Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Beloved Brazil...Saudades

Hi Yall!

I'm heading back to Brazil in 2 days and I'm excited. It's a weird kind of excited...cause it feels kinda normal. I only have to pack for 10 days...cold(ish) and stormy though they will be. I'm looking forward to staying with my dear friend Nicole and her family, visiting my old neighbor Elba, my surfer friend, translator buddies, church members and leadership, and the Quilombo (village) that I visited most while there. I'll also have the joy of staying with missionaries Patti and Georgia, and their congregation, in the Rio area for a weekend.

The missionaries that I lived with in Salvador moved back to the U.S. in January and I have had the privilege of seeing them twice since then! They are settling into their new home in Virginia and traveling all over the U.S. recruiting and encouraging African American congregations in foreign mission efforts. I imagine that part of their hearts are forever in Brazil, but that they are also enjoying the new work, and proximity to their 4 daughters!

Please join me in asking the Lord to work mightily.

with Love,


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Returning to Brazil

I'm returning to Brazil for a short trip in May. Please pray that God will lead my every step. :-)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Knoxville Friendships

I've been alone in a house that usually holds 7 for the last 3 weeks, and though it's been nice and quiet I am now eagerly awaiting their return!

Knowing that I would not be here for long when I came, I was resistant to the effort it would take to build real friendships outside of my housefull and co-workers, but God has blessed me with a recent change of heart.

Last night I attended the tiny church of a Houston friend's friend. Got it?...a Houston-friend's friend. Yeah, it was awesome. It was an evening of intercession for people who have yet to put their trust in Jesus for LIFE and it was a glorious evening.

Afterwards I met Asha, my Houston friend's friend, and prayed for quite some time with her and her mentor who, with her husband, planted this church in Knoxville. Asha, her roommate, and I went to Chili's for some molten lava and several hours of exchanging life stories. As I talked about my journey, joys, and several struggles Asha's roommate kept saying..."So are yall the SAME person or what?" and "Yep, yall are the same person." Our sweet, young waitress ended up sitting down and telling us all about her recent divorce and we got to pray with her and exchange phone numbers. It's definate that I will hangout with these gals again soon and I can't wait!

Today another gal, from my church, invited me to join her, and her friends, at the drive-in this weekend!! Sunday we hope to go tubing down "Little River" a beautiful place that I have hiked but not yet tubed! I've been dying to do more outdoorsy things while living here in the mountains so I'm so thankful that God has provided some new friends and fun as of late!

God has blessed me tremedously by taking me out of the packed schedule that I called life in Houston, and showing me another way to live. Brazil was slow and unpredictable at nearly every step, TN has been filled with learning how much I love the "family life", selling, and spending lots of time with friends whose beliefs differ greatly from mine. Both have taught me not to take deep Christian fellowship for granted, nor the friends who love me enough to have kept up though I've been away.

All for now...



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Thanks" from a Brazilian Missionary

Hi Friends, I just received this email 5 minutes ago. It is from a young Brazilian pastor who moved into one of the quilombo villages several years ago to live among and disciple the people there. God strongly burdened my heart to help financially support this man who is answering God's call to share the gospel with his own people!

He can live in the quilombo for $200 USD a month in addition to his small teaching salary. When the Jefferson's told me about his life, ministry, and financial need I decided that it would be a great use of the excess money that was donated towards my season in Brazil! Several months ago I was able to send him 4 months worth of support (that many of you gladly gave...amen!) through the International Mission Board, and it is time to do so again! I have enough for another 4 months but am going to start getting the word out so that others can send in a months support. It's insane how much it costs an American to do the work he is doing (though they are needed also!) so let's stretch our money because many of us can spare $100-$200 easily...while for others $50 will be a huge sacrifice that they will make with joy!

He must have hitched a ride to town and gone to an internet cafe to send me (us) the following email...

dear sarah we are very grateful to you for all her help . thank you very much . batist, mission in casinhas -brazil love eliseu

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

For the Longest Time...

...I have had this strong burden for the souls of fellow Americans. In the most recent year past I sat in a small group of about 12 friends who every Thursday talked about the challenges and joys of being the only Christian at work. I remember praying for them and hearing reports back that let us rejoice in God's work together. Then I followed the Lord's lead to Brazil where I would work with a number of different missionaries, American's on short-term trips, and Brazilians. The season both messed me up and built me up. I learned things that make me want to call it one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had, and I learned things that made me want to turn my back on organized religion completely. It's been an interesting year of perspective change, understanding love better, questioning the widely accepted norms of christian practice, returning to some of them with thankfulness, and leaving others behind. I'm just a daughter of God's who really wants to know Him, and out of that love serve Him, but I have a lot of unanswered questions that don't scare me as much as they once did. One of the sweetest things I can think of is that He has now placed me in an environment that I have long longed for. I work with a small team of women whose standing before the Lord I can not be an accurate judge of, but I see Him at work among us. Today we got to talk about the Lord for quite some time and I was beyond giddy inside. Only God can transform our lives...and I pray that He does!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bennett Brooks English

He's here! Happy and healthy! Praise the Lord from whom all blessings flow.

Every Kiss Begins with Kay

Yeah, go ahead and sing it to me...everyone else does when I tell them where I'm working these days. It's ok really because I did the same thing...and while the jingle may be a tad was a good marketing choice...because we all know and sing it!

Since I moved to Knoxville to help my sister with all her kids while she was on bed rest, and she began to get better, and I still did not know if I would be heading back to Brazil or elsewhere come August 09 (when the country will let me back in for another 6 months), and I needed to choose a place to live for a limited amount of time, and I've ALWAYS wanted to do sales, but don't have any experience, and since getting sales experience means you usually don't make enough money to live, and my sister and bro-in-law offered to let me live in their basement a few more months free, and this is a really long run-on sentence for effect, and there are a few other reasons why it made good sense to stay here, I planted myself for a bit.

So now I'm making lifetime memories with my niece, nephews, sister, and bro-in-law, learning the ins and outs of selling (and love it!), saving for when I go back to Brazil (whether short or long trip), working towards eligibility for much needed health insurance so I can get two painful knees tended to, and doing what I can to support the ministry to Quilombolas in Brazil from here.

The mission field is always with us and I'm eager to see more of what the Lord has planned for my time here. Whether in the concrete jungle of Houston, the lush green, yet very poor interior of Brazil, or diamond filled windows of a store front in Knoxville, I am just a young woman learning about my God, and finding that He is who He's said He is. The road thus far has been everything but easy, but it's been really, really...really good. Please continue to pray as I seek. Let me know how I can lift you up as well please.