This year I had the privilege to be part of a Four12 team ministering into Estação 337, the Four12 church in São Paulo, a city where the population is roughly 245 times the size of the Isle of Man. It’s a city where it’s estimated that there’s over 30,000 buildings that are over 12 floors high. Where I come from, if you were to tell someone that you were going to build a tower block it would definitely be laughable, so the contrast between the city and my small island is huge. However, despite the stark differences between the quiet and quaint Isle of Man and the hustle and fast pace of Brazil, the people and the city of São Paulo still completely captured my heart.
Firstly, the hospitality and generosity modelled by the members of the church who worked tirelessly to look after the “gringos” (foreigners in Portuguese) was next level. We were beyond blessed as they were giving not out of a place of abundance, but just out of what God had placed in their hands. When you are so sacrificial in the way you are giving it says in Mark 12 “you put more into the treasury than any others”. We were straight away made to feel like family and were able to model the heart of Four12 by serving alongside the Brazilians in worship, prayer and even tidying up after a service. It was great to see how we all share the same DNA and there was no division between Brazilians and gringos when serving God. As a team, we felt so loved and honoured which made it impossible to not fall in love with our hosts and those around us.
Before going I found myself struggling with thoughts of what can I actually bring to the team and to the church that other people can’t and wondering what God’s purpose for me being there was. God comforted me with the words of Paul the Apostle in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 where we find out that even he felt scared when bringing a message, however when the Lord used him it was a demonstration of God’s Spirit and power. My prayer for the trip was that I would be used in the same way.
One thing that blew me away again and again was how God perfectly crafted every single moment and had His way in each encounter I had. In moments where I thought I had nothing to give God stepped in and reminded me it’s not about what I can say or what I can bring, but it’s about what God can say and what He can do through me when I make myself available.
Ephesians 3:20 says “Now to Him who is able to do abundantly more than what we ask or think according to the power that is at work within us”. This is a verse that sums up my time in São Paulo perfectly. God used me in ways that I didn’t think were possible and actually did so much more on top of that. I was given the opportunity to pray with people, cry with people, speak prophetically, and with God-inspired wisdom, into situations that without God would be impossible.
The Lord gave me an opportunity to use my own personal testimony to minister and encourage people walking a walk similar to my own, something which I knew the Lord could do but wasn’t something that I was necessarily expecting. I felt my heart connect so deeply with those I came into contact with, in a way that I’ve never experienced before. I believe this is a result of being totally dependent on The Spirit, because in the natural the language barriers would be seemingly difficult to overcome, but our God truly transcends culture and language when Christ is the common factor.
He used the gift of my singing voice to break things open in worship; a particular highlight being the first night of the church camp during a power cut where we had the option to go to bed and hope that the electricity would be back in the morning, or to push through and allow God to have His way. The willingness and obedience of everyone to stay lead to an amazing evening of spontaneous worship in the dark. It was such a sweet time in His presence where God used me as a vessel as we were moving in spontaneous songs, sharing prophetic hopes and dreams for the weekend and encouraging one another in the way we moved as one body, despite the difference in nations and language.
I could probably write an entire novel about all the things that God did in me and through me during my time in Brazil, and I cannot wait until I get the opportunity to go back to the nation that God has so powerfully laid on my heart, however my biggest take away is this;
God can use anyone He chooses, and He chooses both you and me despite our brokenness and unworthiness. All you have to do is say “Yes God, I’m here and I’m listening with everything that I am.” God doesn’t call the equipped He equips the called. So, if you feel called then go!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Megan is 21 years old and part of Living Hope Church on the Isle of Man. She has recently finished 2 years serving as an intern on the Year of Your Life programme and is passionate about people, worship and youth.
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