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A Short-Termers Perspective on Ministering in Brazil

A Short-Termers Perspective on Ministering in Brazil

Kamryn spent 2 1/2 months serving with ACTION missionaries in southern Brazil. Here is her story: 

In Goiânia, I helped Iria and Jonas build an herb garden. I also took pictures of them for their prayer cards, helped write their newsletter in English, and put together a slideshow of their year to show at a conference they were attending.

In Camaquã, aside from helping out with the kids, I spent the majority of my time filming and editing a video for their Christmas party this year. They have found that making a video to show at the party is much easier than trying to put together a Christmas play or program. I also helped lead worship at a church event. 

In São Paulo, I spent all the ministry days with the kids! I taught some English and spent time with them playing foosball or doing crafts. When the kids left, I would clean around the house, and I also painted one of the rooms that needed it.

The greatest lesson I learned during this internship was the lesson of contentment. It is actually the absence of people, I believe, that helped me learn this lesson. In São Paulo, I got really sick with a sinus infection, an ear infection, and some strain of the flu. I was living at Casa Semear, so I wasn’t living with a family like I was in the last two locations. In addition, Laura and Felipe Matias and their whole family also got sick, so they were down for the count as well. It was the first time I had ever been really sick away from my family, and I really struggled with loneliness and definitely a lot of self-pity. One day, I was trying to write a blog post and process everything I was going through, and the verse from Philippians came to mind, in which Paul said, “I have learned how to be content in every situation.” At that moment, he was writing from prison. I realized that my struggle was not with loneliness or depression, but with contentment. That realization really helped me break through that mental issue, and I started doing a lot better from there on out.

The people were definitely the best part of the experience in every location! I really felt like a family member in each place and right at home instantly. 

In Camaquã, I became very close with a couple of girls my age who volunteer at the ministry. I went with them to their youth group and got involved with their church community, where I was welcomed so warmly. That was a very special experience for me. 

Working with the kids was difficult until I got a good hold of the language, so I really enjoyed any of the practical ways I could help, such as filming the video or painting a room. Those tasks were really fulfilling, especially because they were things that I enjoy doing!

Learning Portuguese was an experience that definitely affected my self-image, in the sense that it encouraged me that I really can do it! I can learn a language. It makes me confident that wherever God leads me in the future with missions, He will equip me and give me the ability to learn the language and minister to people.