Each day that we are fortunate enough to spend here in Recife, Brazil, is an incredible blessing. God has not only been doing amazing works in the lives of the Brazilian people, but He has also been changing the lives of the Young Couples' Class. In these few, short days, we have learned so much about the power and plans of God.
I know that many of you are familiar with the verse from Romans 12:4-5.
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:4-5
I've read this verse many, many times. Today, I experienced this verse in a very different way. Our team was able to see this verse in real life. Our story starts this morning at Kid's Place. The mornings always begin with a worship service with the children which is such a blessing! This morning, though, something unexpected happened. A little boy named Wendelson came up to me and matter-a-factually said, “What do you know about Jesus?” Crazy, huh?!?! I had never met him before! I felt so blessed to have the opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus with Wendelson. He asked so many great questions like, “Why did Christ have to actually die?” You could see he was just soaking up information. It was so beautiful!!
Afterwards, he pulled out his own little Bible. He told me he had a relationship with Christ! When I asked if I could pray for him, he replied, “Please pray for my mom. She isn't a Christian.” Wow. This eleven year old seemed further along in his faith than many adults that I know. Next, Wendelson asked if I was going to come to his house that afternoon. I wanted to tell him, “Yes! Of course I am!!” Unfortunately, I didn't know the answer to that question.
After our conversation, I went to find out if we were on the team to go to his house. My name wasn't on the list to go visit his house. I almost just “threw in the towel,” but I really felt that God wanted me to go to his house to visit his mother. So I very hesitantly asked to have plans changed. We were going to Wendelson's house!!
Fortunately for our team, God always has the perfect plan. God had already prepared the perfectteam to go visit Wendelson's home! There were nine of us all together: the Sanders, the Luensmanns, Cindy, Wilson (our translator), and three wonderful Brazilian women!
On this very rainy day, we trekked through the muddy streets of Coque to find Wendelson's home. When we arrived, Jailza (Wendelson's mother) warmly invited us in to her home. There were 13 of us (including her older son and daughter) crowded in her little, living room. Normally, my plan is to make small talk for a while and then transition into spiritual topics. That wasn't God's plan. We all greeted each other, sat down, and Wilson asked, “Well, do you wanna share your story?” Well, how could I argue with that?
So I shared my testimony that is filled with ups and downs. I shared and I cried. At one point, after I shared something intimate from my past, Jailza opened up and told us that she didn't realize that other people (especially Americans) suffered like she did. We actually witnessed shock on her face when she realized it. I thought once my testimony was over, that would be the end of it. Boy was I wrong. Throughout the next hour and forty-five minutes, we talked about the grace that God has given us and the love He has for us. We must have presented the gospel in about six different ways. Jailza seemed to be soaking it up.
During this time, Cindy was able to share and relate to Jailza and her children in a different way. Michael was also able to share part of his childhood. Behind me, Matt was praying and took the opportunity to say some powerful words. One of the Brazilian women from our group started sharing (in Portuguese) so passionately about the Lord that I was almost brought to tears. It was so evident that we were ALL coming from different places, with different gifts, and even different languages, but we were all working for one purpose.
As soon as we stepped out of her house, I realized what a powerful scene I had just witnessed. I just saw the living, vibrant, body of Christ at work! If I would have gone there alone, I would have failed miserably. God had planned for everyone in that group to be there.
How did our visit end, you ask??? Unfortunately, Jailza did not become a follower of Jesus Christ today. We aren't discouraged though! I felt the Holy Spirit at work in that home and in that family. Iknow that a seed was planted! Please keep praying for Jailza and her family!