March 26, 2021


One summer Sunday morning in 1994, I came downstairs and heard a man’s voice softly singing in my living room.  It was Nei Lopez, a dentist from Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  I asked what the song was and he said it was Romans 8:38 and 39—“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

He, his wife Daisy, their daughter Livia and sons Gustavo and Henrique were visiting Columbia with their pastor and several other families from their Presbyterian church in Brazil.  Our pastor had organized a World Reformed Fellowship and frequently visited churches in other countries.  He had preached in Belo Horizonte and invited that pastor to preach in South Carolina. I happily agreed to host a family for the weekend. I was amazed that their city was so big—almost 3 million population—and yet I’d never heard of it. They were really excited that Brazil had won the World Cup that June

Nei, Daisy and their children loved traveling and seemed to enjoy each other very much.  Daisy sent me this photo in 1999 when they had gone (again with a group from their church) to Canada. 

A few months after they visited me, Daisy sent this lovely hand embroidered tea towel made by Brazilian women. She’d noticed my love of butterflies!  

Daisy and Nei are probably grandparents now!  This week I heard that Brazil is now the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic and experiencing the highest number of daily deaths in the world.  Less than 7% of the population has received at least one dose of a vaccine and their public health system is collapsing.  I remember this lovely family who were house guests that weekend 27 years ago—and pray that they are well and still singing today.

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