In the last years I had the opportunity to represent Brazil at some international mission congress, visit Brazilian missionaries serving in Africa and Asia, and challenge churches to get involved in missions in different cities of Brazil and States.
How dare I could express everything that I saw, heard and lived in these places. How can I communicate all the marks engraved in my heart and mind? To make the story shorter I can say that there is nothing better than get in contact with the other parts of the Body of Christ in the world to discern our own roll as people and church, in Brazil and in the world.
Hearing the testimonies, talking, worshipping the Lord and praying with brothers from all parts of the earth, I had the privilege to feel – though in a limited way – the pulse of the Church in our days.
Today the Brazilian church is the third largest church in the world, in a context of extreme religious freedom. This is happened in days that the Lord is definitely pouring out of His grace in the world, with His witnesses arriving in people groups that had never heard the Gospel.
As a result of this disturbs me the perception that not many of us here in Brazil are conscious of our roll and at the same time also, few of us demonstrate know the importance of the moment that we are living in the history of redemption. “Blessed by God and pretty by nature” it couldn’t be just only a chorus of a popular music; it might be understood as our Ministry Platform!
For this and much more I believe it’s time to invite you to make a reflection.
When we know that billions of people have never heard anything about Jesus; that millions of fellows live in countries where they are not be able even to sing and pray together; that thousands of missionaries live in contexts where all their neighbors belong to families that for centuries, generation after generation, are walking in the darkness, seeking in vain because there is now one to preach…
But how will they preach if they won’t be sent?
Certainly the Lord will accomplish His plan and will raise up witnesses who will announce His Truth to all these people. But the fact possible but still not assimilated by us is that: or our dear Brazilian church (I say me and you) wakes up from its sleep in a marvelous cradle and advances energetically and decisively on the fulfillment of our Mission today in the world, or, in example of many other people on the Occident and in history, our children generation might not find also a place to worship the Lord Jesus.
In another words— if it’s really needed—the negligence, indifference and apathy front of missionary responsibility that fits us, can cost us too much. The history and the Bible teach us that the APOSTASY – get cold and leave faith – isn’t a concrete risk in a place of suffering and persecution (the present context in big part of the churches in Asia and Africa) because higher the temperature of the fire purest is the church.
The opposite, it seems to be exactly that atmosphere of “No Mission” (self-sufficiency, low patterns of moral ethic, the coldness of the messages in the pulpit and the alienated celebration) the responsible for the Lord’s decision to “move his lamp” and raise other messengers. And He has done this. Compare the missionary strength and vitality of the church in India, Indonesia, China, Filipinas, Korea, Nigeria, with the actual church in Germany, England, France…
My prayer is that our actions can be baptized by the disinterested and committed love to those who cannot give us anything back, beyond the privilege of fulfill completely our vocation. That we, as people and churches, can be good stewards of the opportunities, human and financial resources, time and freedom that we have.
Maybe because of the sound of the lines above you may think we are discouraged and downcast… In the opposite! I have never been so convicted and hopeful, so encouraged and confident on what the Lord is doing in us, for us and through us:
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world…”
José RM Prado