The second trip to Northeast Brazil within the second wave of Luke 10 Exploration Trips went out from October 7-16, 2023.
Ten exploration teams made trips to ten different destinations and peoples between April 2022 and March 2023. These trips were the first wave of exploration in discerning potential new fields for EFM to launch as part of EFM’s Five-Year Goal. It was determined that eight of those destinations require a second trip for further, deeper, exploration, plus as of July 2023 plans are being made by FSW to start a new work among unreached people groups in Cambodia and surrounding areas. Further exploration will help EFM to begin making decisions about where to make commitments in November 2023 to send North American households to launch new fields. See more information here.
The following is a report written by a member of the team, Phil Burgi.
|Who Was on this Trip & Where Did We Travel?|
The team was made up of eight people: Patrick Neifert (RMYM), Cassi Coleman (RMYM), Phil Burgi (RMYM), Karen Burgi (RMYM), Autumn Keith (RMYM), Jessie Quinby (RMYM), Dan Cammack (EFM Field Director), and Frank Penna (World Renewal).
Our focus in March and again during the October 2023 exploratory trip was to consider where God might be calling EFM to minister to the unreached people groups of Northeast Brazil (Sertão). After visiting some churches in the Carpina area, where our potential ministry partner World Renewal is located, we traveled on a similar course to the previous trip in March 2023. We traveled 500 Km to the interior where we visited potential ministry sites in and near Mirandiba and Sousa. We focused on three unreached people groups during both visits to Brazil in 2023: the Quilombola, Ciganos, and Atikum tribal group. We visited a Cigano (gypsy) community on the west side of Sousa.
|What was our experience traveling here? How did the Lord meet us?|
We felt welcomed by “people of peace” from all three minority groups. An individual in one of the Atikum communities we visited shared how the Gospel had reached their area. Before alcoholism was very prevalent. Now there is a school where the former bar was located. We prayed over that teacher and affirmed her ministry. The need for Christian teaching, fellowship and discipling was very evident as we observed this fledgling community process how will they integrate the addition of Biblical Truth amongst them.
In a Quilombola community called Cachoeirinha a potential ministry partner named Joel led a street service in front of a woman’s house. There were over 100 people with many children, and men and women gathered. That was the first service we experienced in the Sertão region where many men were in attendance. Many pledged to accept Christ which speaks to the great need in the Sertão.
We met with the son of the Cigano (Gypsy) community’s former “chief” who had been working on translating the Book of Ruth into their language, řomani čhib which they only speak within the community. We had many opportunities to share our faith stories, pray for individuals and groups as well as have them pray for us. Everywhere we went we felt God’s presence with us and over us.
We met with eight young moms in the Mirandiba Baptist church. The pastor’s wife, Angelica teaches them how to sew and crochet/knit. A skill so that they can raise funds to be financially independent. Angelica gets involved while the women are pregnant and provides a new baby kit when they have their baby. A few of the women are Christian and others simply seekers. We warmed their hearts, and we were blessed as we prayed and held their babies.
We visited a public school in Mirandiba where we were able to share Christ’s influence in our lives and sing with the students. We met with principal, Saude and the vice principle (both from the Atikum tribe) and heard their hearts for the kids. They spoke of the problems they have with the students including drugs, discipline issues and cell phone addiction (not so different from here in the States). As we prayed for them and were leaving the principal said, “I hope that you can come”.
During our travels it was the Brazilian National Children’s Day. In Sousa, we attended a program organized by Pastor Flavio and his wife Mercia, World Renewal’s only outpost in the Sertão. They had prepared a program for the children of the community. About 60-70 kids and some adults were there from the community. Mercia also has a women’s program for the community. They also have an active Living Stones ministry to the community children.
|How Can You Pray for Next Steps in this Country?|
We had multiple invitations to come, volunteer at the school, start a church, provide Biblical training, etc. There is great spiritual need in the Sertão. There are people of peace in the Sertão and an openness “to come”. As we return from this second exploratory trip to Northeast Brazil our hearts resonate with Jesus’ words from Matthew 9:37 “The Harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” We join with EFM, praying for additional missionary units to serve in the Sertão of Northeast Brazil (especially a couple or family to join with Cassi’s sense of call). We hear a definite plea from many “people of peace” in the Sertão and from the few ministry workers “please come and help.” We pray for the Lord of the Harvest to call 2 couples or families into the field in Northeast Brazil.
The second round of Luke 10 Exploration Trips continues through October 2023. The EFM National Luke 10 Think Tank will meet on November 8, 2023 to look at which fields meet EFM’s CAN GO Criteria for launching new fields and begin making the first decisions as to where EFM will commit to deploying missionaries by the end of 2025.
Are you Feeling Called to Join EFM?
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.