Introduction: Beginning of a New Journey
Hey everyone! I wanted to tell you guys a small piece of the story of how God changed the direction of my life. Let me just start out by saying I went to Brazil thinking, “How can I better encourage, support, and pray for Mandy and Maicol (the missionary couple I went to Brazil with in March) and the other missionaries who are serving Jesus in Brazil?” I left prayerfully considering something very different. “God, is Brazil a place where you would have me go serve you and share the Gospel with those who have not heard?” Whoa whoa whoa! My thoughts racing: “That doesn’t make sense! You have a good job, amazing friends, steady income, and on and on and on! Giving all that up?” and then God just speaks into those thoughts with “Do you trust me to be all you need?” Phew! So true!! And that’s where I’ll begin sharing about how God used this trip to change me. Spoiler alert, if you haven’t seen La La Land and don’t want to hear the ending, you probably should go watch it before you keep reading because the beginning of this story starts with the ending of that movie. On March 8, 2017, Robbie and I drove from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA to Newport News where we met this amazing couple, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas. Mackenna was staying with them as her flights from Iowa brought her there. They took us to lunch and then the airport where we met Sharon. That is where the four of us began our journey to Brazil. Here we are waiting for our flight to Brazil! Mackenna, Robbie, myself, and Sharon!
We had two stops on the way – Newport News to Atlanta to San Paulo to Porto Alegre. On the long flight, we all watched movies and ended up falling asleep. I chose La La Land because I’d heard great things and really wanted to see it. God had a different story to teach me in that movie than what the writers intended. In the movie, the couple breaks up to pursue their dreams: Sebastian pursues opening his own jazz club and Mia pursues acting. One night, as a famous actress, Mia walks into a jazz club with her new husband and they sit down to listen to the band play. It turns out that it is Sebastian’s club, and he spots her in the crowd. He then plays this beautiful song that tells a story of “conflict and compromise,” of what their lives would have looked like if they’d stayed together. The story he plays is truly an amazing one! But in the end, he’s on stage alone and she’s in the crowd with someone else. And my heart just broke as I sensed the Lord ask me, “Are you chasing your goals and dreams at the expense of what I have for you? At the expense of your nearness to me?” In this movie, I saw me as Mia sitting in the crowd with another love looking at Jesus playing this song that told of what our life could have looked like together, if I would only have left my life to follow after Him. And I wept! Ugly cry, tears, snot, you name it! I just kept thinking, I don’t want to be sitting in the crowd at the end of my life having chosen lesser loves at the expense of Jesus – the greatest love my heart will EVER know! Sharon saw me crying and just let me sob in her arms – this sweet girl that I had just met, being my sister in Christ, not really knowing what was wrong, rubbing my back, and letting me soak her with my tears but also encouraging me with her words of Christ’s enoughness. That was where God broke me down to start off the trip. Quite a start, huh? I will never look at that movie the same again.
We landed in Brazil, and God didn’t stop working in my heart. I think that He set up my heart just right to be ready and willing to listen to what He had to say to me on this trip. It’s funny because if the trip had happened last year as planned, I don’t think I would be in the place I am right now, asking these questions, and trusting God in this way. The trip being postponed for a year may have served a purpose for the other people on our team in a variety of ways, but I know part of that postponing was for me. God’s gracious gift was letting my heart go through a process of molding, breaking, softening, and shaping in all the right ways. God waited. He waited for me. He waited to do what He needed to so I would hear His voice and answer. If we had gone to Brazil last year, I can’t say that I’d be thinking the things that I am today or praying about these seemingly crazy next steps. I am scared, but there is something else that overpowers that fear… His love. So here I am, writing this so I won’t forget. That I will forever remember the beautiful way His hand moved and played the keys of my heart to create a life-giving song. Who knew that in a week and a half so much could change? I know I will never be the same again nor do I desire to be. As time goes on I will share more of the story of how God led me to go to Brazil and start this journey with ABWE. This is just a small part of it. The starting point – the place where He really began to change my heart and change my plans! Now for an update on where I am currently.
Yesterday, I finished my application with ABWE, and it is currently being reviewed. Gospel Community Church has agreed to be my sending church which I am beyond excited about. I love the focus of GCC and the community I have there of people who just love Jesus and love others. The vision of GCC is that we are “a church family that is committed to making disciples who love God, grow in community, and reach out to others with the love of Christ. We want to make Jesus known in our lives, our homes, our communities, and our world.” I am excited as we begin to plan, dream, pray, and seek out together what the Lord has planned for my moving to South Brazil to help plant a church in a largely unreached region of the world. Please pray with me in this period of waiting and planning. I am going to Brazil from 8/29-9/13 to spend a couple weeks living life alongside Erin Wawro, one of the missionaries I met on my first trip today who has become a dear friend of mine. Pray with me that God would help me to see opportunities where He is at work and could use me as part of what He’s already doing. Pray that God would use me to make the Gospel more known while I am there as well. I am excited to see more of what day to day life looks like in Brazil on this trip and spending more learning from Erin. I am also praying about starting my doctorate, and I am trying to decide between two options. Pray that God would guide my decision towards what would best equip me for sharing Jesus in Brazil and loving people well. I don’t go to New Missionary Orientation until March 2018. At that point in time, I will have a better understanding of plans, finances, etc. I am so thankful for the prayers and encouragement I have already received from many of you in this journey! I hope that gives you guys a small glimpse into where I currently am in the process of going to Brazil. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or comments or anything at all (firstname.lastname@example.org)! I am thankful for each one of you and thankful for you joining me in this adventure.
With love, Megan Kinne