I’m in Brazil! My passport has finally been stamped outside of North America *major happy dance* that one has been on the bucket list for far too long! Thank you, thank you, thank you friends for praying! And I thank you ahead of time for continuing to pray!!! All 12 members of our team have successfully and safely made it to Rio de Janeiro without getting sick or loosing any of our gear! God is so good! His Hand of guidance and protection have been incredibly evident already. The first day was a long day of traveling to get here – roughly 36 hours later, us Canadians made it to Brazil. Even on our journey here, my team and I have been able to have great conversations with others in the airports about Jesus and the reasons why we are going to Rio to share Him with others. It’s amazing what the Lord will do when we simply say yes, and make ourselves available to be used by Him. After flying into Rio Sunday evening, we were taken to our base where all of the other street ministry missionaries and translators are staying. Since our group of over 100 was coming from all over the world, it took a couple days for all of us to arrive. Our Canadian team arrived earlier than needed, so on Monday some members of our team explored parts of Rio while a few others recovered from our day(s) of travel. It was great spending time as a group and getting to know other people that would be doing street ministry with us. Pastor Gene; our group leader had a devotional on Jeremiah chapter 1 that really struck a couple cords with me. We focused on verses 4 through 9 which read, “Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, “Alas, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ Because everywhere I send you, you shall go, And all that I command you, you shall speak. “Do not be afraid of them, For I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD. Then the LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me, “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.” Verse 6 was the one that really stuck out to me. I know personally, I don’t feel “prepared” for sharing my faith with complete strangers. Now that I’m here, I feel like I should’ve memorize books of the Old Testament and learned the Portuguese language somewhat fluently, maybe I should’ve been reading more books about sharing the gospel. I don’t know. But when my pastor started explain that verse, it made me realize that I am never going to be “ready” I must only be willing – and God will use me however He needs. You know that quote, “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called” That statement has never been so encouraging as of now. Going back and rereading hose verses, I am encouraged because God doesn’t expected us to be well oiled and ready to go – He simply wants us to be ready to go. Other people in my group shared their insecurities about not knowing what to say, or answering questions and explaining the gospel simply, etc. I believe that God will go ahead of our team. I believe God has been preparing for us the whole time; putting our hearts in the perfect place to know and understand that it is God going ahead of us and God doing the works. Not us. And that is exciting to me!
Tuesday was the big day to receive the low down and game play of our mission for the streets of Rio. That morning our team had another devotional led by one fellow in our group. He told us to flip over to Matthew 13:3-9 which talks about the Sower and the Seed. As he read I kind of sat back because, well to be honest, I felt like I had heard this passage a thousand times before. As he finished, he began to explain that it doesn’t matter what we say, or do, or give out today. I sat forward. “God has chosen each and everyone of us to scatter seed in these next few weeks. We are here to share the gospel. In Matthew we read about all these different kinds of soil – but the farmer still scattered. We read about the soil with weeds, the rocky soil and the good soil – the farmer scattered the same over all the soil. As he explained, I listened with new ears because I had never looked at that passage with those eyes before. He continued to talk about how we are meant to make sure seed falls everywhere – what happens with it and how it grows is completely out of our control. It’s God’s responsibility not ours. My heart was so encouraged. He’s right. God was helping us to understand that what happens over this short time during the Olympics is not our doing but the Lord’s. We are merely here to be His vessel and Jesus’ light.
That gave me a new energy to go out! We would head out around 11:00 that morning and come back to the base around 5:00. Our Canadian team loaded up our backpacks with gospel booklets in several languages and were placed at the White Arches of Lapa in Rio de Janerio to share the gospel with everyone we might encounter. Guys – it was an incredible day!!! We handed out booklets and talked to the people that came across our path. I’m excited to see what God will do over the next couple weeks because the people we encountered today encouraged my spirit.
Please continue to pray for everyone in Rio – for soft hearts and open ears. Please pray for our team – for boldness of heart and confidence in God’s Word. Thank you again for all of the prayers I know you have been sending our way! They truly mean a lot. I want to encourage you, where ever you are, be bold for Jesus. Step out of your comfort zone and pray for that person, encourage that person, tell that person about Jesus. My eyes have been opened to a new way of living out my faith and I want you guys to catch this flame with me!
– Stay Satisfied