(MNN) — The birth of a youth missions movement is taking place in Sao Paulo, reports Tim
Moody of ABWE. He says that empowering
national students to evangelize their own countries is much more cost-effective
than going ourselves.
"Your local church would spend around $1600-$2000 to send
you here to Brazil,"
he explained. "For ten percent of that,
you would be able to sponsor one or two students for the entire trip and help
them multiply disciples here in Brazil. And that can happen all around the
world. We'd be more than doubling the number of people who would be sharing
Christ on these missions trips."
Moody recently returned from a missions trip to one of Brazil's
capital cities. 75 Brazilians and 8
North Americans traveled from many different churches to participate and to share the Gospel with hundreds of families in the space of two
weeks. Moody believes that national
missionaries are not only cost-effective, but they are also more effective
"They know the culture," he said. "They have the same calling we do: to get the
message out. And they are much more capable in many ways within their own
culture to reach their own people."
This missions movement has grown out of a youth ministry
called PEPE, based on Colossians 1:16, which says that Jesus Christ created all
things through and for Himself. The
overall strategy of this movement is very God-centered.
"The basis of our PEPE youth ministry is: youth ministry
does not exist for the youth, but it exists for God," Moody explained. Missions trips are undertaken with a similar
"We say that whoever can hide behind the cross of Jesus and
never be seen is the winner," Moody continues. "Success for each of our trips is usually defined: did we worship God with
all of our heart in every place? We
believe that evangelism is simply extravagantly worshipping in front of
Outreach teams also use vacation Bible schools, sports
ministries, and survey evangelism to reach the lost. Brazil has been strategically
divided into five regions, containing about 2-5 states each. Preparation has already begun to establish a
base for regular evangelism in each region and eventually to send outreach
teams into other regions and countries.
As the third-largest city in the world, Sao Paulo is a strategic location for the
base of the movement.
"There is potential for Brazil to be one of the greatest
sending countries seen in the history of missions," Moody said. Churches in other countries have the
opportunity to partner with the Brazilian church in reaching the lost.
"Raise a little bit more money for your next missions trip,
and partner with nationals," Moody suggested. "This partnership can be with students that will serve with you on the
same field, or even can be done in another part of the world — by having
simultaneous prayer meetings, exchange of videos, and possibly exchange of
students, to stimulate a global vision. Even though we won't be in the same place at the same time, we can partner."
In the meantime, Moody already sees great things happening
among the youth of Sao Paulo.
"I see them changing their local churches," he said. "I see that they're starting evangelism
programs in their churches where the adults haven't started them. I see them
motivating other people to be a part of sharing Christ and worshipping Jesus in
front of unsaved people every day."
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