For us and for most Brazilians the month of January is vacation time. We are off of school until Feb 1st. This holiday season was super busy and exciting for Lindsay and I. We had been preparing for the arrival of Lindsay's parents since the beginning of December. They arrived on December 30th but before they came we had another visitor come from Tennessee. His name was Ben and at the time we did not know Ben at all. He is a friend of a former Word of Life student that was part of Tele's home group when Tele was still involved with Word of Life. Tati (the Word of Life student) was visiting her parents in the near by region and had invited Ben to come see Brazil. We picked Ben up at the airport on Christmas day. We held up a homemade sign with just his first name on it because we never heard what his last name was. Every single guy we say we would say to ourselves, "Maybe that is Ben". Then that guy would come out and head right towards the arms of a women. Some of the other people we thought were Ben would pick up their child that we couldn't see through the baggage claim door. But, finally Ben came out looked at our silly homemade sign and greeted us.
Ben turned out to be a wonderful guy that happened to have an allergy to gluten. Being a person that can eat all of the wheat products I want I did not realize that the US does not label any food items with gluten free or contains gluten. But, Brazil does label absolutely everything with a label saying does not contain gluten. Even the water here has it written on the bottle. Needless to say this made Ben's trip just amazing. Ben also really enjoyed the Manioc root here because they make it almost just like a flour. So he yet again was able to taste a wheat like substance without the fear of getting sick. It was a great time getting to know Ben and seeing his joy for the food in Brazil. He used to be a professional chef until having the allergy to gluten became too difficult for him. So, he really respected food and knew a lot about food preparation.
The day we took Ben to the airport to leave was also the same day we picked up Lindsay's parents. Ben was going to be able to meet Lindsay's parents until they had a 5 hour layover in Salvador (the town right before they came to Recife). But as it turned out about 30 minutes after we said goodbye to Ben, we said hello to Lindsay's parents, Jim and Jan.
Now we are spending time being tour guides for Jim and Jan. It has been wonderful having them stay with us. On December 31st we had Christmas part 2 and opened gifts sent from the US for us. We also were celebrating our 6 year anniversary and of course New Years Eve. I (Jeff) am getting even more confident about driving here and finding my way around Recife, mostly thanks to Emily Taylor passing on a map of Recife that she received. Jim came to Brazil with a cold and cough and we think he might have given it to Lindsay and Jan also. Please be praying for their fast recovery. We are suppose to be going to the beach on Monday for a few days, so hopefully that will be a relaxing/recovery time.
We hope all of your holidays were wonderful full of thankfulness to God for what he has done in your lives.
Jeff & Lindsay Turner