Student Missions Blog

Brazil: Washing feet and sharing shoes

From Day One, our team leader urged us to be FAT. I already had eaten a few Brazilian meals by that time and definitely on board to be fat on this trip, but she had another meaning in mind.

She told us to be FAT—fluid, available and teachable. That seems easy enough. Most mission trips require those basic qualities, but it was certainly harder than expected. We really had to learn to “let go and let God,” because we never really knew what was in store for us from one day to the next.

azia branson130Azia BransonWe were so blessed to work with Samaritan’s Feet, an organization that distributes shoes to children in need. The most amazing part about working with this group is that we not only gave the shoes to the children, but also got to wash their feet first.

It was an amazing experience to wash the feet of these children, like Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. John 13:6-7 says: “He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” These verses perfectly describe this whole journey because most of the kids were very shy and sort of confused that we were washing their feet. They probably didn’t understand what we were doing or why we were doing it. But my prayer is that one day, they will remember the weird people in orange shirts who washed their feet and they will be reminded of Christ.

After the children got their feet washed they all gathered together to play soccer, it was so cool to see how that sport could break the language barrier and bring smiles and fun to everyone. Soccer definitely is a common denominator for most Brazilians and a passion we were able to share with them—even better during the World Cup.

students brazil group425The last boy whose feet I washed asked me why he was getting new shoes and why would we give him new shoes, as if he didn’t deserve them. The translator and I explained the story of Jesus washing the disciple’s feet and that these shoes were a gift to him. After we talked with him, he told us he was going to give his new shoes to someone else who needed them more. That was the most humbling and extraordinary moment for me during the journey.

Matthew 18:2-4 says: “And calling to him a child, he put in the midst of them and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the great in the kingdom of heaven.”

It was such a beautiful reminder of how there is nothing more pure and great as child-like faith. It was a reminder to me to humble myself daily. It reminded me I am undeserving of all the blessings I am given, but God is truly always faithful.

Azia Branson, a student at Tarleton State University, served in Brazil during the World Cup through Go Now Missions.

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