This summer a group of college students headed to Goiânia, Brazil to work with children at our Learning Centers and help host an overnight camp for them. Thanks to Megan T., from Williston State College, for sharing her experience with us below.
Brazil…God sent me to beautiful Brazil. This trip stirred my heart in ways it has never been stirred before. I was terrified on the morning of August 3rd when I boarded the plane. I was traveling away from my family, my home, but most of all, my comfort zone. I truly had to rely on God. Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” became so real to me when going to Brazil alone seemed impossible.
For the first three days in Brazil we stayed in a city called Goiânia and visited VisionTrust’s two Learning Centers. The Centers care for the children when they aren’t at school, fed them, give them showers, help with homework, and teach them about Jesus Christ. These children were so full of love. We played with them for part of the day, did a service project in the afternoon, and visited one family each day to see their homes and pray over them.
The next three days were spent at a camp in the mountains. This was the greatest part of the summer by far. The children were assigned to cabins and we became camp counselors. The girls in my cabin were ages 11-13 and were such sweethearts. They learned how to say, “good morning” and “beautiful” in English and were so proud of using them when speaking to us—especially to compliment us.
We played games with the kids, sat with them during the sermons (which get pretty lengthy when you don’t speak the same language as the speaker!), ate meals with them, did their hair, and danced with them during worship. The best part was, no matter where we were, there was always a child holding our hands, hugging us tightly, or riding on our backs. I felt so unconditionally loved.
It was hard to tell if we had an impact on the children during the camp, simply because of the language barrier. However, all of those doubts were completely wiped away when it came time to say goodbye. I had formed a bond with one particular girl, shown in the pictures below, and our goodbye was tear-filled and heart breaking. I had to let her go and remember that our loving God was in control of her precious little life.
God truly changed my life when I traveled to the beautiful country of Brazil. Three weeks after I returned, I found myself looking through pictures of my time there. I began to weep for the futures of the ones I loved so dearly. How could I be sure that they would be okay? Who could I trust to care for those little angels?
Through my tears I saw the stars. It sounds cliché, but I was comforted by the fact that my Father, who knows exactly how many stars were in that breathtaking night sky, is the same Father of the children in Goiânia. They are not mine…they are His, and He can embrace them with love even though I cannot. I hope to return to Brazil to hug all of those angels once again, but for now I will pray diligently for them because I know that He is the One who holds their precious lives—and His hands are far more capable than any others.