Megan's September Trip to Brazil
Boa noite queridos amigos!
On Wednesday, September 13, I got back from a two-week trip to Brazil. In my last letter, I mentioned some specific prayer requests that I had in going. I asked for prayer that I would see opportunities where God is at work and could use me in what He is doing, for God to use me while I visited to make the Gospel more known, and that I would make a decision on which doctorate program to go into. Wow! Looking back on those, God answered each prayer, and I am humbled by His gracious replies. Erin (below) and I had been talking for a while about what we could do while I visited. We talked about what the day-to-day life looks like for a missionary. I wanted to see more of culture, regular missionary life, and spend time with people. While I was still in the states, we planned and prayed.
I landed in Brazil and jumped right into life with Erin. She runs a small coffee shop across the street from the university in São Leopoldo called The Hangout. The coffee shop is a place that people can come for free coffee, speak in English, play board games, purchase baked goods, and simply hang out! The building is used for the church (Logos) to gather on Sundays as well. I made new friends in Brazil and had some really great conversations. Below are some of my friends! There were others too like Fabrício, Angelica, Rafael, Keke, Raquel, and I enjoyed meeting and getting to each of them.
I also met some of the other ABWE missionaries in South Brazil while I was there. Below are a few of them: Erin Wawro, Benjamin Candee, and Lucas & Teresa Bair with one of their sons, Owen. I also had lunch with the regional director and his wife, Cal and Carol Clark. They were encouraging and helpful in sharing about missionary training, support raising, moving, etc.
Some of the other things I did while I was there were visit Gramado, go to a traditional churrascaria (steak house) where I was pulled up on stage for a traditional Gaucho dance, have an ultimate Frisbee and game day, shop at the downtown market, teach a 5th grade English class, attend my first field counsel meeting, go to the beach, visit some of the local Catholic churches and idols, eat a lot of delicious food, drink amazing coffee and so much more (if you want to see pictures or hear more about these things, just ask!). My favorite parts were the conversations that I had with people of different religions, social classes, upbringings, etc. Erin and I had a couple conversations with Fabrício while I was there. Fabrício discussed religion with us: the cultural views of it as well as his personal thoughts. We ended up discussing some verses in Romans and challenging him to read the whole book as it addresses many of the questions he asked. He shared with us about how he fears whether or not he is good enough. We have had some good conversations since then. I have also had some good conversations with Tays. While I was there, her uncle passed away from cancer. She gave me a letter when I left that said, “Thanks for cheering me up even not knowing me. It meant a lot.” We have also had some good conversations over text since I’ve been back to the US. My heart broke for people like Fabrício, Tays, and João Pedro to the point of tears; the desire for them to know Jesus burns in my heart now from afar. Please join me in praying for their salvation and for God to use the believers in their lives to make Christ known.
I also shared part of my testimony with Logos one night. It was humbling to see how God used my story to encourage and challenge them in their faith. Throughout the week, the guys asked me questions about depression, counseling, loving others, knowing God more, ministry at The Hangout, missional living, and so much more. I loved hearing their stories, their victories, their struggles, and seeing their excitement to learn and grow. They welcomed me into their lives and their hearts. I miss every single one of my friends dearly! Saudades! One big decision I made while in Brazil was to begin my Doctorate in Education. Erin and I dreamed together of what ministry could look like when I come to Brazil, and God made my decision more and more clear. I applied the day I got back to the US. On October 19, I will be having my doctrine interview with ABWE. I am excited to learn more about what I believe and why. I am also nervous to explain that before a bunch of people. Prayers are very much appreciated for both of these as well as for God to continue to open the doors for me to go to Brazil long-term. I know if God wants me in Brazil long-term, He will make a way. I could write a short story about all the things that I did, saw, and learned while I was in Brazil. If you would like to hear more stories, I am happy to share! Send me an email, a text, a call, anything! I would love to share about the new places I went, the kind people I met, the breathtaking things I saw, the valuable lessons God taught me. Thank you for praying for me and encouraging me in this journey towards being a missionary in Brazil.