I’m sitting in the international terminal at the Atlanta Airport preparing to go to Uganda with 10 new friends.
I can’t explain the kind of excitement and wonder that is bubbling up inside me as I listen to the chatter of Facebook friends turned real-life ones.
But before my attention turns toward the beautiful people of Uganda, I first must tell you about Marcia.
I met Marcia while in Brazil after a Fearless Dialogue chat and, through many hand gestures and my ability to recognize the word “cantar” in Portuguese (which means “sing”), I realized she wanted me to sing for her.
I decided to sing “Jesus Loves Me.” It was the simplest song I could think of that may translate well.
Halfway through, she was in tears.
I wasn’t sure what the tears were about or if she even understood a word I said.
When I was done, we said our goodbyes and exchanged big smiles (and Facebook friend requests) and that was it.
Until the next day when we got word she wanted to invite us to her home for dinner.
When we arrived, her quaint home was filled with the smells of fresh baked bread and simmering Brazilian soup. One of her daughters, Emily, who is the same age as Ashli, sat on her bed watching Disney Channel.
She flirted around her mother, asking for the things that many kids ask for, reminding me so much of how Ashli does the same.
I wanted to come over and sit on her bed and play dolls with her… but my linguistic limitations made me shy away from the attempt.
At the end of the night, I was asked to pray for Marcia and her family.
The same things I have prayed for myself, I prayed for her.
The same hopes I have for my daughter, I had for her daughters.
The same way I wanted God to give her every desire of her heart I wanted the same for my life.
Just like me, she’s in graduate school, pursuing the Call God has given her as a single parent.
Just like me, she’s sacrificed comfort to say “yes” to the unexplainable, to yield to the gentle pulling towards something bigger than herself.
Just like me, she’s hopeful that what she’s doing for her daughters is enough — that God will cover them as her attention is pulled in a million different directions.
Marcia and I are cut from the same cloth.
Even nearly 5,000 miles away, we share the same kind of story, the same kind of hope, the same kind of love for God.
She, like I, may not know the full story — we may not fully understand the reasons why God has allowed our lives to cross paths, but I’m glad they did.
I’m carrying Marcia with me. Even now.
If you have a moment, pray for Marcia and her girls. Nothing in particular, just the same things you’d pray for me. She has taught me more about hospitality and tenacity and hope than I could have ever taught her and for that I am grateful.
Na persegução para Deus, (on the chase for God)