Friday, July 31, 2009


It is Friday night and I have so much to share from the week! I will only be sharing one story tonight as I am exhausted and need to spend some time celebrating the end of our course on Islam! Yes, we finished this afternoon! It has been a long but wonderful month of intense schooling. We took our final exam at 2:30, said goodbye to a couple of the Americans who were headed back to the states, and now we are preparing to eat some dinner and reflect upon the past month! I have a lot of catching up to do on my blog but probably won't write until Sunday or Monday after Marko has left for the mission trip to Foz Do Iguacu. The kids and I are not going on the mission trip like we had planned. I will explain the reasoning next week. For now, I am just going to share one quick story:

On Wednesday of this week, Marko and I went into Belo Horizonte with our friend, Sylvia, and her daughter, Anna Victoria. Our purpose was to get a CPF number which is equivelent to the United States Social Security number. It is a very important document to get if you plan to stay in Brazil for any length of time. Paperwork in Brazil can take days to acquire, so we had very little expectation of getting our request that night. Actually, we expected to have to go back to Belo two or three more times. We prayed just before getting on the bus which would take us into the city. After an hour bus ride, that was more like a roller coaster ride, we ended up in downtown Belo sick to our stomachs! We found the appropriate office and with Sylvia's help made our request. Fifteen minutes later we had our CPF numbers in hand! We were incredibly relieved and thankful. This was seriously a miracle!

We did a couple of other errands and decided to take a break for dinner. As we were standing at a cross walk waiting with literally mobs of people to cross the street, an African American man came up next to us and said hello in English. Obviously our language stood out from the rest of the people and it caught his attention. It turns out that he was from Kenya where English is a common language. It also turned out that he had been a pastor at CTMDT in the recent past. In fact, he remembered Sylvia. Now, the reason this is so amazing is that Belo Horizonte is a city of 3.5 million so the chances of us running into him at that moment in time were slim. We stood on the side of the street talking for twenty minutes and here is what we learned:

Sammy Mudanya Junior was preparing to move back to his native Kenya to campaign for the 2012 Presidency. He is actively involved in politics in Kenya. He has political connections in Africa, and in fact, his uncle just had lunch with the Rwandan President recently. The reason we consider this a divine appointment is because Marko's brother, his wife, Jennifer, and their two daughters, Lian and Anna, will be moving to Rwanda in September. I won't go into detail about what they are doing because I am certain I will give wrong information, but suffice it to say that they hope to work with the local government to help start profitable businesses in the country of Rwanda. So, all that to say that we feel that this divine appointment with Sammy might have been for their sake. Dano and Jen if you are reading this we will get you the contact information shortly!

Well, that is the story of the night. I must say goodbye and God Bless You. Look for the divine appointments in YOUR life. It might surprise you how often they happen if you just pay a little closer attention. I know that I will be paying more attention to the seemingly "chance" encounters in my life that really are the hand print of God.

Much love,



  1. Shelley - would love to connect with this guy. I don't know why, but I find myself getting teary every time I read your blog. You just seem so full of life and I am so grateful you have the opportunity to do this. And I love that you are writing so much because we get a greater glimpse into your incredible heart. Thank you for the encouragement to find the divine appts. We'd really love to do a skype chat with your whole family now that we are in one place for a while. Much love,

  2. Shelley- I stumbled upon your blog when Googling our friend Sammy Mudanya. I had a similar experience recently, having met him in a bank while visiting Belo Horizonte with my family (my husband is Brazilian). I am a pastor in Dedham, MA and so would love to have him come visit us but am looking for more information on his faith, mission, and political aspirations. Would you be able to email me? I would certainly appreciate it! Seems we have some things in common, huh? Interesting how God brings people together... ;)

    Allin Congregational Church, UCC
    Dedham, MA 02026