“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” John 15:9
In March 2015 I had the privilege of being part of my very first reading group. Throughout 42 days we read the book “What am I on Earth for?”. We read one chapter a day and then commented through WhatsApp. It was a wonderful experience, which I continue to use. This book points out 5 purposes of our existence and basis of all of them on love!
In conversations with friends it’s common to hear that loving and serving truly are complicated/complex things and I fully agree; but it bothers me to simply cross my arms and let my life just pass by. Every morning I try to remind myself that my purpose is to love and serve all who cross my path. But I confess, theory and desire are different from practical life. In order to start acting, a constant struggle against our own nature is necessary.
Throughout the whole Membeca mission trip – while planning, during the trip, and at the end – the people I came into contact with showed so much love… and in such a natural way… they were always so willing to serve and that touched my heart deeply and reminded me of the verse of John 15: 9. Remain in love!!!
To begin with, Jéssika, Priscila and João elaborated the whole schedule, stops, menu, activities and always showed the concern in offering the best for everyone involved in the mission. I also saw how dedicated Lina, Luana and Bradley were in the manage/administrative area.
When I arrived in Manaus, Fernando picked me up at the airport and it was as if we had already spoken several times or were maybe longtime friends… At the base in Puraquequara everyone was so receptive. At the end of the day, Naildo accompanied a group of 5 girls and his willingness to help was evident. How happy was I a few days later as I read Erica’s devotional book that shared about his re-approach to God’s path. And of course, I couldn’t fail to mention the kitchen ladies who seemed to cook uncomplicatedly, especially mention Paulinha and the privilege of being her “assistant” on the last day.
On the next day we left for our mission in Membec, on the Solimões River. The following 8 days would be a challenge for 8 girls who barely knew each other to live together without much comfort and in a totally different culture.
The days passed by… Soon enough, bonds of friendship arose as we were living altogether and the common desire to serve unconditionally created a very pleasant atmosphere. During the activities in the community, or caring in the health center or even in kid’s activities, the kind way we were treated strengthened the desire to love and serve. In the end the days seemed to have passed so quickly and we oh so longed for more days like those!
To top it off, Bradley and João took us on a short walk through the fair, Ponta Negra and pizzeria… They had a lot of patience with all of us. In the pizzeria we played a game like ‘secret santa’; we clearly had a strong friendship bond.
To put it in a nutshell… moments of joy, moments of love, love that only comes from God!
Jéssika, Priscilla, Rúbia, Helena, Ruana, Marília and Laryssa, thank you for all the moments, conversations, jokes, songs, and especially for the true friendship cultivated in such a short time!
A special thanks to the project Amazon Lifesavers project for the fantastic opportunity. Congratulations for the great structure and organization! May God continue to bless and lead this project of LOVE!
Bianca, volunteer from Ribeirão Preto – SP.