Thinking about coming to the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil was a little intimidating at first. The thoughts of questions began rushing through my mind. What happens if I get put with a crazy family? What if I am by myself with a family that speaks no English? What if something bad happens to me and there is no one to help me? I mean after all I am kind of a helpless eighteen year old girl, who speaks very little Portuguese, in a new place, where I do not know anyone other than my team.
When we arrived to the church on Monday evening, I had to stop and have a reality check. I had to quickly realize that I had to put aside my fears of who my host family would be, and see that whomever I was placed with would be the family I was supposed to be with. After praying hard for some guidance, the questions faded and I was prepared to take on the challenge of whom I would be living with for the next seven days.
Eryn and I were placed together in the home of Ani and Fabiano. The joy and excitement of meeting Ani at the church for the first time was priceless. From the first time we sat and just talked on the floor to today, the last day we will spend together, I have been amazed at this young couple. It all started when she first asked if we would like to go get ice cream (my favorite food). On our way to get this tasty treat, Ani made us stop in one exact spot, where she explained that this was where her and her now husband shared their first kiss, then went straight into a church service. Ani went through and shared her wedding photos (also one of my favorite things) with us and their love was very evident. This young couple has been married for one year and 6 days and they are willing to take in two teenage girls. They are showing me what a biblically founded marriage can look like. They sit and read their Bible every day. I was in awe that this was the example we would get to see for a week. Due to the fact that we are doing mission type work here, I did not expect to see this being so evident. Yes, it is my selfish thinking getting in the way.
That night the four of us sat in the floor, ate pizza, drank Coke, and had a worship session. Fabiano played the guitar, Ani played the piano, and Eryn and I attempted to sing. It may not have sounded the prettiest, but we loved every minute of praising our Savior with total strangers who spoke very little English. They stayed up late, helped us paint sheets for our testimonies, and volunteered to do anything for us. It was just a glimpse of how one week with these two people would probably change my life. The hospitality of this family showed me what I take for granted. They immediately gave up their bed in the one bedroom apartment, for us to have somewhere nice to sleep. They prepare us breakfast daily, they offer us their clothes, buy us food, and Ani leaves us a special note every morning on our breakfast plate. It sometimes is a passage from the bible or just a little bit of encouragement. We were placed with the perfect family and it was definitely a God thing.
Being with this family has shown me that there is more to life than earthly things. Faith, Love, and Family all come first. Their love for God, for each other, and for the two of us girls has reminded me of how I was so crazy to think those questions on Monday, because I should have trusted God with everything in the beginning. They have given me a glimpse of how I hope to see my future. Overall this family has shown me that it is not about me, but how I can help others, and become a better person, by leading with a Christ-like example.