I was just laying Isaiah down in bed on August 9th when I heard a guitar strumming in front of our house. So I picked Isaiah back up and went outside to investigate. This is what I found at my front door:
It’s kind of a blurry photo, but it illustrates a special marker in my life. A marker of God’s kindness. More than 20 friends serenaded me for my birthday – singing not only happy birthday, but several Brazilian worship songs as well. That’s how I found out that serenading people is a part of Brazilian culture. But I found out more than that. I found out (again!) what it means to be the body of Christ – where it doesn’t make a difference what your nationality or first language is, or how far you are from where you grew up. On my first birthday in Brazil, I felt surrounded and loved by family, the family of God.
The guy on the left is one of Jevon’s best friends here – André. (The one with the Italy shirt – but he’s Brazilian, not Italian). He gave a speech about Jesus’s promise in Mark 10:29-30.
“I tell you the truth, noone who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields – and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.”
We are experiencing the reality of this promise every day, as we miss our family and church back home, but embrace the joy of sharing life with the family of God here.
And for me, the memory of 20-some people singing around our front door will always be a reminder of the joy we have in that promise.