Foreign to Familiar

It’s Saturday, I’ve finished unpacking and I’ve caught up on my sleep. I’m looking forward to church tomorrow. It’s nice to be home again.

This past week and a half we’ve been in the US for the San Antonio Bible Conference. I couldn’t wait for this time to come. I envisioned myself soaking it all in; absorbing the sermons, worshiping God in my native tongue,  eating all the food I’ve missed and fellowshipping with my favorite people. I was NOT let down. In fact,  all in all the time spent there exceeded my expectations…

On the way to the airport I figured it’s time to leave the foreign for the familiar…

Milito and Aecio drove us to the airport, helped with our luggage, and hung out with us until we boarded our flight. As soon as we got on the plane and drinks were offered, I requested my “usual”. Haha,  yes, I have a “usual” now during plane flights. Of course, the flight attendants have no idea who I am, and what my “usual” is; so I politely asked for apple juice.

Now,  Brazil does many things well and juice is one of them but there’s no apple juice here in my city. I found it once and it ended up tasting like apple sugar syrup,  or something like that. Needless to say, not very good and I’ve never seen another. I can live without it but it was always my fav.

(I have to stop here and give a shoutout to the Rentz’s from the San Antonio church. When they found out we were missing it so bad, they bought three packs of it and my favorite powdered donuts and had them waiting for us when we arrived! We’re so touched and grateful for their thoughtfulness! Thank you!!!)

Back to the plane… The longest flight is always at night and it’s a little tough to get some sleep but it wasn’t too bad this time because, surprisingly, we were able to get a few hours of sleep! Yay!


We arrived in San Antonio a little after 2pm and needed to be in service that night for the first night of the conference. We were so excited to be there, the excitability kept us alert and ready to hear Pastor Rubi.  Monday night is always my favorite (for those of you who only go the last three days,  you’re missing out!) This Monday night didn’t disappoint. I felt like an empty vessel being filled. Thank you Jesus!

The rest of the conference was the same, so many timely sermons and amazing words. And don’t even get me started on how amazing that looong time worshipping God after P. Paul Stephens preached. Just. Wow. Singing, worshipping and hearing sermons in a language we fully understand is something we all take for granted till it’s removed. Several times I was overwhelmed just being able to sing in english. God’s has always sustained me out here and now I feel that my cup runneth over and I’m glad to be back home here in Brazil.


We also went to the US with our restaurant checklist ready too! Haha! I’m not even joking! Olive Garden,  Cheddars,  Chili’s, Whataburger, Valley barbecue and many more… I’m sure my weird excitement over eating at these places did not go unnoticed…. It was like Xmas morning… Haha! Not. Even. Joking.


Unfortunately, most places I ate left me with a stomachache. I guess I’m used to more natural, less processed foods now. Shame shame.

Apparently, most missionaries lose weight when out in the field (or so I’m told). Of course, I, on the other hand…gained 15 lbs out here. (Yep, I’m talented) I worked hard over 3 months and lost it before conference but I did go a little crazy baking and frying all the food I missed the first 2 years we were here…. Shame shame again! I think it was all psychological, and I panicked a lil because I wasn’t surrounded by the familiarity of the foods I was used to… SO to make up for it I baked a cake every week and fried up everything I could! (Patting myself on the back) But. Not. A. Good. Idea. However, I’m now over that and can pretty much find everything I need to cook what I want, so I’ve calmed down. Haha

After conference we had a wonderful time visiting our families. There’s never “enough” time but I’m grateful for the time we had. We love you all!




Sunday after conference, I was so happy to be in our mother church. Being there reminds me of being an adult and visiting your mama’s house for a weekend. It’s comfy and familiar, nostalgic, and you’re wonderfully spoiled. Mama feeds you and let’s you know you’re appreciated. Even though you know you don’t deserve all that praise, you humbly receive it. Then, it’s time for the visit to be over and you sadly say goodbye and head home because you’re a grown up and that’s not your home anymore!

Julia also sang another song in Portuguese while in McAllen. This time she played the piano also. She did great despite her nerves!

After Sunday service we took Jason to Peter Piper Pizza for a mini birthday party.


Luckily he turned 11 around the time of our visit so he was just in time for his last vaccines… Haha! Poor kid HATES shots!


When leaving Brazil, I thought I’d be entering the familiar but the truth is after being here for two years now the US can, in some ways, feel foreign and Brazil, the familiar. It’s a good feeling and I guess it depends on the situation. The language is definitely still foreign but our food,  routine and home are familiar. Our church is familiar.

I was pleasantly surprised when a few days before coming home our kids expressed a desire to “go home”. Despite everything, this is where God has called us, and where His will is; will always feel like home.

We so appreciate my Pastor and his wife and the McAllen and San Antonio congregations for being so thoughtful and such a blessing to us. We miss you and we’re praying for you always.

Tchau for now!



Happily married Christian mother of two. Gave my life to Jesus at 17 in 1997. He saved me, cleansed me, turned my life and set my feet upon His solid ground. Love Brazil & the US, love to read, love technology and love to homeschool my children and date my husband.

5 thoughts on “Foreign to Familiar

  1. Hi Mel! Just wanted to chime in about the last part of your blog about how being in the US now feels foreign. I couldn’t agree with you more! It’s funny isn’t it because we were living in the US for many years and have not been gone that long, but now the nation we are in feels like home. God is so good in that way, you obey His calling, and you feel at home in His will. Please, tell Julia she did an amazing job singing! Plus, she looks beautiful in that picture sitting in the airplane. Lots of love from Monterrey, Mexico.

  2. Hey Melody

    It was great meeting you glad I was able to.
    Was hoping to get to talk to you much more but conference is so busy 🙂 .Awesome blog…… Ireally enjoy them .Looking forward to talking to you soon again .

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