Over the course of the past two days, there have been many “lift-offs.” In other words, I would say there have been multiple “firsts” that have taken place, both physically as well as spiritually.
Two days ago, I had the opportunity to travel on my first international flight. I saw and experienced many things that were new to me. On the flight to Sao Paulo, it finally hit me that we were actually going to Brazil. On the first flight, English (and some Spanish) were spoken, but on the second flight, Portuguese was the main language spoken. In addition to this, all of the different travel magazines were printed in Portuguese. These seemingly small differences were things I haven’t experienced before and made me quite cognizant of the fact that we were not in America anymore. During the flight, I looked out the window and I saw such beautiful scenery; I became so excited to see more of Brazil.
Once we landed in Brazil, we finally got the chance to meet our host parents. This felt like another “lift off”, and I immediately felt welcomed. Regina (my host mother) hugged me, and the first thing she told me was that I was beautiful. My host father hugged me and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I felt so loved in these few moments with my host family, and I feel so blessed to be given the opportunity to live with such caring and thoughtful people.
Upon arriving home, I was able to meet my host sister and brother. Throughout the night, new experiences continued to occur – at one point, we sat together on the sofa and sang worship songs in both English and Portuguese (and yes – we bonded over the fact that the word “sofa” is the same in English and Portuguese). They enveloped us into their family tradition of daily devotionals (pão diário). After this, he asked us to give prayer requests. He prayed over our requests (us personally, our travel group, as well as our families) in Portuguese. This was so beautiful, and although I was not able to understand every single word he said, the power of prayer became evident that night. Worship translates so easily between different people and cultures. I learned and experienced in a new way that no language barrier can stand in the way of our God.