Sunday, May 9, 2010

Brazil: The Impact

Going into second year, I was greatly looking forward to Missions Reality. It was the talk of all my roommates the year before, and it was something that I really thought that God could use. When it came time and we heard about all the different trips, I quickly figured out which one I wanted to go on. I stress the “I.” After that I “prayed” about it, but honestly, I had made up my mind and I knew which trip I would be going on. God had a plan also.
Although I selfishly pursued Brazil, God totally blessed my support raising. I don’t have a big church, but when I got the newest directory, I was surprised to see that I had sent out over 70 letters to friends and family. After sending out the letters, I knew that I would easily get the money. However, from all the letters that I sent out, I only had about two responses from them. I wasn’t angry, but I was highly disappointed.
Despite not getting support form my church family, God REALLY blessed me in getting money. I got money from people I didn’t expect to. I got money from people I barely, and in some cases, didn’t know! I even got a significant amount from my favorite camper from the Island and Snow Camp!
When it came down to it, it was Thursday, the day before all the money was due. Up until that time I had been praying that God would give me peace, and not let me get worried about the money. And He was faithful, I wasn’t nervous at all. And just like that, Thursday dinner I had all my money in, and around $150 over!

Going on the trip I was so excited about all that I was going to be doing! Again, I stress the “I.” I prayed before hand that God would prepare the hearts of all my teammates, the people we were going to be seeing, and even my heart. But again, it was a lot about me.

Looking back now I can see that the trip started off as a lot about me, but God really worked in my heart and showed me how selfish I truly was! I am ashamed to have to write about all the negatives, but God was faithful, and He really glorified Himself through the whole process.
From all the different ministries we were involved in, Creative Hands at the landfill, to local churches, to Igarape Grande the River Community, to the Tribal Ministries Headquarters, God really worked in my heart and gave me a new, previously, unfound passion for the lost.
I have always known that I need to share the Gospel, and I have sometimes really felt burdened to share the Gospel with people I knew didn’t have the Lord. But never before have I had such a passion as to want to spend all of my days reaching those in a community as I have with Igarape Grande.

Going to Igarape Grande was an amazing experience! We loaded a boat, and spent the next two hours traveling up river to the civilized community. The ride itself was adventurous, but the view was even more intense! I spent a great portion of the time taking pictures so as to remember the trip for later on, but I also spent a good amount of time questioning and learning from, a now good friend of mine, Levi. It was a spiritually invigorating time, as well as thrilling. Once we got there, it was like the community stole a part of my very being. I instantly fell in love with the place. It may have been the scenery, or the time spent playing soccer, or the good times spent swimming around in the Amazon river, or the exotic fruit, or the love of the people, but whatever it was, it has taken my heart, and forever it will be help by them.
The past two years God has really been working on my heart as far as missions are concerned. Three years ago I would have greatly opposed anyone that would have told me I was going to desire to share the Gospel with a lost world. But now, all I can see myself doing is reaching the lost and dying. This last year specifically I have felt called to be a missionary at the up and coming Word Of Life Bible Institute in Korea. I love the people, the language, and the food. But something about the River Community has really captured my heart.
Korea is one of the leading countries in sending missionaries, were in Amazon region of Brazil there are 30,000 river communities alone that do not have the Gospel presented to them! And that is where my desire and passion now lies!
I have spent a lot of time talking specifically about the River Community, but that is because it has meant so much to me. However, Missions Reality as a whole was a truly life changing experience. The entire tea was draw n together under the connection of the Holy Spirit, and kept thriving because of the love that Christ enables us to have. Someone said it well, that the trip was characterized by love. Love for one another, love for the people that we were sent to, love for the God that we desire to glorify.
This trip may have started off selfishly, but God sure had other plans. He showed me how much we, as Americans, have and waste. How much we whine and are never content. How much we say we will go, but won’t when it comes time.
I now no longer desire to live this life for myself, but to glorify, surrender, and live for the One who has saved me from eternal damnation. First Timothy 1.12 talks about how God has appointed us worthy, and despite our previous life styles, we can (and all have been called) to give their entire lifes over to the One who has called us here below.
If someone were to ask me about second year, I will now tell them, that if for no other reason than for God to work in their lives over the ten days of Missions Reality, it is all completely worth it!

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