Friday, January 9, 2015

The Process of Saying Goodbye….

Sunday the 4th was like feeling numb and yet from time to time a nerve ending would shoot off some pain. It was so good to see everyone and feel loved by their presence during our church service. I got through most of it without crying until the people began to share, then I got teary.
The hardest to say good bye to are the ones I wanted to have more time with. Fortunately I was able to pull folks aside and share from my heart the things I had been wanting to share. It was a great lesson to me to not allow one day go by without being honest with someone or sharing an encouragement or compliment someone. Even when the person looks like they won't receive it. Make the time, it can change their direction.

Saying goodbye to our things was harder than I expected. Not that I am attached to stuff, but our home, things turned into a flea market. Everything free and come and get it. I had to leave and not watch. It only lasted for a few moments and then I was distracted by showing some of my special friends things I had set aside thinking of them. That was very special for both of us.

Our Maribel family stayed all day Sunday and one special friend, Lindalva and her son, Pataca told me that whatever we don't take, they will take care of it for us including the cleaning of the house. That was a huge relief as in the midst of a move, when your running behind is thee greatest gift you can give someone!!! I have been in that position 2 times. The first time we left our house to come to Brazil and this time when we left our house to move back to the States.  I can only have thankfulness in my heart that my Daddy in heaven plans further ahead than I do and has all the arrangements under control! No sweat!
Leaving Monday morning was amazing too. Everyone returned to see us off for the last time, help in any way and take pictures etc. We planned on leaving by 10am but we didn't rush as there were a few last minute things to explain, orientate and of course those last minute good byes that were so precious. We left around noon and it was a hard goodbye. I didn't think I would have any more tears after that good bye. But sure enough we pulled into Uruara' and I had more there.
All in all the good byes are hard, but necessary. We are 4 steps away from our flight to the US on the 26th. We have 4 more places to say good bye and cry. I pray I can hold up and be strong yet tender.

Thank you Lord for getting me through to this point!

Here are some pictures of our time so far. Blessings!

Jan 4th, Sunday Morning Service

Jan 5th, Packing up and many came to help see us off

My sweet Dayane who was so  hard to break through with! I got a victory but feel like God will do the rest without me!!!!! I taught her to make cake and gave her all the stuff I used to make birthdays an important event!

My sweet Josi and two of her littles. She is one of my daughters in the Lord. She loves worship and will assume leading the church! May the Lord use her to do far more!

All my ladies who I love to pieces!

Maribel Family

More Maribel Family and our kids' favorite friends

My Carlinha who is studying Child Development to minister to kids one day on a deeper, healing level!

Girls that grew up with Makenna and Maddy in Maribel. They are living in Uruara' now studying as their folks are building a house in the city.
Girl friends with Maddy from Uruara'
Precious Cibele who makes me laugh and has such a sweet spirit!

My sweet Leonice who always opens her heart to me and makes me feel right at home….wherever she lives!

Leonice's husband, Nelson and Clyde. We joke that they could pass as family. Nelson is from a German background and a wonderful cook, craftsman and a miracle who is still in process!

Leonice and Nelson's girls, who made life long friendships with Makenna and Maddy

Departing Thoughts From Our Girls….

We are on the final days of our nearly 11 years here in Brazil and it’s been one emotional roller coaster. At least for me.
I have been the one melting down more than anyone. On occasion, Clyde will too when he’s talking to folks about leaving. The kids are more resilient with their emotions. So far they look forward to being with family. I’m sure their “saudade” or missing folks will come on the other side.

I asked the girls to write an exit essay. I wanted to share it with you. They have given me their permission to share with you all. I think it is interesting their perspectives and thought you might enjoy it.
Here are excerpts from Makenna’s essay:

“I personally would not change one thing about how God has planned my life. I am so blessed and lucky to be able to have grown up between two cultures and two languages. Most kids my age do not get the experience I got. Ten years of hard work and planting seeds into peoples lives. Ten years away from the comforts of our own culture. Ten years of growing up learning the Word of God. I’m not going to let those seeds die, and I hope to come back and water them.”
“Maddy and I are survivors of dengue. In case you don’t know what dengue is, it is a virus carried by a mosquito that gives you red spots on your body, high fever, vomiting, headache, diarrhea, body pains, dizziness, nausea and a stabbing pain in your eye when you look to the side. You will even reject your favorite meal, drink and snack. It lasts for about two non-stop pain weeks. “
“Now, after three years of living in Maribel, the community has a church. Dad is training some of the members of the church to become leaders. We have been friends with everyone. Mom and I became experts on cooking from scratch, cleaning fish, and learning what to do with meat that was killed half an hour ago. In the community, if someone kills game, they share it with the village. If their is a birthday party and you invite a couple people, the whole village comes. Our family feels like we have a family here.”
“Through all my adventures, moving, and fellowship with the Brazilians, it will be impossible to forget where I was brought up. Being raised in two cultures will always be a part of me.”
“Even though we will be far from Brazil and our Brazilian family, I will cherish them and they will always be in my heart.”

Excerpts from Maddy’s essay:

“I have experienced so many adventures as a pastor’s kid and missionary kid. I’ve lived in Brazil for the past ten years. It has been the most awesome experience of my life, so far.
“We have lived among ribeirinho people for three years on the Iriri river. A ribeirinho is a person that lives on the river and lives off of fish and land animals. These ribeirinhos get their money by fishing, harvesting rubber or mining gold. They have manioc crops and they grow a lot of fruits and vegetables like bananas, sugar cane, squash, green onions and more. They are very hospitable and relaxed. Once, we were doing missions on the river and my dad caught a fish. They made a fire, barbecued our fish and let us sleep in their house. In the morning, the got fruit and made coffee and cuzcuz.

God has blessed me with many things, but most of all with being a missionary kid and pastor’s kid. He blessed me by placing our family in Brazil. I will miss many things and many people, but I won’t forget the experiences I had in Brazil.”

As a mom and homeschooling mom, my heart delighted in their thoughts and articulation. I know God will use this fundamental time to build their foundation and that their perspectives will be different than all their friends they will hang out with. My prayer is that they don't feel their experiences were invalid when the mob of influences come.

Thanks for reading! 

Friday, December 5, 2014

We are heading back to Maribel after a 2 week tour around the Amazon and Xingu visiting and saying our last good byes!
We had a wonderful time in Portel with Richie and Christie and their family! They lived and worked in Porto de Moz for years and we had the blessing of working with them for about 3 years. Our kids played together, did school together and we ministered together! They have started a new work in a region that is rough. We were blessed to see a few Brazilian go with them and leave their families in Porto de Moz to serve alongside!
We celebrated Maddy's 12th bday and enjoyed our last missionary reunion!
Mission kids jumping from the dock in Portel

Church on the Maranatha 3, the mission boat in Portel!

Maddy's 12th bday with homemade pizza!

Opening presents with the mission family

Elizeu  moved from Porto de Moz to help with the water filter project and the church plant. He and Nate were best buds when we lived in Porto de Moz!

Richie and Christie and their family with ours! Final goodbyes!
 We traveled to Porto de Moz to say our last goodbye's!!! It was a good time and we enjoyed seeing everyone there! Here are a few pics from our time there!

The Porto de Moz gang. Waldenilson, Waldni and Waldomiro…domino junkies!

Opening prayer to our lunch on the beach in Porto de Moz!

Our Porto de Moz Family!!!!

Sitting with my girls, all grown up and sharing some pearls of wisdom with them!!!!

Clyde shared at the church

Prayer time

Our warriors in Porto de Moz, Mario and his wife who are pastoring 

Our final good byes to Porto de Moz from the line boat!

Special friends that will last a lifetime! Rosi and Nazare! 
 Kelsie turned 40!!!!!
Clyde and I on a surprise birthday retreat!!!

I just had to take a picture with this capybara trash can!!! So cute!

So little time to post, but at least a few pics paint the words!
We took nearly every mode of transportation on this trip. Airplane, line boat, speed boat, ship, bus, and truck!!! It was a lot of travel, but so worth seeing everyone and feeling good about moving on.

Enjoy the Christmas season and bringing in 2015!! We look forward to sharing our last 30 days with you in January!
Love the Bergquist Family

Friday, November 14, 2014

It’s November and we are just 80 days or so away from getting on the plane to head back to what we called home 10+ years ago. 
I personally have felt many ups and downs during this process, but thank the Lord for allowing us plenty of time to process this change.
Nate working hard on math on the porch, away from the noise of the others in the living room.

Chelsea and Makenna working hard!

Maddy working on math, looks like Hannah already did her work and was playing outside.

 We have been on a good home-school schedule trying to get most subjects done by Christmas or at least by re-entry to the States. 

Church life...
Church life is going well. We are working with our leadership team to get them ready for walking on their own.

Chico and Nilza, our main leaders in Maribel 
Chico and Nilza will be/are the main leaders of the Maribel church. 

We had a gal come back to the Lord a few weeks ago. I have had a few conversations with her since and asked Nilza to start discipling her. It brings joy to see discipleship happening and watching folks grow as they learn to walk with Jesus and show the way to others.

Alem do Veu

It took nearly 18+ months to accomplish a panoramic study from the Bible, but we did it!!!! 
Our friends, Steve and Sonia Armour, missionaries currently in Natal, Brazil, have worked many years developing this bible study in Portuguese. We were blessed to visit them last year and give them an update on our group. With the crazy, unpredictable culture of river folks, they were awarded certificates of completion. Some gave testimony that it helped them gain more knowledge and understanding of the Word of God and as Chico mentioned, it is the most treasured thing we have, the Word of God.
Chico with his certificate

Nilza with her certificate

Our Maribel Alem do Veu Graduates


We have had lots of visitors from Altamira and Maraba last month. The Snell Family are the newest missionary family living in Maraba and it was a mission for them to come all the way out(nearly 1000km) to see the work and bless us with bringing our sweetest Brazilian friends, Monica and Ivanildo and their family. It was a great surprise that they could also bring their kids(our kids were super happy) and a miracle that they could get the time off of school to come! We took them on a 3 day trip up river to visit communities that we regularly visit. We had 3 people give their lives to Jesus. Ivanildo shared and it was like a knife cutting through butter. We have visited this community many times and never had one salvation. We just kept planting seeds of friendship and watered them along with sharing the Lord with them. The Lord gave us a great gift in seeing hearts respond to Jesus! We were kissed by the sun and many mosquitos during that trip and the kids all did well!
Prayer time was very fruitful!

Special time of prayer over the youth in the village

A last good bye to this family and neighbors from Sao Fransisco!

Catching fish and eating mangos on the way.

Nate and his best bud, Marcos. Their birthdays are just one day apart!

Maddy, Bruna and Makenna in one last embrace.

Load 'em up and move 'em out! Jen, Phil, Ivanildo and Monica all piled in with the kids and heading back to Maraba!
Thanks for the chocolate and s'mores, it was what the dr. ordered!!!!

Last weekend we had another missionary couple, Art and Cyndi Rae from Altamira come. They also brought a Brazilian couple we have known, to visit. They blessed us with lettuce, cheese, meat and watermelon!!!! It was a great treat!
We made homemade pizza with cheese in Maribel for the first time ever!!! Thanks Rae’s!
Cyndi Rae, Sheyla, Maddy and Makenna fixing up our pizzas in our kitchen in Maribel

Short and Sweet, praying before the Rae's and our friends before they head back to Altamira.

Art giving the Brazilian thumbs up! Thanks for coming guys!

We look ahead at travel for the next week or so. We are traveling up to Portel, where our co-laborers, Richie and Christie Bouthillier, who were in Porto de Moz, have started a new base much further up the river and onto the Amazon River. We will say our last good bye’s to them and a few of the Brazilians that moved there to help them plant a new church and work on the filter project there.
Maddy won "mustache" stickies from a treasure hunt!
Maddy surrounded by friends from Maribel

Maddy will celebrate her 12th birthday on Wednesday. The following day we will travel to Porto de Moz to see all our old gang, youth that are 6 yrs older now and some who have married and are starting families! It will also be our last good byes to them.
Our first visit to Porto de Moz in 2004. Lots of bbq's on this beach,  relationships built, baptisms and relaxing family days happened here.

Our first months in PdMoz, taking the kids for a walk! Richie and Christie had little ones too and it was great fun!

We appreciate your prayers this week as it will be emotional for us all saying good bye.
We plan to return to Brazil to visit but we just don’t know when we’ll see all of these folks, whom we love and will miss as they are all so spread out in the region we have lived these past years. 

We have learned a lot, been stretched a lot, humbled a lot, challenged a lot and so much more we probably won't even know the extent, but we have cherished every year here in Brazil. Thank you Jesus for your training and sending us to these wonderful people!

All for now…