December 23, 2001
Time is getting away fast. We are at Fay's house for Christmas. Becky and Fay live about 10 min apart around the edge of town. The city is about 300,000 or so. These folks celebrate Christmas Christmas eve tonight. It starts around 9-10PM and lasts till the "last Indian drops," from what I understand. They have a preaching service led by the oldest man of the family, and then the eating starts.
I suppose they party so late because of the heat. Things cool down by 8PM, cool enough in this area to snuggest a long sleeve shirt.
The grandfather is the one who was the mayor, and a grandson is an aid to the present mayor. The grandfather seems like a good Christian man, Presbyterian. He is the one who expressed grave concern when Fay tried to go to the States just as an exchange student, but gave his blessing when he heard of Bettie.
The Presbyterian missionaries came in here and built a hospital many years ago. The children (& grandchildren) of the missionaries married Brazilians, and they are the doctors and people of importance. Sad to say, most of the children have lost the zeal their parents had, and are now serving the god of this world, money. And they have plenty of it. They would be rich even by American standards.
Bettie knows several of the doctors from their childhood together.
We went to a small church in Anapolis last night. Becky helped the young people put on a Christmas skit, and it was good. It was a "mime" where the young people dressed up as clowns. They mimed a big deal about Christmas toys, games and parties being worthless; the real Christmas is the cross of Christ. It sparked a message for me to use tonight.
Christina hit it off with one of the young ladies who played one of the clowns. She could speak some English.
The picture of the big family is in front of Becky's house. Two of the girls stayed with Bettie in VA 10 years ago. I hope I can remember to remind her to tell you all of how that came about.
I read in the Indianapolis Star (on the web) that it was 20 with a high expected around 26. The weather could not be more perfect here, as you can see by a couple of pictures (suffering for Jesus as I prepare to speak to the family tonight).
Our tickets came out of a special promotion by Delta in NY. The travel agent must, therefore, go through NY to see about a changed date. He has only a couple more days to work it out, Wed-Fri. So it looks like at this point, we will be flying out Jan 2. All good things much come to an end.
Tell all we said HI, and that we are glad we are not there to help you enjoy the weather. Though we do not miss the weather, we do miss the people.
Bro Need and Bettie