Yesterday I shared about how a trip to Ensenda Mexico in June 2010 led to me studying Spanish for one year in Never Too Old to Learn Why I Studied Spanish in my 50s. Well, 3 years later I went to Rio do Sul Santa Cantarina Brazil for ministry with Celivris Church in Rio do Sul.
I went to Rio do Sul to meet with teachers while our group of students visited classrooms. I also had the opportunity to meet people at a university in Rio do Sul, Unidavi. Because of meeting the President and the Director of the Language Department, I had the chance to speak to university students at two campuses for Unidavi, one in Rio do Sul and one in another city Taio.
While I was in Rio do Sul, I tried teaching myself some phrases in Portuguese using Google translate. Having studied Spanish a few years before helped me feel confident about trying to learn some Portuguese phrases. I practiced them with Brazilian friends at Celivris. One phrase I learned was- Talvez nos tenhamos neve esta semana- Maybe we will have snow this week. Of course they laughed and told me no way because it hadn’t snowed for 50 years there.
At this point I would like to mention it snowed there for the first time in 50 years a few weeks after I left. 🙂 haha
After my time in Rio do Sul, I visited some friends in Belo Horizonte Brazil. I knew them from when they lived in my home city Lincoln while they were students. We went out to a restaurant one evening and they told me I should order the food to practice Portuguese. I wanted to tell the server, Eu estou aprendendo Portuguese e fazendo erros meaning I am learning Portuguese and making mistakes because I wanted low expectations 🙂 . But I said, Eu estou aprendendo portuguese e fazendo arroz meaning I am learning Portuguese and making rice. My friends got a good laugh. The server looked confused. And I actually had fun with it.
So when I came back to Lincoln and as I was praying, I felt the Lord show me that I should study Portuguese. I had the feeling that there was more ahead for me to do with Brazil and Brazilian friends. This was easier for me to accept since I had studied Spanish a few years before. I registered for the Portuguese class at UNL and studied for one school year August 2013 to May 2014.
Sure enough there were many more opportunities for me with Brazil and Brazilian friends. We had many Brazilian students come to the University in Lincoln for a few years and even a few families of visiting professors for one year.
I arranged for a small group of students to come study English at my college for a few months in January 2014 and again in January 2017. I returned to teach English in Rio do Sul for four and a half weeks in June and July 2015.
I have learned over the years that if Jesus shows us that he wants us to do something, it is to prepare us for future ministry or life. We don’t have the clear full picture, but then consider what he said to Abraham when he called him in Genesis 12:
“Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you”
How is that for a call. Go to the place that I will show you. In other words, start going and I will show you later where you are going. At a moment like that we might want to ask Alexa or Siri or check Google maps. The problem would be inputting destination as- God will show me. Our modern inventions would not be able to handle that data. 🙂
Stepping out to follow Jesus is not easy. It is a great adventure though and one that has eternal rewards.
I hope to keep learning and growing as long as I am in this life. If I get to the point that I can’t do that anymore, I would just as soon go home to be with the Lord. 🙂