Saturday, September 15, 2007

Month of Prayer for the Gaúcho People - Week 3

Welcome to Porto Alegre, or Port of Joy, the capital city of the Southern Brazilian state of RS. Almost 4.5 million Gauchos live in the Metropolitan Porto Alegre area, one of the most modern cities of any in Brazil. This bustling metropolis has one of the highest standards of living in all of Brazil, world-famous soccer teams, a strategic economic position in South America, and many cultural attractions. The city has a European flavor, with a mixture of immigrants from many nations lending to a multi-cultural atmosphere. However, the background of their traditional Gaucho roots binds the people together with a fierce pride in their culture.

Despite the relatively high level of development and standard of living, Porto Alegre has the highest suicide rate in all of Brazil, and many thousands of witchdoctors and spiritist mediums freely practice their ceremonies on the streets of the city. The people are bound by an empty mixture of cultural Catholicism and voodoo-like witchcraft that leaves them afraid of the power of evil spirits. Because of their proud nature and strong sense of heritage, Gauchos are frequently slow to accept help from outsiders.

Unfortunately, the good news of Jesus Christ has often been seen as an outside, foreign religion that is unrelated to the needs of the Gaucho people. As a result, Porto Alegre is one of the least evangelized major cities in all of South America. As few as 2% of the population of the city have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Currently, there are only 37 Baptist churches in the entire metropolitan area. There is a crying need for more churches to proclaim the saving, liberating power of Jesus Christ to this desperately lost people. The International Mission Board’s TEAM GAUCHO is working to help Brazilians start new churches in simple ways that do not require major financial commitment or outside support so that these new groups of believers can rapidly reproduce and start new churches themselves. Your missionaries need your help in partnering with them through prayer, giving and personal involvement to bring light to the 4.5 million people in Metro PoA who need to meet Jesus. Won’t you commit to help?

Will you commit to pray for the city of Porto Alegre?
1. Pray that God would raise up workers for the harvest in Metropolitan Porto Alegre.
2. Pray that God would open the eyes of the Gauchos, that they would understand the good news and be saved.
3. Pray for the church planting work of the International Mission Board’s TEAM GAUCHO and ask that God would bless and bring much fruit.
4. Pray about how God would have YOU to be involved in reaching the people of Metropolitan Porto Alegre for Christ.

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