Okay, confession time.
We have a lot of vacation time here in Brazil.
Between the many celebrated holidays and vacation time we have a lot of downtime here in Brazil. During the school year there are a number of celebrated holidays off (e.g., Saint John’s Festival and Carnival). We also have the months of July and January (from Christmas to February 1st) off of school. I’ve never really calculated it, but it seems that we probably have at least 10 days more time off than the average school teacher in the US.
And I’m not going to lie we usually don’t do a lot during breaks. Sure sometimes there are church events and banquets, but they aren’t the norm.
There are times before a vacation where we feel like we have some project, church outreach, or school obligation going on all time. For some people (extroverts I suppose) this is exciting and invigorating, but for us (we’re somewhat introverts) it’s exhausting and tense.
After spending most of the day at school sometimes we feel too exhausted to go out with friends and minister to people. It seems like during our vacation time God gives us the energy and time to do more of that. And more often than not we get to reconnect with family and friends from the US during vacations. Last January my folks came for a visit and this year Jeff’s family is visiting. During July (and sometimes January) there are short-term mission groups visiting.
I think the biggest benefit of the breaks, for us and others in ministry here, is a time to reconnect to God and refocus our ministry goals. We return from the break energized. We do a lot of preparation and refocusing on what God’s plan is for our ministry.
My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. -Exodus 33:14