Every day in Brazil has been jam-packed with activities: Portuguese classes, job shadows, company visits, cultural activities, and trying to navigate this new culture. It’s hard to keep track of what I’m doing and when, and I quickly learned to just go with the flow and be prepared for anything. Yet, one thing I can count on every day is late hours spent with my host siblings. It’s funny how just over a week ago I didn’t even know these people existed, and now they have a permanent place in my heart.

Enjoying a family meal

Each night is spent somewhat differently but revolves around one thing — dinner. As always, I look forward to the amazing food they introduce to us, but more than anything I love getting to experience and be a part of their family dynamic. The love they have for each other is so vibrant and clear to see, and I couldn’t be more grateful for how it extends to Tiffany and I. However, it doesn’t stop there; they pour their light into as many lives as possible.

Last night, we went over to visit my host sister’s boyfriend, Danilo. His family was so excited to have us and made a ton of food. As it turns out, every Tuesday they have a mini devotional where they pray and sing worship songs before they eat dinner. They wanted us to participate, and they wanted to thank God for our presence in Brazil. Since I go to school at Roberts, this was not something completely new to me, but it was the first time I felt warmth and even got a little emotional.

Danilo realized it was my Mom’s birthday and asked if we all could pray for her. I have never personally experienced anyone show so much interest in and love towards someone they have never met. I teared up not only because I miss my family back home, but also because of the family I’m becoming a part of here. As my roommate Tiffany led a prayer for my mom, I got chills. Listening to people I love open their hearts to others who mean so much to me, meant everything. Afterwards, they asked to facetime my Mom so they could sing happy birthday to her. Watching my two worlds connect was truly heartwarming.

Danilo’s selfie game on point once again

Due to the way I’ve been treated by others in the past, I have trouble opening up. I have been scared to open up for fear of being judged, and I have lived thinking it is better to remain closed off in order to protect myself. My host siblings have broken down the walls I have built up without me even realizing, and the love being poured into me is changing the way I look at the world and others.


Categories: Brazil 2019


Amy Kovach · May 24, 2019 at 1:17 pm


If you bring one thing home with you, bring this, this willingness to open your heart. What you felt when they were praying for you and your mom, worshiping, and doing devotionals, that was the Holy Spirit. The love you see in them and their love for you–that is Jesus. I am praying you continue to open your heart and that you see Christ in even more places.

<3 Dr. Kovach

Doug Porterfield · May 24, 2019 at 2:28 pm

Hi Kat
I am so encouraged by your blog. Leaving our comfort zone can be so intimidating but it is so often rewarding to take the steps faith, new experience, widening our world view, finding new friends, experiencing God. So glad you took this opportunity and can’t wait to hear your story when you get back.

Carrie Starr · May 24, 2019 at 2:35 pm

How beautiful Kat! Thank you for sharing this amazing story. God is so creative in the way he ministers to our hearts. I’m grateful he brought your worlds together for your mom’s birthday. How very special!

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