Christ brought us together through his death on the Cross.The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility...Through him we both share the same spirit and have equal access to the Father.
(Eph. 2:16-18) The Message
If you were a teenager, what would it be like to leave your friends, your dog, and your favorite pizza parlor to move to another country where all your classes are taught in another language, you wear a school uniform, and there's no such thing as a Philly cheese steak sandwich?Or imagine that you're in college and decide to study at a university in a foreign country.Our son, Asa (13), and daughter, Elena (20) have done just this.They are "MKs" – missionary kids, or "KMs" as Asa likes to point out – kid missionaries.Both of them have been building bridges of love and understanding in unique ways with our Brazilian sisters and brothers.
Last week, Asa represented his class at a special convocation at Colégio Batista Mineiro, a large Christian school about 5 km from our apartment.The students have been working on a project all year called Vivendo as Diferenças – Living [with] Differences.They learned about people with physical disabilities, street people, children with cancer, elderly people discarded by their families, and so forth.More important, they put into practice Jesus' command to love and care for people of all kinds regardless of their physical, racial, economic, or religious status.Asa is a living example of the lesson, since he is the only American in his class of 37.His professor de geografia (Geography teacher) was very proud of how well Asa spoke in front of about 250 classmates and teachers – in Portuguese, no less!
Elena uses unusual bridge construction materials: musical instruments, glass, string and a paintbrush.Like Asa, she is the only American and one of the few Christians in her art and language classes at the university. Less than 5 months after her arrival, she is already an active member of the worship team and young adult ministry at Igreja Batista Reviver (The Renewed/Revived Baptist Church).She has begun teaching English classes at the church and is donating the proceeds to mission.This summer (December and January), she hopes to reach out with Jesus' love to street youth in our area.
God calls and equips us to reach out to others with the good news of Jesus Christ wherever we are, whether on the other side of the world or the other side of the street.What gifts and opportunities has God given you?What does your bridge look like?
Que Deus os fortaleça e encoraje em Cristo
(May God strengthen and encourage you in Christ),
Asa, Elena, Ann and Bruce