Saturday, December 27, 2008


The Christmas play went without a hitch and all our hard work paid off. I am so thankful it is over and I can breath a sigh of relief. All of the children did an awesome job. We had many people there who do not normally come to church. Even some of the unsaved spouses were there. Thank the Lord! This is a direct answer to our prayers. Hopefully, this we increase the work here.
Afterward, we were good Baptists and had a food fellowship. That is one thing that Baptists in the US have in common with the Baptists here, we all like to eat. I made Bro. Mike's favorite cake (for his birthday) and the congregation loved it. They had never seen a RED cake before. (his favorite is Red Velvet Cake) Trying to explain that one in Portuguese took some doing. (how does it get red anyway) We all had a great time and good fellowship.
The kids loved the gift that I had made of a Bible coloring or activity book. (depending on the age of the child) Some got started on the activities right away. I am so thankful that God gave me the talent and ability to serve Him in this way. Only the experiences through which He has led me would have brought me to this place and this time to serve Him in this way. He has led me "for such a time as this" and I thank and praise Him for His leadership and guidance. More about how Christmas was this year later.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

Today, I completed the gift our congregation is giving to the children this year. It looks pretty good. I made a coloring/activity book for our kids. Coming up with the activities was something of a challenge, but also a lot of fun. I used Braille, Morse code and the Alberti cipher and came up with some nifty activities. For the younger children, I put together some coloring sheets and dot to dot activities.
They are doing so well in learning their parts. I think that the program will go well. Course this is the Christmas play we are talking about, you know the one where something always seems to go wrong. However, we are not doing this play for our glory but for the glory of God the Father. Pray that He will use it to reach someone that normally would not be reached. Our congregation has asked many people to attend, so this is an opportunity to reach some new people.
I have been very busy finishing Christmas projects and rehearsing our play. It is better to be busy for the Lord than stuck in a corner wasting talents, so I don't mind the business. Even serving God in "small" areas is better than no service at all. I am thankful that I am able to do the things that I can for my Lord.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lots of Happenings

Since my last post a lot of things have happened so let's see if I can catch you all up on the news from this part of the globe.
First, our Thanksgiving meal was great, the fellowship awesome and the food delicious. We had so many leftovers. (I still have bread in my freezer from the meal.) The next day, the ladies from our congregation had their Christmas get together. It was a lot of fun and the food was really good. (no leftovers though) the waiter was patient with us and even took some pictures for us.
Next, the play for Christmas is coming along. The children are learning their parts and they are doing a great job. I am directing the same play in two different churches so there are two groups of children. (Now if only I could remember what I was doing.) I was able to use my new piano and make recordings of all the songs so I don't have to be in two places at once. (Not an easy thing to do as all you moms know.) I am working on a special present for the kids. I can't say what because some of them read my blog. (Sorry you will just have to wait till Christmas.)
Lastly, do you remember my blog from September that mentioned my veranda had flooded. Weeeeelllll, it happened again, but because we had so much rain it came in my house through the drain spouts. I had water all over the kitchen and flowing down the front steps to my front door. I am so thankful that the Portuguese manner of construction calls for tile in every room. Can you imagine if it had been carpet. I am so thankful that nothing was ruined and only needed time to correct. (that and an unblocked drain so the veranda could go back to being a veranda and not a lake.) Oh well, ain't life fun. (Sorry mom for the ain't. I know you raised me to talk better than that, but it just seemed to fit. So please forgive me.) So that was how my week went. How was yours?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, I know I am a day late. However, some of the American missionaries here in Portugal are getting together today. Most of us have church on Thursday and we wanted a lot of time to fellowship. So, we are eating today and I am saying Happy Thanksgiving a day late. All of the ladies are bringing something to eat so no one person has the burden of cooking for all of us. There are about 22 people that are going to be there and that is a lot of food to make, and being Thanksgiving there are a lot of special things to make. I am making pies, bread, and stuffing. I am looking forward to the fellowship and good food. The pictures are blurry because it is so cold outside and the oven heated up the kitchen thus creating fog on the windows. I even did the dishes. My mom would be so proud. (see blog from September 26, 2008)
This year I have many things for which to be thankful. I thank God for my parents, who taught me to follow God. The fact that I am sitting in my kitchen in Portugal, for a little while there it felt as if I would never get to Portugal. I am glad that God does not go on our feelings but on His own time schedule. I am also thankful for my new niece. She is such a cutie. Also, I am thankful for the work God has given to me here. Most of all, I am thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I am thankful that He saved me when I don't deserve it and keeps me in His hand guiding me through this life.
On a lighter note, I am also thankful that I am living in a country that does not have Black Friday. I used to work retail and I am so thankful that I don't have to be in the stores. For all you that braved the traffic and crowds, my hat goes off to you. I am just glad that I don't have to deal with it.
Hope your Thanksgiving was filled with family and thankfulness.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Service for Children

This Sunday, I taught a flannel graph lesson to the congregation. The Pastor then preached about the same story. This was to show the parents what their children have been learning and what we do in class every Sunday. We also sang some of the songs that we sing in Sunday School and memorized a verse that went along with our lesson. I taught on Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego. Our memory verse was Daniel 3:18. Of course, it is in Portuguese but you get the idea. The English speakers had trouble with King Nebuchadnezzer's name in Portuguese. If you thought it was hard in English it is twice as hard in Portuguese. Nebucodonosor. We finally just called him Nab. This was much easier to say. I guess that will be one of the names I will be praciting a lot this next week. I want to be able to say it next time with no problems. As my mom says, "Practice makes good because only God is perfect." After services, several came and told me how they had enjoyed seeing what the children do in Sunday School. I just had fun teaching. I love the flannel graph set that my mom left for me and have put it to good use here. When I get pictures of the service, I will post them here. (I forgot my camera at home so have to get them from someone else.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Christmas is coming!!

I know I mentioned this just recently, but Christmas is rushing up on me this year. Maybe it is all the projects I have to complete or just me getting older (mom no laughing), but time is flying. Or am I just having fun and that is why it is flying? Anyway here are some pictures of what I have been up to. The children and I have been hard at work practicing a play for Christmas that is based on the story The Three Trees. This story has a clear presentation of the Gospel so I am praying that we can touch at least one person this Christmas.
Since Portugal does not celebrate Thanksgiving the Christmas decorations are already up in the stores and the Christmas merchandise and specials are showing up as well. They traditionally eat cod fish and potatoes on Christmas Eve right before midnight Mass. On Christmas day they eat suckling pig. I mention this because I want to know what they do where you are at. Please leave me a comment.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What God does He does well

The horse is prepared against the day of battle but safety is of the Lord. I know this seems a weird verse to quote but I see it as we can do all we can to keep safe but our safety does not depend on us. The same applies to who is President of the United States. Still I have to agree with the guest blogger at Portugal bound, We have a knucklehead for a President and we live in a post-logical society. (It is too logical for those who are like the people in Romans 1) While I love living in Portugal and enjoy the culture here, I disagree with their President. He said that having Obama for a President was the best thing the United States could do. They just mean that Obama would fit in better with the rest of the world leaders. I don't think he is right. Yes, Obama will fit in better with the world's leaders but who wants that, most of them hate the United States and that for which she stands. What I don't agrees with is that Obama was the best thing for the United States. However, I do know of Someone who is in control of everything and is working everything out according to His perfect plan (sometimes in spite of ourselves). If I did not believe that God controled the universe, I would just give up and find a small corner of the world in which to curl up and die. Since God is in control, I will just have to trust that My Heavenly Father knows everything. Though I can't see His design, I will walk each day as if I did trusting God to guide me all the way. President Obama, enjoy your time in office, just know that God is watching all you do and you must answer to Him.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Tori asked to see my knitting machine. Well, here it is without a project on it. (you won't get clues for my Christmas projects that easily) It has the capacity to knit up to 130 stitches in one row. I could add on more needles but I would have to buy the units. It is from Bond and is a really good machine. I use it for straight knitting to make my job a little easier. Wait till you see the results. You will have to wait till after Christmas though to see them.

Monday, October 27, 2008

This last Saturday we had a ladies fellowship for the ladies in the church in which we work. I just wanted to share some of the pictures with you as we had a blast. We ate at a small restaurant that serves Brazilian food. It was very good. We are going to be starting a ladies Bible study in January after all the holidays. A lot of our ladies are wives of unsaved husbands, so please pray for the salvation of their husbands. Nina will be teaching the study and I get the privilege of translating. In a way "I can't wait" is said tongue in cheek but in another it is said with all seriousness. I really am looking forward to having the opportunity of translating materials. Being able to share Christ and the victorious Christian life with someone else is like no other feeling on earth.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


For those of you in craft world, you probably are already deep into your Christmas projects. I am knitting most of mine (I am very thankful I have a knitting machine to speed up the process). I will be taking pictures as I go along and then after Christmas I will share them with you. (Some of you are the recipients of these gifts so NO I will not give you a hint.)
Christmas will be interesting this year. I am completely away from family this year. The Lord is so gracious to provide for us in the way of friends that are like family when no family is near. If you have a friend or maybe are away from family for the holidays this year yourself, think about who you can share your holiday with and whose life you can touch instead of dwelling on the fact that you are not near family. It helps your holidays to be brighter and will brighten some other person's holidays too. May your holidays be filled with the love of God.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

We have had such a busy week here in Portugal that I haven't shared my news. Last Saturday, (in fact right after I had posted my last blog) I heard the doorbell. My piano had arrived. I was soo excited that I just had to sit right down and play it right then. Here are pictures of it. Let me know what you think. As soon as I can I will try to get some music on the blog of me playing.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Wednesday night I had my first fire in my fireplace. The nights have been cooler and before real cold gets here I wanted to get some experience under my belt so to speak. So, I lit a fire and it went pretty well, as you can see. I didn't realize thought that it would leave a smell in my living room of fireplace. which isn't too bad since I burned eucalyptus wood. Now if I could find some pine, that would really leave a nice smell. If you have some pointers on building fires and keeping them going, please leave a comment as I would really appreciate the advice. Enjoy the fire, I sure did.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I have the cutest niece in the whole world. Of course, I am a wee bit prejudiced. My sister recently sent me some new photos of Sophia so I wanted to
share them with y'all. As you can see from the family photo, she looks like her daddy. I'm betting she will be a daddy's girl when she grows up (and a mommy's girl.) See if you agree with me that she is CUTE!!

She also has the long fingers of a musician (which would make me happy) or an artist(in which case she takes after her mom.) My sister is a good artist if you look at the family portrait you can see one of her paintings in the background.
Can't you tell that I love my family!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Prayerletter September 2008

September 2008

Dear Praying Friends,

It's a Girl! My niece was born early in the morning of July 27th. Her name is Sophia Ann Evans Bunch and she is a cutie. Of course, I may be a bit prejudiced, but my parents agree with me. The delivery went smoothly with no major problems. Thank you for all your prayers for her safe arrival.

My parents made it safely to Mozambique and are off and running. My mom led a ladies meeting soon after arriving and my father is busy with the institute classes. They have 15 students. They are in good health, but be in prayer for their water pump. It is broken and they have to carry their own water up three flights of steps.

In August, I was able to give the devotion at a baby shower. One of the members of the church I am working at had a baby boy. This was an exciting opportunity to teach in Portuguese. I have also been teaching Sunday school and playing for worship services. We have been studying through Genesis and have started on the life of Abraham. The hardest part for me is to remember the translated names of familiar Bible characters. For example, Isaac in Portuguese is Isaque. (I is said like our long E in English.) Not a large difference but enough for the children to be confused if I say it wrong. I am now getting ready for Christmas. I am directing the children's Christmas program so please pray that all will go well and that we will touch lives with the gospel.

My coworkers are doing well. Mike has been able to preach at least 5 times and has been involved in the mid-week services. Nina is doing better on her language studies. The three oldest girls are in school now and seem to be doing well. The girls have been learning Portuguese over the summer and are now putting it to the test. Pray for them, it is not easy to go to school in a language not your own.

Yours for the hearts of Portugal,

Dawne Hart

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Driving home from church this morning, I was nearly run down by a motorcycle. How can a car be run down by a motorcycle? When you are going at 120 kph and he flies by you going about 250 kph. That's how. My dad calls motorcyclists "organ donors" because there is so little protection on a motorcycle in case of accident. I, however, would call motorcyclists like the one I encountered this morning, "road kill looking for a place to happen." At that speed, there would be no organs left to donate. Why is it that people get so impatient when driving? In their normal day to day lives they are patient, but put them at the control of a motor vehicle and the impatience factor goes up. This seems to be a morbid topic but it is part of life here in Portugal. The drivers are so fast and careless that Portugal is one of the countries with the most deaths per Kilometer in the world. (For those of you who don't know a Kilometer is a little over half a mile.) I thought Houston was bad, but the drive from my house to Aveiro (about an hour and a half trip) on the highway is like driving in Houston traffic on roads like the highways in West Virginia, hilly and curvy. Portugal has some very lovely things about it but the traffic is not one of those.

Friday, September 26, 2008

My least favorite chore in the house is doing dishes. When I was younger, I put it off as long as I could. (Mom, stop laughing.) This last week was particularly bad as I was sick all week and put off some of my chores until I felt better. (Notice I did my laundry but the dishes got left. I would rather clean toilets than do dishes.) So I have made a deal with myself. I would run the dishwasher at least 2 times a week whether it was full or not. That way I don't get caught with a sink full and I don't have to be ashamed of myself. I do have proof that I did do the dishes but my camera has no battery at the moment. So, as soon as I can get them charged, I will proudly display proof for all you skeptics. ;)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I went out to hang my laundry yesterday and this greeted my eyes. What is that around your feet, Aurora? Well, we have had rain for the last two days and my veranda had a blocked drain. Oh Yummy! An inch of water on the front veranda.

So I unplugged the drain and here is the water running out.

My plants sure loved the rain. They were happy as two bugs in a rug. (I always wanted to say that.)

This is the view off my front veranda. This veranda is where my laundry lines are. There is nothing like "airing your clean laundry" in full view of the town. Happily, I have a little rack on which I put my underclothes, so at least those are not in full view of everyone.

Finally got my laundry up. The veranda dried out and today was lovely, so my laundry dried. Yea! Clean clothes. Just what every one wants right?

Now I just have to do all the other housework. Rats, I was looking forward to some downtime. Oh well, that's life, right? On to the next project.

Wow What a party?

Have you ever seen a town practically shut down for a religious festival? The village I live in just had their yearly festival for their patron saint, Our Lady of Relief. The town was full of people lining the streets to see the parade of saints. In front of each saint was a group of children or adults dressed like the saint's statue that would follow. For example, in front of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima would be little girls dressed to look like the statue.

would be little girls dressed to look like the statue.

The Portuguese take their festas seriously, as you can see. The road that is blocked off is one of the main connecting roads between Barcelos and Esposende. It is the equivalent of a state route. The children in the procession were at youngest 2-3 years old. It is sad to see the dedication given to such festas and know that they are starting to use more and more women in this parocial because not enough men attend church regularly. It is heart rending to also see the devotion given to ordinary people and carved blocks of wood and not to where it rightfully belongs, Jesus Christ. The Portuguese remind me of the Athenians who worshiped so many gods and dared not offend even one that they had an altar to the Unknown God. "Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry." Acts 17: 16 It is when we are faced with this display that we are reminded of why we are here in Portugal. As Paul said in Acts 17:23 "For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." These festas are repeated through out Portugal several times a year. My prayer is this that we might "be all things to all men that we might by all means save some." We have been placed in this village for a reason. It is our hope and goal that we might be able to touch these peoples lives with the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My First Ever Post

Wow, my first ever post. I am new to blogging. I have seen others and thought it was a good idea. This way I can share my thoughts with others and also events that happen in my day. In the following blogs I will try to share with you what Portugal is like and what it is like to back in the country in which you grew up.
This is a picture of me leaving for the field. I have since lost about 20 lbs. and I feel a lot healthier. Of course living in an apartment with 45 stairs leading to your door and no elevator will do that to you. Also, I eat a lot healthier here as well.
I have been busy with a local church my coworkers and I have been attending. They needed musicians and children's workers, so I have been helping out.
I have also been able to quiet some of the cravings I had for Portuguese delicacies while in school and on Deputation. There are only a few Portuguese communities in the States and I was near none of them. I have now had Farturas(kind of like a Portuguese churro for those familiar with Hispanic culture), and also a Bifana(a Portuguese sandwich with pork or beef) very yummy. You can only get these delicious item during a Festa. (And now all my family not in Portugal is drooling. Oh well.)
For those of you who know me as Dawne, Aurora is the name I use in Portugal. The Portuguese alphabet does not have a W in it and the sound that AW makes in English is not in thier language either, so we translated it when I was a teenager.