“So, how do I tell her that I like her glasses?” “Eu gosto de seu oculos”. “What?” “EU GOSTO DE SEU OCULOS” (five times later) “oh ok…. e-uu gahstoo di sayoo okeles”. “moito bom, mimi! Good job!”.
Yes, friends, this is what a typical conversation looks like for me right now. But, I AM learning. Currently, we are so immersed in Portuguese that my English is becoming jumbled up in my brain. So brace yourselves for whatever may come.
It is crazy to think that we have only been here (at camp) a mere three days. At first, it was hard. The barrier of language was like that of a wall that guards a fortress. Knocking down this barrier is a daunting task, but it must be done. How do we overcome this and move on to forming relationships with these local (soon-to-be) friends? Well, this is where these simple conversations, hand gestures and body language have come in handy.
Each day we get to see God work through relationships. Before, it was hard to branch out and find a way to communicate with people. But earlier this evening, I found that it was barely even an issue. This is orientation week for the summer camps that begin next week. We are all split up into four different groups. We learn how to do various tasks every day. Today’s job just so happened to be cleaning the bathroom. I had the honor of cleaning with two sweet Brazilian friends, who do not even have a basic level of English under their belt. We got the job done and we even had fun doing it. Sure, we had to repeat the same sentence to each other like five times. But eventually we got the point.
By the time we were done with “sanitation police” (AKA bathroom duty), it was past curfew. So we walked back to the girls building. As we walked by, the guys were singing in English and Portuguese simultaneously. We got to our dorm, but no one was in bed. They were all outside practicing the dance that we just learned that we get the privilege of performing for the kids coming to camp. We were laughing and just having a great time together. But then, something beautiful happened. We too broke out in song. How great is our God, sing with me how great is our God. And all will see how great, how great is our God. And our sweet friends were singing this very song in Portuguese.
You see, on the first day it was unfathomable that we could possibly have anything in common. But tonight I realized we have more than enough. We have Christ.
He brought us together through His power. God is with us and that is our bond.
Every little effort to connect is vital. Even if it takes the struggle of having to ask how to say even the tiniest things, then let us ask Christ to give us the humility and the strength to do all things for His glory.
Then, maybe I will be able to live out the love of Christ. Or maybe, I will get to see Christ in these new faces that I have already begun to love. All I know, is that tonight helps depict a more clear vision of heaven for me, though we all may be different. In Christ, all things are possible.
Ps- The WiFi at our current location is spotty at best. We sincerely apologize for the sporadic posts. Thanks J