After thirteen months, the loss of my Dad, surgery to remove my gallbladder, a health scare for myself and my kids we are finally back in Brazil. It feels really, really good to be here.
Our travel down was long, as it always is, and full of emotions-like a tossed salad. One minute our kids were so excited they looked as though they might burst and the next there were tears of grief at the thought of leaving Canada. They are two years older than they were when we came here in 2012, and they've been through a lot, we all have.
When we landed in Maraba, I looked at Faith and she had tears in her eyes.
"Are you ok? Are those sad tears or happy tears?" I asked.
"Happy tears Mommy, we're finally back in Brazil!"
Later that evening as we were starting to unpack there was a knock at the door, four girls stood with beaming smiles at our door to welcome us back. One had tears in her eyes as she hugged us. She was our first friend here, she bravely came to our house for dinner when we could speak barely a word of Portuguese.
'I missed you guys so much!' she said.
Another knock at the door and this time a gaggle of boys, all a little taller and a little more like men than they were a year ago. We chatted briefly and I listened hard, trying to reactivate the Portuguese part of my brain.
It was a wonderful welcome, considering we had been gone almost twice as long as we were here it was good to know we hadn't been forgotten, because we certainly hadn't forgotten them.
While we were in Canada, two things weighed heavily on my mind. One, my portuguese. I had made some great progress learning the language and I prayed that the Lord would preserve it. I am an extrovert, so not being able to connect with people is very difficult for me. My prayers have not only been answered but it seems that somehow I can understand better than I could before and I can say more, have more confidence. What a blessing!
The other prayer was for my daughter, Faith. Like her mother she is a social butterfly and without people to play with she wilts. Since we've been back she has already made a great connection with a few of the girls, lots of them remember her and have been asking for her. She has also been able to share her gift of art with the kids and started face painting. One of the Mom's has already asked her if she would do some face painting at her daughters birthday party in October. Faith is so excited!
Sometimes being away from somewhere can make it difficult to settle back in, but we are grateful that is not the case here. It feels almost as though we never left, just pressed the pause button. We are grateful for so many things, our safe return, the kids joy at being back here and excited to see what God has next for us in this new chapter.
To see a collection of photos click here