Well, it has been almost 2 months since returning from Brasil. It has been fun getting back into the swing of living American once again. No, I didn’t experience “reverse Culture shock”. I really had no idea there was such a thing, until I was reading up on “Culture Shock”(after the fact)that someone told me about(Pastor Richard). I was amazed that such a thing actually existed. But, really, you need to be out of the country for a year or two to experience such a thing.
The things I did have to get used to once again was, the coffee, how very weak it is compared to the Brasilian type coffee. The warm, fresh bread we ate every single morning, and no I never did get sick of it, in fact I’m wishing right now that tomorrow morning I wake up to the fresh smell of homemade, hot from the oven bread and butter for breakfast! Rice and beans like those we had in Brasil cannot be made here in America( even if one does purchase a pressure cooker J)it just isn’t the same. Once again I never did tire of rice and beans even though we did eat them most every afternoon and evening.
Someone once told me before I left for Brasil, to enjoy the Worship services here at your own church because you will not get the same Worship overseas and they were right! The Worship at the churches in Brasil were beautiful but they were never in English and this is something we missed very much. There were many services that we attended, ones for the kids, ones for the moms and dads and ones at regular church services.
When we ministered in other churches as a team effort the churches were always very gracious to us and fed us very well and also always picked us up and brought us home. I will tell you about one time we were waiting to be picked up the service began at 7:30 PM and we finally got picked up at 8:45 PM, the van they picked us up in was a 1999 Volkswagen Bus. It looked to be about a 1969. There were 10 of us and they came with 4 other people in this van. The seats apparently were not the ones that came with this van as they were not bolted down and each time they made a sharp turn the seats and the people, well you can imagine what happened.
My dear friend Pauline is very claustrophobic and this ride in the van was a test from God(or so she thought)be that as it may, this proved to her that she can do all things through Christ! The poor girl was green and had to sit right next to the window with it open a crack so she could breath. We got to the church and the congregation was still worshipping and praising the Lord even though we were so late, we still did our dramas and our testimonies.
The next part of this story was so very unexpected. We went out to get in the van after a very nice meal and drinks and sweet fellowship with these great people. I stepped foot into the van and oh yes the floorboards were, ahh, how can I say this delicately, well lets just say, in parts we could see the road. L Ok, so as I stepped into the van I was told not to get in yet as the van had to be “push started”, fortunately the van was on a hill and it didn’t take much to “jump start” it and after it was started we all, once again, piled into this ornate piece of metal with wheels on. J
Almost home, or so we thought. It was about 11:30 PM when someone said “flat tire”, I sorely hoped I was hearing things! Nope, I was hearing right, we did have a flat tire. Thank God it was a decent night, not too cold, not to hot. However we were right at the head of the favela or slums. People get robed here, people get killed here. God had our backs as He always did. However, we had to wait for several hours before one of the pastors that our friend had called to come with a new tire to rescue us. After one more “push start” J We finally made it home at 1:30 AM safe and sound.
What did I learn while I was doing missions work in Brasil? Several things and here are a few:
*I learned never to judge a book by it’s cover, you need to read the pages and come to a logical conclusion.
*As old as we are, we can still learn new things, case in point, me doing a drama and enjoying it! J
*God works patience into us as long as He thinks we still need patience!
*How very fortunate and blessed to be able to live in the USA!
*As poor as you might think you are, you are rich compared to third world countries standards.
*Never think you can’t learn from the younger generation, they have a great deal to offer, just listen with an open heart and open mind.
*Don’t try to put God in a box, if He has a plan for you, accept it and go with it because one way or another you will do it His way J
*Stepping out in faith is a great way to learn to trust God, when you think it’s God, do what He is telling you to do, you won’t be sorry.
*Speaking to a crowd isn’t as scary anymore.
There is so much more that I experienced that I could write and write and write some more but I feel God is calling me to other things and this book must be closed for now.