Our missionaries are normal people from all walks of life who have dedicated their lives to serving and following Jesus wherever He calls them. Want to meet them? Check out our Missionary Directory.
As part of our mission to develop the holistic individual, we (as staff and students) at the Bible Institute in Atibaia, São Paulo, live together in all sorts of situations: in the classroom, at the cafeteria, on the soccer court, in our homes, and on ministry throughout Brazil. We focus on three major areas in our students' lives (based on Ezra 7:10) during their year with us: Study (learning the Word), Life (applying the learning to personal habits, lifestyles and ways of thinking), and Ministry (serving in various ministry contexts).
Specifically, I am working in two main capacities. My primary focus is stepping into a role similar to a dean of men at our school. While all of our staff members are heavily involved with our students on personal levels, my specific focus is on working with the young men. These students are the next generation of fathers, businessmen, missionaries, employees and leaders in the Brazilian Church. My heart is to challenge and inspire them to take the next step towards being "leadership material" in their own communities, whether they return home to their churches, move off into the college scene, or head elsewhere. This involves many personal discipleship conversations, administering basic discipline, and developing leadership training and programs for the young men as a group.
Complementing this role is the chance to help with our media production team. Today's youth are going to consume media, and it's our dream to produce innovative and quality media that is accessible and impacting, something worth consuming. It's my job to help expand the online presence and impact of Word of Life in Brazil, something I do through my videography and photography skills. I also teach when the opportunity arises, help work with a small group of students (to which I'm particularly assigned to accompany), and lead them on ministry trips.
My story reflects my path into the ministry and shapes why I do what I do. It was out of a fear of going to hell that I first called on Jesus to be my savior, back when I was very young and didn't understand much else about my own sin as the reason I needed a savior or what it meant to have a relationship with God. As I matured, those truths sunk in and I truly called on Jesus out of a felt necessity and desire.
Because I was saved when young, I thankfully didn't have the chance to get into a life of deep sin. However, because I didn't have the experience of dramatically being saved out of such a lifestyle, I began to seriously doubt if my conversion was actually real. I spent several months of my sophomore year of high school really struggling with my doubts, until God spoke into my world and brought me to understand that saving faith doesn't mean being able to independently prove that God would keep his promises of salvation to me; rather it means trusting in the word of God, believing that God's testimony about Jesus' death and resurrection is true, that Jesus' sacrifice truly paid the price for my sin, and that it was enough. Otherwise, it's not faith, right?
God has also brought me through struggles with legalism, trying to earn my worth as a believer, and self-inflicted guilt and worrying. Because my journey of faith has centered around learning about my freedoms in Christ and maturing in my understanding of what my faith means for me, that has become my passion in ministry: helping other people understand their own faith as more than just a Sunday School venture, as something that is joyful, satisfying and freeing.
In college, several couples heavily invested in me, and the desire grew in me to reach out and do the same for others. My leading to serve in Brazil comes from a long family missionary history with the country, starting with my grandparents on both sides of my family. In 2013, I myself studied at the Word of Life Bible Institute in Atibaia, Brazil, and grew to love the ministry for myself. Learning Portuguese was a lifelong dream come true, and I love getting to use my language and intercultural abilities to connect with other people. God has combined these experiences and personal interests into the desire to serve Brazilian students in the same way I was served, leading me to the mission field in a country that I love.