Hey, what’s up? My name is Paige Madelyne Inion, but you can just call me Paige. I am 14 years old and live in Circle, Montana where my Dad, Bruce, pastors Circle Evangelical Church. I just recently took a trip with 13 others from our church to visit our Evangelical Church Missionaries, Aaron and Cris Brakefield, in Cubatao, Brazil ministering at Vida em Cristo Church. We spent a pretty large part of last year in preparation for our trip alongside Pat O’Neill, FAITH ADVENTURES Team Coordinator with Evangelical Church Missions. Our team had the awesome privilege of working 10 days on the field alongside the Missionaries, doing ministry and work projects, helping out at the English school, and serving the people of Brazil.
On our trip to Brazil this summer in August, we not only learned a lot about others, but we also learned a lot about ourselves. Like how much food we are able to eat in one sitting before getting sick. Or how fast you can run across the street before getting hit by oncoming traffic. Okay, but seriously; we had a lot of good times and amazing experiences. As well as a lot of awkward and interesting times that we look back at and laugh about.
For example, when we first landed in Brazil, we took a shuttle to the church where we were staying. Not a single one of us knew Portuguese, so communication was pretty limited. When we got there, the guy hopped out and started talking to us in Portuguese. None of us had any idea what he was saying, so we all kind of awkwardly looked at each other while my dad tried to explain that we couldn’t understand him. The man didn’t know any English, so we got our bags out of the back and waited for someone to come to translate. It all seemed pretty awkward at first, but after a while of being in the country so foreign to us, we began to get used to not understanding everyone and translation became more of a game. We looked at their facial expressions, hand movements, and changes in their tone to translate mentally what they were saying to us. It wasn’t awkward anymore. In fact, it was kind of fun. We learned the basic Portuguese words like “thank you” and “hello,”. And every once in a while someone from our team would accidentally use the wrong feminine or masculine form of “thank you.”
Throughout all the confusion of translation, we came to find that love is a universal language. I know that sounds a bit cheesy, but bear with me here! Although we couldn’t understand the words that they were saying, we could always see the compassion and kindness when they spoke.
An example of this is when the guy that I told you about earlier from the shuttle translation mishap invited us all to his birthday party. It surprised us all. Even after all that awkwardness, he still invited us to his party with his friends and family. He barely even knew us, yet he still showed compassion and kindness.
The entire trip was an amazing experience, and it was so cool to see the curiosity and interest that everyone had with our love of God. And although they couldn’t understand our language, they could still understand the universal language that we had in our relationship with the Lord.
Obrigada, everyone for your prayers and support for the opportunity to go and share God’s love to others.