We continue learning some Brazilian values the hard way it seems. We are finding that most Brazilians will put relationships before other things...even if their kids are sick, they will still go out with friends if there is a previous commitment. Now, there are usually exceptions to the rule, but it is a general observance on our part. Basically, relationships are important!! This might be why our kids keep getting sick...they have had fevers for two days straight and going on the third day...because other kids at school have fevers, or kid at the park are really sick but their parents wouldn't dare keep their kid home from the park and not be able to play with their friends. So, a question for us to ask ourselves is: "if we don't show up for a social event, or Caleb or Becky don't go to school for the day, does that mean we are not good missionaries because we don't value relationships enough here??" Not necessarily. It's a difficult line to walk here in Brazil...but each culture has good practices, which are sometimes to the exclusion of others.
We Americans value our kids' health above relationships--that's an easy one. Well, at least for us, Americans. Does it mean there is a right or wrong in this situation...no, and yes. That's the challenge of living in a culture not your own. So, you can pray for our kids, and us too, to heal up quickly and develop strong immune systems by the Lord's grace--may he protect us from all these germs!! Thank you for praying for us!!