Happy Thanksgiving Friends.
Today I am thankful for you, my friends. I want to say a special thanks to all of you who throughout the past 3+ months have taken the time to send me emails. You will never truly know how encouraging those emails have been for me. Thank you also for those of you who have sent me letters and packages. Getting mail always makes for a great day, no matter what else occurred during that day. (however please don't try to send anything else my way because it wont get here before I leave)
I also thank you friends for your prayers. I have full confidence that many of you have been praying frequently for us, our safety, our ministry, and probably many other things. Thank you for bathing this experience in your prayers. And now as we are coming into the home stretch, only three weeks remaining in beautiful Brazil we will need your prayers all the more. We are already getting choked up at the thought of saying good-bye to our many friends here. How do you tell a 10 year old good-bye for real when you are so accustomed to saying I'll see you tomorrow or next week? How do you tell so many close friends and casual acquaintances in this place that we wont see each other again most likely until the throne room of God? My prayers now are that those we have been ministering with will come to see us as not-so-distant cousins that they will always be able to look back and fondly remember and know that someday we will get to romp around again and create wonderful adventures. Because we all are in fact family. The children we have become so close to are our brothers and sisters in Christ with equally strong bonds as any blood family could ever be. I hope you will realize that these new friends I have in Brazil and that I write stories about are also your brothers and sisters. I'm sorry you may not have the opportunity to meet them face to face but they are still your family too.
On this Thanksgiving, as anticlimactic as it is in a country that obviously doesn't recognize this holiday, I am thankful for the opportunity to meet this part of my family in Brazil. I am so thankful to have met this extension of the body of Christ. I am thankful to see the movement of the Spirit in this place. I am thankful for being part of a family that isn't bound by nationality, ethnicity, sex, income, occupation, time, or distance. I hope on this Thanksgiving day you too will remember your extended family and brothers and sisters that may currently be unknown to you but that live all over the world in all conditions imaginable.
I pray for you also. I love you and miss you. I will be coming home to you soon. We fly out of Rio at 11:55pm December 15th. So I'll be back to Texas on December 16th and back to Chicago-land December 31st-ish.
Deus te abençoe (God bless you),