We are on day 9 of our 14 day trip to Brazil. We spent the first week with our exchange student’s family so we could carefully submerge Avery and Grady into the Brazilian culture before staying at the Davis Lar Children’s home for several days.
As I am writing this, I see the children of the Lar joyfully playing outside. We are at the main campus which has approximately 45 (ish) kids ranging from 2 years old up to around 17 years old. Yesterday morning, we met with the leadership team at the Lar and introduced ourselves to those we didn’t know. We talked about the most recent challenges and the biggest needs. Tim and I also presented our hearts, our calling, and what our focus would be on: teaching English and technical skills to the children of the Lar while discipling them and doing ministry outreach in the favelas (slums) where a lot of these kids came from. The next big piece to our ministry is establishing the MISSION POST: a place where teams and interns can stay when serving and we will recruit and train those that come to serve. We asked the team to put together a list of the 10-15 of their biggest needs so we can see how we can benefit the future of the Lar and the children of the Lar.
Okay. That was exciting.
Then the 4 of us wandered down the cobblestone dusty road to the house where we will be living when we make our official move. Now, I had never seen this house and it has not been lived in for a few years. I knew the house was going to need repairs before we came.
Can I just say that REALITY straight up sucker punched me in the face when we walked into our gate? ( pictures below)
This is IT. This is REAL. My immediate response was a desire to go away, alone, and just sit still and cry. I have to say, some fear came into me. But as I have always said, fear is NOT of GOD. Then, our 9 year old started to panic over smaller things like the pink wall of her bedroom ( easy to fix), the size of the room ( not crazy small), the lack of grass in the yard. I could sense that she was experiencing the same overwhelming sense of reality that was right before us. Tim remained calm but was also quiet, I assume he was soaking in the reality as well.
After taking lots of pictures and soaking all this REALITY in, the 4 of us prayed right there on that front porch, we prayed over our anxieties, the conversations that will be held in this home, the teams and interns that will come to serve, the blessing of this home being given to us, God’s provision to make repairs and to help us make this house our home.
I had a lot to think about, I was not at all doubting what we were signing up for. When at home, in the states it wasn’t as much of a raw reality as it is when we are here walking through a glimpse of our new lives. I had always wanted a large wrap around porch with a constant breeze, I had prayed years ago for a home to welcome many people in and to have fruitful conversations, and to motivate our children to be hospitable.
Later that night, laying in the hammock I reflected on everything leading us up to this very moment, all the connections that God had laid out for us:
1. Feeling the call to serve overseas a year before ever coming to the Lar.
2. Knowing we were called to serve the Lar the day we landed there for the first time
3. Hosting a foreign exchange student from the city where we would be moving ( before we knew we were moving there)
4. Others seeing our hearts and asking us to establish the Misison Post at the Lar.
5. The house that we are moving into was bought and donated by the parents of my mother’s high school prom date!
Here I was laying in a hammock in the exact spot I laid in 4 years ago when I journaled about the day we could bring our children here. Yesterday, I had allowed the devil to creep around me like a lion and plant feelings of defeat and fear into my head while I stared at the house that we will call home. So, I opened up Psalms and randomly began reading verses.
Psalm 57:9-11 I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
I will sing your praises among the nations.
For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Psalm 56:13 I praise God for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
Psalm 55:12-18, 22 Morning, noon, and night
I cry out in my distress,
and the Lord hears my voice.
18 He ransoms me and keeps me safe
from the battle waged against me,
though many still oppose me.
Give your burdens to the Lord,
and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
Psalm 52:8 But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God.
I will always trust in God’s unfailing love.
This is OUR CALLING, when you receive your calling, there will be challenges both physical and spiritual. THEY WILL CONSUME YOU IF YOU DO NOT PUT ALL OF YOUR UNDERSSTANDING AND WORRIES INTO GOD’S UNFAILING PROMISES.
As I stood on the front porch of our future home looking into Avery’s precious and innocent brown eyes, I told her “ the devil is working hard against you right now, he wants you to be anxious, he wants you to worry, he doesn’t want you or us to succeed in this”… That is what I needed someone to tell me, But God already did.
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