I came into this trip blind to understanding the Brazilian culture. I was unintentionally closed off to the extreme change of going from American culture to Brazilian culture. I found it hard to grasp onto how relationships work, I did not understand language, and I even found it hard to adjust to the hot, humid, wet weather. During this time, I was missing the greatness that Brazil held in its hands, all because of my ignorance.
One of the more specific struggles was my host home. I wasn’t ready to leave the familiar faces I knew once I got off the plane in Curitiba, Brazil. I felt plucked out of my comfort zone and placed in a very contrasting city with no real understanding of why. There were many times when the only thing I could understand and hold onto was who my creator and father was. I had to rely on the fact that God is present on my mountaintops, but even more important, He is also present in my valleys.
His love is a consistent waterfall that runs over me every day; even in Brazil. I just have to be nonresistant to the pressurized love he has for me. I have seen and felt God on this trip through the bright light coming from Brazilian culture. There have been many Brazilians I’ve met that shine with the love and desire for the Lord. I saw this every Sunday during the worship at Calvary Curitiba (the church we partnered with). The two words that I can use to describe the Brazilian church are “pure” and “raw”. This is because the band was not about the productions and the sound, but rather singing shouts of praise to the Lord. They never made it centered around them and the made an effort to be a mirror that reflects the glory to and from God.
I saw this light for the Lord also through the Brazilian Universities that my team traveled to share the Gospel. The team I was a part of got into a conversation with a young lady at one of the many Brazilian universities. We asked her a couple of questions and the conversation really did not seem like it was going anywhere, but a finish line. Then through the Spirit my team member, Hannah, asked her a question about the darkness in Brazilian culture (there is darkness in every culture, even American!). After hearing that question this woman opened up like a flower in Spring and started explaining her life story. She graciously told us that she became discouraged by all of the segregation she has received for believing there is one true God. She then told the fact that just the night before she had prayed to God to show her a sign that He was true and an actual person. This conversation was proof of His omnipresent existence. This one story is an encompassing testament to the exact ways that God came through for us as a team and for Curitiba.