Prioridade: Reflections on Rio part One
Updated: Mar 6
There were people shoved in every possible corner. Faces were smashed against the windows and yet still, like a broken branch has no other option in a rush of rapid waters but to move with the
We were placed on Olympic Boulevard; this day surrounding the sheet I had sprawled on the ground covered with art supplies. The Lord had laid it on my heart early that morning to draw pictures of Christ the Redeemer statue while Taylor used the visual opportunity to tell people that Jesus is not a god of stone, but One who lives.
It was our last day in Rio and there I stood staring at beautiful faces that felt like family. With tears running down her face my friend said to us, “So many Brasilians would not even come. But you came. And you came with your family. With your children. You came to our people and our country to love us when others were afraid and this is beautiful.” For a moment I stood there pondering what was happening. As our new brothers and sisters one by one shared this sentiment it became so abundantly clear to me- family on a mission is the most powerful gift God has given us. Taylor used his giftings- he adapted into a new culture and was speaking the language within days. Many people thought he was brazilian. (For some odd reason they did not make the same mistake with me…) He preached passionately and commissioned workers out to be missionaries in the favelas. God gave me the ability to draw others near with art, facepainting, sketching, so the gospel could be preached. But our children- our children drew people in. Abigael, Nate, Essie. Their simple presence on the rougher streets of Rio, on the crowded busses, holding face painting signs in the wind, was what softened hearts to come.
“I want to show you- and show others- what it looks like to live as a missional family.”
To those that wonder, those that doubt- our children do not hold us back, they give our family wings and fling open doors in the heavens. Let the children come to Me, Jesus said. There is a reason for this.
This Olympic volunteer came to know Christ because Abigael gave a tract to a little girl nearby.
This Canadian woman was drawn to God because Nate ran to give a book to a little boy-she was curious too.
And this couple came to know Jesus because Esther has Down Syndrome.
Jesus gets all glory for every good thing that happened on this trip. But now more than ever I see what can happen when give family, “Prioridade.”