My journey in Brazil has been one of so many highlights and memories that I will carry with me always, and I could not have asked the Lord to show himself any more than he has over the past three weeks. He has shown up in more ways than I ever imagined. My team of twenty has grown so much in our relationships with Christ and with each other, and for that I am so very thankful.  When I look back at all we have faced together as a team- ranging from hospital visits, sickness, language barriers, spiritual warfare, and all the good times as well- I couldn’t have asked for better people to share this experience with.  Of all the trials that I have personally faced thus far on my trip, I have learned what it truly looks like to rely on the Lord and although I have had great friends standing beside me every step I could not have faced anything without his provision and guidance.
With all that being said, being split into two different teams was probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to face.

I never thought I could miss someone so much until they split my sister and I up. When we both applied to IMPACT, we knew there would be two different teams sent to Brazil to do ministry, and although I had a gut feeling we would not serve together, that feeling was not something I wanted to become a reality.  I loved the members the Lord placed on my team, and I was so anxious and excited to serve with them, but I really struggled with the fact that I could not serve alongside Emily. It was hard for me to accept that the Lord’s plan was for us to have experience separately, but this turned into a great time for me to rely on him and depend fully on him and not her.

The Lord knew exactly what he was doing when these teams were created, however this day, February 2, has been much awaited for both my team and the POA team.  It was reunion day. For me it was filled with more emotions than I thought I had in me. I stayed in a host home with Miriam, and several times this week we found ourselves playing scenarios in our heads of how this day would go. We thought “who will we hug first”, and “how much will we cry when they finally get there?” For us we didn’t have much context of how the day would actually go, so we made it up. We had an idea of what time their flight was arriving, but travel never goes exactly according to plan. Last night as we went to sleep, we just talked about how excited we were for this day to finally get here, and we prayed for the events of the day.  We got up this morning bright and early, and headed to the airport. We boarded the plane a little earlier than we were supposed to, and although we had a little close call, everyone made the flight.  We arrived in Curitiba around 10:20, and waited at the airport on Ed and Phil to arrive for a little over an hour.  During our time of waiting we sat down as a team and talked a little about what our time in Sao Paulo looked like, and how we could prepare ourselves for the next eleven days. Coming together from small groups of twenty to a large group of 39 again was not going to be easy, but we would make it work.

The other team was not supposed to arrive until 7:00 or later tonight, so a few of us were sitting in the lobby at the hotel later tonight playing cards, and when I turned around I saw Tripp standing in the door way. There flight was had arrived at least an hour early, and they were surprising us. I walked outside the door to see who else was standing there and my sister drops all her luggage and runs at me to hug me. For the first time in 21 days, I saw her and this moment was everything I anticipated and more.  All night tonight we have shared stories, talked about what the Lord has done, and shared the experiences we have had. I can’t wait to serve with her, and the rest of the POA team this week in Curitiba. It is going to be awesome to see how the Lord uses all 39 of us to better his kingdom. I know he has great plans for us this week. I am so excited to see his plan unfold for each student in the class of 2014.