Monday, March 19, 2012

living out love

Wow. We have just gotten back from a little over a week in Brazil and it was amazing.  It was awesome to see a dream we have had for our family for several years become a reality.  As soon as we found out I was pregnant with our first, we began to dream about what we wanted for our children, the values we wanted to pass down, and what we wanted to communicate that had importance in our lives.  Beyond our faith, the missional love of Jesus was something we wanted to live out loud for our kids.  It is a value in our family to serve others, tell others about Him, and live out His love beyond the borders of our country.  This was our first family mission trip, I would say (we went to Brazil a few years ago but with a 9 months old and 2 year old I'd hardly call that anything beyond a chaotic vacation ;).
My fears going in was that the kids were not going to eat much, wouldn't adjust well to the language or integrate themselves in with the people.  Well that took all of about 4 hours for God to overcome all of those once we hit the ground.  The kids loved it.  They were barefoot running around on the farm, playing guitar with Jonas, learning the moves to some Portuguese kids songs, playing with the kids in Brasilia.  It was amazing to watch.

The Lord kept tapping me on the shoulder saying-- see, I told you I could do it, this doesn't have to be as hard as you make it out to be, this is what I want for your family, it is not hard to be missional as a family.

It was lots of early mornings and long days putting on a camp in a smaller, more poverty stricken suburb of Brasilia called Riachofundo.  God blew open our minds and the doors of the camp as he nearly tripled our attendance by the end of the week.  One moment for me was to hear what the kids wrote down as "joy-stealers" of life to the fullest: family members doing drugs, being hungry, parents that continually call them bad names, bullying, and parents that will not go to church with them.  It became very real then.  We were not just putting on a camp in a small community, but we were connecting 180 kids to a church, showing them God's love, and hopefully letting Jesus shine in hope on an often dark situation.

There were several amazing moments with kids that I connected with. Even just in my broken portuguese, telling a girl that she is a princess of God loved extravagantly by jesus.  Or just being silly as we sang, danced, hugged, and played hand games.  Reese clicked right in with the girls despite the language barrier.  It is amazing how you can still connect with no words at all.

Another neat moment was that John's best friend from the age of 8-12 heard through the grapevine that John was in town and came on the last night to visit.  He brought one of his daughters and we enjoyed chatting and catching up late one night.
  It is so neat to see a part of John's past in such an amazing way.  John definitely falls right into place there in a way that often makes me want that for myself or the kids so much.

I ended the trip with such a heart full of gratitude for the opportunity, for the kids loving it so much there, for four little feet stained with the red dirt of Brazil and for a fulfilled longing for our family.  I definitely told God on the way home, just to call us where ever and we would go. If that is Brazil, Chapel Hill, Congo or Uganda, I would go or stay if he asked.  However, if we stay here, we are committing for this to be a part of our lifestyle. I am not waiting until I have teenagers to take them overseas and expose them to another lifestyle. This will be part of our family forever. I am so thankful God honored that desire with such an amazing trip for all of us.

*You can read the team blog at if you want more details of day by day.


  1. I LOVE this!!!!!! Matt and I have been to Brazil twice now and really want to take our kids! It's so funny all the fears we have in taking our kids, but most of them are just comforts we dont' want to let go of--- adjusted schedules, picky food eating, etc. Your post made me want to let go of all excuses and introduce my children to foreign missions!! :)

  2. wooohooo!!! so happy. so happy. beaming over here.

  3. Hey, Kylie. You probably don't remember me, but I met you a couple of years ago on the Oasis of the Seas trip. When you guys announced at Seminar that you are adopting, my heart was so full for your family. Finding your blog and seeing your heart for the Lord and his work around the world is so encouraging. Thanks! I look forward to hearing more about your trips and seeing how God works in your family. Praying God's blessings for you all.

    1. I totally remember y'all! So glad you found me! Thanks for your sweet words. God is good!