It’s crazy how days after returning to New York; words still fail to truly describe what I experienced in Brazil. However the one thing I can say with certainty is that I have been ruined forever. I have been ruined to the fattening Christianity I once practiced; to receive until my cup over flowed while rarely pouring myself back out for others. I have been ruined to the idea of sitting comfortably in a church every Sunday, without the need to ever take everything I’ve experienced to the ones who need it the most. I have been ruined to my desire to preach the love of God on platforms, without ever allowing my life to simply be the vessel of His love to the least of these. I have been ruined by God’s love. I will never be the same again and I am so grateful.
My time in Brazil was one of deep and personal transformation. I went on this trip with the expectations of seeing God move through maybe some healings, some deliverance, some salvations and instead I saw His love, and Kingdom of grace in ways that I could have never imagined. For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I truly have experienced how wide, how deep and how long His love truly is. This revelation happened for me during a time of worship we had at the “Shores of Grace” base. The staff and the girls who live in their rescue home, Betania, were with us. Aaron and Sarah led worship that night. I sat on the floor and I watched the little girl’s color and play as we sang. I began to feel a deep sense of God’s pleasure over everyone in the room. And my eyes fell on this 1 young woman who was 13 years old. She sat quietly crying, for several minutes as Aaron sang “ How He loves” and finally after watching her for a while, I asked God to make room for me to sit with her. And He did. I went over to her, sat to her right, and held her hand for what felt like an eternity as she cried. As I held her hand, I felt her pain, I felt the despair, I felt her shame, I felt her hopelessness. But I also saw her as a beautiful, strong woman. I began to sense the desire of God to truly take all of the darkness in her past, and use it for His glory and for her good. I knew deeply he had a great future in store for her. And what penetrated my heart the most is that this is how God views every single person on this planet. I proceeded to share His love with her and pray for her. And honestly, that prayer was for me.
While in Brazil we saw and encountered some crazy things. We saw men and women getting high off glue, while in the same breath uttering praises to God. We saw prostitutes who longed for a way out. We saw condoms falling out of their pockets, because they were being sold for sex. We saw the hunger and thirst amongst the body of Christ in Brazil. We saw sick healed, the oppressed set free, we saw the hopeless, receive hope. We saw 4 children rescued out of the streets and placed in homes that would care for them and give them the opportunity of a future. But what changed everything, not just for me, but for the entire team, was grasping the vision of God for ALL of mankind. Laying a hold of a perspective that says, “ regardless of where you are, what you are doing, what you have gone through, I love you, and I want you, and I can change everything for you, I will work this out for your good, I have a HOPE and a FUTURE for you.”
No longer can I, or any of us for that matter, look into those streets without that deep sense of desire and passion of the Father, for every person on them. And I wouldn’t trade that for the world. I am truly grateful for being able to join We See Jesus Ministries on this mission to Brazil. I am deeply grateful for the leadership of Adam and Sarah LiVecchi, their compassion, wisdom and love made this trip for me, one I will never forget.
I am ruined, and there’s no other way I’d rather be.
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