Hey everyone! We celebrated what God had done in Brazil with our traditional meal at Schneider’s Churrascaria. Pretty much the best food on the planet. It was a great time of food, fun, and reconnection with missionaries from Porto Allegre as well as Marcos. Telmo’s son Welsey also joined us.
The group picture is from our departure on Friday morning.
We had the smoothest travel of any Brazil trip all the way down and back through Customs and Security here in Atlanta. Then, as we sat ready to board our last flight home to Austin, a gate agent came over the PA and said that the original aircraft (a 757) had been downgraded to a smaller one (a 737), and that 14 people would need to take a later flight. It was clear they were going to bump some of us, and we weren’t sure who it would be. We decided to take control of the situation, and I asked for volunteers from our group to stay behind with me, Brandi, and my girls. Andrew, Kiersten, Mary Beth and Addie jumped up and agreed to do it. (It also gives us a credit of $500 each for another Delta flight…something that will come in handy for next year’s mission trip.) So, our 30 hour trip home was extended for about half of the team. We will be back to Austin around 5:40pm.
This trip has been a huge blessing to me, my family, and to the students who joined in the ministry with the Allens in Brazil. I’ll be writing up a blog at some point and will post a link to it, once it is complete. Thank you for your prayers and support over the past 9 days. They have been felt and appreciated! I pray this has been life changing for those we were able to reach out to as well as those who came on this adventure. God is GREAT!
BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE. There were times this week that I felt Satan attacking me. There were also times that I felt God in a way that I had never felt Him before. The frustration, anxiety and all the other feelings that go along with stress were very difficult for me to handle during the week. Not finishing the houses that we started Monday was my biggest fear. I didn’t want to go through not seeing the finished product on Thursday. But, by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ we accomplished the impossible to us! I think we most definitely minimized the power of God. Satan was there whispering in our ears that there was no way that we were going to finish the projects, and we believed the lies. Fortunately Satan was proved wrong and we won the battle. I think the one thing that everyone took out of this week was that we have to put of trust and faith in Him. He is the almighty and all powerful God of the universe. He created us so that we could use everything we do to glorify Him. Ty was saying this week that if you felt Satan attacking you, you know that you are doing something right for the kingdom. This week I learned that I have to give all of my worries to God. I am weak, but He is strong. He is bigger. There is no way I can live my life worrying about every little thing that MIGHT happen. The “what if’s” give no benefits. Whether you worry about if something might happen isn’t going to make it not happen. So, why worry about it? This is something that I have to tell myself every day. There are no words to describe my thankfulness towards the people that helped me go on this trip. I am so blessed.
Peace and Blessings,
Well, we are on the plane to Atlanta and I know that since we have to leave everyone is ready to get home. This mission trip was absolutely amazing! God did some amazing things this week and I can honestly say that it has truly changed me. Throughout the week I had been asked the same question over again and that question was what did you get from this past week. This question bothered me because I couldn’t answer right away and I thought that meant that I didn’t get anything out of it. Well, I think I know the answer now. Throughout the week our job was to paint these three houses. I went to a house with Katie, Jessa, Joseph, Addie, Jay , Haley and the Flippin Family. We were warned before we went that the girl who lived there we mean and also that her father didn’t want us there at first, so I was a little worried. As the week went on this wasn’t the case. The man joked with us the whole time and the daughter laughed at Jessa and I as we were watching Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in Portugues. God was moving in this house as joy was brought to the people who lived there. Ty told me that by us being there that we were bringing them together since they didn’t have a good relationship to begin with. It showed me how awesome our God is and how he works through us. On the way to the airport we drove by an accident, a person got hit by a car. It made me think whether they were going to heaven or hell. Right then I prayed to God that they would be ok and that I hoped they had him in their heart. God showed me something right then, he showed me that I have a passion for helping people and spreading the word. Through this week I have been praying that God will show me his plans for me and he is slowly showing them to me. This week has showed me that I want to do missions when I get older so that way I have a peace in knowing the people I lead to Christ will be going to a better place and I wont have to feel the way I did this morning. I whole heartedly believe God wanted me on this trip so he could show me his plans for me. God changed many lives this week.
This blog is posted out of order due to some technical difficulties during the week.
Dear blog; We went to bed last night thinking that tomorrow was going to be such a fun and easy day.. but things took a nasty turn. I think we all just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. We started the day off late and didn’t get up until around 6:00. We got up to lunch and only had like 10 minuets to eat breakfast. Then we headed to the house. When we got there, we still had to finish painting the ceiling of the living room, paint a whole other bedroom, the kitchen and finish priming and painting the bathroom. The stressful part is that we only had 5 people. So immediately we went to work to try to get as much done as we could before they send helpers from the other house. Let me tell you this, the house is what I wanna call as shotgun house. There was a door in the front and the back that were aligned. So if I were to shoot a shotgun, it would just keep going. But there were two rooms that were, as I like to call them, hot boxes. This just put all the more stress on the situation. Isabela’s room was definitely the hottest. At the time it was just me and Alyssa so it wasn’t that hot when we were painting the cracks of the house. The rest of our team is finishing the ceiling at the time. It was just getting so hot and the fumes were so incredibly strong that we were getting light headed and just needed a break. So now the thoughts are going through our heads such as we’re never going to finish this, there is no point if we aren’t going to finish it, and we can’t possibly finish. Now we have the problems of not enough paint, or not enough brushes and containers for the paint. I think that we had Ty and Daniel making trips back and forth to our house like 5 times. Luckily, then we had some other team members come over to help, but the problem is that they didn’t bring anything with them so we are short brushes again. When we finally get everything situated, we now have the same people still working on the ceiling and 5 people in Isabela’s room. We were all so frustrated that we decided to go for a prayer walk. I choose to stay there to clean the floors. I went to the back porch and could do nothing but cry. I just needed to get it out. So I sat by myself outside and prayed for patience. After we finished the majority of the room, it was about time for lunch. Isabela was not ready to feed 10 or more people so just my family stayed to eat. And let me tell you, we had been warned about the house we were going to be entering. Daniel told us that the older gentle man is handicap and the daughter, Isabela, was a standoff-ish kind of person. Just thinking that they are letting strange Americans into their house and they are STILL going to cook for us. That amazed me! And by this time I had been feeling so much better! Throughout the day, the old gentle man warmed up to us and happens to be hilarious. He jokes with us all day long. And Isabela was so sweet and always had a smile on her face. It made me feel so warm and welcomed. After lunch, Alyssa and I went to paint the bathroom. So we had Joseph ask him if he needed to use it before we close the door and get started. He said no and to go ahead, so we did. When we finished we left the bathroom and started painting the frame of the bathroom outside of it, when out of know where this man starts talking to me in Portuguese like I understand him. At the end of his sentence all I heard was pee pee, so I yelled for Joseph to translate for me. Joseph just started cracking up. I asked what he had said and this is what he repeated to me, “ look what you did, you closed the bathroom door and I had no where to go. You made a mess!” I wanted to cry! I felt so bad that I had made a little old man pee his pants. Then he started laughing. Then he pointed to the sink and showed me that he had washed the dishes and that it was water on his pants. Worst. Prank. Ever. He couldn’t stop laughing. But at the same time I was so amazed that God really opened up the heart of this man and his daughter to where they can laugh with us and communicate with us. When the end of the day came, we had gotten so much accomplished! Now we only have the ceiling in Isabela’s room, and the kitchen. Tomorrow is our last day so we are praying and praying that God will allow us patience to get done what we came here to doJ
Love always, Jesselyn ❤
Hello everyone. I’ve come to expect great things from God when I come to Brazil, and this trip has been no exception. I apologize for not getting a blog or pictures posted yesterday due to a technical difficulty. I’ll get it caught up soon. Below are several from today’s experiences. Please pray for the team as we start the journey home tomorrow morning.
Today was very special. Katie’s group was finishing up their house, and Hannah, my mom, and I were helping. We came to a point when Hannah and I couldn’t do anymore work, because the only thing left to paint was the ceiling. We played on the porch a little while, ran an errand for the group, and ate some snacks. Earlier this week we had been helping at the other two houses. The people next door to them seemed to enjoy us, so they wrote a note in English asking if Hannah and I could swim with them. We had John Paul tell them we might not be able to. Well, since we were at a standstill, my dad decided we could go swim. So we went over to their house. They were very kind and gave us snacks. One of the girls was nine years old, Hannah’s age. The other was in her teens. We tried our best to have conversations, but we ended up pointing instead. As we were about to leave, they gave us another note, which had different ways to get in contact with them. I feel like even though there was a language barrier, we ministered to them by giving our time. I hope that I can see them again in the future, and if not at least teach them about Christ.
Wow what a day. Everyone came into today with the mindset that we were going to finish all of our projects, but if we didn’t we knew it was what God had planned. After starting work in the morning, we all worked very long and hard all day long and everyone was in a rush all day. We finished everything just in time to go and make the bus back to the hotel. Today I had the privilege of staying back at the house with Katia during lunch to eat some homemade Brazilian food (which is better than any restaurant). She was very pleased and proud of the work we had done to her home. Also, later in the day she received the parts to her new cabinet to store all of clothes in because her previous one was in very bad condition and was falling apart. It was obvious that she was very excited about what she had gotten and had even came home from work to see it delivered. God has done amazing things this week and he has made a huge impact on Katia and her family this week.
This has truly been an astonishing week. After having a thirty hour trip from Austin to Dois Iramos, we all have had the motivation to finish three houses by the grace of God! On the first work day my team didn’t have a job to do at a house, so our job was to prayer walk until something came up for us to do. We prayer walked for about two hours with praying on and off. By the first thirty minutes of prayer walking I got a little frustrated because I didn’t come to Brazil to prayer walk. I came to Brazil to let the Lord’s light shine through me while I was doing some type of construction to love on people who aren’t as fortunate as we are in the U.S. After asking God for some type of work I could do, I soon realized maybe that wasn’t God’s plan for me in Brazil. Maybe he brought me all the way to Brazil to walk along the sidewalk of neighborhoods and pray for the people in each home. But as soon as I changed my train of thought as to why God brought me to Brazil, he surprised my family team with two houses that needed work. After three days of changing weather, lack of supplies, and different moods all around our work site, we all managed to pull through and finish the two houses! As soon as we were comfortable with what we were doing, God would always challenge our work rate with the unexpected. God sets high standards for us because he loves us and he knows it’s good for us! This week has been an unpredictable week, in a good way! I was able to witness some of the most amazing stories of how God has worked through the eighteen people who have traveled to Brazil for their spring break! The culture down here is so incredible and unique! I have loved every challenge that God has thrown at me this week! This trip was a life changing experience and God has really showed me how I need to trust him and know that he is in control!
Jesus Loves You!
What a day. What a week. We started out yesterday morning feeling frustrated, worried and on edge. We had 2 houses that still weren’t completed and we had to finish by 4:30 today. Yesterday was such a dark day. Everyone was feeling attacked by Satan and worried that we wouldn’t finish the homes and have to leave them uncompleted. Last night at dinner, Ty came up to me and asked me how I was doing. I faked a smile and acted like everything was ok…if you don’t know Ty he can read faces extremely well and could tell right off the bat that I wasn’t telling the truth. I let out my frustration by crying and telling him that I was worried we weren’t going to finish. He kept telling the team that this happens all the time and that we have always finished. For some reason I just couldn’t believe it until I actually saw it. He told us at share time that we should go in tomorrow leaving the worries of our past behind us. Waking up this morning, still feeling the anger and frustration from yesterday made me just not want to work at all today. On our bus ride up to the house I was praying for God to help me change my attitude towards the people on my team and I asked him to allow us to finish in time to catch the bus home. It is truly amazing how God works. He not only helped me change my attitude, but He allowed me to not get tired while I worked all day, He gave Brazil the best weather you could ask for, He gifted us with not getting major headaches because of the paint fumes, He allowed BOTH teams to finish the houses we started painting on Monday and leave time to relax and just look at the skyline of Brazil. All I have to say is GOD IS GOOD. GOD IS FAITHFUL. He is bigger than us. We minimized Him as being someone who doesn’t really have any power. HE is the only one who can do all of those things we asked for. I am blown away by the grace and mercy and unconditional love that He gives us and all of Brazil! We also have to remember that we have to praise Him in the good AND bad. I also got the opportunity to create a painting for all three homes we were working in. That was such an honor. Art is something that relaxes me and something that brings me to a tight bond with the God of the universe. It’s like He was there with me telling me where to stroke my brush and what I should write on top of the painting. When I saw the old man’s face when we gave him the painting, I finally realized why God brought me to Brazil. This is why I love to serve people; this is why I love to paint, because to see the people’s faces after we are done is so bittersweet. I am broken hearted that I have to leave this beautiful place tomorrow, but I am so excited that I got the opportunity to come to Brazil and be a servant of God.
Peace and Blessings,