The team was made up of:
- Patrick Neifert (RMYM)
- Phil Burgi (RMYM)
- Cassi Coleman (RMYM)
- Frank Penna (World Renewal)
- Dan Cammack (EFM Field Director).
|Where Did We Travel ?|
We landed in Recife, a large city on the coast, and traveled to Carpina, where the headquarters of World Renewal Brazil (Alcance, Brazil) are located. We were able to travel to twelve churches and ministries in the surrounding areas over the first four days, and we saw how God has been moving and working over the last 30 years with World Renewal! Tele Moraes oversees the work there and the World Renewal Team has a goal to plant 200 churches by 2050. There are many young people, couples, women, and children involved in these ministries!
Our group expanded to include John Snow (World Renewal), Wilson Barbosa (Brazilian missionary from Recife and translator), Roberto Goncalves (teacher at the International School and our photographer), and Ricardo Martin our dependable driver (who accepted Christ on our trip!)
We traveled away from the coast towards the interior about 500 km to Mirandiba (Sertão area). The number of evangelical Christians decreases the farther away from the coast you are. In Mirandiba and Sousa the number of evangelical Christians is less than one percent.
In the final days of our trip, the team traveled to Sousa and met Flavio and Mercia Travassos in Boa Esperanca. They are Brazilian missionaries from the Carpina area and have been serving there since 2020. The ministry here is predominantly with women and children. They also have a Living Stones project here. The men of this area leave to go work for months at a time and do not stay long when they return.
|What Did We See and What is the Need in the Area?|
- The Living Stones project is an example of how education for children can evangelize and disciple both the children and their parents. The children attend while they are not in school for part of the day and learn reading, writing, math, and Biblical principles through character development.
- The World Renewal ABA (Alcance Brazil Acampamento) camp near Carpina is a great location for summer camp and sports ministries for children and young adults. There is also a recycling business located at the camp that helps allow these ministries to be somewhat self-sustainable.
- The International School in Carpina houses the World Renewal headquarters. The 150+ students learn character development and Biblical principles as they go to school here! There is an immediate need at the International School for teachers and staff.
- The ministries established here could serve as a training ground for church planting for future missionaries! Evangelism, discipleship, and church planting are the main focuses of the ministries in this area!
- Pastor Joel and his wife Angelica are missionaries from São Paulo, Brazil to two different people groups. Mirandiba has approximately 15,000 people and 80% are Quilombola. Quilombos are descendants of former slaves who rejected slavery. There is a great need among these people to establish their own schools, hospitals/clinics, churches, and businesses, as they are generally discriminated against. There is also a need for very basic things such as food and water in many of these areas.
- The team was able to visit a tribal group called the Atikum. We met with three little girls at their home on a mountainside and the Holy Spirit was very evident in that place! Pastor Joel had previously prayed with their father for healing of an untreatable abdominal condition, and he was healed! AMEN! He came to know Jesus and his family are now also believers! We were able to hear the story from the father!
- Overall, the team was received with open arms, lots of hugs, and receptivity to the Gospel. As a team, we felt our times of prayer, good conversation, and simply being present at their ministry sites were a real blessing and provided much encouragement in each place we visited. The need is great, but the workers are few!
|What’s Next?Luke 10 Exploration Trips continue into 2023 as teams explore potential sites with second discernment trips where Friends see EFM’s CAN GO Criteria developing. Our next benchmarks include hopes that the EFM board will approve a commitment in November 2023 to launching at least five new fields.
How Can You Join?
Are you interested in exploring missionary service? Do you know of anyone of any age who might be interested in exploring the idea of serving as a missionary overseas for two or more years?
EFM is currently looking to contact and connect with people about opportunities to explore serving as missionaries with the Friends Church!
We look forward to sharing more news as it becomes available about what we are finding and discerning in EFM’s Luke 10 Initiative as we continue to explore where EFM may launch new mission fields.