Exciting News… Michele is expecting our third child on September 17th. It has been interesting finding a doctor and figuring out how everything works here in Portugal. This is actually a great language learning opportunity because we need to learn lots of new medical and pregnancy terminology in Portuguese. However, it can still be a little scary for us since we aren’t fluent yet, so we praise God that we found a doctor that speaks English. Traeger and Karis are excited to have a new baby brother or sister. Traeger insists it is a girl, because I am a girl. And he wants to name it “Catarina”, which is the name of a girl at his school. He asked me if it would break my tummy when the baby “popped out.” Karis doesn’t quite understand everything, but she knows there is a baby in mommy’s tummy. A couple weeks ago in church, right when everything was quiet, she said “mommy, baby, tummy,” and then she just kept repeating it very loudly over and over again. We had to leave the service.
HAVING BABIES IN PORTUGAL… Things do work a little different here. My monthly appointments take about 2 hours each and I have to see 3 people before I see the doctor. I also keep all my own medical records and bring them with me to every appointment. They are really strict in the amount of weight you can gain with a pregnancy (12 kilos(about 24 pounds) is the limit and they hound you about it) and yet they allow you to smoke 5 cigarettes a day.
LANGUAGE LEARNING . . . Our time here in Portugal is already half over. We can’t believe how fast it has gone by. We are just grasping how truly deep culture and language runs. After the past 8 or 9 months we would definitely classify ourselves as functional in Portuguese. When we look back we are always amazed at how much of the language that we have absorbed, but becoming fluent is a different task altogether. Truly learning a language (being fluent) is a lifetime task. It is one thing to say something in a language that makes sense but it is another thing to say it like the people say it. And it is still another thing to think like the people think. We realize the process of learning Portuguese has only begun here and that it will continue as we head to Mozambique, in fact, it will continue for the rest of our lives. Thinking and acting like a culture takes time. The same is true in our Christian life, we need to have an attitude of humility and openness because we are “lifelong learners.” We are reprogramming our life to perform acts of kindness, mercy, responsibility, and love in order to love God and others rather than performing acts for our own benefit.
NEW OPPORTUNITIES…We are excited about having some new opportunities these past few months. We have both joined a class on the basics of Christianity on Tuesday evenings. It gives us an excellent opportunity to practice our listening in Portuguese as well as speaking and building relationships. Our wonderful neighbor lady, Esmerelda, comes over and sits (the kids are usually in bed, although a couple of times we have come home to find her laying in bed with Traeger because he claims he is scared) while we are in class. Tim has also begun attending a class at the Bible Institute here on Wednesday evenings. He is meeting a lot of new people through the class. We also have begun to attend another church in the mornings. The church we have been attending is at 5pm, so we are free in the mornings. This new church has quite a few young families and many people from Mozambique. We are looking forward to building relationships with Mozambiquans. We have really been enjoying it and think it will also give us great opportunities for relationship building and language practicing!
Update on Mozambique… We receive prayer monthly prayer updates from our team members in Mozambique. We thought that we would share some of them with you, so you know what to be praying for in Mozambique.
Our field director is in the US on home assignment, so you can pray for her as well that it will be refreshing and profitable.
Stuart and Sindia Foster
Pray for our Lomwe Bible Translation team working with Dr. Kitoko (our consultant in Maputo) on Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes and 1 Timothy this week -- this should be the final corrections (ready to print) and for the book of Malachi to be printed and taught.
Phillip and Nicola Piper
Praise for Systematic Theology course having finished.
Praise the Nicola’s ladies discipleship group and her study group are both still going very well.
Pray for Phillip as he hurries to prepare five weeks of lectures about the Gospels. Classes start on 25 April.
Pray that God will give wisdom to Pastor Marcelino as he gives counsel.
Steven and Jo Wheatley
Jo has two seminars coming up, one for women and one for Sunday School teachers. Please pray that she'll get all the lessons prepared, and that the participants will take what they learn and teach it to others.
Praise and Prayer…
*Praise for these new opportunities that we have been able to take advantage of.
*Praise for a wonderful visit with Michele’s family and a successful trip out of the EU to get our visas stamped for another 3 months.
*Prayer for opportunities to speak and listen in Portuguese with Portuguese people.
*Prayer for balancing school, kids, and our marriage.
*Prayer that the support we raised will sustain us through these next 9 months in Portugal with the dollar vs. euro difference. Right now we are praising God for those extra funds he allowed us to raise before we left, which has kept us afloat up to this point!