Brazil – Casa Do Pequeno Cidadão.

I felt at home within 5 minutes.

Woah, what can I say about this place?! I was deeply touched by what I saw and experienced here. This house in the city of Marília, Brasil, is a home for children who are in difficult situations in their own home. For example, a parent might not have enough time for them or will not make time for them, a parent might be in jail or taking drugs, or a parent might be an alcoholic and is generally absent from the household.

When my fellow friends and I arrived at the house, the kids stopped what they were doing and slowly approached us, smiling, giggling, hiding behind each other shyly, and observing the foreign looking strangers that had entered their playground. We began our friendship by sitting in a circle and introducing ourselves. We played some of our songs for them, and then we played a game, which was designed to trust each other and get out of our comfort zones. We held hands, then remembered the person on our left and right side. We let go of each other and walked around the room with our eyes closed. We then had to find those two people and untangle the whole group until we were a circle again. So fun! You don’t need to speak the same language to be able to play and laugh with each other.

I was touched by one girl in particular; the beautifully joyful and precious Maria. From the second I met her I saw that her eyes were full of warmth and joy, and she was so open to learning about us and sharing about her life. I felt a connection with her that was very rare. I braided her hair and embraced her many times, sharing laughter and songs whilst watching her be just…happy.

These children have come from the worst of situations yet they still choose the joy and the strength (willingly, might I say) to find happiness and thankfulness in the simple gift of life. We were spontaneously invited to eat lunch with them and as I watched them laugh and chat together, my heart was so overwhelmed with love for these children.

I felt and experienced love. I was given love so willingly and freely. And because of this, a deep love for these joyful and gracious people has grown in my heart, and it’s hard to look at our Western culture which is so disturbingly focused on wealth, outer beauty and power, whilst these children hardly have a dime yet are so happy to be alive.

I want to say so much more, but words cannot explain the profound impact this experience has had on the way I want to live my life, and the direction I want to travel in in terms of ministry, music, and life in general. It sounds cheesy, but you think you know how lucky you are until you see how happy people are, especially children, when they have nothing. But really, they have everything, because they have love. Love to receive and love to give. And love is the greatest thing anyone could ever possess.

My heart and my life have been changed xx

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