I was hoping to be able to update this thing more often in my time here but do to constantly being on the go and do to the fact that I would much rather be out experiencing than writing down past experiences, I have kind of let writing on here go neglected. But I have some free time today and God has done so much that I had to reflect.

This trip has been… unexpected. I am learning lessons here that I had no clue I would be learning. Lessons that God has been trying to smack into my head for years and lessons that He will continue to smack into me. In a loving way, of course. šŸ™‚ This has not been a mission trip. I mean, I suppose I will tell peopleĀ thatĀ I went on a mission trip to Brasil but it is different thanĀ that. This has been missionalĀ living. I haven’t been doing anything short-term here. I have been entering into ministries and relationships that have already been present and that will continue to be present long after I am gone. I am just getting to witness God working here and maybe, every once in a while, do something to aid that work.

The thing about mission trips that I have found to be true is that, in most cases, there is always something more to be done. On other trips I have been on, there is always a schedule and a medium through which ministry to another culture is made easy. Not the case here. I was thrown into a world of people I couldn’t understand and, as a result, for the greater majority of the first week I was here I felt helpless. I had no idea what to do. The way that I have always ministered was with my words. And with listening to peoples’ stories and praying over them. I can’t do that here. I mean, I can listen all I want but I have no idea what is being said or how I can pray for that person. And so I have had to use my presence. My presence has had to be my ministry. And that has been humbling.

The first week that I was here,Ā I went to aĀ bible study with the young adults from the church I go to here and I can honestly say that I understood maybe three words the entire time. And yet, despite a language barrier, both in the words spoken and sung, I felt the spirit. It was then that my God reminded me of how big He is and of how He transcends languages. Something I knew but when you don’t understand anything EVER it isĀ a little hard to keep that fact in mind.

Still, somehow, through the grace of God and through me asking how to say every word in Portuguese, I have managedĀ to get a bit of a grasp on the language. I am able to basically communicate. And I mean BASICALLY. But I have formed relationships that I would have never dreamed of with people who I cannot carry on a conversation with for more than 5 minutes. And that, I feel, can only be described as God.

And so what have I done in Brasil so far? NothingĀ  it seems like. God has humbled me. God has taught me. God has formed relationships that will not soon be forgotten. And God will continue to do just that. We are finally entering into the week of camp here. Which means a hundred or so kids that I firmly believe God is going to transform and mold. And I cannot wait to sit back and let God do what he does best.

Ā Vem, Senhor Jesus. Vem.