Beautiful Stories… Beautiful People
I have so many beautiful stories to share with you from Brazil. Please forgive my delay in sharing them. I got food poisoning while I was there and needed time to feel better and process what I had seen God do.
Because of all the trouble I had with the visa, I truly wondered if the Father was telling me not to go. I did not want to just be stubborn and fail to hear the Lord. Constantly, I sought His will and was always assured that I should keep trying. My dear friend, Becky, encouraged me look for the reasons I was delayed. I have too many reasons to be able to share them all with you.
Perhaps some of you are still wondering if it was worth what it cost us in time, health, resources and effort. All you have to do is look at the faces of the people in the picture above. They represent parts of 19 Brazilian teams. Consider how they will take the supplies they have been given and reach an ocean of children with the hope of the Gospel. It is a privilege to partner with such incredible people!
1.When my visa finally arrived, I went to the Atlanta airport to start the trip. When the airline charged me for the bags, they told me the wrong amount. They simply added wrong. I showed them the mistake and they were shocked. They asked why I would tell them. I explained that I loved Jesus and following Him required honesty. That single action opened a beautiful door to share Jesus.
2.I made it to Miami and the plane had an electrical issue. I waited for 8 hours for them to cancel the flight. So many people wanted to know why I was not angry. They asked how I could be patient. The answer to every question is Jesus…only Him.
3. In Miami, I was asking an airline agent a question. I told her a little bit about the work with the children. She began to pour out her heart as she told me that her husband of many years had just left her. I said,”I know someone who can rescue you. I know someone who can comfort you.” For a long time, I stood there telling her about Jesus and how He would never leave her. Many people came and asked her questions, but she always asked me to wait and keep talking. Amazing!
4.The next day , I went to board the flight with 2 other ladies who walked slower. We were all boarding first. When we reached the plane, all of the lights went out. I literally prayed out loud and said,”Lord Jesus, I need to get to Brazil. Please make the lights come on.” Immediately, they came on. The 2 ladies with me said,”Who are you?” I said,”Just someone who loves Jesus. Now get on the plane.”
5. In the air, I shared with all the flight attendants. One young man told me how he had done something the previous week that he felt terrible about. He said that he could not forgive himself. I said, “ I know someone who can forgive you, who can make you feel clean inside.” As I explained to him how he could know Jesus, he really listened. I honestly think that he met the Lord on that flight. Later, he came and thanked me . He said he felt clean. This is what Jesus does!
6.As I exited customs in Brazil, parts of our 19 teams were waiting for me and clapping. They were yelling “Linda, Linda!” It was a beautiful and humbling moment. I felt their love wash over me.
7. I had so many opportunities to share at the conference and at 2 churches. I was weakened by the food poisoning and had to share at one church sitting in a chair. It did not affect the way the Father used the message. Being sick can be a blessing because it serves to get you out of the way. I saw God do beautiful things with my poor words. His spirit made everything I said an unexpected challenge and blessing. I loved this trip!