My Brazilian journey has been an incredible one so far and even when this outreach ends, the people of Brazil will forever be in my heart.
In 2015 I felt the Lord say to me that I should put my faith out there and go on a international outreach. I really battled with having faith to trust God to provide the finances I needed to be able to go- flights, visas…it all does add up.
In August 2016 I was reminded of what God spoken to me and I decided to trust God to go to Brazil on the Four12 Outreach. The 23rd of September was the cut off date for the outreach yet by then ‘all’ the Lord had provided was R300. So I told myself, “I will just trust God again next year”, but God had other plans. Ten days before the outreach started, someone contacted me and said that they felt the Lord stir their heart to bless me with R9000. Suddenly it was possible for me to go and soon thereafter I bought my plane ticket. Jesus continued providing for me and I received another R2000 after that, yip…I was Brazil bound!
Mid October 2016 we landed in a very warm São Paulo and as we made the trip from the airport to our host’s homes I began to realise that this was one big city and unlike anything I had ever seen before. I started to feel a little overwhelmed at first, “Lord, in a city this massive, how many people don’t know you?”.
After just a few days it felt like my heart was connected to the believers based at Estação 337 and Olive Garden, relationships that felt much deeper than some I’ve had all my life. That is the power of Jesus, the unity of His church, His body, His bride.
There are many cool experiences I could write about, but there is simply not enough space to do so here are just a few:
• The hospitality of these Brazilian people is amazing. They love one another deeply and you see it in the way the show affection, care and honour for each other. The way we have been hosted has been incredible, many of the Brazilians sacrificed their own comfort to host us- giving up their own bedrooms and sleeping spaces.
• There is so much life in these Four12 Partnering Churches in Sao Paulo. The presence of Jesus is so tangible when the believers gather together. The worship times have been deep and so life giving, in fact in every meeting the worship could have gone ‘forever’ as the believers pressed in and worshipped Jesus with everything they had.
• We’ve had many great times of ministry and prayer for the saints here in Brazil, getting out in the streets and parks to share Jesus with strangers and new friends. There have been significant moments with people and it is clear that God sent us here to speak encouragement, faith, hope into specific people’s lives. One instance comes to mind where a man came forward and he confessed that his life was a complete mess. We prayed for him and I could literally see how the love and light of Jesus dawned down upon him and I could see hope rise within him.
• The unity of our team has been amazing, we have been a big mixed team made up of people from the Isle of Man and from South Africa and it’s been a joy to labour alongside these new friends and fellow saints.
3 Things I’ve learned here in Brazil on this outreach:
1. I always thought when going on a outreach like this, God must do crazy miracles through me to turn the whole city around. God showed me that smaller ‘insignificant’ moments can make a big impact. I have now seen how I have underestimated what God can do through me in what seems to be small and insignificant moments.
2. The Gospel is exactly the same no matter where in the world you are. Cultures will differ, but the Gospel is super relevant anywhere in the world- we live for a Kingdom culture as sons and daughters of one King.
3. God is really using the vehicle of Four12 to help build healthy churches around the world that are advancing His Kingdom and there is room, space and opportunity for all of us to get involved!
I am so excited to head back to São Paulo in the future… just next time my wife Lize must come with me!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris or Spot as most know him is a young man passionate about God and people. Chris is employed full time at Joshua Generation Church and works primarily with the youth. He and Lize have been married for two years and Chris admits he’d be ‘lost without her’. He is also an avid sportsman and spectator.
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