Our team, Brasília Azul, has had the opportunity to work alongside students from Lifeshape Brazil. The students at Lifeshape are our age and are also learning leadership skills through a three-year program here in Brazil. Serving alongside the Lifeshape students has been such an incredible experience for our team. Each and every one of the Lifeshape students have played such an important role in our team’s cultural immersion experience. They have accepted our team as their own. We were welcomed with open arms and treated like family from the day we met them. They have helped us to see and understand their county, language, and culture from their perspective. We began our trip in Brazil as two separate teams, but now our team and the Lifeshape students function as one big family who has the opportunity to serve the people of Brazil together.
In the last week, we have had the opportunity to serve alongside a few churches in the city of Brasília. Our team’s first project was partnered with the people from Igreja Presbiteriana Alvorada. The members of this church were so gracious to open up their homes to host our team as well as the Lifeshape students during our time serving with the church. Staying in host homes gave our team the opportunity to see and experience what it is like to live the day to day life of a Brazilian. We were able to bond with our host families over our cultural differences and learn about each other’s lives, seeing that we share the same need and love for the Lord who created us and our cultures so uniquely.
During our time working with Igreja Presbiteriana Alvorada, we had the opportunity to serve a rehab center, Vila Samaritana, on the outskirts of Brasília. Vila Samaritana is a safe place for those who struggle with addiction to come and receive help and a support system. We were asked to work on a few projects like painting their fences and church, landscaping, and cleaning up the soccer field. It was an honor to come together with the Lifeshape students as well as the people from Igreja Presbiteriana Alvorada and serve this ministry so that they can better serve the people who are looking to receive their help.
After our time at Alvorada came to an end, we had the opportunity to partner with Igreja Batista Vida. With this church, we had the opportunity to evangelize in the streets of Brasília and pass out church invitations as well as give a gospel presentation through worship and a skit to bystanders in local parks. Each member of our team used their gifts and talents to minister to anyone in the area. Because of the language barrier between our team and the Brazilian people, the Lifeshape students were a tremendous help to us by being the mouthpiece when we cannot communicate to the people who were curious about the church or what we were doing.
With our latest partner, Igreja Presbiteriana de Brasília, we worked with the youth group to update and clean a church who needed our help. We also spent a day in community and fellowship with the students through playing games and sharing meals at their church to get to know one another better. On our last day with the people of Igreja Presbiteriana de Brasília, we served soup and evangelized at a nearby bus station. It was amazing to see how the body of Christ came together to do what we were commanded to do.
Being a part of these projects was such an amazing experience for our team to witness together because we were able to see the same need for the gospel in Brazil that we see daily in the United States. We were able to witness the brokenness and the sin that has consumed our human nature. As a team, we had the opportunity to work together and play a small role in bringing truth to the nations.