It felt good Tuesday morning to sleep in for a bit. The 5 hour time difference and late nights were catching up with us. Britten spent time making several phone calls and lining up the rest of the week. There were so many people he wanted to see, but not enough time to accomplish that. Sally told us about Belem's Christmas party on Saturday night, so we were grateful for the Ward Party's because that allowed Britten to see a lot of people in one night.
Tuesday evening Maria invited us to have dinner with her and her 2 children, Valeria and Roberto. They welcomed us into their home and invited us to sit at their table that was in their family room. Maria smiled at us and said, "My table is small but our hearts are Huge!" She had prepared so much food for us that she had to use 2 tables. As we have been surrounded by so many humble people, they have taught me so much. They may have very little, but they so so grateful for what they have, and they are so very happy!
After a wonderful meal, we watched Britten's video with them. The spirit was present that evening as I watched the tears flow from their eyes. The young man was trying to decide whether to go on a mission, while the sister had drifted slightly. As the video ended, she wiped tears from her eyes and said, "I feel the spirit so strongly. It makes me want tobetter and stronger." She continued,
"I noticed your smile (Karla) in every picture and you look so happy. I wonder, how can you be so happy with everything that has happened?" I was grateful for that question, as it gave me the opportunity to bear my testimony and explain to her how I could be so happy. "If we turn to our heart to the Lord and trust in him, he will give us strength and we can be happy even while we are going through our trials. Hugs and kisses were exchanged as the spirit filled the room.
I could see the joy in her mother's eyes. Maria's smiled as she kissed me gently on the cheek and said, "thank you, thank you so much", was spoken in Portuguese. Maria gave me a gift of 6 beautiful crocheted place mats. Her cousin must of spent hours and hours making them and I accepted them knowing they were a gift of love.
Britten was able to talk to Roberto about the joy he felt from serving a mission. Britten said, "It was the best decision that I have made."
What a beautiful evening was spent with this family, as the spirit touched all of us. Thank you Maria, Valeria and Roberto... You touched our lives that day with your huge hearts!
Felipe and his friend Andre picked us up, so he could to take us back to our hotel. Andre was a life long friend of Felipe's and had spent 6 months in the USA, so he English was pretty good. Felipe had told us that he had been trying to share the gospel with Andre. Andre said to Felipe, "You've been gone for 2 years and you are so different...why?" Felipe told him that he wanted him to meet Britten, because Britten and the Gospel of Jesus Christ changed him and helped him to be a better person.
As we were riding in the car, I enjoyed the conversation with Andre so much. He was telling us that he wanted to be a pilot and so he works at the airport to get experience. We told him about our flight and what happened to us at the Atlanta airport. All the people were boarded on the plane ready for the plane to push back when the pilot voice came across the intercom. "We are sorry, but a person ready to board the plane left their passport in their luggage and it has already been loaded with the cargo." Sooo, we sat there for 1 1/2 hours so they could unload All the luggage until they found it. Uggg!
Andre was amazed at that crazy story. He commented the Atlanta airport is So Huge! I proceeded to explain to him, "That's the reason why we felt like we needed to accompany Britt on this trip. With how big the airport is and Britten's limited vision, we were worried about him not being able to see the signs and get where he needed to be." Andre said, "What.. he can not see good?" I immediately said, "Has Felipe not told you about Britten?" He said, "No."
So the rest of the conversation was about Britten's accident and the miracles that happened! Andre sat their in awe. He couldn't quit looking at Britten. He said, "I cant believe what you tell me....He looks so perfect!" He then asked, "Do you think that "medicine" saved him or "faith and miracles." We bore our testimony's that 100% of it was faith and miracles. I said, "The doctors that told us they couldn't do anything for him...He will not survive, because there was no blood or oxygen supply to his head." Two days later, being kept alive by life support, the miracle happened. Dr. Ribus, the doctor that witnessed this, wrote us 5 weeks later. He said, "We may see one or two miracles a year, and Britten is definitely that miracle." Yes, We had witnessed "Divine Intervention".
Andre sat there dumb founded at what he was hearing. He said, "I have a hundred more questions, but I'm just trying to take all of this in." Steven then bore his testimony to him and how wonderful the doctors were in Brazil and how they were compassionate and very competent as cared for him. But Britten's determination, his great attitude and his faith in God, is why he is recovering so well.
We gave Andre, Britten's card with his feeling about challenges and trials, and a DVD of his story. We told Andre about a fireside we were doing on Sunday night. Andrea was so moved and asked if he could come? We said, "Of course, We would be honored to have you with us."
As we retired that evening my heart was so full. Grateful we could share our deep rooted testimonies of Jesus Christ, his atonement and the pathway of happiness in life.