Sunday, January 29, 2012

TRANS Rio Grande do Sul

The Brazilian Baptist Home Mission Board (JMN) sponsors an annual evangelism project called Jesus TRANSforma (Jesus Transforms). During the "TRANS," Baptist volunteers throughout Brazil spend two weeks investing their lives in another part of the country. They do evangelistic surveys, pre-scheduled home visits, Bible studies, small groups, worship services, etc - basically whatever the local church or church start needs in the way of evangelism.

Only about half the number of volunteers the churches were planning for signed up, so there will be more than enough work for those who are here!

Our team of missionaries ( is helping with the TRANS project over the next two weeks in three different cities in Metropolitan Porto Alegre (Porto Alegre, Guaíba, and Eldorado do Sul). Please pray for safety, stamina and supernatural fruit as a result of this outreach.

The photo above is of the kickoff service before the volunteers scattered out to the various churches where they will be working.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Brazilian Baptist Convention

I had the privilege this past week of attending the Brazilian Baptist Convention meeting in Foz de Iguaçu. More than 2,200 Baptists from all over Brazil gathered to worship, discuss, and report on what God is doing all over this vast country.

There are currently 1.5 million members of Brazilian Baptist churches and more than 2 million people regularly attending worship. As far as churches go, there are 7,900 constituted churches and more than 12,800 buildings where Baptists meet (churches and or church plants).

It was tremendously encouraging to hear about the incredible things that God is doing in and through Brazilian Baptists. Drug addicts are finding freedom and salvation (see previous post), missionaries are being sent out to places where missionaries from other countries cannot go, home and foreign mission agencies are working together (even presenting their reports on stage together in t-shirts representing each other's agencies!), volunteers are going all over Brazil to share their faith (see posts on the TRANS), and churches are being started and strengthened all over this vast nation.

Much has been accomplished in the last 100+ years, and it was a tremendous privilege to get to see the "big picture" view of Baptist work - so often, I am caught up in the details of our local work. However, there is much work left to be done. Brazil is big, and the needs are still huge. Please join me in praising God for what He has done in Brazil, and ask Him to raise up workers for the Harvest and pour out His Spirit to bring light to the dark places of Brazil and to use Brazilians to take the light to a darkened world.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Brazilian Baptist Convention - "Christland"

As I attended the Brazilian Baptist Convention this week, one of the big highlights was hearing about the drug treatment centers in "Crackland" which are rapidly becoming a reference as "Christland." To hear the stories about men being reunited at the convention with their mothers after years as prodigals was incredible, as was the chance to see a former transvestite stand up with his girlfriend and share his dream of becoming a missionary. Two immigrants from Africa who ended up as drug addicts on the streets of São Paulo got saved and delivered and are currently being trained to return to Africa as missionaries. It was a joy to see them leading their fellow recovering brothers and sisters in dancing and singing to the Lord. The above picture is of the choir from Christland.

I sincerely hope that I will never forget the sound of 200 former crack addicts singing at the top of their lungs "I am free, I am free. Only through the blood of Jesus I am free!" It was musically one of the worst sounding songs I have ever heard, but it was one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. It sent chills through your spine, and the sound of it is still ringing in my ears days later. The picture quality on the video is poor - but listen to the voices!