No one ever thinks that your life can be turned upside down in only ten days, but it can. When I went to Brazil last summer on a mission trip it changed my entire outlook on life. The people I encountered made me realize how good I have it and that too much is taken for granted.
On July 22, 2010 I set out to Belo Horizonte, Brazil for a ten day mission trip. I went with Briarwood Soccer Club and we worked with Campus Outreach in Belo. I left the airport in Birmingham, Alabama at 1:30 p.m. and I arrived in Belo Horizonte, Brazil at 9:15 a.m. the next morning. The Brazilians we would be living with greeted us. They took us by van called a “comby” to our house. When we got there we settled in and got to know them over a traditional Brazilian dinner of rice, beans, cream potatoes, and chicken.
The next day we woke up early and went to an orphanage with kids of all ages. As soon as we got there the kids just jumped on us like they have known us their entire lives. We played soccer, ate lunch, made crafts, and played games with them. The kids loved to use our cameras and take pictures. The kids and teenagers would try and talk to us and we tried to use some of the little Portuguese we learned before the trip. Even though we could not understand what the kids were saying we knew by the smiles on their faces that they were happy we were there.
One of the days we were able to just enjoy Belo Horizonte. We went to a hippie fair where the streets were shut down for this one day and booths were set up. We spent all day at the fair, later that night we went to a community church called Communidad Horizonte. We had a translator telling us what the sermon was about.
The next morning we went to a look out mountain called Praca do Papa. We took pictures and got to see all of the locals to Belo. We had a bible study on top of the mountain. That day on the mountain was breathtaking.
The sixth day we went back to the orphanage to play with the kids. We brought them gifts to play with. They swarmed us like it was Christmas to them, just by getting these simple little items. We played soccer with the kids all day again. Later that night, we went out to dinner Brazilian style.
The last day at the orphanage we played soccer and games as usual. We had a special lunch and then took tons of pictures of all of the kids at the orphanage. After pictures we presented the head of the orphanage with all of the clothes, shoes, food, toiletries, etc. that we brought for the orphans. We then had to say our goodbyes to all of the kids.
The last day in Brazil was the hardest. We were having so much fun and we were so busy, but we knew later that night that we were leaving. We had dinner with all of the Brazilians then we were off to the airport. There was not a dry eye in that airport when it was time for us to board our flight.
If I could chose anytime in my life to do over again it would be these ten days. The people I came in contact with will forever be engraved in my memories. Everyone needs and experience like this in their lifetime.
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