You’re on BASE! Take some time to catch your breath … you are safe.

*******Stephanie*******

Where do I start talking about my good friend Stephanie (Satcher) de Oliveira? I met Steph when I arrived in Portugal. I have no idea when or how we became friends … I just know we did. Somehow we hit it off big time … and I’m so grateful.

steph-and-paige.jpg

Stephanie made me laugh so hard … so often. When you’re in another country without anything familiar … laughter is priceless. We worked together in Rio de Mouro and had a daily goal of trying to con a ride out of Joao Miguel so we didn’t have to walk, take the train, and then take the two buses back to our house.

The daycare at Rio was so fun. Pedro, Angela, and Ishmael were the best. Remember Pedro … the slow eater? One day he was supposed to eat earlier than the other kids b/c he had an appointment with a doctor. His mom wanted to bathe him before he went and he couldn’t bathe if he had eaten (kind-of like the swimming thing). Well … we failed to heed that request … and when he didn’t show up the next day we thought we had killed him. Angela had so much hair. After nap time … she had a Tina Turner thing going on. Then there was Ishmael who really only liked to eat Kiwi. Have you ever changed a Kiwi diaper? Impossible unless you can tag team it … which we did. Gagging the entire time.

One night we made enchiladas for everyone … that was one of my favorite nights. I won’t go into details (because you know… right Steph?) but I figured out how to make the moistest cake you will ever eat.

I don’t know how many coffees we drank, pao de deus’ and pasteis de natas’ we ate. I don’t know how many toys we collected out of those little chocolate Kinder eggs. I don’t know how many times we laughed until we almost wet our pants. But I know I had a wonderful, wonderful time hanging out with Stephanie in Portugal.

We taught a women’s study in Rio. Actually … Steph taught it, I prayed (reading my little Portuguese prayer I wrote down beforehand) and then Steph and I sang, “Unidos au Universo”. I know those women were amazing women of faith and courage … Stephanie taught them about her friend Jesus and they fell in love with Him.  

And who could forget Fofa?

Steph I’m so grateful for the time we had. I hate how things change when we all move our different directions. But I live off of those Portugal memories sometimes … the ones with you are good ones.

Please send out some encouragement to Stephanie. She is an amazing woman of strength and faith. I appreciate her presence on this blog.

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Steph … how many trips to the airport did we take? Too many, too many ….

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Comments on: "*******Stephanie*******" (7)

  1. Ok, I have to ask… Almost? You guys only “almost” peed your pants?

    Steph, when you arrived on the field, you really were a breath of fresh air. You always provided encouragement and ALWAYS a good laugh… either on purpose or by stroke of bad luck. (I’ve never known anyone with worse luck… eggs / bags of flower through bus windows or dogs throwing up in your lap.)

    I honestly don’t remember much about Portugal, except for a few friendships that God used to feed and support me. (And I hope them too, but have my doubts.) Anywho, thank you.

    YES … ALMOST!

  2. Rex Boyles said:

    OH MY WORD!!!
    I think that is the first thing I heard Stepanie say – even before she told me her name. The memory of that makes me smile even now.

    But Stephanie, I don’t know how to say this – other than here – but during tough days for you – I was not there for you. I was of no comfort or encouragment … no source of wisdom or strength. I do not know where I was or why I did not know … but I am sorry, that I was not the kind of teacher or brother or friend that you might have needed me to be. I know that I did not intentionally neglect our communion – but I neglected you regardless. So … I am sorry, my dear sister. I am sorry for not keeping my ears opened to your life and circumstances … I am sorry for not seeking you out when I first heard hints of your pain … I am sorry for not finding you and helping you find a safe place to rest and heal.

    My memory of your AIM days are fond ones for me, and I hope that God’s grace will restore something of what I neglected and lost. Rex
    p.s. If you want or need to contact me: rex@rexboyles.com

  3. Steph- what do I say? My older sister and one of my very best lifelong friends. It has been such a blessing to be living back near Steph and to be involved in her life.
    She is fun, kind and generous – and always willing to listen. She cares and gives her heart and life to others. Stuart went to a retreat just the other day and met an old friend of Steph’s from high school. He was in our youth group and Steph was always trying to encourage him. He told Stu that if it had not been for Stephanie, he doesn’t know where he would be right now. She has a way of touching others.
    Steph has struggled in the past few years, but I have seen Christ alive and active in her life. Prayers have been answered and she has experienced such grace and healing in her life. I don’t think I have ever seen anybody stand so beautifully in the grace and strength of God. I know that she still has challenges (don’t we all), but she is running the race with perseverance as she fixes her eyes on Jesus. I am so proud of who she is as she gives all of her life, hopes, dreams and fears to God.
    On a lighter note – Steph is a great mom and a wonderful Aunt to our kids! I don’t know how we would survive Sunday mornings at church without her! She has been teaching Caiden’s (our 3 yr. old’s) class for over a year now. She is truly gifted with this age and he loves her being in there with him!

    I love You Steph!

    Melanie

    I’M SO GLAD THAT YOU GUYS HAVE GOTTEN THE CHANCE TO LIVE CLOSE … LET YOUR CHILDREN GROW UP TOGETHER. I LOVE THE IDEA OF STEPHANIE TEACHING YOUR SON’S CLASS … HE COULD NOT DO BETTER THAN HER.

  4. Whoa baby… I’ve missed lots of opportunities to love on some (really amazing) people here on the hot seat (due to my computer-related traumas! I’ll spare you!) but looks like I am back online just in time! STEPHANIE! That’s my girl! Steph was in my AIM class and was my teammate in Lisbon, Portugal. So, we’ve made more than a few memories together!

    When I first met Steph, I was struck by her contagious laugh and the joy she could squeeze out of the most improbable situations! Of course I was drawn to that. And it was such a privilege to get to know the heart of all that joy. You don’t get to enjoy the deep wells of a person’s life without having to go through some gunk too… And we’ve had more than our fair share of gunk. I know Steph never asked to be a teacher in my life, but she had that role. I learned so much about myself through how I related to Stephanie (stuff no one had ever called me on before). Stephanie taught me that the best laughter is enjoyed when no one’s feelings are hurt and how I can’t always get my way… ouch!

    After our Portugal days we pretty much went our separate ways, being in contact sporadically. And some of the most trying times in our friendship have come during our various attempts to be in each other’s lives again. Gratefully, we remain friends… through all the mistakes and misunderstandings. And that speaks volumes!

    And now I see her for the incredible woman she is. She is resilient, gracious, beautiful, real, fun, sweet, a good mother, forgiving, loving…

    She is my friend!

    I’M SO GLAD THAT WE’VE GOTTEN TO SHARE IN JOY OF KNOWING STEPHANIE … AREN’T YOU?

  5. Steph, I just saw an episode of Rachel Ray that was shot in Lisbon… Amy Blackburn had told me about it & I just caught it on t.v. yesterday! Man it has changed so much! (Not surprisingly, after all it’s been about 15 years!!!) But every recognizable shot of the city brought back a memory of you! If I *ever* have a chance to go back again… I hope it will be with you! Think about it. Pray about it. I would love for that to happen!

    …pao de deus, cafe Americanas, sloppy wet beijinhoes, sloppy wet bus stops, wind-blown grains of sand at Guincho, basement-living, carting tanks of gas, experimental cooking, church pot-lucks, all the hellos and goodbyes at the airport, singing together, teaching the little girls in our apt bldg in Carnaxide, fresh bread, Cascais shopping, exploring Sintra, entertaining guests, the Algarve, codfish every imaginable way…

    I LOVE READING ALL OF THOSE MEMORIES … THERE IS NO EXPERIENCE LIKE RIDING THE ORANGE LINE BUSES … ALL OF THE BEIJINHOS … ESPECIALLY BEIJINHOS DE HELDER. THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES ANGIE.

  6. sdeoliveira said:

    Oh my word! Thank you, Paige for doing this. Hearing from each of you has brought back so many good memories of a very happy time in my life.

    Paige, I think of our time together in Portugal often. There are so many good things to remember about that time. You were such an important part of my life at that time. I love every moment that we spent together.

    Rex, you have nothing to apologize for. Even if you had been a part of my life at that time, I probably would not have heeded any of your words of wisdom or allowed myself to have been encouraged by you. I was in a state of depression where all I could think about was my pain. No one mattered but me. I was in a despair so deep that I tried to end my life on this earth three times. I am ashamed to admit that. But I admit it today because I want people to know what the power of God can do. I am willing to tell my story to anyone who will listen. I have given my life back to our God and He has done amazing things. And I want people who are hurting to know about it. They need to know that there is hope and that hope comes from God. God saved my life those three times for a reason. And I will do my best every day to live for Him.

    Mel, I am touched by what you wrote. I love you so much!

    Angie, thanks for commenting. I remember all of our crazy times together and I laugh. We had our ups and downs. We laughed together and cried together. We were a mess! But I am thankful for each moment that we spent together.

    Tim, your team welcomed my team with open arms. I was young and excited but scared to death at the same time. Thank you for helping us through that time.

    Each of you have been a part of my journey to the person that I am today. I am thankful for each and every memory and places that you have in my heart. Mel and I were talking the other day about people that have been in our lives for a season. It is amazing how God always puts the right people in our paths for just the right times, “for such a time as this”. I am thankful that He works that way. And I am thankful for each of you.

    I AM GRATEFUL TO HAVE BEEN A PART OF YOUR LIFE FOR A SEASON OR TWO. YOU WILL ALWAYS BE A PART OF MY MEMORY … I CANNOT THINK OF PORTUGAL WITHOUT THINKING OF YOU. I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR WHAT GOD DOES WITH US ONCE WE ARE WILLING TO REALLY JUST LET HIM DO HIS THING.

  7. awwwwwwww….. I love me some Stephanie!!!

    🙂

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