I have always enjoyed learning about languages and cultures. When I was young, I studied many languages including English, German and even some Japanese. Translation opened the door for me to meet Alan and Heidi Winter and serve with the mission teams they brought to my community in Venezuela in the 1990’s. A desire to serve others and share the hope of Christ with them began to grow in my heart. I often shared with the Winters about my passion for learning languages and Alan challenged me to learn Portuguese. If I learned it well enough, he said he would take me with them to Brazil. What a surprise it was to him when the next time he brought a mission team to Venezuela, I could speak Portuguese!
True to his word, I was able to go on a mission trip to Brazil for the first time in 2004. Ministering to the indigenous people of Brazil with the team gave me a fresh vision for spreading the Gospel. I returned to Venezuela with a heart full of joy at seeing how God was working in the indigenous nations of Brazil. I felt tied to Brazil and the Holy Spirit began speaking to my heart about returning someday.
In Venezuela, I returned to the university and to my work as a translator at a local museum. I soon immersed myself in serving at my local church and was very involved in many different programs, but my heart remained in Brazil. I felt the Holy Spirit tell me that I would return someday to help the indigenous people, but I did not know when or how. So, I began praying for Brazil and the mission there. I fell in love, got married and had a life in Venezuela, yet still felt the pull in my spirit to Brazil.
After four years of marriage, I finally shared my desire to do missions with my husband, Alexander. I was shocked when he told me he never wanted to leave Venezuela or live anywhere else because I knew he had a heart for the lost. We had worked for years with street children in Venezuela, sharing the love of Christ and teaching of the hope found in Him. My husband loved the Lord with all his heart and I knew that if God spoke directly to him he would change his decision. So I simply prayed, “Jesus, if it is Your will to send us to the mission field, please speak to my husband.”
One morning, Alexander shared with me that he had been having dreams about Brazilian coins. “I believe we have to go to Brazil,” he said. I told him just to pray; God would show him the way. A short time later, God gave us the same dream of standing with a local pastor in Brazil with our hands on his shoulder.
I was very happy to know that God was speaking to us both about Brazil, but we did not know how the dream would become reality. One day, the Brazilian pastor visited our church in Venezuela and shared his vision of starting a training school for indigenous young people. Alexander and I knew immediately that this was an opportunity to step into God’s calling. Alexander was studying civil construction, we both had jobs and had started our family, but we decided to leave everything and obey the voice of the Lord.
My husband and I packed up our clothes, left our small daughter with family until we could get settled, and moved to Boa Vista, Brazil. There were many struggles along the way, but the Lord faithfully provided for us, and eventually our daughter was able to join us in Brazil. It has been four years since our family accepted the call of God to leave everything and we now work at a Bible training school with leaders and young people from many different indigenous languages.
All of the sacrifice of leaving my family and friends in Venezuela has been rewarded through working with the students to expand the Kingdom of God. The students are being trained and sent out to places that I cannot go, reaching souls that were lost and sharing the hope of Jesus Christ. My dream of going to other nations is being fulfilled though them and I am so encouraged by the good work God is doing in Brazil.