Brazil #2: Purposeful Gatherings

by John Terech, for the team

At another wonderful lunch offered by one of our hosts for our trip, the host family I had first met two years ago to the day, Juan said to me, “You have been bitten by the Brazilian bug!” I knew he was totally correct in that analysis. I love this country! This is my third trip to Brazil to work on reverse mission partnerships, meaning that I am here to find church planters to come and plant with our denomination back in the United States to serve Brazilian communities. It is not hard work. Granted, finding the right planter for the right place is never easy. But the process here is so enjoyable. The people of Brazil have the gift of hospitality. They are warm, affectionate, caring and a people full of faith. They want to make sure your visit is special and indeed, every time I am here I feel that way.

As I reflect on their hospitality and their culture, it is no surprise to me to see that evangelical Christianity is multiplying. People are so purposeful in gathering. They desire to be together as much as possible. People are not concerned about the time of day or how late you may stay up just connecting with one another. As someone who normally goes to bed at 8:30 p.m., you would be surprised to know that this didn’t bother me in the least. I just wanted to enjoy their company, their stories and their grace since I don’t know their language and they know only some of mine. That will change. I want to know more; more of their culture, their language and their gift of hospitality. They can be passionate about their football teams, their upcoming election, and various issues of the day, but that doesn’t keep them from loving one another or desiring to sit together and laugh, no matter how different their opinions. How refreshing! Teach me more. I want to replicate this in my community.

God is really on the move here. It is palpable. People pray and worship with energy and passion. It is contagious. It is inspiring. It tickles your emotions. I needed that. I forgot to mention the food! They are giving me way too much. But I am so polite I will never turn it away :}.

John Terech
Executive Director of Operations – ECO