Update – February 2019

Olá do Brasil todos!

We hope you’ve had a good month since we spoke last. We’ve been learning a lot out here about ourselves, our new home and our gracious Father God who keeps on reminding us that it’s not in our strength, but His. We pray that wherever you are, whatever you’re doing – you also know His constant unfailing love for you too.

Home

Recife is feeling more and more like home as the days go by and we feel ever grateful to be here. We really love Brazilian life – with all it’s quirks and differences to the UK! As with everything, it takes time to adapt and we are realising not to have too high expectations of ourselves, and to be patient!!

Language

We have now finished our intensive month of Portuguese learning and just this week have stepped down to three afternoons a week, which means more time to work which we’re really grateful for. Continued prayers for language learning would be SO much appreciated as it can be discouraging when we’re really trying yet struggling to communicate!

However, all the time we’re learning new words and phrases and though it’s not always easy understanding the girls with their ‘street language’, we’re gradually building relationships – and just last week we taught them how to play ‘I spy’ which has now become a firm favourite!

Morning School Run
School run in the morning

ReVive

On alternate days we take the Revive girls to school in the morning. These are the 5 youngest girls aged between 5-10 years old who go to 3 different schools, so we have fun getting up early to drive to ReVive for a 7am drop off at school. Stu is a pro at the roads now though I’m driving more and more too!

My ‘Crafternoon’ (plus some mornings now!) is going really well and a starting point to get to know the girls (and language!) before starting one to one art therapy sessions. Stu is sorting out various tech needs at the home and will be starting on a new website within a few weeks too, while I get going on a blog. And salon time is not limited to a Saturday but something the girls love to do every day! Nails, hair, make up – even on Stu!!

Crafternoon

Clay ‘crafternoon’ with the young ReVive girls – pots, flowers and birds!
Stu Hairdo

Even Stu gets his hair done!!

We have been loving the training course at ReVive and it has been a brilliant way to learn more about mission in context and to discuss with others both the theology and practicalities of mission. We have not found a church yet though looking around, so very grateful for this spiritual input.

A place of our own

After looking at several different places we’ve found a little flat close to the sea that we can soon call home! Really thankful to God for this provision and for new Brazilian friends who have really helped us in arranging the viewings, negotiating prices and contract signing. We move in on 10th March – very exciting!

Contract Signed
Contract signed for our flat!

We found deciding on a flat really hard when poverty is so prevalent here. Exploring where we draw the line for our standard of living is challenging. Having to accept that to some extent our skin colour makes some areas very dangerous and yet equally not wanting to live too ‘cosy’ when we are working with people who have nothing is difficult to say the least. We viewed apartments of various sizes and costs but eventually signed for one with two rooms in a safe area which we feel will be a great place of rest for us, but importantly a space well used socially to get to know our local community and neighbours, run a small group and also have people stay.

Rich Poor Divide Recife
The rich poor divide

Carnival

Carnival starts on Friday 29th February which is their annual 5 day holiday before Lent, which we’ve seen preparations for since arriving!! We’ve been told it can get pretty crazy in full swing and a lot of people actually leave the city to ‘escape it’ as it can be quite dangerous too. However, we are keen to see some of it as a part of getting to know our new culture with new friends. Alongside this, we’ll also be welcoming the British Ambassador to ReVive on Monday and doing fun activities with the girls so that they don’t feel they’re missing out too much!

Health

We have mainly been very well with Stu’s back in a good way and my energy levels managing even with all the change – thank you God! However, we had a stomach bug last week which knocked us out of action for several days. Part of adapting to a new country is that there are more illnesses which we’re not resistant to yet so prayer for protection from the bugs would be amazing!

Huge thank you

As always – we cannot thank you enough for supporting us in the work that we’ll be doing here. Thank you SO much to all of you who are praying for us – we so appreciate it, and do let us know what we can be praying for you too.

Sending love as always,
Rosie and Stu x