Monday, October 27, 2008

Pastor Thyago.... and a gift for YOU!

I bet you were you wondering if we actually made it back safely, weren't you? Did you worry that we might want to stay in Brazil, enjoying the warm ocean and the even warmer people?

Well, we are finally home again after a busy but fun time in Brazil. All the meetings are over and the delegates have gone back to their respective countries. They came from all over, from Europe, North America and South America, to sit together and discuss the issues confronting this new federation of reformed churches in Brazil. Much counsel and advice was offered each day again. Financial support issues were dealt with as well, in an attempt to aid this fledgling church in it's growth here in a country where poverty and the absence of family values is the norm. The big guy and I were very honored to be able to participate in a small way. But time away from home has also filled us with renewed appreciation for our own church and family here in Canada!

I thought that this week, just for fun, I would dedicate the next few posts to giving a little bit of an idea of what life is like in Brazil......from my North American perspective, of course. But, in order to make it just a little more fun, I decided to bring home a small, handmade gift from Brazil to give away to one special person who reads my blog.......and that person could be you! But, before I tell you too much more about this little give away, let me introduce you to a very special Brazilian Pastor......

This is Pastor Thyago. He's about 26 years old (sorry, I don't remember exactly how old he is) and single. He has been a minister of God's word for a couple of years now.Pastor Thyago grew up in the small town of Maragogi, Brazil.

Here are is Mom, Elizabete and Dad, Moises. Bete works for the city and Moises is the principal of our christian school in Brazil.

This is a photo of Thacianne, Pastor Thyago's sister and Joao Guilermes, Pastor Thyago's nephew.

Pastor Thyago works as a missionary, called by his home town church of Maragogi and supported by funds from North American sister churches. This is Pastor Thyago's home in Barra Grande. He lives right beside the church in that town. They just celebrated their 7 th anniversary in Barra Grande and Pastor Thyago, along with the members of the church, made a grand party of the event. There was enough baking and goodies to serve an army!

This is a picture of some of Pastor Thyago's colleagues in Brazil. Each one of these fellows has a most interesting story to tell, for example, the new Pastor from Cabo Frio who has just joined the Brazilian Reformed Church federation along with his entire congregation. He's standing in the back row with a beige shirt, looking like the flash of my camera is a little overwhelming. Actually, he has lost his sight in one eye and is struggling with a severe infection in his other eye but he was so very excited to show us pictures of his congregation and tell us the story of how they first heard the story of "Salvation by Grace alone". He showed us photos of his youngest son who suffered a mysterious illness for the first 5 years of his life, in and out of hospital on a regular basis until just a year or so ago. He was deeply grateful for having heard about the Reformed faith via Pastor Ken Wieske and then, receiving financial assistance from Mission Aid (in Canada) finally finding the cause of his son's illness which turned out to be a severe auto immune deficiency. Now, not only is his little boy healthy and well but his congregation is thriving under the exciting news of the gospel! And, he was excited about the amazing food the ladies from the church provided all the delegates every day the meetings lasted :)

Here's another picture of Pastor Thyago's nephew, Joao Guilermes taking a bath. I just can't resist a baby taking a bath, can you? Here's a picture of Uncle Thyago performing the first baptism of his career.......baptizing his nephew, Joao Guilermes!

This is the congregation of Maragogi, the church where Pastor Thyago grew up. He preaches and teaches here along with the other pastors, elders and deacons who work very hard to build up the brothers and sisters in these small congregations.

One night, after doing a bible study at a small outlying town, the Big Guy and I invited Pastor Thyago and his family out for supper at our favorite restaurant along the beach. Caiuas Restaurant is a lovely rustic restaurant that serves 5 star dishes while the patrons sit right inside the kitchen where the food is prepared, enjoying the sights and smells of the ocean and the cooking all mixed into one. Moises looks like he's running out of steam but.......Thyago made sure to finish off all the leftover's. Good thing he was there because the rest of us couldn't eat another bite!

On another night, while the Big Guy and I were walking back to our hotel on the beach, we happened upon this crowd, singing in the city square. Actually, they weren't singing when we arrived and they wouldn't sing for us when we asked them to, but they insisted they were practicing some Genevan tunes in 2 voices. Pastor Thyago is right in the middle of the whole crowd, laughing and teasing in his endearingly shy way. What a joy to see this young man be such a blessing to so many in his home town! If you get a chance, you should drop him a note of support. You can email him at

Ok, now for a little bit more information on the gift I brought home for YOU! In North Eastern Brazil, there is a very special form of lace making that is done by hand, the old fashioned way. I got this quote from the Fatima Rendas website, describing this fabulous craft: "Renaissance Lace is made with a common sewing needle such as the ones used to sew buttons, together with very fine thread. This beautiful and delicate Art has been a part of the Xavier Mergulhão family for many generations, where the Love and Respect for this work and tradition is instilled from an early age. " For the next week, everyone who leaves me a note will have their name put into a jar. On Saturday I will pull one name out of the jar and that lucky person will receive this beautiful decorative hand towel with hand made lace from Recife, Brazil. Your little gift is wrapped and ready to send, so just drop me a note and enjoy the fun :)


15 Responses to “Pastor Thyago.... and a gift for YOU!”

Chandra said...

Great post, Tamara! I was not sure what the last picture was at first, siince there's no explanation, but I'm thinking now that it might be the saleslady wrapping your towel purchase??

Oh, and great way to find out who all is reading your blog! :o)

momofcrt said...

I read your blogs regularly. I love how you write.
I find it amazing how different life in Brazil is from us here. I'd love to take a trip there some day.

antigoni said...

You met so beautiful and important people all the way to your trip in Brasil. Beautiful and unique moments.

Nancy-Mom said...

Glad to hear you had a great and fulfilling time in Brazul and arrived back safely again.
We're headed out to the coast today for an MS clinic appointment in Vancouver tomorrow. I'm hoping we can actually stop by and say hi this time ass we plan to stay till saturday.

The Berry's Patch said...

What a great story. I haven't read many stories about Brazil.

I love the first picture in the post. That's a keeper. :-)

bmvanassen said...

I still enjoy reading your posts and it became especially interesting when I learned you were heading to Brazil. Did you meet up with our good friends, the Vanspronsens? Neat way to make lace! Martine

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the very interesting post, it was great to hear about life in Brazil, and what all goes on there. I used to love hearing stories from Mr.Nap in elementary school. Thanks again.

Nola @ the Alamo said...

I loved your blog, especially the first photo,underwater! How original and romantic!

marina said...

Your first photo is...beautiful and tender! So lucky to travel with your hubby like a second honeymoon.
You know how much I like sewing and knitting and I was very surpised to see that they make this kind of work like some women in Greece. It's a small world, isn't it?

Rosa said...

I LOVE the picture of you and the Big Guy!
Glad you're home! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, It's Vicky...delurking here. I have enjoyed reading your post for several months now. I really enjoy seeing what you are doing at your warehouse and what plants you are preparing for seasonal sales. Sooo interesting. Your comments on your trip to Brazil are very interesting,too. I've always wanted to visit Brazil. Now I feel like I sort of did. Thanks.

Wes Bredenhof said...

Thanks for sharing this. I look forward to seeing and reading more about your time down south.

Mom in the north said...

Glad to see you made it back safe, and THANK YOU for the photos - they make your stories more alive than ever. Keep up the good work!

Enid Luiten said...

I can't imagine using that beautiful towel to wash my hands... it is gorgeous! Nice post, Tamara!

Rue said...

Is there still time?! Am I too late???? I hope not, because I would love to have that towel :)

What a great group of people they are and it looks like you had a lot of fun too!

off to read what else I've missed.....