Sweet Memories of Brazil

Sweet Memories of Brazil

May 24, 2013

Sweet Memories of Brazil

by Renee Sanford, Milton, Wis.


We’ve been home from Brazil for three weeks. I still don’t know how to answer the question, “How was your trip to Brasil?” I don’t even know if I should spell Brazil with an S or a Z.

–It was glorious and exhilarating. It was physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausting.

–My heart overflowed with joy. My heart was broken and filled with grief.

–I want to go back forever. I never want to leave home again.

–God did miraculous things through our ministry. Often what I most needed to do was get out of the way and let the Holy Spirit work.

–I knew I was supposed to be there. I wondered why I was there.

–Not speaking Portuguese made communicating slow and difficult. Not speaking Portuguese made communicating nonverbally easier.


“How was my trip to Brazil?” Filled with tears. Over two days I shared about God’s miraculous healing power in my life, sharing the deep wounds so I could share the glory of the deep healing. Oh how vulnerable we must sometimes be. I cried. Everyone cried. My pain resonated with their pain and people saw they were not alone.

“How was my trip to Brasil?” Filled with joy. After sharing the pain, I could share the glory and joy of the healing. There is a balm in Gilead, the overflowing boundless joy of freedom. What a privilege to set the stage for Pastor George to speak about our authority in Christ Jesus to drive darkness away, giving hope to trapped struggling believers. The trip was filled with encounters like that.

“How was my trip to Brazil?” Scary. One night I was asked to speak before Pastor George gave the sermon. Shaking, I got up and said through our interpreter, “I’m so nervous—at home I’m not usually in front; I’m out there.” Everyone laughed and suddenly I felt totally at home and knew what to say.

I shared what Pastor Nate had told us the week before—about how our true home is in heaven, we are sojourners and aliens on earth. I said, “That’s God’s word, so it’s true, right? So, I didn’t leave home when I came here, because my real, eternal home is in heaven. The Holy Spirit was with me in the United States. And the Holy Spirit is with us here tonight in Brasil. Filling us, blessing us, reflecting Jesus’ love between us. We know how to give good gifts to our children. And our Father knows how to give good gifts to His children. He pours out the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”

Brazil testimony Renee CLR

I went on to pray, “Tonight, Lord, we ask—for you have told us to ask—we ask that you pour out your Holy Spirit on all of us.” As I shared and prayed, we could see and feel the Holy Spirit’s tangible presence setting the perfect tone for the message and for the prayers later than evening that brought healing and deliverance. The trip was filled with Spirit-led moments like that.

Another night the family we were staying with let us share their evening routine. They sang a hymn after supper, then opened their Bibles, read scripture, discussed it briefly and then prayed. This! This— (cried my heart)—I want this! I want this in my home; this natural sharing of worship and the Word as a routine part of the day. Why did I need to travel so far to find it? What an upside-down world where these wonderful people see us as bringing them messages of God’s truth, when they have so much to teach me about following Jesus. The trip was filled with revelations like that.

“How was your trip to Brasil?” I’m not sure I’m home yet. I’m not sure I’ll ever be.

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