Reading over my notes from before I left for Brasil till now, as I sit here getting acclimated back into Louisiana society, it amazes me how much was done in 4 months.
I started writing about our adventure when we first found out that Brasil was in our future. Pauline and I both wanted a trip abroad, we thought it would be a trip to Italy, which intrigued both of us. I had received a sizeable birthday gift and expected that was my first installment to Italy, boy was I wrong!
When God directs your steps you can be sure it will work out. From the time we started planning to the day we boarded the plane we knew God was in control. That is why neither Pauline nor I was upset when, our plane was delayed, we knew it was a God delay. We ended up praying for several friends of Beverly’s(Pauline’s and now my friend)something God had directed from the beginning but we didn’t get that memo until, our plane was delayed.
I tore my right rotator cuff as I was getting luggage from the trunk to airport. I didn’t think much about it until after 4 weeks of pain and finally getting to a doctor and finding out that was, in fact, what it was. A small lesson in patience, maybe? Or perhaps dealing with some pain issues? Some people have a pain issue much more severe than mine I think God was showing me more compassion for others through my situation.
Pauline was the one who carried my heavy bags and back packs through this whole trip, what was He speaking to her, well we might have to ask her about that. But she never complained, unlike myself, who wanted to carry her own bags but couldn’t, perhaps once again He was telling me to let go and let others be a help top me? Pauline was a trooper and was always thinking about me and was always there for me through some very rough times.
While flying out from Houston to Miami we were blessed to sit next to a young man named Jonathon Matthew Cervantes. This young man told us the story of how he became disabled, we had the privilege to have him as our “seat mate” on this flight. He is a paraplegic and he preceeded to tell us the story of how he became so. He was at a beach party when some shots were fired and everyone started to run there were 250 people scattering everywhere and people getting into their cars and two separate cars hit him and 3 other people. 6 years later he is still trying to recover. He says he is the “Bionic Man”. Yes, he was mad at God. He has feelings in his legs but no muscle control. He has 2 jobs and is finishing school, majoring in computer science. He was on his way to Santiago, Chile, by himself, in a wheelchair, to see his girlfriend.
An amazing young man who bared his heart and soul to Pauline and myself and at the end of the plane ride Pauline led him to the Lord and we both prayed for his healing.
So, you can say our delays were a “coincidence” but I say they were Godincidence. God was giving us a taste of what it was going to be like in Brasil, to get us ready to be prayer warriors for people in another country.
Exercise was never my strong point and if someone were to ask me what is my least favorite thing to do I would have to say exercise. Prior to coming to Brasil, I had foot surgery, a bunionectomy and a cyst removed from my right foot. I had done some walking with friends but nothing much to talk about here. I heard from others who had been to Brasil that a lot of walking was involved, really, how much could it be?? Well, I was to find out and quickly, when they said a lot of walking they meant a lot of walking.
Our first experience with the walking was the very next day that we arrived in Lagoa Santa. Some church people had made Pizza for us and we walked to their house. When people who had been to Brasil prior to our trip said they walk everywhere, that is exactly what they mean, “walk everywhere”. It was a good 2 miles to these friends house and by the time we got there I thought I would die. If God didn’t take me home that night to be with Him in heaven I knew that I would make it the rest of the journey He put me on.
I made it, and from then on I walked up hills and down valleys, across mud filled roads, stone and dirt roads. You name it we walked on it!
Walking became our way of life. When I left Louisiana I was walking around Our Saviors Campus and got out of breath on the first go round. Now, I’m proud to say I can do about a mile without complaining(as long as I’m not carrying a big heavy bag)and more on flat(ish)ground. I still hate hills! This exercise has made me stronger and I thank God for it.
I will stop here for now. I plan to write in installments so as not to bore anyone. Maybe it will be more exciting this way J Besides I could never write about the past 4 months in one entry, and I would never expect you to read all that at one sitting.
Stay tuned for installment 2 coming soon.