Goodbye Comfort Zone, Hello Healing

As many of you may already know, this trip is near and dear to my heart. My first trip to Brazil with Movement in 2017 was not only my first mission trip, but also my first time out of the country! I never could have imagined all the amazing ways that it would change my life.

The email announcing that there were still open spots to go to Brazil came at the perfect time. A broken engagement earlier that year had left me in one of the lowest places emotionally that I’d ever been. Believing that God had better things ahead for me, I hesitantly reached out for more information. After learning that Brazil was not quite a third world country, and that I would be sleeping in a hotel, I decided that this was probably a trip I could handle.

The minute I stepped off the plane, I knew that I was going to go home a different person. There’s something about being immersed in another culture that truly opens your mind. The couple that hosted us, Craig and Mary Delille, have been missionaries in Recife for 14 years. They have started multiple ministries in the city through South America Mission (SAM), but the one that we were focused on helping is called Touch of the Master Music School.

The children in Recife only go to school for half of the day, so the music school offers a place for them to come and be invested in during the part of the day that they would normally be left unsupervised. The ministry had recently purchased a building that would not only house the school, but also serve as the SAM headquarters in Brazil. We spent most of our time at the new school investing in the children, cleaning up the property, and making improvements to the building.

During that week, I started asking God to reveal what He wanted for my life. At the same time, I was having conversations with Mary about what coming back to Brazil longer term might look like. The thought was terrifying but thrilling all at the same time. Could I really drop everything and move to Brazil if God asked me to?

As it turned out, I could! 3 months after being back in the States and praying like crazy, I filled out the application to go to Brazil as an intern with South America Mission. After my application was accepted, we decided that I would go and serve for 3 ½ months.

The love and support that I received from my Movement family in the months leading up to my departure was overwhelming. Instead of calling me crazy like I expected them to, everyone celebrated and asked how they could help. The amount of financial support that I needed to raise sounded so daunting, but thanks mostly to the generosity of my coworkers, I was fully funded with time to spare.

I could go on forever about the next 3 ½ months, but you would be sitting here reading for hours. What I will tell you is that I went to Brazil thinking that I would be serving and meeting the needs of others, but that’s only a very small part of what really happened. The love that was shown to me there brought so much healing to my life. It was in a foreign country where I didn’t speak the language, completely outside of my comfort zone and surrounded by people who opened their arms and their hearts to me, that I finally understood my worth as the daughter of a God who loves me perfectly and completely.

I’m humbled and honored to be able to lead a group from my Movement family to the place that changed my life. I pray that this trip will be an opportunity to form new bonds of friendship, as well as offer a time of personal healing and growth that we all so desperately need. If you’ve ever thought about going on a mission trip, but have felt hesitant or nervous, I would love to walk with you through this new experience. If you’ve really wanted to go on a mission trip but haven’t been personally invited, this is your invitation! Please come! I’m excited to see the work God is going to do through us and in us.

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