The Last Supper…

The “last supper” picture above was carved from a piece of wood than was once the door of a Catholic Church in Recife, Brazil.

This picture of the last supper hangs on the wall at one of the Brazil mission base houses. We happened to be there last week, for exactly one week. It was past midnight the one night (time doesn’t matter so much when you’re jet lagged), and Dwight and my parents were in bed for the night already. I was in rather a reflective mood since this was my parents’ last trip to Brazil…certainly in the official capacity as chairman of the board but it may well be their last trip. Period. Time has that way of changing things.


Anyway, as I sat in silence thinking a hundred thoughts as one does at such times, I looked at this carving on the wall. I grew up with this carving hanging off the wall in most of the places we lived during my years in Brazil. We’ve sort of “known” each other for a very long time. The longer I gazed at it, the more I remembered it’s peculiar details—like the toes under the table. In that moment I was both far from home but also at home.

The obvious parallel is that the focus for many people during this trip was that it was my parents last trip to Brazil. It was their “last supper” in a way. They have spent years planting seed, watering, and discipling so that things could go forward. Now was the time to say goodbye. And what a special experience  it was for me to witness the love poured out on my parents by all those  whose lives were touched by them in some way. And there are so many! Dwight and I were with my parents for their last celebratory suppers, lunches, hugs, kisses, tears, and loving words spoken in their honor thanking them for their years of ministry, love, and service to those in need.

When we left the place last week, I made a point of photographing this carving. This is not an end—this is only the end of a small part of a huge and wonderful story written and planned by God so He could demonstrate His wonderful love.