Some days I find myself pining away for Brazil. Today is one of those days.
For those of you who don't know, I have been to Brazil three times. I fell in love the first time I went, and it kept drawing me back every summer I was physically able. I went on LST projects the first two summers, then a "traditional campaign" last year. They were each very different, but very wonderful experiences. The people I went with continue to be some of my best friends.
Some people ask me what I love about Brazil... I love the people, the language, the places, the culture, the food, the weather... But really, how do you explain something you're just drawn to? Brazil was the first foreign country I went to, so at first I wondered if I would love every country I visited. But I have been to several now, and now realize that my feelings for Brazil are unique.
My dream was to move to Brazil after I graduated to do mission work for 2 years with a program through my university and home congregation. However, the powers that be decided it was too risky to send a young woman by herself to Brazil. I'd love to tell you that I accepted the decision gracefully, but I took it pretty hard and it made me bitter for a while. But as much as I hate to admit it, Campinas, Brazil is just not where God wanted me to be at this point in my life. He closed the doors to Brazil and opened wide the doors to Hitachi, Japan.
I can see the blessings now. I won't profess to having it figured out, and I'll admit I'm still holding onto some hurt about the whole situation, but I am starting to see a greater plan. However, I still have Brazil on the heart. I believe that when God instills passions like this they aren't without reason. I believe I will go back to Brazil again. I don't know what God has in store for that desire, but you can be sure I'm keeping my eyes, ears, and heart open for opportunities He provides.
The post title is the number of miles from Tokyo to Sao Paulo.
PS- This is not a put-down to Japan. Japan is a great place to live and work, and I have made wonderful friends here. I have no regrets in coming here. When it is finished, I will look back on my time here with joy and thankfulness. So don't take away an "Ann hates Japan" message from this post.