11 April 2011

February and March 2011

Wow! Things were just too crazy these last few months to be able to blog even about it until now.

South American Missionary Conference

In January we went to the missionary conference in Belo Horizonte. It was a great conference with the main speakers being Dr. and Mrs. Lowry. Dr. Lowry is the President of Lipscomb and he invited our family to come and see if Nashville would be right for us when we move back to the States. We learned many good things about reconciliation and spiritual formation. And the Hatchers from Santiago Chile brought their two precious boys who were about the same ages as our two girls. The four children became fast friends and had the best time together. Aubry still asks about Caleb.

Youth Back to School Party

January and February and the beginning of March our church continued to meet in our home on Sunday mornings for worship. We also had several meetings there including a back to school party in mid February. We had many more students than what we had planned for and had to scramble to make more food but it was a great problem to have. Including all the adults and a few younger children who came as well we had about 60 total. We gave school supplies as prizes and had a devotional on Jesus being the key to all truth and knowledge. The kids took home key chains with the memory verse inside that they had painted.

The children's ministry also had a back to school party during Sunday school and they asked the whole church to collect school supplies for 4 needy children that we knew.

Church Family Care Plan

When our church transitioned from having a building to meeting in our home, we no longer had a place for our Rice and Beans kitchen - our Free Saturday Friendship Lunches for the community. As our church faced a time of tough transitions, we felt it a good idea for the benevolence ministry to focus, for a time, more on taking care of each other. So two people per month recieve church money in order to bless another brother or sister at ICOS. There are many in need at our church but also all of us needed to get to know each other and get to know one another's needs better. So whether it is buying someone flowers on their birthday or buying beans and rice for someone who has recently lost a loved one or can't find work to support their family, our church is learning to take care of each other. Through this and meeting in our home, our church has become more of a family.

Announcing Our Family's Move To the United States

In February, when the Porter family got back from furlough, we began meeting with church members to tell them of our family's plans. This was and is a big deal for our baby church plant and we knew that with most people, we needed to sit down and talk about it. This took two almost three weeks of intense ministry at the end of February and beginning of March.

A New Temporary Meeting Place for the Church

Also during this time of announcing our family's move, our church was moving from our house to another temporary location - the Porter's apartment's party room. This has worked out well since we needed to put our house back together before furlough in order to begin packing, cleaning out and moving some things stateside during our big 2 month trip. The church met for 5 Sundays and we even had some new visitors from their apartment building! Praise God!

Anniversary Service - Celebrating 5 Years At ICOS

The fourth Sunday at the Porter's Apartment Building, April 3rd was our Anniversary Sunday. We had devotional singing during Sunday school and a wonderful service where members and frequenters wrote down memories at our church and posted them on the wall and the church prayed over our family's trip, our daughter's sicknesses and Matt's MCAT test. We had a great pot-luck lunch with a beautiful cake to celebrate, and to top it all off we had a baptism! Genivalda was baptized into Christ on the 5th anniversary of our church! It was an incredible day to say the least and afterwards the children and teens had pool time.

Pneumonia and Bronchitis

Paisley and Aubry both had bronchitis. Paisley had pneumonia also and Aubry had a UTI as well - all at the same time and four days before our furlough trip. The trip itself was rough with all the extra luggage, ticketing problems, lay-overs and two very sick little girls. In fact, Aubry threw up all over Mom so much at one point that I had to wear the stewardesses pants home. But, after 24 hours of travel, we are here in the States now safe and sound with Matt's family in Missouri. The girls are doing much better, still on antibiotics and recovering. They were very glad to see Grandma and Grandpa as were Matt and I. Thanks for continued prayers for our travels and Matt's big test. Grace and Peace to you!

01 December 2010


Paisley is learning new words all of the time and I'm excited to say that one of her newest words is... Bible - thanks to Jennifer and her toddler class at church. She patted one of her books real sweet on Monday and said it. So cute! Bible is right up there with: up, cookie, plane, please, uh-huh (with emphatic no head shake), none (Danone yogurt here), gada (obrigada), tia (aunt), eye, aubry and of course (mama and daddy). Other new things lately are flooding our kitchen with our drinking water and turning the lights on and off. She loves to climb and she loves to spin. And she loves being held. She also loves healthy food - give her fruits and veggies over processed foods any day. All of her teeth are in now after a long two month battle with the last four. Now, after teething, grandma visits, and starting a new sitter, we are finally starting to retrain her to go to sleep on her own again. It's a tough battle because she has a very head strong personality but she and we are sleeping a little better at night now.

Aubry is growing just as fast. Aubry is learning night time potty training. She did great for a month, got her barbie girl bike, back tracked for a few weeks, and is now doing better (now that we're hopefully getting back our washing machine to keep up with sheet washing). Aubry has a big vocabulary and often cute pronunciations. Yesterday we went to the restrunk (restaurant). We saw a coptivator from the car window (helicopter). And we went to bed trying to melt the scary lobsters (monsters) with our flashlight. Aubry enjoys her ballet, capoeira, computer, and English classes at school. She takes care of all of her friends and prays for all of her school friends at night especially: Ana Julia, Marilu, Ester, and Pedro.

Both girls are blessings from God and continue to make us smile and laugh. May you be blessed as you read this. - Emm Vee

13 November 2010

Church At the Mabery House

We started church at the Mabery house at the end of October. We had 36 the first week and 47 the second. It's a good thing we love each other because it was a little tight in our living room. We turned the office into the kids' classroom, the carport into the toddler class, the veranda into the adult class, and the living/dining (and part of the veranda) into the auditorium.

More Halloween

Happy Halloween


Mary had an amazing time at the Continent Care Conference this year. The Continent Care team raised enough money for all the missionary women to attend the conference for free (you just had to get there). Part of the team was made up of professional counselors who were open to meeting with us during the week. It was good to be able to talk with someone (Becky Holton) in my heart language about all of the transitions in this past year. In the picture is Ali Kaiser (my roommate from ACU)... I got to see old friends (Debora), strengthen the bonds between my other wonderful teammates (Valerie and Jennifer), and make new friends with missionary women who are in similar life phases (Julie and Stacy). I know it was beneficial for all who went. Thank you Georgia, Becky, and all of the team who did their best to make us feel appreciated and cared for. May God continue to bless you as you richly bless others.

Grandma's Visit

Everyone had a great time with Grandma here. Mommy had to go out of town for five days to a conference and Grandma came to help Daddy take care of the girls. Grandma baked Halloween cookies with Aubry and read lots of books with Paisley. After Mommy got back from the CCC in Sao Paulo, Grandma, Mommy and Aubry went to see Peter Pan at the theater downtown. It's a beautiful theater and the modern version of Peter Pan was incredible. Aubry shouted "I believe in faries!" (in Portuguese of course) and the Pirates did a cool version of the Thriller Dance and the lost boys' rap was pretty impressive. All in all we had a great time with Grandma here and we are sure glad she came. Also, she brought lots of goodies we're still enjoying!

Matt Teaching Sunday School

Matt has been in charge of our adult Sunday School class for a while and I thought I would show you a picture of him in action.

Our Monkeys Are Getting Braver


Our friend Cleiton took us to a Vitoria soccer game one Sunday afternoon. He even got us red and black jerseys to wear. He is a die hard soccer fan as are most Brazilians. In our city you are either for Bahia or Vitoria (kinda like Auburn or Alabama). It was a great afternoon except that we didn't win. Please, be in prayer for Cleiton as he is coming around our church more lately.

Dinasours and Bumper Boats

Daddy and Uncle Randy took Aubry and Kelton to the Dinasour exibit. They had soooo much fun that Mommy was a little jealous she didn't get to go. But Mommy did get to take Aubry a couple of weeks later to the bumper boats inside one of the malls. Outside the mall Aubry had the best time seeing her shadow get bigger and smaller in the spotlight on the huge wall. I think she actually had more fun doing that than riding the boats! It's good to get the girls out to do special things every now and then!

Our Last Friendship Lunch in Our Boca do Rio Bldg

For our last friendship lunch of the year and the last one in our old building, we fed close to 120 people. It was a great turn-out not only by needy people but a great turn-out of our members and friends to help serve our community. Our friend Cleiton came to help us serve and he whitnessed one of the homeless men telling us, "Now if I can care as much about myself as you people care about me, maybe I can stay sober." We had an entire soccer team (the kids that play near our church) join our lunch that day as well. It was an exciting day but a little sad realizing that our benevolence ministry will have to change when we move.

Working Hard On Sunday School Crafts

Team Picture at the Castle

My Girls!

Aubry's Capoeira Class

Capoeira is a Brazilian fight dance that the kids learn in school starting at an early age - it's like their P.E. class. She loves it and is getting good at it - especially the round kick!

MyMy's Visit

MyMy and Holli had a great visit. We went to the turtle reserve, to the castle, to the beach, and lots of other fun places. It was great having MyMy here.