Face to Face

Olá from Brazil!! 

We made it!!
And boy did our lives change drastically in just one day!
It’s like one day we hugged tender and tearful goodbyes to some of our favorite people on this planet, and the next we stepped off an airplane into a crowd of unfamiliar people and sounds and sights and smells.

One day we’re sledding down a hill of snow and the next we’re outside cooling off with popsicles in shorts and flipflops. One day we have all understanding of what to wear, how to cook, when to shower, where to step, how to communicate. And the next day it feels like I entered this country as an infant. Relearning everything.

This could easily turn into a woe-is-me post about everything we used to have and all the adjustments we have to make. But somewhere 30,000 feet up in the air, I made a commitment to not grieve all we left behind and instead focus on all the ways the Lord is showing His care for us daily. I’m not saying we won’t have sadness. I walked in the door and burst into tears. Not because we aren’t thankful to be here, but the differences can be overwhelming. We miss the familiar. But we want to embrace the unknown. Because we are fully known. This God who knows and sees and hears and cares is ordaining these days. Yes, they may include a scorpion scooching across our kitchen floor. But if that’s all I can focus on, we will be miserable. And we will certainly miss all this beauty that fills our days. It is too much to list. So, here’s a few…
– Delta rep loading up our luggage and walking our family through customs, no hassle whatsoever
– 3 guys picking us up from the airport, happy to do so
– Ice cold Guarana
– Fresh papaya, oranges, mangoes in the guest house for us
– Person after person dropping by to welcome us
– People cooking for us, washing our dishes;
– Lending their cars, their washing machines, their fan, their cinnamon, their time
– Helping us set up a bank account, get a cell phone
– Taking us to the store and showing what to buy
– Showing us where to shop around town
– Offering their help over and over and over
– Fresh-picked mint, spinach, parsley, bananas
– Fresh raw milk delivered to our door
– In one week, we’ve been invited to four people’s homes for a meal
– People researching and looking for cars for us
– Students working on our house
– Our house! It is simple and yet, perfect.
– Soccer field out our kitchen window
– And the view!!
– God paints the sky gorgeous in these mountains.
– Parrots, parakeets, toucans flying around
– Kids inviting our boys to play
– One boy making our boys fishing poles out of bamboo (Jack catching his first fish!)
– Hanging clothes to dry (a dryer sure was convenient, but there is something about the simple life)
– Brazilian limonada
– Exploring the town – the old streets, colorful buildings, interesting shops, cafezinho
– Apples, oranges, carrots, apples, onions, zucchini, eggplant, peppers all for $7!
– “Grandma Cora,” a 98 year old lady who reminds me of my Grandma Kline. Miles said visiting her is one of his favorite things in Brazil.
– Collapsing into our beds at night, exhausted and content
IMAG2044 IMAG2038
Sometimes people just want to hear all about the crap. I’m not saying we don’t all have it. I’m not saying it’s not here. It’s just that we have so much power in our minds. Some days it feels like there’s so much happening beyond my control. But one thing my momma taught me is that I can always control my outlook.

When I’m tempted to have a crappy outlook, I’ll just have to lookout at this.
It reminds me why this place is called “Peniel.”

Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said,
“I have seen God face to face.” 
Genesis 32.30


Hard not to see the mighty and kind face of our God in our days.


“God seems too far away.”

Does He? Have you noted the splendid display of wildflowers?
Have you listened to a child’s laughter or watched a sunrise or a sunset?
Have you seen peace on a person’s face when they should be miserable?
I want that for you.
I want you to be able to face every moment of the day knowing

God loves you.
DiAnn Mills


4 thoughts on “Face to Face

  1. Sarah Steele

    I don’t know why, Sara, but this post made me cry. Something so beautiful about seeing God’s graces on the harder, transitionary roads. Thank you for choosing that over and over and over. I never tire from reading of God’s mighty hand in your lives. Keep seeking it, and keep writing!

  2. stocktontravis

    This was very encouraging. I remember Dr. Peugh from Grace challenging us with the “Thankfulness” journals and it comes to mind as I read this post. So thankful for you, Andy, and the boys! Such an encouragement to see what God is doing in your lives. Such a blessing to see what we may face if we have the opportunity to do overseas missions. Thank you for being real, encouraging, and focused on Christ!


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