Go Encounter: Brazil
“Bruce and Lisa Triplehorn have been working in Brazil for 22 years. All three of their kids are Grace graduates. They are some of the most effective missionaries I have met,” faculty leader Carlos Tellez said. “[The Triplehorn’s] level of integration with the people — including language and culture — the way in which they have stressed principles rather than forms, and their dedication to Christ is commendable!”
With the direction of the Triplehorns, the group experienced many aspects of the culture. However, one facet that several team members commented on was unity between believers expressed by the Brazilian church.
KaLynn Lhamon, sophomore Criminal Justice and Counseling double major described how singing together brought unity to the group in Uberlandia, Brazil, “…Bruce and Lisa had their church over to their house for a gathering. Together, we sang “Shout to the Lord” in Portuguese and in English. It was such an amazing experience because I felt such unity among the group, worshipping the same Lord each in our own language.” She also commented that she learned the importance of other people in the body of Christ to edify and help one another grow. “The Brazilians use the word convivencia, a word that does not directly translate to English, to describe their lifestyle of living together actively in one another’s lives. I found this to be so special.”
Luke Morgan, senior Criminal Justice and Psychology double major also expressed what he learned about cultural and spiritual community from his time in Brazil.
“A major cultural difference we experienced while in Brazil was the warmth of the people and the desire for community. In Sao Fransisco we visited a church that lived together, ate together, and intertwined church with their life. For church they would hang out together in the day, have church in the evening, and then eat together afterwards. Their lives were completely focused on God and each other.”
Morgan noticed how different American culture is in contrast. “Many Christians in America have an individualistic mentality and therefore don’t rely on each other or they segregate the areas in their life…In reality we need to make everything God-centered and that includes our social lives, which should emphasize community with other believers.”
While in Brazil, Morgan also felt challenged to examine his faith as they worked alongside the Triplehorns. “The ways [the Triplehorns] worship God and encourage the churches we visited challenged every member on the trip….”
Tellez stated that Grace is hoping to return to Brazil yearly through Go Encounter trips. Morgan said that he would like to return to Brazil within the next two years. “I would love to get back to Brazil sometime… especially to visit with the youth in Icoaraci. The people and food in Brazil are fantastic, and coming back to America has me slightly depressed because I miss the culture.” Lhamon also desires to return to Brazil. “After creating relationships with the people there and seeing Bruce and Lisa’s ministry, I would love to see how each church we visited has grown and how each individual has spiritually grown.”
Story by Katelyn Mithoefer | Staff Writer | firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos Contributed by Luke Morgan