Monday, July 4, 2011

Mixed Emotions

It is hard to believe our time in Brazil is coming to an end. We fly out tomorrow night. Truthfully I am not ready to go home. This morning we went to class and I found myself tearful during worship. It just wasn't enough time, and yet I feel that we have accomplished what we set out to do, so I can only be thankful. We will be back-of that I am certain.

I need to share a story with you. On Sunday nights there is a church service for the community that meets at CTMDT. This is the church that Tamaris and her family attend. Typically it is Maria, Tamaris, and Taislania, that go to church. If I remember correctly, the father, Antonio, and the son, Mattheis, usually stay home. Last night I was surprised to see the whole family show up for church. They were decked out in their new clothes and were all smiles! Taislania and Mattheis, who are very shy were happy and VERY talkative for the first time! The joy on their faces was indescribable! The children must have came up to hug me no less than ten times during the course of the evening. My heart was touched and I realized suddenly just how much they were impacted by our giving. And by "Our giving" I don't mean our family, I mean you, our friends and family back home. I wish that you could be here to see their faces and to receive their hugs.

It truly is amazing how a couple of nice outfits can affect a person's whole countenance. Though many material items do not bring true happiness, having our basic needs met can certainly make a person feel more confident and less ashamed. What I saw last night was a family that was transformed by the giving of others. We gave so little and yet it affected this family in ways that I cannot begin to comprehend.

I went to bed last night with my mind racing. I was struck intensely with the realization that as Americans, we can do so much to help this community and to help the world, and we can do it with so little. I know with all of my heart that our family has a future with this small community halfway across the world. Whether it's teaching English, having lunch in the Morro's, or building much needed houses, we will continue to be vessels for the Lord in this place. Tomorrow we will say another tearful goodbye to our friends in Brazil, but it won't be our last goodbye.

At Stanwood Foursquare Church, we have been talking about how we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this hurting world. It is an honor to be the hands and the feet of Jesus in this community.

I wish I had pictures of Tamaris's family in their new clothes but since I don't, I will leave you with some random pictures.

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