It is 2012! Happy New Year!
We are looking forward to the new step we are taking in service to our Lord Jesus this year.
But before that, there are more things to tell you about my experiences with missions in Brazil.
I visited the ministry in the prisons with Pastor Marcos Ricci.
The program includes visiting the prisoners, preaching the word weekly in the hall, talking to the families of the prisoners and also witnessing to the guards that work there.
There are many different prisons that are visited by the volunteers. The one that I have been to is the military prison where the policemen who disobey the law can stay. (Obviously they can’t stay at the normal prison where their lives would be at risk).
There is a small chapel in the main entrance of the prison where they have a church service twice a week.
The service includes the prisoners and their families because it happens during the visit time.
There is music, prayer, the Word of God, testimonies, and worship.
The day when I was there they had a Christmas celebration. One of the prisoners who accepted Jesus in the prison shared with us from the Word of God. It was nice to hear him explaining the Word to others. This reminded me once more how amazing Jesus is. He transforms us from nothing to his servants. In our weaknesses he is strong and he uses us to reach out to others.
I was also reminded of what freedom in Jesus really means. I was there worshipping my Lord with many people who do not have the same freedom to go wherever they want because they are living in the cells for many years, day after day.
But they do not see their lives this way, they know that in Jesus they are free and they are much happier for being there and knowing Jesus than to be outside and not knowing Jesus.
They were policemen who should be working to catch people who do things against the law, but they have done something wrong and ended up in the prison themselves.
Outside they were slaves of sin, many were involved in corruption, drug trafficking, and other issues. They could walk freely but they were not free from wrong doing. Now they are inside and they are not able to walk freely but they are no longer slaves of wrong doing. They had a change of heart and they feel complete even though they are paying the price for their crimes.
Pastor Marcos Ricci told me that there is a huge need of volunteers and missionaries to work in the prison ministry. Thankfully the prisons are open for evangelism and they even invite pastors to start programs with prisoners, but there are not enough people to work with them.
Please pray that God will raise people to work in this ministry because the needs are huge but not many join this ministry.
I also participated of the first day of a new program at the church: “Having Lunch with Jesus”. It is a lunch that is served in front of the church to the homeless.
There was music, prayer, short message and a lot of food.
The night before the event the Pastor Marcos Ricci drove around the CBD inviting the homeless people to the lunch.
And on the day he drove around again to find the people, and he drove them to the church.
The food was provided by people from the church. I ate the food and it was really good!
Many people came to the event and they enjoyed good food, talking, singing and knowing that someone cares for them when society disregards them completely.
The majority of the people living on the streets are addicted to drugs and alcohol. Many came under the influence of their addiction and caring for them is much more complex than offering a plate of food. The church is aiming to start building relationships with them to be able to help them to overcome their addiction, get out of the streets, etc.
I had a great time there and the first day of this ministry was a success.
Please pray that the people from the church will support this cause by giving food, by cooking, serving, cleaning, organizing, praying for the people on the streets and offering love to them.
Please pray that Pastor Marcos Ricci will be able to continue the ministry in the prisons and with the homeless. Pray for his wife Marcia and his son Christian who are very supportive of him and a blessing to both ministries.
I still have many other ministries to tell you about and I hope you are praying for each of the ones you saw already in my blog.
If you get involved with what God is doing in the world you can’t help falling in love with missions. I pray that you will be considering serving the Lord in whatever way you can so he can use you to share the love of Jesus with others around you.
Have a blessed 2012!
I will post more news soon.