Sunday we awoke with a hurried pace. We quickly packed our bags and gathered our things. We made our way from the Pousada to Union Church to listen to Jay preach. We were eager because Union Church is an international English-speaking church in Rio. We all arrived and walked in looking the best we had all week. While we had been in the favelas and homeless shelters with t-shirts and shorts in the blistering heat, we were happy to dress nicely and fellowship with so many new people. Jay’s message challenged us to see Christ as our rescuer and to proclaim him as savior. We left from the gathering to our last day of VBS. The plan was to do a more low-key large lesson and hang out time. We wanted to spend time with the kids and bless them with the donations that so many had given. It was also really important to be a blessing to them and pour out the love of Christ by playing and sharing hugs.
Perhaps the most touching moment was when we as a leadership washed the feet of the children. As the children lined up to have their feet washed we would tell them Jesus loved them and then pray over them as we washed their feet. Our translators explained to them that Jesus had done the same thing for his friends because he loved them and that is why we were washing their feet. One little girl grabbed a translator so she could tell us she felt like a queen when we washed her feet. Our hearts melted. We pray that this simple display of love will resonate in the favela.
We left with heavy hearts and several hugs. We arrived at Jay’s young church plant to participate in their Easter gathering. Liz Easton shared a testimony of how God had moved during the week and how he had blessed us so much. It was again powerful to sing songs in Portuguese and English. We enjoyed Jay’s message via a translator.
At the end of the gathering we joined in for a few refreshments and then began our goodbyes. We said goodbye to the people who had labored alongside of us throughout the week. We wept and laughed and made plans for next year. We loaded up and headed to the airport.
After all the travel we are home, at least in part. We left part of our heart in Rio. God has called us here in Columbia, MO. We have covenanted with our church and are eager to return to work in our city. But we now have a renewed vision for mission. Our God is a global God. Pray for Brazil. Pray for Columbia. Pray for your city.
Soli Deo Gloria, Billy Glosson