It is hard to believe that it is already January 9th of 2012.
2011 was an eventful one for me and for my family. Looking back, there were so many blessings and I don't want to forget them. So here's a list of some of the good gifts we enjoyed in 2011....
1. I learned that I can run.
In August (I think) my sister in law invited us to run the St. Jude Half Marathon with her at the beginning of December. For some reason, I said "yes", and slowly but surely started training. I printed up this training schedule and stuck to it. I finished the half marathon in 2 hours and 23 minutes on December 3rd. Let me just say that if I can do it, anyone can do it. I have never, ever considered myself athletic and never thought I could run that far - but I did it. I think we are capable of so much more than we realize! I never thought I'd be writing that in 2011 I became a runner. Wow.
It's only in looking back that I can say that moving is a blessing. There was so much work involved in moving and it was quite stressful at the time. From being anxious about finding a new place to live to moving in and then cleaning out the stuff in our storage unit and previous house that wouldn't fit into the apartment..... it was a lot of work, and it took a while. But, looking back I can see God's hand in all of it. I love our new apartment. Granted, it's not my "dream house". But for our family, right now, it is perfect. The combination of size and location can't be beat. And, I'm a firm believer in making wherever you live your home. I already have a "honey-do" list for when we get back to Brazil and I look forward to sharing all about it on this blog.
3. New Ministry Opportunities
This year, we've gone through some financial setbacks in terms of support for our family to continue living and working in Porto Alegre. Again, another stressful situation that has turned out to be a blessing. In dealing with these setbacks, we've refined our mission goals and will be starting a Disciple Making Ministry when we return to Brazil. We are more excited about this than anything we've done in a long time. Again, you'll be hearing more about it in future blogs....
Another great ministry that was begun this year was introduced to us by Larry and Margaret Ann Bennett. It is a healing and spiritual warfare ministry. What a blessing that they were able to come to Brazil for 2 weeks to begin this ministry. I can safely say that Jesus has never been more real to me, and I am truly grateful for the open door of understanding and vision that this ministry has brought.