The planning for our mission trip to Brazil began in August 2014, when Dave and Izabel Warren had been at our church family camp out. I thought it nearly impossible to raise such a great amount of funds…but as we know NOTHING is impossible with God.
Our team of 5 people: Doug Bleeker, Chris & Jessica Zeigler, my son, Stuart Hall and myself boarded an airplane on March 17th. We watched as the enemy tried to distract us with sickness within the missionary families and by the end most of our team, but what the enemy did not have was the power of the Holy Spirit.
We spent the first couple of days site seeing and going to church Sunday evening to worship God with people who did not speak our language, but we knew they worshipped the same God that we worshipped in Washington. Monday we spent the day visiting with many English classes at Life English School. It was wonderful to see the work of something as simple as learning another language could also be a huge mission field to honor our God. The homes in Cubatao and what we saw in the areas of Brazil we visited, are not the same as the homes here in the United States. We did not see any yards for children to play in, and the majority of them had locking gates at the sidewalk. We visited two other English classes in a slum area. The children at first were very shy; however they opened up a bit when Teacher Dave had them directly ask us questions. A couple of the days were spent by the majority of our team working on projects at the church. Our team even ventured out to purchase items at a local home improvement store…which kind of startled our missionary friends. But if you know the universal sign of a thumbs up and a smile you can accomplish just about anything in Brazil.
The final weekend of our trip was Easter; we spent this time with Vida em Cristo Church at a retreat. We spent the weekend playing Five Crowns and a dice game…but what these games gave us was a time of interaction and fellowship with people who did not all speak the same language. It was a time of bonding and sharing. We were asked during these games “why do you believe in God?” We were able to learn and share, so that we would be able to take these new-found friends home in our hearts, where God can still hear our prayers despite the distance. We know seeds have been planted, we know that some saw Americans in a new light (yes, we had some tell us we were the first nice Americans they had encountered) and we know that our hearts and theirs will not be the same because of the time we spent fellowshipping around games and meals.
We already know we would want to go back in a heartbeat, despite the humidity. We watched as the enemy tried to discourage us throughout the preparations for the trip and the trip itself. We know our God is a mighty God and we anticipate seeing our friends, if not on this earth, but in heaven as we worship our God without any language barrier.