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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Leaving Brazil

It's three weeks since we boarded our first flight back to Canada.  The connections were tight (less than two hours), flights were delayed and we literally had to run between flights (with luggage) to make sure we got back.  I was anxious to be home, to see my Dad, I really didn't want to be delayed.

Pushing much lighter luggage than when we left, 'team Snell' made it to Toronto in 22 hours.  We were exhausted physically and emotionally, the weeks before we left were wrought with tension waiting as tests were done to find out about my Dad's health.

Saying to good-bye to those we had just begun to know and love in Brazil was harder than I thought.  Funny how leaving a place makes you look at your relationships a little more closely.  As much as Brazil isn't 'home' yet for me, I realized as I was packing and hugging and wiping tears (both mine and of others) that roots were beginning to go deep.

Lorrane and Faith 

One of our first friends, a twelve year old girl named 'Lorrane' (pronounced Lohanee) came into our house a few days before we left, saying she just found out we were leaving.  She flung her arms around my waist and squeezed hard as tears streamed down her face "I will miss you guys so much, you're so nice and I love you!" It was overwhelming to see her obvious grief at the thought of our absence there and it brought me to tears (not hard these days).

Another moment before we left that meant so much was during our last church service.  They had a time during worship when everyone goes around to say hello to each other.  When we first arrived, I saw a little girl who was so adorable, my smiles to her were met with suspicion and often a scowl.  There was an obvious distrust of adults.  Over the months that we've been there, she has slowly warmed to me, and especially to Phil whom she has wrapped around her little finger.  During this particular worship song I was making my way around the church and then spotted her.  I bent down and opened my arms for a hug and she jumped into them wrapping her little arms around my neck as I spun her around.  I put her back down and she opened her little hand, offering me a gum ball.  I don't think she realized how much that little gum ball meant to me, I had cracked through her tough exterior. 

Since we've returned it has been an overwhelming sense of love and God's presence and provision.  We have a complete peace about having pressed the 'pause' button on our work in Brazil and there has been nothing but confirmation since we arrived that we are exactly where God wants us right now.  I'm so filled with opposing emotions most days.  Joy, gratitude, grief and pain. It's truly an odd place to be in.  We are trying to live moment by moment day by day, praying for God's grace in all of it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, Jen. This post is so beautiful. . . I am amazed at how God is using your every circumstance so beautifully. Even though I was in Brasil for only a short time, I can relate to many things you said about leaving. Loranne is such a sweet girl!