Photo courtesy of Ashley Kitchen

Felipe Goncalves da Silva, holding Ashley's son Malachi Kitchen, with Jordan Stratford, Ashley's cousin, waiting to start their Christmas day tobogganing in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

When it was announced at our church that there was a young man coming from Brazil through the IVEP program, my husband and I both immediately felt that we were to be the ones to host him!  

At the time we were fairly new parents with a seven-month-old baby, with a move to a new home in the following year, and lots of unknowns ahead of us! Despite this, we both felt so much peace about making the decision to become host parents and signed up right after the service. When I prayed about the situation, I felt the Lord was saying that Felipe would be a blessing to our family.

Well Felipe has been just that and more. I could not have planned a better person to bring into our family, and at just the right time. We have been so abundantly blessed by opening our home up! Felipe has a beautiful servant’s heart and is constantly offering help and love wherever he can. He and Malachi (our now one-year-old) are like two peas in a pod and I’m fairly certain Felipe knows how to make him laugh more than anyone.  

Christmas was spent with just our little family at our home in Calgary. My husband Mike, Malachi, Felipe and my cousin Jordan, who also lives with us, had the best time together. We went tobogganing on Christmas day and came home to hot chocolate and our Christmas roast. Ice skating on the river was a fun holiday activity we all enjoyed together too. We had some good laughs with Felipe over his feeling of being on skates for the first time. If it weren’t for the special guests living with us, I don’t know that we would have gone out to do half the things we have done this year. It’s like we are always looking for new adventures and things to teach and show our Brazilian family member.

One of Felipe’s wish list items for Christmas was a snow globe like he had seen in the movies! Now he will always remember his time in Calgary, Alberta, back in Brazil.

Ashley Kitchen and family, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, are hosting Felipe from Brazil.

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