Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It has been quite a while since I sat in front of this computer to add a new post to this blog! 
So much has happened since my last post, I don't know where to pick up again...
Mario and I are in the States right now. Actually on our last stop, which is Los Angeles. Since April 16th we have been in New York/ New Jersey, Chicago, Seattle, San Diego and finally L.A.
Each place has been filled with wonderful new experiences (especially for Mario, since this is his first time in the US). We have been visiting churches, visiting friends, making New friends, eating here, eating and eating and now we are in our last two weeks of this 45 day experience! 
We can't thank God enough for how He has honored us through the amazing people we have meet along the way.
We will cherish these memories forever!...
These were are wonderful hosts in New Jersey, Bruce and Vickie Ciotta (my sister-in-laws' parents). We had a wonderful time with them and in downtown New York! 
Mario playing wii at the Ciotta's home...bowling! wuuhoo!
Our next stop was Chicago, where we spent two weeks visiting 3 different churches in Winnetka, Walnut and a small group from Willow Creek Church. We had a great time at each place and we very blessed to revisit friends and meet new ones. 
 This is our host family in Winnetka, the Fosters
This is Winnetka Bible Church. This church has supported my parents for over 20 years! In 1995 we spent 6 months living in the apartments for missionaries and I was involved in the youth group, sunday school and many visits to supporters.
These are wonderful friends and supporters, Robert and Gini Damond, who have known my family for many years. Last time I was in the states they took me out to eat pie, and on this visit they got to meet my wonderful husband!
Lake Michigan, Mario could not believe it is a lake!
Below is a shot of one of our many walks through downtown Chicago. Here is Mario with our new friends from the Willow Creek small group we went to the day before. Dave and his girlfriend...
This is our awesome host family, long time family friends Kirsten and Lee Johnston! We love you guys!
Below is a picture of Walnut Community Church where we also had the privalege of speaking.
speaking at the youth group at Walnut Community in Walnut, Ilinois...
Here is us speaking to another youth group  at "The people's Church" in Pricetown, Ilinois
This is my good friend Hannah who just has an amazing heart...we had a great time together...and she also did a beautiful job with my hair (she is a talented hair dresser!)
These are some teenagers who became Christians through a Bible study in Johnston's home one night. It was so cool! God's word never fails!
Kirsten also took us downtown to visit the Chicago YWAM base and Jesus People...
Here is us in front of YWAM is Chicago:
We were just in time for lunch...everyone eating together, just like we do at our base back home!!
A precious little girl I meet at YWAM from North Korea!
After saying goodbye to our dear friends in Chicago we were off to Seattle, WA where we had a one- week orientation with Action International Ministries.I had been through the orientation in 2004 when I joined ACTION as a single, but we decided to attend this time as a married couple.  Below is the Action office and the other participants who were joining Action to be full-time missionaries in several places in Africa, Asia and Brazil.
This is a picture of our whole Action International Ministries orientation group:
We also had a nice time seeing some of the Seattle sights on our day off...
We had a wonderful week meeting with our fellow missionaries and  all the staff at ACTION. We were greatly encouraged at how much it felt like we were among familly because of how they truly cared for us, prayed for us and knew about our ministry. It was hard to say good-bye, but on May 9th we were ready for our next stop...
Valley Center, CALIFORNIA
We stayed in the home of Luis and Diana. They treated us like their own children and we had an immediate bond. It was a wonderful time!
The picture above is Valley Center Community Church where we spoke and shared about our ministry in Brazil and Africa
It was also wonderful to have my dear friends Kristine and James (above) and my old room-mate Cherollyne come to Valley Center to support us as we spoke and spend time with us. Thank you guys!!! We love you!
Our last and final stop was Los Angeles...where we finally got to stay with my brother and his wife Krista!
This is where we finally had some "down time" just to have fun and rest before going back to Brazil.
I couldn't miss taking Mario to see Azusa Pacific University where I went to to school...
I was so excited when I went to the International office and saw Mary Grams and Yuriko who were such important people in my life during college and continue to be in touch...
I was so glad they were able to meet Mario!
And of course we couldn't pass up the opportunity to go to Disneyland! We are so grateful to the Lord because as we give our lives to Him in ministry, He is so increadibly generous to us with moments we will remember forever!
and I couldn't resist the cute goats at the petting zoo!...
and the beautiful flowers!...
Anyway...these are just a few of the many, many pictures representing the amazing times we had in the States. God has been incredibly generous to us and we are so grateful!