F is for Flexible in both languages, actually – Enlish and Portuguese (“flexivel”).
We are moving again. This all happened really fast and we just found out last week, during Encontro, that we were being asked by leadership to move to another city in another state of Brazil and finish our NCLA (National Culture and Language Aquisition) there. We will probably get plane tickets for a week from Monday so we need to get packed up in a hurry.
It’s cool how God can prepare your heart, though. My mom had promised me a kindle book for Christmas and my friend Laree had recommended “Calm my Anxious Heart” by Linda Dillow. Jevon had just downloaded it for me before we left for Encontro and so for 4 days, every time I laid down next to Isaiah to help him sleep for nap or bedtime, I read that book. For 4 days I had been thinking about contentment and a quiet heart based on faith in our God who is the Blessed Controller of all things. And so when, Wednesday morning, our NCLA director came to us and said, “I know this is a bad time but we need to talk to you right away,” my heart was already prepared for whatever God had – even another upheaval.
The reason for this move, to make a complicated story short, is our NCLA directors are moving so they can be a part of the Brazilian missionary training center, but they are still going to be NCLA directors (because they are really good at it and they have a passion for it and there is nobody else to do it at the moment), so the whole program, (and by implication, us who are already in the program) are going with them. Sorry for the run-on sentence.
One really cool thing about this is that we will be living at the Brazilian training center, surrounded by Brazilian students speaking Portuguese who will be future co-workers on the mission field. This should be an excellent situation for language learning and building relationships for the future. Another plus is that there will be space for the kids to play outside (something there isn’t here), calmer traffic, smaller city, more pleasant climate, and just an overall nicer living environment. So there’s a lot to be thankful for.
And now that we are leaving we suddenly realize how many friends we already have in Manaus. My neighbor greeted me with a big hug when we got back from Encontro, and I didn’t have the heart to tell her yet that we are moving now. And the missionaries who live and work here in this region are sad to see us go…but we keep telling them “we are coming back as soon as we speak Portuguese better! and how good that we already know you so when we get back we will come back to friends!” We also have already come to love and respect our field leadership here in this region of Brazil, and gained some serious perspective on the needs for workers here.
Not for one second to we regret our months here in Manaus, and we look forward to what God has for us farther south in the coming months.
Here is a regional map for people who love visuals:
In the green part of the map (the North), you see the state of Amazonas. That’s where Manaus is, where we’ve been.
The purple part of the map (Central West) is where we’re going, to finish our language and culture learning.
NOTHING has changed of our plans or ministry goals and our immediate job right now is still NCLA; we’ll just be doing it in a different place.
Thank you for your prayers as we wrap things up here:
- pack in a hurry
- break our lease and internet/phone contracts and pay the appropriate fees
- say goodbye to people who have befriended us and invested in us here
- shepherd our children through another transition
The sooner we get settled there, the sooner we can get back into formal language study.