In Santa Cruz do Sul, we are ministering in a region which is 2% evangelical. In 2019, we hope to launch book studies and outreach ministries.
The first church planting ministry we worked in will celebrate 9 years as an established church plant in Bushkill, PA. Mountain Stream Baptist Church is reaching families in the NE United States from many different cultural backgrounds. We are honored that they are now one of our financial partners as we continue the ministry of church planting in Brazil.
Our second church planting ministry took place in Porto Alegre, RS Brazil. Igreja Batista Esperanca (Hope Baptist) welcomed charter members in June of 2014, after 8 years of planning, preparation and launch. Our work among them involved developing the youth group, outreach/sports ministries, discipleship, and leadership training. They have all Brazilian leadership now and the long-term Brazilian intern, Maicon, was ordained and is now serving as their Pastor. Warton, another intern from IBE, (picture here) was baptized by Maicol in 2014. He participated in our Youth Group and now, after a 3 year pastoral internship, he is currently in the US serving in a church restoration work and hoping to raise support to become a church planter in Southern Brazil.
Meeting people in the local communities can be a challenge. Sports ministry is an exciting way to build relationships. We use the universal language of sports to show our faith through life lessons and character values.
At the end of 2018, Maicol was invited to assistant coach the city basketball team. They won the state championship, the first in 17 years. It was a great experience and lead to an invite to continue coaching in 2019.
As Maicol accepted this invitation, he indicated his desire was to do more than just teach basketball technique. He encouraged the coaches and the new players at their opening practice to think about their manhood and life ahead. He is excited to mentor these young men over the next year.
Teaching is a passion and a gift Maicol is eager to use to encourage churches in Brazil and leaders in ministry.
Servant Leaders is a church leadership training program that trains lay leaders and local pastors to become church planters and stronger ministry leaders. Currently taught in English and Spanish, we are now in the process of developing the program for Brazilians in Portuguese.
Good Soil offers interactive courses rich in Theology and practical for pastors and leaders in church plant settings. Maicol teaches these modules in English and Portuguese, in the US and Brazil respectively.