In coming to Brazil, I hoped for many things, one of them being growth. I hoped that God had called me here to change me in new ways. I wanted to grow in Christ-like character. Asking for something like this is essentially like asking for pain and discomfort. I knew this, but I wanted it anyway. So, here I am, and God is always faithful to deliver on his promise to transform us.
The Brazilian people have a different approach to communication than I do. They are polite, and they often keep most of their criticism (even productive) to themselves. In a place where relationships are highly regarded, showing respect and courtesy is of the utmost importance. In American culture, this attitude is a bit harder to find, given our strong values for individualism and speaking our minds. It was much harder (though not impossible) to recognize how I appeared to others before, but being in Brazil has made this character defect much more noticeable and easy to pen point. Transformation is never easy, but with God's help and intercession, it is entirely possible. I am grateful that God is using this place to help me grow in love--even if its painful.
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18
That's what is happening with me spiritually on this journey, but I also want to let you know what is happening on other fronts.
I am taking a lot of Portuguese classes, and I am definitely growing in my ability to understand others, but I still have a looooooonnngggg way to go!!! Please, pray that I continue to stay motivated and focused, and that my speaking abilities increase.
Something I am very excited about is that I will be starting a new home group for young adult and single women in a few weeks! I will be co-leading it with my roommate and another woman in our church. I believe it will be a great opportunity for me to grow in more relationships with the women here, and also help them to grow in a deeper knowledge of the love Jesus has for them.
Two weeks ago, I went on a weekend retreat called Fiel (Faith). We spent time studying the Word of God (all in Portuguese, of course), worshiping, and having lots of fun! I want you to know that the Brazilian people are passionate about worship, and they are hungry for God. In many ways, it has challenged me to reevaluate my own heart and commitment to my relationship with God. Below are a few pictures from our trip.
Lastly, but not least, I want to again thank you for your support both financially and in prayer. I want to remind you that you are sowing into the Kingdom of Heaven and into the lives of so many. God bless you and your family. God bless you in your hardships and struggles. And God bless you as you patiently wait for his salvation and provision in every area of your life. Amen!
|Serious about Worship!|
|This is some crazy ninja game they came up with.|
|Always a good time to play soccer.|
Fiel Weekend Retreat
Vineyard Church in Altamira