I don’t like to rest. Or rather, perhaps I don’t quite know how to rest — I’ve often been told I am not very good at it. However, today, after I finished my fourth Portuguese class in Brazil, I decided to stop. I decided to stop taking everything in at once and truly process all that I have experienced. Slowly, I walked through our campus and found a secluded bench in the corner where I was able to lean up against a tree and truly appreciate the incredible atmosphere around me.

One of the views from my bench

As I sat there, I breathed in the air around me. I felt the presence of the warm sun, slight breeze and shadow from the tree on which I was leaning.  For a moment, I closed my eyes and listened to the faint sound of distant Portuguese conversations. Although I could not understand what was being said, they filled me with a sense of contentment and peace that one can only experience in another country.

At one point, I realized that there were beautiful, delicate flowers scattered all over the walkway beneath me. I picked one up, and gently unfolded it so that I could fully appreciate its intricate beauty. I marveled at the subtle differences in the shades of red, pink, and yellow in its petals as I began to realize all that I had been missing around me up until this point.


Finally, as I continued to rest in silence, I decided to pray. The words that came to my heart were the following lyrics from the song “New Wine” by Hillsong Worship: “In the soil, I now surrender; You are breaking new ground. So I yield to You and to Your careful hand; when I trust You I don’t need to understand… I came here with nothing but all You have given me. Jesus, bring new wine out of me.”


In this country, I often don’t understand a lot. I often don’t understand the language, or the culture, and I especially don’t understand how to process all that I am experiencing. But one thing I know for sure is that Jesus is still here. I don’t have to understand everything when I trust Him. Even though I have come here with nothing significant to give to this country, He is doing a great work in both me and the whole class.

There is much to be learned in this foreign yet awe strikingly beautiful country. I trust that God is going to continue to transform us on this adventure into new soil.

He’s certainly breaking new ground in my heart.

~Kayla Richardson

Categories: Brazil 2018


Susan Richardson · May 15, 2018 at 8:58 pm

Kayla, I’m so glad to hear you’re sitting down and taking in, all that is around you. Enjoy this time and I’m sure you’ll come home tired, but refreshed.

Jim Richardson · May 15, 2018 at 9:55 pm

Glad you are finding peace…Love you!

    Global Honors · May 20, 2018 at 12:58 am

    Love you dad!

Lisa Torrell · May 16, 2018 at 1:46 am

Last weekend our Pastor used a quote, “A traveler sees what he sees, but a tourist sees what he’s come to see.” You seem like a traveler to me. You can stop and enjoy God’s creation. Praying for you to enjoy every moment! 🙂

    Global Honors · May 20, 2018 at 12:58 am

    Thank you so much 🙂

Rebekah Distaffen · May 17, 2018 at 12:31 am

Kayla, this is beautiful!! I love it 🙂 It is so amazing what can happen when you take a moment to just stop, rest, and take it all in. God commands us to rest for many reasons, but I like to think that, most importantly, He commands us to rest because that’s where we find Him. And it sounds like that is exactly what happened to you. I’m glad you were able to stop and rest, and I hope you find more opportunities to do so. It’s amazing what you discover when you’re not trying to discover anything.

    Global Honors · May 20, 2018 at 12:59 am


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