Tuesday, April 12, 2005

April 12th

Hello there again! Sorry it's been so long since we've written you. We've got much to write, but we won't make it as long as it could be. :-) First of all, we want to thank you for your support and encouragement toward us while here in Brazil. Since we last wrote, there have been many exciting things that we've been able to be a part of. First of all, Easter was great! We were priveleged to share the holiday weekend with the kids at the orphanage. Kids from a church in the US committed to doing some community service to raise money for the orphanage. All the money they raised ($400) they sent to the orphanage for the kids here to have a celebration like no other! Saturday night there was an Easter celebration with the older teens doing a drama of "The Last Supper", and on Sunday there was a big Brazilian style barbecue (aka "Churrasco") accompanied by rice, beans, cassava root, and tomato salad. There was plenty of meat left over for the rest of the week. One thing that means a lot to kids here in Brazil during Easter is getting an Easter Egg, made of chocolate. Each child received two chocolate eggs, and no one felt left out. We have many pictures of kids smiling, having a blast those two days! (see attached pictures) Thanks to those young kids somewhere in the US who gave of their time and effort to provide for those who don't have as we do in America.
On another note, Becky and I were able to spend a quick weekend at a local national park with my parents and 10-year old sister. There were beautiful bluffs and waterfalls, reminding me a bit of Wyoming and Utah--except here it was much more lush and green. We went on an 11km hike for the day, going through native vegetation and old crystal mines from the early 1900's, to reach our destinations: waterfalls and large pools of water we could swim and relax in.
At the orphanage, the garden continues to grow! We have some lettuce, onions, parsley, beans, and carrots planted--things the cooks really want in the kitchen when preparing meals for the kids. It's been a lot of work--some of you have gardens of your own, you know! The weeds here are like any other--they just keep growing and growing!
Becky's Portuguese is getting better and better! (taking lessons twice a week and studying a lot more on her own). She's now reading books to the younger children, and once in a while one of the girls will correct only a word or two out of the whole book! She's also started teaching the teenage girls how to crochet! Hopefully this will be a skill that they can take with them when they leave the orphanage at 18 years of age. It's a great opportunity for Becky to interact with them, in Portuguese of course, and build relationships.

This week hopefully we'll have something figured out regarding how to spend some more time with the older kids: the teenagers. The boys especially at the orphanage have few if any male role models they can look up to. I wonder if I might have a part in helping fill that emptiness in their lives. Only time will tell.

An unexpected blessing has surprised us since we got to Brazil! A new Brazilian missionary sending agency has been founded recently on the outskirts of the city we live in, and they have just recently bought some land with a large house, pool, and fruit tree orchard. This has been called the "Oasis Center". It is going to serve as a place for missionary couples and their families to come to for some R&R, along with some counseling and debriefing if needed. I'm excited about this because for the last couple of weeks I have been able to take charge of cleaning the orchard up along with a Brazilian pastor (Eliezér is his name). Furthermore, because of extra funds you've sent for our trip here to Brazil, we have been able to buy the necessary tools for the maintenance and care of the land, which we have donated to the Brazilian mission agency.

It brings great joy in knowing that we are really helping those in need here in Brazil, but even more joy in knowing that you all are the backbone of our work here. Because of you, lives are being touched, and we thank you for that! When you think of us, here are some prayer requests we send to you:

-How to reach out to the teens at the orphanage,

-Ben as a role model/friend to the guys;

-Becky's Portuguese to continue improving;

-Praise that we can help this Brazilian mission agency getting started;

-Pray that we'll continue to develop friendships with Brazilians here;

-Pray for continued guidance in discerning long-term possibilities here in Brazil for us;

We look forward to hearing from all or any of you at some point or another. Also, if you'd prefer not receive this regular email update from us, you can email us back and let us know, we won't mind at all taking you off our list. Our phone # (an in-country call for those in the U.S., is 630.614.4554 Give us a buzz sometime! We're one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Serving the Poor in Brazil, Ben & Becky Bacheller.

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