If you live anywhere besides Brazil, you may or may not have heard much about the devastating weather that thousands of people have had to weather here. Mainly in the state of Rio de Janeiro about 10 hours to the north of us, heavy rains at the beginning of this month brought about flooding and landslides. This in turn resulted in over 700 deaths (update Feb 5: 871), hundreds of others missing and 14,000 homeless. Click here to learn more and to see several photos of this, Brazil's worst natural disaster.
Flooding is common here in the southern half of Brazil, especially at this time of year which is the rainier season. These days we have had several thunderstorms, usually in the afternoon. Here in Curitiba when it gets very hot in the daytime it's almost guaranteed that there will be rain before a day or two goes by. Yesterday the temperature dropped at least 20 degrees in 2 1/2 hours. The electrical storm was fierce as thunder and lightning crackled and boomed right over our house! The electricity flickered off and on several times within just a few minutes. We always try to remember to unplug the computer, telephone and TV when these electrical storms start since it is not uncommon for these things to burn out.
We are grateful for the Lord's protection during these times, knowing that many people around us suffer with the devastating effects of the elements.
Jhonatann & Jéssica, a young couple from the Vitória church were united in marriage on January 8th. Here are some photos from the event. And, no, I did not misspell his name.
It began at midnight, right? After a service at church which finished around 10 p.m., Johnny and I went to a high spot nearby to see the fireworks "down below". Photos do not do justice to such a scene of having fireworks going off in front of, behind and beside us. I was a tad worried about the latter one...
Back home for a good 6 hours of sleep and then we joined some others at the house of one of our church families, Jacir and Lia, who invited several people to their home for almoço (noon meal).
We were invited to go there at 11:00 but we didn't sit down to eat until about 2. However, while we waited we enjoyed the fellowship and conversation. Johnny was challenged to a game of xadréz (Chess) by Lucas, the hosts' son. Can you guess who won? :)
Okay, now we're pretty hungry after waiting around for 3 hours. Let's eat!
After almoço the young people played Monopoly or, in Portuguese, translated as "millionaire bank".
Here are the 6 ladies that were there, most of whom have been my friends for several years...Evelyn, Patrícia, Ana, Lica, Lia and Lucimara with yours truly. This photo and the next are from Patrícia's camera.
Around 4:00 Max & Patrícia and their 3 children went with us to hold a short service in the nursing home. Lucas & Evelyn accompanied with their flute and clarinet. The residents always appreciate the people we bring to sing, play instruments or give testimonies.
Ten-yr-old Ana cheered the residents with her smile. Not as many attended this service since we went at a different hour of the day than usual but we trust that His Word will not return void.
But our day isn't done yet! When we returned home we continued working on making some Bible reading schedules which we're making to give to the church folk. On Sunday (today) 40 of these were given. We do pray that they will be used to encourage an increased reading of the Bible this year.