"Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words." Saint Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


This is Anderson (the little boy of course, not the super cute girl).

You all know him.

If you don't, he is our happy, super talkative 7 (almost 8) year old.

He has never woken up a day in his life unhappy or grumpy. He wakes up happy every day. Every day. He brings so much joy to us and blesses our entire family because of his happiness.

He is also our man of extremes. Every day, when I pick him up from school, I ask how his day was because I know that it was either the "Best Day of School Ever!" or it was the "Worst Day of My Life!" There is no middle ground for him.

So a couple of weeks ago he got his new soccer uniform. He trains in it at every practice and uses it when he plays in games.

The soccer school where he trains is affiliated with our favorite soccer team. Our team's colors are red and white.

Last year, I have no idea why, his uniform colors were yellow and black.

This year his teams colors were super close to the professional team. Red, white and gray.

The soccer school is run by a man named Emerson (who actually used to play for our team) and his wife Michelle.

When Michelle gave Anderson his uniform it was like she had shared with him the Good News of Jesus for the first time. Like she had given him free tickets to every Inter game for the rest of his life. Like she gave him a free pass on brushing his teeth forever with no future cavities or dentist visits. You get the picture, he was super excited.

When Anderson gets super excited, since he is a man of severe extremes, everyone around him knows it.

We are accustomed to his extremes so I sat next to Michelle and watched Anderson look at his uniform, smile, look at Michelle and smile and then look at me and smile. He then just had a kid on Christmas day smile go from ear to ear. I  knew what he was thinking......"This is the OFFICIAL team uniform of my favorite team and I'm on the team." We've had those conversations before. That's how his brain functions.

So I sat back and smiled as I watched it all unfold.

One thing we love about Brasil is the way people love on kids. If you've lived here or visited you know what I'm talking about. We love how everyone interacts with all of our kids and do so lovingly. We are used to it.

I share that to share something that Michelle did after watching Anderson's reaction. It was one of the coolest things I've ever seen.

She just sat there and smiled at Anderson. She then called him over to her, put his face in her hands and pulled him close to her face. She looked him in the eyes and said, "I LOVE YOU!" He just smiled. She then said, still eyeball to eyeball, "Do you understand me Anderson? I........LOVE..........YOU!"

What an incredible blessing, as a dad, to see this.

Anderson just does that to people. I'm biased, of course, I'm his dad but I've seen it so many times that I can't count them. Anderson just melts people with his goodness.

He is a blessing to so many and I can't wait to see how many people will be in heaven with us forever because of how Anderson will continue to share the love of Jesus with everyone he meets.

When he got home from practice he blessed one more person. He gave Giovanni (who definitely looks at Anderson as his role model) his old uniform from last year.

They both were very happy.


Elyssa Smith said...

Oh my goodness, you guys. This brought tears to my eyes. I love this entry. I miss you all so much - send my regards to my twin Anderson, especially. Much love from Indiana, Elyssa.

Laura Xavier said...

This was so adorable!! Anderson is a really especial kid, I love him too :) Too bad he is not playing for GrĂªmio, hahaha just kidding! Love, Laura