Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Things are moving right along here in Portugal. Our days are full of language classes, left-over schoolwork & attempts to minister in Portuguese. Sometimes these attempts go over better than others, but we are trying nonetheless.

Michael has held devotions in Portuguese twice and will be preaching in Portuguese for the first time at the end of August. His anticipation grows with each passing day, then is replaced with fear and apprehension. He does very well and is encouraged by the kind comments he gets from those present at the church services where we have had the privilege to attend the last few months. Last night we had dinner with the Pastor and his wife. We spoke only Portuguese and managed to have a delightful time and a delicious meal. We left their house about midnight exhausted, but encouraged in what God is doing here in northern Portugal.

Brooklyn has been invited to eat supper with her friend tonight. This same friend, Ines ate supper with us last week. It was a spur of the moment kind of thing. We have this Portuguese girl in our home, supper is ready and I don't want to say,"Go Home", so we invite her to stay. She eagerly runs home to ask permission and her mom actually said yes! So she ran back, we put another place setting at the table and she ate grilled salmon, mashed potatoes and bread. She tried my green beans, but very discreetly spit them back out. Michael, trying to make conversation with her, asked her what her favorite meat was. She responded, lingua de boi (beef tongue). So....I'm not going to tell Brooklyn this! She (Brooklyn) got the "talk". We told her that she is making our first impression on this family and that this is her opportunity to "minister". She took that challenge with enthusiasm promising to eat what was offered her and to use her best manners. I'll let you know how it all turns out!

My birthday is around the corner and my husband has been faithful to remind me I'm now in my mid thirties. My kids do the same. However, with my finding a new gray hair everyday (sometimes several of them) and with the way my body feels when I get out of bed, no one needs to remind me. Just remember this...if you knew me when I was a kid and your thinking..."Boy, she's getting old." ----You're still older than me!


Danielle Pelkey said...

Nina, I just caught up on the past few blogs that you left. I thought the one on Mrs. Lora is absolutely accurate. She is a wonderful woman! Michael's blog on being a father of a son made me want to keep trying until we have a boy too, I sure hope it's the next born then ;)
Your blog on things going along so smoothly is great to hear. I'm so happy that you guys are catching on to the language. Does Brooklyn catch on quicker than you? I can imagine with her brain power she just soaks it all in. I love you guys and I've thought a lot about you the past few days. I'm just so emotional!!! Okay, I'm just gonna send you an email, because I have way too much to write :)

Starla said...

I'm glad to hear that things are going well. Um, beef tongue; well I would probably try it. I have eaten octopus before. I like strange things like that. Don't worry about the gray hair, I am 25 years old and my mom is always mentioning that I have a gray hair here or there.

Tori said...

I remember those days of tiring listening. I remember leaving a Croat's home and being exhausted from trying to understand and respond.
On day, it'll click in and you'll understand it all and it'll make sense. Your doing wonderful if your husband is already going to preach in the language, he must be learning at light year speed. That's wonderful!

So what was so funny in the photo of you in the market?

Oh yea and happy early birthday! I remember turning 30 but only vaguely! On my next birthday I'll be 36!!, I don't actually remember any of my 30s if flew by so fast.

Fr one of our dinners at church we had cow tongue salad, bleck!!!

Have a great Hunpday!

Anna Ruwersma said...

I had a little friend like that as well. She offered me snails, pigs ears, and cow's stomach. I think when you are young things just slide down better. What an adventure I'll never forget. I can't wait to hear how it goes for her!

Nina in Portugal said...

Tori, I think i was laughing at a pair of shorts I picked up that reminded me of "Jams". Do you remember those? I think I was in the sixth grade when they were popular!! Anywho...folks are wearing them again...at least here they are!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful joy to have a new friend. Ines will be the best tutor Brooklyn has.

Nina, you are in the most wonderful time of your life. Birthdays are God's way of confirming His will to us that we have a purpose to continue in His great plan. I am so thankful for the mother you are to my grandchildren. Enjoy every moment because it will nourish your soul in years to come.

I love you, Janice

Anonymous said...

The girls are beautiful in their new clothes. They will be excited to begin school looking like that!

Please let Brooklyn know that beef tongue is actually delicious. Grandma (my mom) prepared it when I was about Brooklyn's age. A non-english speaking hispanic friend of hers, who used her son as translator, taught Grandma how to prepare it. At that time I learned that a 'cow part' is a 'cow part' and all in God's blessing of variety!

Yes, it soon will be time for you to turn deeper into your 30's, and I am one of those that look back on your younger years with thankfulness....that we have you in our life, that we could watch you grow up with Steve, that we could see your mom survive the teen years, and most especially that you are today the beautiful woman of God that you are.

I love you, gray hair and all. :-)