"My presence will go with you. I'll see the journey until the end." - Exodus 33:14
This is the verse that I kept thinking of while I was in Brazil.
Amber Kasnick gave me a journal when I left for Brazil last year that had this verse on it. I journaled in it while I was in Brazil last year and this year. In preparing myself for this year's adventure, I looked back at my old entries. The last one I had written from the trip last year was about how I didn't understand why God had sent me to Brazil. I had loved every bit of it, but I just felt like I was missing something. The entry after that was written on November 4, 2011. I wrote about how I had decided to help lead a team back to Brazil and how students were currently filling out applications for the trip. I wrote about how I was so confident that this is what God wanted me to do.
Then this year as I journaled, I kept reflecting on how awesome it was the God filled in those missing pieces. Since this trip has ended, I have felt so much more complete. The questions that I had at the end of the trip last year have been answered. I believe that one of the reasons I was meant to got to Brazil in 2010 was so that I could help out with bringing a team back in 2011. There were so many circumstances along the way that were made easier because Jackie and I were familiar with Brazil and how Tom and Grace Ensz work. God is so sovereign. I have always known that, but I saw it portrayed in a new way on this trip.
It was so humbling to listen to the team share what they had learned on the last night. Brazil has taken little pieces of their hearts just like it has taken pieces of mine. To watch their faces light up as they share stories brings me so much joy. I know that we brought glory to the kingdom of God while we were there. Satan hated it. I loved it. God worked in so many ways. He provided for us every day in ways that I am sure we didn't even realize. He opened our eyes and our hearts to see the people of Brazil. He stretched us - sometimes very thin - but only to use those moments to make us grow. He brought unity to our team, and He took us to places within ourselves that are going to help us become better sons and daughters of Christ. I feel so undeserving of this trip. I feel like I wasn't worthy enough to be on this team. I am so grateful and so blessed.
I pray that as the team gets used to being back in the States and goes back to their own lives that they will continue to carry the name of Jesus like they did in Brazil. I pray that they will continue to apply what they learned in these past two weeks to their daily lives.
I am so proud of all of them.