Sunday, August 28, 2011

An Unwelcome Interruption

I've often counted cancer as one of my least favorite words. Now I have a new one.


Mom's cancer has found a new home in her sternum. We're praying that three weeks of radiation will knock it out, for a while at least.

For now, we're learning to enjoy our moments together. My youngest has already been over to put a puzzle together with her grandma. So many have sent hugs and cards and love.

If you want more details, check my dad's blog "millstones" in the right hand column.

If you want to help, prayers are certainly appreciated, as are hand-written cards and chocolate. (You can contact me if you need her address.)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Too Many to Love

More than 10 million people live side-by-side in the Rio/Niteroi Bay area, sometimes peacefully, sometimes not.

10 million. I can't even imagine it.

In a world where numbers like 700 billion and 10 trillion are thrown around, 10 million seems like such a small number. But not when you're talking about people, each one an individual with his own problems, concerns, joys.

How can you love so many?

The Roberts live at street level a few streets off Icarai Beach. The city is at the doorstep, often on their doorstep and inside their house. A steady flow of visitors comes in and out and, even when no one is visiting in the house, they shout comments and conversation over the walls from street to courtyard.

They chastise Pedro, reminding him that his parents want to see him back in church. They offer an area rug that they can't use in their new place to a neighbor. She insists on wiping down their new closets in return. They chat with the fruit seller, looking at pictures of his baby girl, then carry on their conversation with the bread seller, the street sweeper, the taxi driver.

How can you love 10 million people? You do it the way these missionaries are doing it--one person at a time.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

All You Can Eat... and more

Brazil seems to be the mecca of all you can eat dining and last night we experienced the pinnacle.

At Verdanna Grill, there's an extensive salad, seafood and sushi bar. But that's not what people come here for.

They come for the MEAT.

All you have to do is sit at your table and wait for the food to come to you. Waiters walk around with huge skewers of meat, offering their fare at each table.

See something you like? With the nod of your head, it's yours.

To the best of my memory, we ate:

  • filet mignon
  • filet with cheese
  • sausages
  • beef hump
  • pork
  • capybara
  • quail
  • chicken
  • turkey
  • bacon
  • pork belly and skin
  • rib eye
  • shrimp
  • chicken hearts
It was extraordinary amount of food with an extraordinary family. I couldn't help thinking how much my dad and Ben's dad would have loved the meal. Wish they were here!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The bay is only a twenty minute walk through the park, past the shopping district and to the sand. The temperature drops from 82 to 75 as the sun sinks behind a nearby ridge. The city comes alive at sunset when individuals and family take to the streets. You are never truly alone here. The sounds and sights and smells of the people wrap around you like a protective blanket. Across the bay, the Jesus statue spreads his giant white arms over the ten million people. He knows them all by name and loves them, each one more than the next.

The Roberts are at home here, happy to be a part of the neighborhood they are ministering to, opening their home to foreign visitors and next door neighbors, being God in the flesh to those around them.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Let the Good Times Roll

You can keep your whiskers on kittens and cream colored ponies. Here are a few of my favorite things, all rolled up in an evening of fun.

1. learning about new cultures
2. trying new foods
3. learning new skills
4. hanging out with friends
5. good conversation
Thanks to Joan, a friend from Hong Kong, for opening her home and doing all the prep work to teach a small group of us how to roll our own sushi. All I need is the sushi mat and I'm ready to branch out on my own.

Next party--how to make pad Thai.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Up On the Rooftop

The trails around here seem so far away compared to where I grew up, but I must remind myself that an hour and a half in the car is worth the payoff.

If I'd stayed home today, I would have had a great view of the inside of the dishwasher, the washing machine, and the toilets.

This view from the eastern side of Mount Saint Helens doesn't even compare. Add to that the company of my loving husband, my in-a-good-mood daughter and a passel of teenagers and I'd say it was a perfect day to enjoy the great and vast outdoors.

God is good. All the time.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Prayers, Please

Mary Poppins had all kinds of advice, but the bit that sticks in my head this morning is that there's a word you can say when you have nothing to say.

It's Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.


I don't feel any different.

Maybe I should go with Maria's advice in the Sound of Music and sing about my favorite things.

Or maybe I should do what the apostle Paul and so many others have done through the centuries and ask the saints to lift up prayers of intercession.

Mom has uterine cancer. She's having surgery this morning to remove a bunch of stuff she never thought she'd live without and the one thing she'd rather not live with. I'll head down to the hospital soon to sit with Dad, and probably a crowd of church ladies, while Mom's in surgery.

Prayers, please?