Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Do you know what this means?

These are my children getting their passport photos taken.  
Which means we are leaving the country.
In fact, it is coming up so soon that I every time I think about it I have to go breathe in a bag.

The first time I left the country I was 19 years old.  
Just the week before, my mother was talking to one of her friends on the phone and said, "Of all the places in the world, I would never want my kids going to Singapore."
(To be fair, it happened to be right after the famous caning of American teenager, Michael Fay. )  
And then I came home from college one weekend and said, "I'm going to Singapore in May."  
Now that I am a mother myself, I can appreciate the restraint she exercised when she said, "Ok."

And that May is when my world changed.   
(It didn't hurt that I fell in love with this crazy guy on the trip and then decided to marry him.)  And since then Andy and I have been everywhere.  Any opportunity to experience another culture - count us in.
Let's not forget that Andy has conveniently managed to leave the country about once a year since we have had children.  Without me.  Or the children.

But this time he isn't getting so lucky.  
His job is taking him to Brazil and his family is following him.
I am not considering this a vacation so much as an exercise in keeping my blue-eyed blonde-haired children from getting kidnapped and sold to the Brazilian mafia.
(That was a joke, Mom.)

But seriously, I want them to know that not everyone is like them (i.e. white and privileged).  Not everyone speaks english, eats chik-fil-a and drinks Starbucks every week day.  Not every church is full of programs and ministries and balconies and donuts and tiny-sized toilets for their pottying convenience.  

Most importantly, I want them to see that the God that they pray to every night is the same God that Brazilian children pray to.  That He sees no color, no race, no social standing, no education.  That He hears prayers in English and Portuguese.  

I want their hearts to bleed for the lost and I want The Great Commission to be more than just a catchy song they sing in bible class.

I want it to be their life. 

Of course we don't have to go all the way to Brazil to teach our children this.  But I am not turning down the opportunity to change my kids' worlds, just like mine was changed 15 years ago.

And so we are headed to Brazil with a 4-year-old and a first-grade drop-out.  Bode thinks that it's going to have more rides than Disney World.  Mia can't wait to dazzle the natives with her three Portuguese phrases.  I'm trying to convince myself that my diet coke, starbucks coffee, and special k cereal with braum's milk addictions are all in my head. 
I'm terrified.  And so, so excited.


Verna said...


Victoria said...

I'm so glad you guys get to go! Brazil is my favorite place. I can't wait to hear all about it.

Chellie said...

I hope we can take Brixton on a trip like that someday. I want him to learn those same things.

Julie D. said...

Well said!! No wonder I love having you in our family!! Have a wonderful trip!

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Have a great time! I'm sure they'll get all that and more!

Gena said...

This will be the longest days without you guys. Please bring some of that beautiful culture back with you and tell my children stories and show lots of pictures. One of these days I can't wait to take them to Central America. One love in my life I haven't seen in quite awhile.

Gena said...

That first sentence made no sense. I had something else inserted in little cursors but they disappeared. Sorry. I can wriete, sea?

Alyssa said...

Oh yay!! What a wonderful experience for you and your kiddos. What can I do for you while you are gone?

Kelly B said...

It sounds amazing... especially since your goal is for them to see the world and be thankful!

I was older on my first trip overseas, but it changed me! I look forward to the ability to take my kids on missions trips (here and abroad)!

I'm Cindi... said...

Oh how incredible! And what amazing reasons to go. I hope to do the same when my little ones are old enough to really take it all in and understand the very same things you mentioned. I hope you have an awesome trip!