Family Blessings, Part I

27 November, 2009

Woman with portrait, Patacas, Brasil, 2008.

Dona Beneca with portrait. Patacas, Brasil. 2008.

For the next few weeks I want to focus my photos on the subject of family. During the holiday season, from Thanksgiving to Christmas, our thoughts turn to those we love. We are blessed (whether we care to admit it or not) with the company of relatives and loved ones as we celebrate this special time of the year. I wanted to explore this family theme through images I have taken on the mission field. This was one of the first photos that came to mind.

During my time in Brasil last October, I followed the ministry of Pastor Kosmo as he went about his small rural community of Patacas, Brasil. This ministry involved many visits to members of the community, this could be a time of Bible study, prayer, or merely an occasion to connect socially.

As with all members of the community we visited, who were all incredibly hospitable, always welcoming us in with an offer of fresh juice or coffee, Dona Beneca welcomed us into her home. As they spoke I was caught by the expressive way she animated every story, her arms gyrating and her face contorting with every sentence she spoke. I don’t think I have but a couple photos where her hands aren’t blurred by movement.

Since I know very little Portuguese, I couldn’t follow the entire epic score she was conducting with her hands, but what I did comprehend was the story of the portrait she held in her hands.

She was extremely proud of the image and was blessed by the modern technology that brought it to her. Being from this poor, rural, farming community, personal photographs are rare, especially rare for a person of her generation. She had no photos of herself and her late husband together. Yet, with the help of digital photo manipulation she was able to have the one image of her husband and the one image of herself scanned and brought digitally together into one frame. Even though they are now separated in death, they have been brought together into this one frame she now lovingly cherishes.

There were three of us; Pastor Kosmo, Elizeu, and myself, who spent that hour or so together with Dona Beneca in her humble home, captivated by her energy and animation, enjoying the coffee and friendship. Although I did not speak the language well, we shared a moment of being family. Such is the blessing of the Body of Christ. That brief time in that home blessed me, and I came from that encounter a richer person. Those encounters are available for all of us wherever we find ourselves.

© 2009 A Mission Proclaimed

A Mission Proclaimed is a federally recognized 501(c)(3). Your support is greatly appreciated.


2 Responses to “Family Blessings, Part I”

  1. AMPP said

    Obrigado Elizeu. I was looking through my notes and could not find her name; lesson learned to take better notes!

  2. It´s a great testimony. That womam has accepted Christ as her saviour. We know her as “Dona Beneca”

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