See how the Church of God in Itaituba is reaching the community in a new way.
One of the things that we love and admire so much about our CHOG congregations in Amazonia is their ability to dream and to do BIG things for the Kingdom of God. From the world’s perspective, one would look at the churches in Itaituba and think, “They are isolated and in the middle of nowhere. They aren’t a megachurch, with megachurch resources. I don’t expect much from them.” It’s a good thing that our churches don’t listen to those voices. They know the God that we all serve. He has so filled their vision that all they can see are possibilities to bring Him glory and help bring the in-breaking Kingdom into their community.
Their latest endeavor came after Pastor Genesio of the central CHOG in Itaituba was told of a church in another part of Brazil who held a 21-day drive-thru prayer event. They decided to try replicating it for a 24-hour period to see how it reached the community.
Our central church is located near the center of Itaituba and is situated at the intersection of two major roads within the city. They put up a large tent that spanned one lane of the divided road, and invited people to come by foot, motorcycle, car, bicycle, horse—to come and receive prayer. They started at 6 a.m. on Saturday, April 24, and finished on Sunday, April 25, at 6 a.m. During those 24 hours, the tent was continually manned by teams volunteering in two-hour shifts. There was also a prayer room inside the church where volunteers prayed over the event as it was happening. These volunteers prayed for people, handed out daily devotionals, Bibles, tracts of scripture, and a few cesta básicas. (A cesta básica is a bag of food and cooking staples – such as rice, beans, cooking oil, sugar, salt, and coffee — that are shelf-stable and are designed to feed a family for several days.) Following are the reports from a couple of our pastors and some roughly translated quotes:
Genesio, the senior pastor, said, “There are many vulnerable people right now. We pray, they cry, and we counsel them in prayer.” For the 24 hours of this event there were 976 people that received prayer, 1 person converted, and 5 people rededicated their lives to Christ. Given out were 690 Bibles, 200 daily devotionals, 500 hundred scripture tracts, and 5 cesta básicas. This was done with 85 volunteers.
We also spoke with Jacó, the youth pastor at Central, about the Drive Thru. He absolutely loved the event, and sent out a Facebook video that people forwarded around encouraging people to come and receive prayer. He said, “We will do another one with all of our churches in town. We will find a way to get more cesta básicas to give out to people in need. This was just our experiment to figure out the logistics, our difficulties, to see where we can do better and to see what we did well. The next one will be done with more excellence. This experience was something marvelous and powerful.”
Isn’t that something amazing? Our congregations in Itaituba are concerned about the physical needs and the mental health of the people in their community during this crazy and difficult time. They have found a powerful response in active prayer.
The drive-thru prayer tent.
A truck stopping for prayer.
For our time of training and renewal in Michigan, May 10-28.
For Brazil as COVID continues to ravage the country.
Update on Us
We are in the U.S. for a time. Due to the current condition of COVID-19 in Brazil, Global Strategy thought it best that we return to the States until it can be determined that our field in Brazil is a bit safer. Please join us in prayer for our brothers and sisters there as they experience a very difficult time. We arrived at the end of February and quarantined in a hotel in Chattanooga for a week. Jonathan’s grandmother passed away while we were in quarantine. He was able to attend the funeral, which is something we never expected him to be able to do. Since then, we have enjoyed stays with both sides of the family. The kids are currently getting spoiled by both sets of grandparents.
For the month of May, we will be in Michigan attending a seminar and retreat for cross-cultural workers and their families. We believe it will be a time of blessing and renewal and are thankful for the oppor-tunity! Because of that, we may not be able to answer your emails, calls, and messages during this time.
Miriam and Jonah riding through the airport in our collapsible wagon. This is after about 14 hours of travel with a few more hours still to go!
Children of Promise
About two years ago, Pastor Daniel Pureza began talking to us about Children of Promise. He attended the National Convention of the Church of God in Orlando in 2019 and there met the directors of Children of Promise, Mike and Heather Webb. Over the following months, quite a few conversations took place and this month the board of directors for Children of Promise approved Brazil as the 31st country to have a Children of Promise program! You can view the announcement here.
The program will start in the city of Porto Nacional in the Brazilian state of Tocantins. The Church of God congregation in Porto Nacional was planted in early 2017 and has been growing ever since. The church is excited to begin working with Children of Promise. There is still much training and planning to be done before the program can begin. If you would like to learn more about Children of Promise or sign up to be a sponsor once the program begins in Brazil, please go to www.childrenofpromise.global.
The kids traveled well from Brazil to the US. They even tolerated wearing their masks for 18 straight hours as required in airports and planes!
We will get to be with Beth’s parents in May for their 50th anniversary. We did not expect to be able to participate in person!
Both Jonathan and Beth have received their COVID vaccines!
While having a tea party with strawberry tea and eating apples, Miriam and Jonah were inspired to do their own missionary update video. Click here if you would like to download the video.
If you feel led to partner with us, click the picture above to go to our online giving portal. You can also call Global Strategy at 1-800-848-2464. We are project 42.10039