I left home with only imaginations of where I was going. I reached a point where I was supposed to discover myself. Believe me: beyond borders the fear of the unknown strikes.
My first nightmare came at the airport where everyone seemed to be speaking in “tongues” for me. Yes, I could hear the language, but understanding it was a different matter. God called me and I listened, but the atmosphere needed more than faith and prayer. That time it seemed as if when I left home I didn’t know where I was going, but I did.
How can I get stuck when all is happening according to plan? A piece of paper “air ticket” tells me where I should be, but the environment is suggesting otherwise. Am I placed between a rock and a hard place, or is it just the fear of the unknown? Time is ticking down, and the atmosphere is showing no mercy at all. Am I at the right gate according to the piece of paper in my hand or not? Too many questions perhaps.
I asked the airport attendant and individuals surrounding me, but unfortunately, they could hardly understand my language. At last the relief came when people started to flock in. From what I observed, the flight had been delayed and it had been announced several times. I heard them announcing, but I did not understand.
Little did I know it was only the beginning of missionary journey beyond political borders. Could it be that many awkward situations awaits? Only time could tell.
During my first days, collecting money from the bank and buying things from the supermarkets were seldom easy. I could attend the church and spend two hours without understanding the preaching and songs. The organization I am serving with works with children. I could hardly understand them even when they could speak to me slowly and at times they looked frustrated by that. What else could be that one thing amiss? “It’s Brazilian Portuguese.”
At last I understood more the term “from everywhere to everywhere.” Surely transitioning is just a process; it is not forever. It may tarry as it is experienced mentally, physically, and emotionally but given the reason behind it, it’s worth it. I know and understand the language is a barrier to many people involved in this mission of faith–it’s just but a process. The hope and faith we have in God is key.
Today Brazil is like my second home country. I can understand and speak Portuguese. I can simply do all by the grace of God. God is with us in every situation. Mathew 28:19 says, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Tapiwa Blessing Kanengoni
GMF International, Class of 2016-2018
Shade and Fresh Water