God Answers Prayer!

My mother (in the middle) with her two childhood friends

God is good. He always answers prayers! I love it when He does it in such a way that says, “I know what’s best and I can do things you never even thought of.” This time, He has answered our prayers with plans that He laid down half a century ago—reminding us all that He is God and not finite. Let me explain:

In 1949, my mom was born in Rio Verde, Brazil to two American missionary parents. She was raised in the village where her parents ran a school and taught the native children. She was home schooled until the end of her 8th grade year. Then she left Brazil for an American boarding school in 1965 and never went back.

My mom never had a Brazilian passport. She never even had a Brazilian birth certificate. All she had was a letter from the U.S. Embassy stating her birth abroad.

Skip ahead a generation and here we are trying to go to Brazil. It’s her village’s centennial celebration—commemorating 100 years since the first missionaries reached them. It is the first time my mother has tried going back and the first time ever in the country for the rest of our nuclear family (My dad, my brother, and myself. My sister cannot make it—she has her own nuclear family now).

When applying for visas, we thought that mine would be the trouble maker since I was planning on staying longer than everyone else. But we received a phone call from the Brazilian Embassy in Atlanta, GA that said otherwise.

The man on the phone told us that they would not accept my mom into the country as an American. Since she was born in Brazil, she was a Brazilian and she needed a Brazilian passport. “No no no,” He said, “You are Brazilian and you’re children are too!”

It was both an wonderful surprise and a great disappointment. My mom would need special permission from the Brazilian consulate to enter the country and get her Brazilian passport. Then the rest of us could apply for our citizenship as well. A couple phone calls and anxiety ridden waiting periods later (if they turned us down, my mom would be barred from the country forever), we had that permission.

Now the four of us have all we need to go to Brazil on July 4th (arriving July 5th). Not only did God work out the kinks, but took it one step further. Forty-seven years after leaving, my mom gets to return to her home as a native. Even more, I have the opportunity of having dual citizenship which can be a very useful thing for whatever future God has in store for me.

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