for 3 years in the tribe, and we are eager to join our hands with them in the work. We are excited to have their little Ester (almost 3 years old) and Tiago (6 months) as part of our team life, too.

Palmira, our single coworker, has already spent several years with the people, learning their language and culture. When her coworker, Dila, left the tribe, Palmira went out too and spent 3 years working in other ministries. But her heart was always back with the tribe. Now she will be re-entering the work with us. Pray for her as she reconnects with the women and families she knew before, catches back up to where she was at in language and culture, and adapts to living alone as a single girl in the tribe.

Paul and Sheryl Rich (aka: Jevon's mom and dad) are the experienced ones of our team. Jevon's dad went to the tribe straight out of high school. He came out to go through the NTM training and find his bride, and then he went straight back and has been faithfully serving the people ever since. We don't know how much longer they will be able to be with us in the work, but we know we need them - their experience, wisdom, ability to communicate, and the relationships and respect that they have with the people - in order to get off to a good start ourselves. So we are very thankful that they are able to be here a little longer. Pray for their health and encouragement, and that they will be able to finish well.

 

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You know you’ve been in Brazil a WHOLE YEAR when…

Posted by Jevon and Danica Rich in Family, Heart on Sep 11th, 2013 | Discuss This Post

You walk into church and automatically greet another woman by giving a kiss to the side of her face.

You are trying to tell a story in English but you can’t remember the word for “grocery store”, only “supermercado”.

You just took your 3rd shower for the day, and spent most of the time in the shower scrubbing your feet.

It didn’t surprise you when the shower knob zapped you – that’s just what the electric water heater does.  Zaps the water as its coming out of the shower head, and zaps you when you try to adjust it.  At least the water’s not cold.

Your 4 year old often puts her English adverbs after her verb instead of before.  “I liked it very.”

Your daughter tells you that she “passed” chapstick or lip gloss on her lips.

You plan to eat together with friends tomorrow, and need a quick and easy dessert that can be made ahead the night before.  So you calmly grab a few passion fruit, slice them open, scoop the insides into the blender, and puree them.  Add some sweetened condensed milk and some heavy cream from a box, and give the blender another spin.  Throw the passion fruit cream in a pretty bowl and put it in the fridge.  Pronto.  And then you wonder “when did that become normal to me?”

Someone tells you “see you tomorrow” and you stare at them for the longest time trying to figure out what they are saying…because they are speaking English and you were expecting Portuguese.

It does not weird you out at all when your husband’s friend, who hasn’t seen him for a month, greets him with a hug, a pat on the back, and ruffling his hair.

You meet someone who just arrived from the US and you stand there wondering how you are supposed to greet them.  “if I greet her like a Brazilian, will I weird her out?  If I greet her like an American, will the Brazilians think I don’t like her?”  And you are also suddenly mute because your mouth is confused and can’t figure out which language it’s supposed to be speaking.

Your 6 year old daughter inherits platform heels from her 7 year old friend who grew out of them.

You hustled the kids out the door and got halfway to chapel before you realized that you forgot to change shoes and you are still wearing flip flops.  So you make yourself late by going all the way home and getting your dress shoes, because you know that showing up 5 or 10 minutes late will be LESS of a distraction than showing up in the wrong shoes.

You don’t really think anything of seeing a lizard run across the floor or wall when you walk in the room.

The handful of ragged feathers your child finds on the ground and brings home are green parrot feathers.

At night when you walk outside you look for the Southern Cross instead of the big dipper.  Although, some nights you might see the Big Dipper, too.

You groan at yourself for not having got the clothes up (or down from) the line before dark, because now the termites will probably get you while you are standing out there hanging up clothes.

If your child is walking calmly across the yard and suddenly starts screaming, and you can’t see anybody or anything near him, you automatically go pick him up, carry him to a well-lit place, and check to see if a leaf-cutter ant head or termite head is still stuck in the skin.

Your husband gives a Bible study in Portuguese and your heart is flooded with pride and joy and thankfulness to the God who is giving him the language and the ability to speak.

A friend comes over to pray…and you actually CAN pray out loud for her, using the appropriate verb forms and respectful way of speaking to God in her language.  Maybe you have to stop and think between every sentence…but prayer is finally something you can do together with God’s people, not just alone.

You feel at home here.

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Our Current Normal

Posted by Jevon and Danica Rich in Family on Sep 11th, 2013 | Discuss This Post

bikes – our principal means of transportation

sharing the road with 18 wheeler semi trucks, cars, motorcycles, other bikes, tractors, horseback riders, and farm carts pulled by horses, sometimes all at the same time.

getting our meat from the butcher.  he cuts, slices, or grinds it while we watch.

getting our veggies and fruit on Friday’s from the veggie man, with his truck and trailor

veggie day is always fun

really big ant hills

and termites

yes, they bite.

friends in our house every day

for a quick floor clean-up – wrapping a rag around the long handled squeegy and running it across the floor

but on the day of the week that you actually CLEAN your house, you scrub the floor with soap and water and a broom.

then you throw water on the floor to rinse.

and squeegy it out the door.  stepping around sudsy water in the street is typical during the work day.

frying fresh farmer’s cheese for a snack

rice and beans with our meat.  i don’t want to make anyone jealous, but meat is really good and cheap and plentiful here.  the price of really quality beef here is the price of the lousiest beef there. :)

rice and beans with chicken

rice and beans with our fish.  not going to lie; we are eating pretty good here. :)

but when we get in a hurry – it’s eggs with our rice and beans. :)

That’s our current normal.  We like it.

We know a lot of things will change in a couple months when we move again, but for the moment we feel at home here and we are thanking God for this leg of the journey.

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How my Birthday Became a Reminder of Jesus’s promise

Posted by Jevon and Danica Rich in Family, Heart on Aug 18th, 2013 | Discuss This Post

I was just laying Isaiah down in bed on August 9th when I heard a guitar strumming in front of our house.  So I picked Isaiah back up and went outside to investigate.  This is what I found at my front door:

It’s kind of a blurry photo, but it illustrates a special marker in my life.  A marker of God’s kindness.  More than 20 friends serenaded me for my birthday – singing not only happy birthday, but several Brazilian worship songs as well.  That’s how I found out that serenading people is a part of Brazilian culture.  But I found out more than that.  I found out (again!) what it means to be the body of Christ – where it doesn’t make a difference what your nationality or first language is, or how far you are from where you grew up.  On my first birthday in Brazil, I felt surrounded and loved by family, the family of God.

The guy on the left is one of Jevon’s best friends here – André.  (The one with the Italy shirt – but he’s Brazilian, not Italian).  He gave a speech about Jesus’s promise in Mark 10:29-30.

“I tell you the truth, noone who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields – and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.”

We are experiencing the reality of this promise every day, as we miss our family and church back home, but embrace the joy of sharing life with the family of God here.

And for me, the memory of 20-some people singing around our front door will always be a reminder of the joy we have in that promise.

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Grilling Fish in the Churrasqueira

Posted by Jevon and Danica Rich in Family, Training on Aug 18th, 2013 | Discuss This Post

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