Challenged for missions in southern Brazil

21 Aug, 2015 | Brazil
OM International
Street Evangelism
"We learnt many things. Some things, I'd never imagined." Murilo, a participant in the Global Challenge International Winter Conference, organised by OM Brazil, was surprised to talk about sports. "That amazed me. I didn't know I could use any tool to work in missions."

More than 600 Brazilians were challenged for missions during the three-day missions event, held from 17-25 July in Criciúma, Santa Catarina, southern Brazil.

"This is an area that we never worked in before," said Simone Aragão, short-term missions coordinator of OM Brazil. "Reaching a new region in our country was a challenge."

The team is convinced, however, that this city, more than any, needs the Gospel. Amongst others, Criciúma is a city that has opened its doors to welcome refugees from many countries, such as Haiti, Senegal and Ghana. Most of them are Muslims.

"This region needs Jesus!" said OM Brazil Director Vitor Christovam.

OM Brazil was invited to challenge churches to go about missions in a practical way. They answered by providing the tools and training for church members to reach people.

Put into practice

Besides encouraging talks from keynote speaker Roberto Façanha, who is the leader of OM in Latin America, participants enjoyed workshops taught by highly qualified people, who shared on topics such as urban missions, sports evangelism, human trafficking, creative evangelism, reaching the Muslim World and OM opportunities.

After the conference, participants were challenged to put things into practice. Over a week, they worked in two underprivileged communities in Criciúma, where drug dealing is very common. The participants helped local churches, worked with children, used sports with Bible principles, had team devotionals, helped in projects with prostitutes and transvestites, performed dramas, hosted kids’ games, used creative evangelism and did much more.

Accepting the call

"As a result, we had many people accepting the call to get involved in missions," said Simone. Amongst them, three young people will attend OM Brazil's 10-month Missions Course for Churches. Other participants signed up for OM Brazil’s six-month, full-time missions training programme, starting in January 2016.

"The church is formed by disciples of Christ who have a vision for sharing the transformation of their lives through the Gospel in their communities, with the love of Christ for the people," said Simone. "The reason we’re not with the Father yet is because of the great task we have in our hands—as the Bible says in Matthew 28:18-20."

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