seeing things differently

One thing about living here is that it becomes increasingly hard to hear about friends and family having struggles back home. Your hugs are forced to become long distant calls and unceasing prayers. Your best friends endure surgeries but you can't take a meal over to their house. They send their firstborn off to college and YOU hope and pray that they know that you're cheering them on from far away. Your Happy Birthday wishes are only expressed by facebook or skype calls and you see your baby niece take tiny steps through tear-filled eyes from a computer camera hoping no one notices that you're all torn up!

It can be overwhelming at times but I also see things now through a different lens. So much of what and how I feel about the world will never be the same again. My eyes have been opened to things I'll never forget. My view of the world has become so much larger even though at times I realize just how small it is.

The other night while we were having a church service with local Brazilians, a small framed woman came into the yard from the street. She didn't have milk for her baby and was begging for someone to help her. As I watched the pastor's wife take care of her, I realized how different this world that I'm living in truly is.

Saturday night, I watched a new believer struggle with knowing where to turn in her Bible (she'd never opened a Bible) and light up when she began to understand the words she was reading. When you see the homeless on the street sleeping on the sidewalk in front of your apartment everyday and hear them going through the dumpsters at night...YOU CHANGE.

Although our hearts ache for those people we love back home, we are certain that we are exactly where God wants us and THAT feels really good. HE is at work in our lives and we know we haven't seen anything yet! Thanks for all your support and encouragement over the last few days. It's great to know ya'll read the newsletter and when you respond IT'S EVEN BETTER!! We love hearing from you!!

Keep praying for our work here and the work still to come in São Luís.


Kelly said...

we could not be more on the same page, though we do not have the poverty you see often here were we are,...our eyes have been opened. I sometimes wonder if the no-technology days were better for the M's bc they did not have then temp. to stay so connected like I do. but then at times it is he best blessing.

Ken Summerlin said...

I'm happy to have stumbled across your blog and am encouraged by your journey of faith. Having been involved with short-term missions since I was a teenager (40 years ago), I'm always moved by those God has called and are faithful to serve in the way that your family is doing. The more I travel on short-term missions, the more I wonder about my own call to serve on a more permanent basis. Sometimes I think that short-term missions is really just a cop-out, a half-hearted response to God's call to missions. Since returning from a week in Haiti a couple of months ago, I don't think a day has passed when I have not thought about Haiti and longed to return.

Thank you for being a beacon of light in a dark and dying world.


Mil said...


we have been praying for your family daily. We just watched Jackson play his guitar for Bible time. Amazing! Will would like to know if anyone from Brazil comes to your Bible time.
We love you! The Ward Family

Jerry & Cheryl Davison said...

Powell family!
I have never met you and I don't know you at all. But I wanted to say thank you for the inspiration you provided me today. I am a pastor at a small church in Georgia. My wife and I have now twice packed up our family and moved because God told us to. I stumbled across your blog quite by accident today but as I stopped and read your posts I was drawn in by the love for God, the courage to obey, and the way you have embarked on your mission as a family. Love the kids' blogs! Just wanted to let you know you were a big encouragement to me today! I will pray for you as you continue to minister in Brazil!