I know it's been a while since I've sent out an update. The thing is, I finally understand the difficulty in sending out updates as a missionary. Trust me when I say that it's a lot harder than it looks. It's one thing to be in contact, sending and responding to short normal conversations… It's another thing when you sit down -and at that for quite a long time- to put your thoughts, feelings, and testimonies into a blog or email. So, here I am the first time in a long time doing just that.
This is not going to be an update filled with crazy testimonies and experiences but one that is truly going to show pieces of my heart.
Upon coming to Brazil, I had no idea what I would encounter. I didn't know what God would speak to me during my time there. So, what did He speak? I can't even begin to express to you the multitude of confirmation He gave me during my time there. I've traveled the world and for the first time I've arrived in a place where God placed the word "Home". I know that I will still travel to other places to minister but Brazil is home and even the Brazilian people said it was my home… That I'm Brazilian and that it's my nation. Every day God poured upon me His dreams for the people of Brazil… for the poorest of the poor, the prostitutes, the drug addicts, the church… And as I went into some of the most spiritually dark places I saw fruit. I could see the favor of God in my life to be there every day and the grace. Grace to face some of the most difficult moments with faith and joy. You know there were days where I would arrive at home and just cry because of some of the things I saw… 10 year old boys living on the street using crack cocaine, and girls the same age selling themselves to men who could be their fathers, a married couple beating each other in the middle of the street drawing blood and only to be cheered on by a blood thirsty crowd, houses where the children aren't being fed or taken care of, people who have recently been stabbed or shot because of gang/drug/street violence, an area where sit hundreds of people using crack cocaine without clothes or food so extreme that the locals call them "zombies", sicknesses that leave you speechless -that I won't describe here because of the gruesomeness… and this is just the beginning. Sometimes, I wouldn't know what to to. So, I would just hug that person love them in the ways I knew how because there simply aren't words. I say all of these things to make a strong point of my love for this country and these people that can only come from God; because, every day I woke up with joy to return to these places. Every day I woke up with passion to go to these places. Places where the majority of people avoid. I have a love and passion in my heart for these places and these people that can ONLY come from God… because these are not easy places to be or easy people to minister to. I've had people curse me, threaten me, I've been in a few dangerous situations but I have NEVER lost my hope for these people. This can only be the hope of Jesus… I've had missionaries say to me, "I don't know how you do it, I don't want to be in the places where you go." This is the calling. This is what the Lord has for me. He has given me the passion, the faith, the patience, the will and desire… He has given me everything I need to go to these places. He has called me. It's incredible.
But Unfortunately, I'm not in Brazil anymore. Due to visa regulations, I had to leave the country yesterday. So, I am currently in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Easily, one of the most difficult things I've encountered yet… I've never been in a situation like this. Every other country I left without difficulties. This time I wept… And when I say I wept, it wasn't just when I was getting on the plane but started weeks before. I grieved. I felt, and still feel like, I was losing a part of myself. I see the promises for Brazil and yet I have to leave. I've finally found the place I can call home but I have to leave. We tried everything. We prayed, pulled lots of strings and contacts, and prayed more and yet, I had to leave. So, what now…? Well, sure it's a bump in the road… a difficult and sad one. But Abba Father is always good and always faithful. In the midst of all the tears there's something I've been holding onto…
Romans 5:3 - We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.
So, I'm moving into a season of rejoicing when I don't understand. A season of developing endurance that is going to strengthen me. I'm taking day by day in faith knowing that He WILL NOT lead me to disappointment… because He loves me. He loves me. He loves me. And, that promise is sufficient. This season is going to look very different, but He is sovereign and He has a perfect plan for my time here.
Please be praying for me. Pray for my heart. Pray for the people I had to leave behind in Brazil. We are going to attempt to apply for a different visa here in Argentina for Brazil. So, pray for that too. Pray that the right doors be opened. Pray that God implants more of His vision into my life for this time. Pray.
Thank you to everyone who walks along side me in prayer as I look to the Hope of Glory Himself in this season.