Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Time Warp (Russ and Kara)

Kara and I again recently had the pleasure of spending a week with Jeremy, Jason, and Kristin. This time was a bit different in that we brought with us seven of Kara's students from Woodward Academy. The trip was a big success in a number of ways- we learned several lessons about how best to bring teams in to fully experience Rio and Sombra Road, the students' were pushed to consider things beyond the bubble in which they typically live, and we all had a really great time enjoying all that Rio has to offer. One of the most exciting things about the trip for me, though, was the opportunity to catch a glimpse of what Sombra Road is all about in a one-week "time warp." When we arrived at the Sombra Road House, we were introduced to the newest addition to the SR House, Adilio, who had just moved to Rio and was now living at the SR House. As you can imagine, he was a bit intimidated by our group and was very hesitant to engage. He spoke almost no English, and our group spoke very limited Portuguese, so any conversation that first day was very limited. According to Jeremy, he was extremely uncomfortable and really questioned how much he wanted to be around our group that week. What we witnessed over the following days, in my mind, sums up what Jeremy, Jason, and Kristin are in Brazil to do. As the walls between us began to come down, we were able to see this young man bloom from being fairly quiet, removed, and hesitant to laughing, joking, and engaged in a way that none of us would have imagined after that first day. I feel really fortunate to have seen in a very tangible way what Jeremy, Jason, and Kristin are accomplishing in the lives of so many Brazilian youth- showing them with their lives how much they are loved by God and witnessing the transformation that occurs when young people grab a hold of that. I came away more excited than ever about the impact that Sombra Road continues to have in Rio.

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