Today, as we continue our Champion Stories from the Brazil Mission Trip, meet Marisa Hale. Marisa was a part of the team from Champion Fellowship that served in Sao Paulo with Restoration Ministries on March 10-21. Read below her story and how the Lord moved in her life during her time in Brazil.
Traveling to Brazil this year was especially a blessing for me. After coming home from the trip in 2015 I was eager and ready to return. Throughout the year it is easy to get distracted to things that are going on in life and forget about why I wanted to return in the first place. I had signed up to go on the trip this year, and it was around Christmas time when I was having doubts about whether I was supposed to go or not. I prayed about it and felt I wasn’t supposed to be going with all that was going on in my family. I struggled to feel like I should be going on the trip and if I was burdening my parents financially. Numerous times people at church would come up to me or my mom and say how I was an important part of this trip and I needed to go. I really needed to hear that assurance from others. After talking it over with my parents and others I knew I would regret not spending my last spring break in Brazil with the church touching these children’s lives.
Preparing for the trip was difficult trying to balance time to pray about going and for God to work through me, but it was also midterm week in school. As the week came for us to leave I was very excited. The anticipation of the plane ride was more exhausting than the plane ride itself. Upon arrival we were picked up by Danielle, Pastor William, and sweet little Julia, who remembered me. I enjoyed the entire trip and all the children and Restoration Ministries. They are all family.
One of the most memorable parts of the trip was on Tuesday when we went to the favela Iguatemi. Last year when I was there I met a young boy, and the last thing he asked me before we left there last year was if I was coming back next week, and it just touched my heart so much. I really looked forward to seeing him this year, and as we arrived at Iguatemi, I looked for him and without a doubt when I saw him I yelled his name and he came running to me! He gave me the biggest hug ever and didn’t let go! I was so excited and my heart was overflowed with love! It was a work of God for me to know it was him without looking at the picture I had from the previous year. As I look at them now, some may say it's not the same kid, but I had no doubt in my mind when I called for him and he came running.
We can easily forget, without realizing it, the people who come into our lives, but for these kids they remember the one day (maybe two) we spend with them and who we are a year later. That is my favorite moment to tell about this trip. I have many more awesome things to say, but I would like to say thank you to all those who gave so the team and I could go on this trip. The impact this trip has is incredible and so moving. It's almost indescribable to those who haven’t gone. Leaving this place for the second time was the hardest because as everyone asked if I was coming back next year, I didn’t have an answer. I graduate from college in May and won’t have another Spring Break to go. I cried many tears the night we left not knowing when I’ll get the chance to return. I know its in God’s hand when I'll make it back, and I know one day I will!
Continue to follow along each day this week for more stories from the team! To read Debbie's story that was featured yesterday, visit here.