2014 Summer Missions Recap: Brazil

Ministering to the teachers in Assis Chateaubriand

Ministering to the teachers in Assis Chateaubriand

The summer of 2014 has been very  busy and active in the international missions aspect of Serving & Outreach at Christ United Methodist Church and it has been a joy to partner with them. We spent three months in Brazil serving in many different ways, but it was an amazing blessing to have this team join us to close our time in Brazil.

This is Rachel Jacques’ account of her time with Lar Foundation at Lar Batista, Brazil:

 

Our Team at Guimaraes Rosa School

The Brazil mission team returned from Assis Chateaubriand, Brazil on July 26 after a week-long journey–and what a journey! From the moment we arrived at Lar Batista (the orphanage where we stayed and the place that would become our home away from home) we knew that it would hold a special place in our hearts.  We worked hard at the local school teaching basketball and sharing how much God loved the kids there. We got to see over 500 kids that weren’t only seeking to learn how to play basketball but were also seeking something real, something more … Jesus.  We stood back and watched as they would listen to our testimonies and stories and prayed that each kid would truly hear this good news and that the Lord would pursue each of them with His holy calling.  The verse we used on the bracelets that we handed out is 1 John 2:6: “Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.” We encouraged each child to first and foremost seek a personal relationship with Jesus and to live a life worthy of what He has done for us… something we all need to be reminded of.

When we weren’t at the school we were busy making sweet friendships with the kids at the orphanage, doing a landscape project and worshiping at their church.  The people at Lar Batista welcomed us with open arms like we were family and it was apparent the love they had for each other, for us, and their inner joy and incredible faith that could only come from Jesus.  We were so eager to leave a lasting footprint on their hearts through sharing Christ and basketball and in the end it was they who made one on ours.  We learned the power of God’s children coming together for his purpose and that no matter our language, culture, skin color or distance, we are all unified together in Christ.  We learned to cherish each moment, each other and to remember that our lives are precious and purposeful.  Most of all, we learned about joy. Being in the presence of these children you would never know the heartbreak and tragedy that a lot of them have already faced in their young lives … but do you want to know their secret?  They worship a God and a kingdom that can not be shaken and they know that there is nothing that can happen to them that can separate them from the love and provision that Christ promises His children.

When I think of the spirit of the people at Lar Batista this verse from Psalm 47:1-3 comes to mind: “Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth. He will subdue the peoples under us, and the nations under our feet.”  I hope you are are shouting with joy today for all that Christ is and all he has done!
fun busThank you for your time or as the Brazilians would say “Obrigada!”

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