WARNING – THIS IS LONGER THAN NORMAL
HOPE IT BLESSES YOU 🙂
an official document issued by a government, certifying the holder’s identity and citizenship and entitling them to travel under its protection to and from foreign countries.
synonyms: travel document, travel papers, travel permit, visa, identity card, ID, laissez-passer
I have three passports. Each one is from different countries
There is a list of qualifications that are different for each passport. However, each one has the same fundamental purpose: To allow me to travel between countries.
Some countries I’m not allowed to enter, for the passports I have are not recognized in that country. I must know where each passport is valid before I travel and confirm that I’ve not broken any requirements.
Does that make sense to you?
The three countries where I have passports:
– The United States (where I was born)
– Brazil (that involves much learning, many challenges)
– The Kingdom of God (I’m also continuing to learn with this one)
The United States
Now, that was an easy one for me – and for many of you.
I was born in a maternity home in Ontario, Oregon, daughter of two American citizens. It was a small town, near the border with Idaho. My dad was co-owner with his brother of a large farm in Idaho.
I’m not going into detail here about life then, and how different it was. I do have a memory of a hired hand jumping into the sheep pen and grabbing me before the sheep trampled me. I was about 3 and have no idea how I got there.
Like most Americans, I took my American citizenship for granted. Many years passed before I realized how blessed I was to be born in the USA.
Brazil – we moved there in 1967
This citizenship had a price attached to it. Not so much in money – although money is involved in almost everything one does…
The price was –
– fifty years of living and learning to understand why people do as they do in Brazil.
– learning how to forgive when people who are helping us, steal from our home.
– learning that eggs put into the freezer could still be fried or scrambled.
– learning that meat cut off a cow’s carcass hanging in the open and covered by flies I could take home, wash, clean and cook it- knowing that the heat killed all the germs.
– learning how to live without a phone (it cost $1000
to buy a phone line)
no phone line causes unexpected challenges and adventures.
– learning about spiritism and how it affects, controls and can destroy lives. And how to cast out evil spirits. (that is no joke.)
– learning the language of Portuguese. Interesting. The more of the language I understand, the more the culture make sense to me.
– learning and learning more
– we began a small music group and made three long-plays that sold all over the country.
– we started an ESL School … that paid some of our bills.
– we started a church in our English school – then moved it to the home we built on one of the surrounding mountains of Belo Horizonte. The view was incredible!
– God’s hand was all over this one that follows…
I worked with Maranatha! Music… They gave me the tapes for Kid’s Praise & Salty (some of you may remember the popularity of that group with children back in the 1980’s?) We translated and recorded several. That was life-changing!
This is only some of a lifetime of doing things I never dreamed of doing – and it continues. All of these years I was interested in getting my Brazilian citizenship…but I never learned how. . .it was complicated and expensive…
In 1985 the Foursquare Church in Brazil requested Foursquare Missions International to place us as missionaries in Brazil. They did it and in 1986 we officially became missionaries of the Foursquare Church.
In 1987 I lost my marriage of 39 years. Cause: infidelity and children outside of our marriage.
Back to the USA (at the request of Foursquare Missions.) I was lost. God walks me through.
In 1991 I married Joe Pottle Sr. He was a recent widower: our marriage was a shock to everyone, including us!
In 1992, he took me to New England to meet many of his family and friends. In 1993, I took him to Brazil to meet my friends and loved ones.
From then on, teaching in Brazil became an important part of our lives.
We ended up moving to Natal, RN Brazil in the year 2000. That was home until the end of 2011 when Joe returned to the states because of his health.
During those 12 years, Joe taught (with me translating) in different states, primarily in RN where we lived. We made a good team and had fun even when teaching serious subjects.
Those times are unforgettable and what God did was beyond our understanding. Nine years later, people still talk about what they learned. I am full of gratitude to God for how He used a farmer’s daughter and a man who had a steel construction business to share His Word and His love with others.
We never got passports, but we had the equivalent of “green cards” in the US. The adventures were many. God’s faithfulness was there – always.
After almost 27 years of marriage, then living in Portland, OR., Joe Pottle Sr went home to be with God in February 2017.
In November, 2017, I received my Brazilian citizenship. God’s hand was in that!
However, once again I was lost. It’s been three years of God walking with me. He is making changes in my life. I’ll be sharing some of them and how – as I follow Him.
The additions listed in my Brazilian passport represent more adventures and places God has led me through. Besides all of this, following the requirements of my Kingdom Passport causes my life to make radical changes.
One of them is TRUSTING GOD when I have no idea of
where He is leading me. These months, every time someone asks me a question
about my future, I have to reply “I don’t know,” for I don’t. The United
States? Brazil? My children?
“I don’t know.”
Three passports. Three different cultures. Constantly causing the need for life decisions.
What about you? What are your passports?
Do you KNOW you can trust Him?
Even to your old age
and gray hairs I am
He, I am He who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4
Life is interesting - and can be challenging. Voni shares with you her experiences