My encounter with Gods love in Brazil - My Family Travels

I agreed to go on the mission trip to Brazil because now that the seniors had graduated we lacked any form of student leadership. My youth minister, Tony, saw this problem and he asked me to take the role of a leader. This two week long service project in Brazil included traveling to schools, recreation centers, and churches in San Paulo, Brazil; Tony assured me that it would strengthen my prowess as a leader. 

In each place our mission team traveled, we taught American sports and shared the love of Christ through our testimonies.We began teaching Ultimate Frisbee to a group of kids around the age of ten. After we had finished explaining and evaluating their Ultimate Frisbee form, our mission team set the kids down and I shared the message of Christ with them through our translator. “I accepted Christ into my life around the age of ten, but I never really understood what that relationship meant.

“When I was twelve, my father died and my relationship with Christ was shattered by that grief. As a result of his death,” I continued, “I lost faith in God. Throughout my middle school years I felt lost and depressed, and I had no purpose.

“I had lost my father, and I needed a mentor.”  Then I shared that it took three long years of effusive love and constant encouragement from my friends and family to bring me back to church.  Finally after my freshman year of high school, I was convinced to go to Ridgedale Youth Music and Worship Team Camp.

At that camp I felt a pull on my heart, a longing for something more, something that was real. So instead of participating in the games with all the other students, I went to my room, sat down on my bed, and read my Bible. One passage that I read set my heart on fire for God, 1 Peter 5:7, ‘Cast all your cares on him for he truly cares for you.’ After that moment alone with Christ I began to live my life set apart from the rest of the world; a life to serve him.

Afterward the kids left; we walked towards the gate at the end off the soccer field.

When we got to the gate, one of the kids stopped me and began to tell me something. I listened to him, but what he said to me was lost because we spoke two different languages. I quickly looked around the field for our translator, but my glance around the field was in vain.

Then the boy just smiled at me as if he knew I did not understand what he just said. He pulled a bracelet off his wrist and placed it in my hand. He then hugged me and ran off with all the other kids.

Although seemingly small, that act changed the way I viewed my relationship with Christ. What that small child had just revealed to me was something that I had known all along but never understood; the power of my words. In that moment I knew that God had intended for me to be there at that precise moment; what had happened was not an accident.I knew then that my testimony could no longer remain hidden.

Suspended in that moment, I reflected the testimony I had previously shared.

Everything that I said before about Christ’s worth to me meant so much more. I felt a stronger pulse in my wrist as I brought the bracelet closer to my face. Something sacred and pure was inside this bracelet, and it was love that is when it all it me. This realization had come not as a shock to me, but as a sharp reminder. That child’s gift allowed me to see that the words that Christ had placed upon my heart, my testimony, were too powerful to be kept in secret.

After my encounter with the truth, I walked up to Tony. “Thanks,” I said. “Thanks for bringing me here.”

“‘No problem,” he replied, “I knew God would touch you here. He told me so.” 

Now I can not conceal this passion I have for God. I wear the bracelet to remind me the power of words and the influence they have on others. God used the bracelet to help me comprehend what I already knew, and I now use the bracelet to share with others the gift of love that I have found.

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