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.
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.