July 4th marked our 1 year anniversary here in Portugal. We have been reflecting on last July, our first month here and remembering...riding the bus with the kids to get groceries. Many times riding for hours because we didn't know where to get off or how to ask where to get off. Or waiting for hours because we didn't know which bus to take or how to ask which bus to take. We remember feeling lost on our walk to school as people would stop and ask us for directions or for the time and we would have no idea what they said. It has been a year full of adjustments and yet thanks to the grace of God, a year full of accomplishment. We have come a long way from our first months here. We are definitely functional in our Portuguese now. Telling time is now a no-brainer. Although we still struggle with giving directions, at least we know when people are asking for them. We can have conversations with people and are finally able to start building relationships. We can actually understand about 75% of a sermon. We have also learned to adjust to life without heat, airconditioning, a clothes dryer, Target and Taco Bell. It has really given us a taste of what life as a missionary is like--as far as being flexible goes and not having a set schedule. We are learning to live amidst constant change knowing that we will once again be transitioning to a new life and culture in Africa. Because of this it has been difficult for us to feel settled or at home here. We are learning how to live with eachother 24/7 and without our traditional roles as housemaker and breadwinner. Not that all these accomplishments have come without difficulty or pain. One thing we have learned this year is that all these adjustments are a process and a process that we are continuing to adjust to. We are trusting God as he continues to lead us to Africa and use this process of adjustment to make us into the people and family he wants us to be and to prepare us for our future in Mozambique.
Here are some updated prayer requests:
* Tim is going to be preaching for the first time IN PORTUGUESE on July 27th, so please, please pray for him as he prepares.*
*Prayer for continued health of Michele and the baby in these last couple months of pregnancy. She is struggling with the added difficulties and uncomfort as a result of the heat.
*Pray that we would stay disciplined in our studies, despite the summer vacation fever we are feeling (It just feels wrong to be going to school in the summer).
*Pray for the kids as we have only about 5 more months here and then we will be heading home for a couple months and then on to Africa. Especially for Traeger as he gets older and has really made some good friends here, but for both of the kids as we will make another transition. One thing we have noticed as a result of moving here, is that Traeger is able to make friends with just about anyone. No matter where we go, if he sees a kid, he will go right up to him and just start playing. He doesn't need to know their name or anything. In fact one time we were at a restaurant and he went up to kid and started playing with him and talking to him in Portuguese and it ended up that the kid was British and spoke English and had no idea what Traeger was saying!