Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Moving Blogs

Well it's officially over! This will be my last blog on Brazil Bean Brewed! We have enjoyed our time in Brazil and will miss it a lot but God is definitely calling us to something new. We are now in the process of moving our family to Cuenca, Ecuador. To keep in contact with our family, you can check out our new blog "A Family on a Mission" at http://www.travisaliciasass.blogspot.com

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Saying Goodbye

As many people know by now our family has moved on from Brazil. It was a tough decision but we feel God is calling us to do something different. We feel confidant with the work that we did in Brazil and the relationships that we made with the Brazilians. We know that God will continue to grow those people we had an influence on and help them to begin reaching out to their friends and families. We know that God is working in Salvador and has many people to continue where we left off. Of course there is still three families from our team that will remain for many more years and will continue to work and encourage the church there. Please continue to pray for the people of Salvador, Brazil. Please also be in prayer for our family as we look to our future and what God has in store for us. We have now been in Canada since mid March and are enjoying our time with friends and family. It is good to have a break and re-energize for our future endeavors. This weekend we will be meeting with our sponsoring church and some of our supporters to talk about this future ministry. Please be praying for this time and for all that God will do through our family in the future.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Cestas Basicas and Gifts from Canada

This year for Christmas we were able to get 16 hampers of food for the poor with the help from many people in Canada, especially the Shelbourne Street Church of Christ. My sister, Mikaela, my sister Naomi and my Mom, Janice made stockings full of great things for the kids of the church and also my sister, Mikaela brought a bunch of extra things and used stuff as gifts for other church members. Everyone loved their gifts and were so excited to have received something from people back home and that someone thought of them during this time of year. The kids were so excited to receive toothbrushes, toys, little candies and so much more. Thank you to all who donated things and my family who made it possible for so many people to be blessed this Christmas. Also it was amazing to see how many families that we were able to bless with food hampers this year. Look on our flickr site for pictures of these families as our small group handed out these food hampers.

Mikaela Comes To Visit

Mikaela came to Brazil to visit us again. This time she came for Christmas so it was great to celebrate the holiday that we usually end up doing alone. It was great too as she brought tons of presents for the kids. She is helping us around the house as we get ready to pack up and leave Brazil. This week she is helping babysit for the missionary conference that is being held here. We are excited to have her here and to have her help as we get ready to leave.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Christmas Picnic

Every year we have had a church barbecue in celebration of Christmas and the birth of Christ. This year we held the party at the house of one of our members, Gabriels. It was great to meet in a new location, have a great place to eat lunch, swim and cook the meat. It is also is a great way to invite friends and family who don't know God to something a little more informal to get to know the members of our church. Please pray for those informal times that we have and that God will bless those relationships and that seeds will continue to grow in those peoples hearts. Thank you God for sending your son and letting us be able to celebrate His birth in this special way her in Salvador.

Children's Christmas Pageant

The past two years the kids have presented to the church a little story about the birth of Christ during Christmas holidays. This year we had a look at the birth through the eyes of the Inn Keeper and his family. The kids did a great work sharing the words of God through skit and songs. I even got to paint a few backgrounds and sew some of the costumes, it's fun for me to get a little creative once in awhile for something like the story of Christ's birth. We pray that you were able to see Christ's birth in a different light this year as we did through the children in the church. Merry Christmas!

English Christmas Pary

This was our last English party for the year 2009. In fact this may even be the last one for awhile as starting in the new year the missionaries will not be offering English. With our departure and new roles for the rest of the missionaries, they are taking a hold on this outreach. We pray though that this will continue again after a little break. It has been a great outreach for our church here. Travis will continue his class until we leave as the students want to continue. In fact, two of his students want to continue having the class to practice even without a native speaker. It is exciting to see how we can affect peoples lives in such a simple way. The party was great though as it was a chance to get together again and share in our lives. We even had one of the students dress up like Santa and let the kids ask for their gifts. It was great fun! Please pray for these students and for all the seeds that we have planted through this outreach, that God will continue to work through these people.

Lourdes is Baptized!

After returning from our survey trip to Ecuador, we were surprised to find out that our friend, Lourdes had decided to dedicate her life to Christ. We have been having our small group study at her house every other week for about two years now. It was great to see the fruit of God's work in her life and know that this decision will be a great stepping stone for her in other aspects of her life as well. Please pray for her and for her family as she begins walking the life that God always intended for her. Praise God for her new birth and the friendship that we have with her.

Survey Trip to Cuenca, Ecuador

As we are coming to the end of our time here in Brazil we look toward the future plans that God has for our family. We of course still want to be doing missions and have been called to spread the Good News to more people then the ones here in Salvador so we have been looking for new places in which we feel that we can be used. One of the places that we have decided to look was Cuenca, Ecuador. Travis worked as a missionary apprentice there 12 years ago, loved his time and still has a special place in his heart for the people he met there. We had been asked to return there before we made our decision to move to Brazil but at that time it wasn't really the best place for us to go. At this time though we felt that this could be a possible next place to serve God. So we decided to take a survey trip there. We had a great time! I finally got to meet some of the people that I had heard about and to see where Travis had spent some of his life. Things have changed in the 12 years since Travis lived there but the people were the same, open to hear God's word. Travis even had the opportunity to study and baptize a man named Don Vitor. We were able to visit the church in the city as well as a few churches in the surrounding area. It was great to see what kind of work we would be able to do if we go there. We haven't made a decision as of yet but are open to God's calling to Ecuador if that is best for our family. We also have other options for mission work and are looking at those possibilities as well. Please be in prayer for us as we make this life changing decision again to serve God on a foreign field, whether that will be in Ecuador or another location.

Ceara Turns Three

It's hard to believe how quickly time passes for kids but October has already come and gone leaving us behind a three year old. Was it only three years ago that we had a crying little baby in our arms. Wow has a lot changed with this little girl. She no longer is that tiny baby in our arms but a beautiful little girl with so much heart, lots of talent, many insights on life and soooooo much energy! She has an infectious laugh, wears her heart on her sleeve, cares so much for her brother and is our blessing from God. Praise God for the little girl that he has placed in our lives. Please pray for us as we continue to guide and love our first born little girl Ceara and that the next three plus years will be as great as the first three.

Rain Rain Go Away!

Every year we get a bad rain storm that ends up taking the homes of many Brazilians. It's hard to imagine this type of damage as we live in an apartment but this last rain we were able to see what this could be really like. As you walk down from our apartment there is a cement wall that surrounds a lot of land. This is what occurred to this cement wall after the rain. Now imagine what could happen if you happened to live in a small wooden shack or a house built out of someone else's garbage. Makes you think a little about how blessed we are that we live in nice stable houses. Next time you walk by a cement wall like this or have a nice little rain fall say a little prayer for the people that live in a home that may not be there the next day! I know that is what I will do.

Kids Day

In Brazil every October they have a special day to celebrate all the children. Our church has celebrated this for many years now. This year we did it again, held it on a Saturday and went out an invited all the neighborhood kids. It was a great success. As we waited for more of the kids to come we played with a great big parachute. It was great fun with hot dogs, face painting, trampolines, ball pits and so much more. In the end we handed out a little gift of school supplies in a pencil box with a symbol of ICOS. Everyone had a great time and we hope that many of the kids from the neighborhood with want to be a part of the things we do for kids within our church.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Calen Turns One!

It's hard to believe that time has past so quickly and to find August 27th roll around again marking Calen's first birthday. He is such a character, he's so funny, quiet (not at home), and full of joy. He is such a blessing to us, it's hard to believe he's one. He so smart and follows his sister everywhere. We are thankful to God for blessing us with our sweet little boy. To celebrate his birthday we decided to throw a big bash. To save on doing two separate parties we decided to throw two birthday's in one. So we celebrated Ceara's third birthday a few months early as well. We invited everyone that we knew and rented out our party room that they have in our apartment building. We decorated half of the room in a sport's theme for Calen and the other half in a princess theme for Ceara. All the boys got sweat bands to wear and the girls received crowns and wands. We also rented a trampoline (which was never empty) and played a few games where the players could win a prize. Everyone had a great time and loved the cakes that I especially made for them. Calen had three cakes in the shape of a soccer ball, basketball and football. Ceara had a two layer cake with princess figurines. It was good to have them all as every last piece was eaten, the leftovers were taken home by the boys who ran the trampoline. It was great to celebrate our kids births with all of our friends and Nana who came in time to celebrate too. It was a successful joint party and lots of fun. Please pray for our kids as they continue to grow and mature into children of God. And pray for us as parents as we continue to help our kids come to know God.

Nana Comes To Visit

We were happy to have Travis' mom, Carol come to visit us in the month of August. She came to help us celebrate Calen's first birthday as well as to just come and spend time with her grandchildren. It was a great time to spend with her and the kids loved every minute. It was nice as parents too, to be able to go out alone a few times and to have extra hands to help. This is one of the many things we miss being missionaries. We don't always have family around to help and to spend that special time with the kids. So we are thankful for Nana's visit and to spend some time with family again. We also look forward to my sister, Mikaela's visit at the end of the year. She will be around for about three months so we will have lots of help and lots of special time with her. We are so thankful for our families.


Exporural 26
Originally uploaded by Brazil Bean Brewed
One of the fun things that we get to do as missionaries is use special events around the city as a way to invite people out to share God's love with them. As we continue to share our lives with Fernando and Taisa and their daughter, Fernanda, we invited them to head to the Exporural. This was an expo for people who buy and sell farm animals and products. We thought it would be a good place to take the kids to see all sorts of farm animals and to spend some more quality time with our friends. The kids had a blast looking at the horses, sheep, pigs, chickens and so much more. They even had some puppy's which of course was Calen's favorite thing. It was neat to see different types of cows and the kind of sheep that the girls are standing by. It was also a special time to spend with our friends. Recently, Taisa got a new job so we do not get to spend as much time with them as they both work pretty late. Please pray for Taisa as she has expressed that this job is not very good and the people are hard to work with. Please pray that this job will be an opening for another better job, one that she really was hoping for when she applied. Continue to keep this family in your prayers as we continue to work here and share our lives with them.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Team Retreat

We spent three days as a team at the beach outside of the city. A time of relaxation for our family, away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the work with the church. This year has been quite different then past years as we have many more walking kids then in years past so some of the others thought it would be a good idea to hire two ladies to come and help us keep and eye on our kids. Mostly to help us keep the kids out of the pool in the yard and to give us adults a few moments to play games and not have to worry where the kids were. Here are all the kids with the ladies that came to help us. It was quite funny that even though we were around, the kids really loved the ladies and loved playing with them. It was a great time to relax and not think about the to-do lists that work brings to our lives.


VBS 2009 47
Originally uploaded by Brazil Bean Brewed
For five days in the beginning of July, Heather and I had planned a VBS for our church kids and the neighborhood. We did the VBS on the theme of creation and had 22 kids come throughout the week. We didn't get as big of a turnout as we hoped to but the volunteers we got from our church family was great. It was amazing to see these volunteers teach a lesson, help prepare the snacks, help with the crafts and so much more. Thank you for the prayers for this time and continue in prayer for the kids that did come, that they will want to continue to come on Sundays and learn more about God. And a special thanks to Heather who made most of the VBS happen.

Building Painter

Starting in January our apartment started some renovations, including painting the outside of the building. At the end of July they finally finished the painting. This is one of the many times the painter went by our balcony. He almost always would stop to talk with the kids. It was fun watching the kids marvel at how he hung there. Unfortunately, the renovations aren't complete but our apartment is starting to look a lot better.

Canada-July 4th Day

As a team tradition and because of the many nationalities we share as a team we gather together to celebrate three different holidays. Canada Day, July 4th and Bahian Independence Day. Really it's just an excuse to get together for burgers and all our fun foods that we miss. We just enjoy going for a swim, playing games and hanging out. It was a great time together just for fun.


This year for a week holiday we decided to make a trip with our Brazilian friends, Taisa and Fernando to her hometown of Brumado. We spent a week at Taisa's grandmother's house. She is 93 years old and taken care of by a maid. She is quite spirited still and had lots to tell us and sang a lot too. She just loved having our kids there and they loved entertaining her. We met many of Taisa's family that still live in the town, many lunches and dinners at their homes. As well as a few parties because of the holiday. Ceara loved throwing the firecrackers that are sort of like 'caps' back home. Our kids loved the house we were staying at and all the space they had to run around to play. It was hard coming back to our small two bedroom apartment after a week of freedom for the kids. It was nice to get out of the city though to the quiet streets and small town feeling after so long in a huge, noisy city. While we were there we had the chance to visit a little farm on the outskirts of the town. This picture is Ceara, Fernanda and a little girl that was visiting her family on the same farm. We got to see many fruits and vegetables growing on the farm. Saw a huge gourd that they use to make berimbaus, the musical instrument used during the capoeira dance. We also saw some cows, a horse and their little puppy which got great reviews from both of the kids. It was a great week with our friends and to get out of town for a bit.

Paisley Diana Mabery

Paisley Mabery 7
Originally uploaded by Brazil Bean Brewed
Matt and Mary's second baby, Paisley Diana Mabery has arrived. Born at 11:16 Salvador time on June 18th the day before Matt and Mary's 5th Anniversary. Weighing in at 8 lb. 6.5 oz. She is 19 2/3 inches. She is such a cute little girl and much like her big sister Aubry, who loves her a lot. Every time Ceara sees her she wants to hold her too. I think Ceara is good with babies, Calen loves Paisley as well. We call him her boyfriend as he is the closest to her in age. Calen would hold her if he could but I think we will stick to the baby dolls for right now. Please pray for the Mabery family as they adjust as a family of four.

Culto Unico

Every year the Churches of Christ in the city of Salvador get together for a Sunday service. This year we met in a school gymnasium. We gathered together for breakfast and then had a service with everyone that came. It was a great turn out as you can see. It was also good to see the people that we had become friends with during our first year here. We do not get to see them as often because we are busy working with our own church family now. So it is good to get together and see how our own congregations have changed and grown. Please continue to pray for all the churches here in the city and especially our own congregation as we reach out to those who have yet to know God.

Sao Joao

Every June, Bahia celebrates Sao Joao. It is a holiday that gives everyone in the city an excuse to fire off firecrackers, play loud country style music and stay up till late in the night. This year we were invited to a party outside of the city with Taisa and Fernando. Everyone dresses up in cowboy type clothing, this dress Ceara is wearing was one of the traditional girls dresses. We got to try all types of country dishes and throw firecrackers, watch Taisa and Fernando dance the forro (a square dancing type dance) and visit with some other friends. Another great time to spend with our friends and to see a bit of real Bahian culture.

Nanda's 6th Birthday Party

Our former neighbors, Taisa and Fernando have been a very important part of our life since moving into our new apartment building last year. We were again invited to their daughter's, Fernanda's 6th birthday party. Birthday's in Brazil are usually a big event meant for the whole family and many friends. This years theme for Fernanda was Barbie, everything gets decorated in the Barbie theme. This time Taisa and Fernando had the party at their new apartment. They hired a clown (who kept all the kids entertained) and a trampoline to get rid of the excess energy that all kids have. Ceara had a blast and Calen thought he could do everything the big kids did. It was a great time to hang out with Taisa and Fernando and to meet some more of their friends who have also become contacts for our church activities. Please pray for this family, their friendship and for all the friends we have made through this family.

LST - NHL Playoffs

One of the fun things that happened while the LST group was here were the times they all came over to watch the NHL playoffs. Travis' parents let us watch the games on their t.v. via the internet. So the guys were able to keep in touch with what was happening. Sarah of course was a great blessing to us. She stayed with us and our kids loved her. Here she is reading to both the kids. The best thing of course was watching the Pittsburgh Penguins win the Stanley Cup...at least it was Travis' highlight of the whole thing. So thanks LSTer's for some great times chatting and watching the NHL playoffs.

LST - Birthday Party

Every week the LST group has a party for the readers and for our church members to be able to help our church family make connections and friendships with the readers. This is so that once the LST group is gone there will be other connections made with the readers and hopefully gain some way of keeping in contact with these people. This party was all about birthdays...here they were playing the knot game. Where everyone grabs a hand of someone else and then they have to untangle themselves to form a circle. You can see Taisa (our former neighbor) next to Sarah who she read with. Please pray for the contacts we have made through the LST this year.

International Cake

Sorry that I am so behind on blogs but with being busy with LST and getting ready for VBS and a holiday, I have not had a lot of time to sit down and post my pictures and blog. I hope to be better at this now that I don't have as many things to do. This cake was my first attempt at a fondant icing that I found here in Brazil. My excuse to make a cake was for our small group party. We had it at the building where everyone from the small groups around the city got together to eat international foods. Hence my international looking cake. I think I did pretty good for the first time using fondant...plus everyone at the party seemed to like eating it. It was a great time of fellowship for all our small group members.

Two Tunics

Two Tunics 10
Originally uploaded by Brazil Bean Brewed
Our church had a special giveaway after a Sunday service. We called this 'Two Tunics' from the passage in the Bible that tells us to give away our other tunic. Well sometimes when you are looking around your house, you begin to realize that at times you have stuff that you never use or have too many of. So we had a giveaway where everyone in our church brought the things that they don't use anymore or have too many of. Then after service everyone was able to go look and find something that they needed or would use. We did word of mouth advertising as we wanted this to be something for our church family. To bless each other with the things that God has blessed us with. Of course we had more then our church family show up to receive a new (used) thing but it was great to get rid of our things and bless others with them. I am sure this will be something we do again but not for awhile.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

LST has Arrived

LST Arrives 12
Originally uploaded by Brazil Bean Brewed
Our Canadian LST team arrived this past week, the day after their arrival they hosted an information meeting. By the end of the night everyone had about 5 readers each. During this past week they have now gotten 50 plus readers and have been enjoying their time. I know there will be lots of more things to write about but please keep the team in your prayers as they study with people and for the people that they will be with, that God will open their hearts.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day 17
Originally uploaded by Brazil Bean Brewed
Andreia (also our new secretary) is giving her testimony about her mom and grandma and what they mean to her for Mother's Day. As well, Cibele also gave her testimony. It was a great change to have some Brazilians up there to share from their hearts what God has done through their Mother's. We also had a Mother's Day breakfast to celebrate the day.

When it Rains it Floods

Rain 3
Originally uploaded by Brazil Bean Brewed
Here in Brazil you have one saying, 'When it rains it floods.' And that is no exaggeration in the least. It is amazing what happens when you get rain in the city. This past month we have gotten all the downpours. One of these times we happened to be out doing errands. Let's just say traffic is at a standstill and it's hard to see. But this is what it looks like after the rain goes away. Here is the main street coming into our neighborhood. You can see in the distance the dirty creek that has come all the way to the top and more in just a few minutes of rain. This creek you can't usually see the water from here as there is very little. And all the cars have to drive through the huge puddles. The scary thing is not knowing if there is a pothole or not. With the rain also come potholes, so to make sure that people know they are there, people put in sticks or even huge palm branches. We have to say from experience it is nice to see a big palm branch in the road then to lose a tire from a pothole. The other thing is to hope that the puddle isn't high enough to flood out your engine...we have seen a few cars stuck in a huge puddle of water because of this problem. Of course this is just a small problem in comparison to the lives that are lost or the homes that are destroyed in the city. So many people live in an area of the city where their homes are barely standing on dirt. Every rain those people pray that it won't be the day they lose their home or even a family member. In comparison to our neighborhood river, I can't even imagine the change that happens in those neighborhoods. So please be in prayer for these families as this is the time of rain. And for our church family to be able to serve in times like these for families like these.


Maceio 11
Originally uploaded by Brazil Bean Brewed
Russ, Val, Jackson, our family, Heather, Tennyson and Diana, Veronica and Ana Carolina all made a trip to the city of Maceio, Alagoas for a Northern Church of Christ Conference. The trip there took 13 long hours (especially for the kids and drivers) on some really bad roads and some freshly paved roads with no lines in the dark and pouring rain. We finally made it to the camp at 11pm just to find another blip in the trip, men and women sleep seperate. What happens to the three couples that brought sheets to share? Well one gets the top and the other gets the bottom. And then all kids get to sleep with mom. So Val and I had all three kids on a few mattresses on the floor. Overall, that wasn't so bad and the kids cooperated. The theme for the week was "Just like Jesus" and everyone enjoyed hearing a few different speakers tell us more. Our group enjoyed the time we had there, got to know each other better, to know other Christians in the Northern part of Brazil and learn more about God. The trip home only took 8 hours and a much better experience, minus one wrong turn that took us only 20 km out of the way. We hope that this will not be the first trip for conferences like this and that next time we can get more people to go. Maybe though we'd fly and not drive..hahaha.

Easter Egg Hunt

Easter 2009 23
Originally uploaded by Brazil Bean Brewed
Our team got together on Easter Sunday to dye eggs. The kids enjoyed dying the eggs and of course of few of them tried to drink they dye. Of course we removed all clothing just incase they got the dye on them. After we dyed the eggs we ate Spaghetti and then hid the eggs. As they were already without clothes we decided to allow them to hunt naked. So this marked our first naked Easter egg hunt. They had tons of fun and were quite proud of finding the eggs. Thanks to Matt and Mary who hosted the fun.

ICOS 3rd Year Service

ICOS celebrated it's third year this past April and the children did a little thing for the church to help celebrate. They sang a new song and waved banners that they made in class to celebrate the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. As our church celebrated the new location of our building, the new people and the new promises of the future to come, it was great to see the kids bring something fun and new as well. Please pray for the new things that this year will bring to our church family here in Salvador.