We are here! We are soaking up every moment of our trip so far. To be honest, I was having a really hard time saying goodbye to my boyfriend, family, and friends when we left for Toronto yesterday. I have never traveled without my family before, and I have never been outside of North America! Thankfully I am traveling with the most encouraging students and faculty, and the closer we got to Brazil, the more excited I became! God reminded me that my family may not be with me, but He goes before me and leads me into every adventure.

Speaking of adventure, after our ten hour flight, we made it through Brazilian customs with no issues: one more major way that God provided for this trip. I immediately noticed how many of the signs and advertisements had both Portuguese and English, making our first exposure to Brazil seem a little less foreign after all. From there, we met Vanessa, our contact from the Universidade Metodista de São Paulo (UMESP), who made us feel welcomed immediately!

It took over an hour to get from the airport to UMESP, which gave us a lot of time to look out the window at this country in which we are first-time appreciators. I have never seen so many people working outside! The traffic was like D.C. traffic but with more public transportation and a lot of motorcycles driving between lanes. It was not a boring drive, to say the least.

But more than the drive itself, the colors in the city stood out to me. They are representative of the culture itself. The oranges and yellows and reds are ubiquitous and are as warm as the people we have met!

Once we got to UMESP, we got to meet our host families! My roommate and I are staying with a woman and her 13-year-old daughter. We had a relaxing afternoon unpacking and resting and got to visit a supermarket later at night. I am so excited for the rest of the trip: to learn more Portuguese, to get to know the Brazilian culture, and to see how God works in our hearts as he introduces us to His people here!

The God of Rochester, NY is the same God who creates the colors, warmth and excitement we have already experienced in Brazil. What’s next?!


Neva · May 8, 2018 at 10:20 pm

Great article and remembering that God goes with you on every new adventure.

    Amy Kovach · May 9, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Bekah is having an amazing time–I love seeing her eyes light up with each new food or new adventure!

papa · May 8, 2018 at 11:22 pm

Bekah: What a great adventure you and your fellow students are having. I agree the colors of the buildings are absolutely beautiful and represent their culture. When your grandma and I went to Scananavia they too had bright color buildings.
I’m so glad you are having a great experience and enjoying yourself. This trip will always be within you for many years. The day will come when you and Isaac will be traveling together to other countries. Your Grama and I have really enjoyed our travels together. Grama should have been a travel agent since she has done a good job setting up our trips.
Bekah – Continue to enjoy yourself and have fun learning about the cultures of this country. Also, ? you’re host family is enjoying having you as a guest in their home. I can’t empathize enough for you to learn, have fun, and enjoy. ?

Jess Teitsworth · May 9, 2018 at 1:39 pm


“….but He goes before me and leads me into every adventure.” True, and such a good reminder. Thanks for sharing, Bekah. 🙂

    Amy Kovach · May 9, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Such a good reminder!

Lisa Torrell · May 9, 2018 at 6:31 pm

Happy to read this information about your trip!
“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” Zephaniah 3:17

Rebekah Distaffen · May 11, 2018 at 1:04 am

Bekah, I loved this:) one of my favorite things about new places and people is seeing the same God work in and through them! It really reminds me of how great He actually is. I’m excited for the rest of this trip and to see how He works in everyone’s lives!

    Amy Kovach · May 11, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    We faculty are having a blast seeing this experience through students’ eyes!

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