THE BATTLE IS HERE—THE TIME IS NOW
1 Corinthians 14:8 says, “Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?” (NIV). Missions is a clear call. The battle is here. The time is now. The people in danger are all around us. WE must sound that clear call!
When did the Brazilian Wesleyan Church hear that call? It began 10 years ago when Aryanne heard God call her to be a missionary. It was a clear call, so she prepared for battle. She studied at the Bible college and went to the Ibero-America mission conferences (paying her own way). After graduation she became a teacher at the Bible college and is the first Wesleyan Brazilian to become a licensed missionary. During the summer of 2018, she was ordained and elected to be the director of World Missions for The Wesleyan Church of Brazil.
When does a mission field become a mission sending church? When does a church say to itself, “It is time for us to reach the world.” For the Brazilian church, it was during our September 2013 youth camp when the Lord said, “It’s time!” The theme was missions. The young people heard about how their church is a Wesleyan missionary church among almost 100 other countries around the world. They heard stories of the sacrifices and victories on other continents. My role was to share about the opportunities for missions. In every service, the altar was lined with people hearing God’s call.
Something very important happened at that camp that made all the difference. The district youth president came up to me in the midst of the camp and said, “Pastor Tom, we need to do something! We cannot send all these young people back to their churches to just sit in the pews. We have to do something!” In the next two days, we planned a mission trip to Itapiranga in the interior of the Amazon. We announced it at the end of camp, and 24 people answered that call!
With the momentum of this mission movement, we started Transcultural Missions Training (TMT), which consisted of six trips to five continents to learn, practice, and live missions. To be involved, each person must attend the monthly meetings for training, visit churches, and participate in mission events. Each person needs 50 prayer partners and, by faith, must pay or raise their own funds for the trips. Nineteen people have gone to Northeast Brazil, Guyana, Mozambique, and the United States. Their next mission trip will be to East Timor.
A big test came with the trip to Mozambique, the team’s first time off the continent of South America. To be honest, this trip was really expensive! Brazil was in crisis, and the dollar was high. We had our first meeting for the trip, and the team sadly said that it was impossible to go.
I read them the letter that Abel Nove, the superintendent of northern Mozambique, wrote to the team when asked if he would accept us. He said, “How could we not accept your team, since for years we have been praying for such a team to come and help us?” Aryanne, the young girl that was called years ago, said through tears, “Then we are going to Mozambique—aren’t we?” The response was, “Yes, we are.” She continued, “If God wants us to go and they need us, we have to find a way to go!” They found the way, and Aryanne spent six months teaching in Mozambique.
Our next trip is to East Timor. It is a different trip because we have no Wesleyan work in East Timor. We received a letter from a Brazilian Wesleyan that is working with another organization there. In the letter she begged us to send missionaries, pastors, church planters—someone! They were evangelizing, but there are no churches outside of Dili, the capital. They didn’t want to evangelize in a village or area that had no follow-up afterwards.
As the team talked about the upcoming trip to East Timor, we sensed clearly that we should start a work there and respond to the letter that was sent. Wow! That is a big change from—visit, do your thing, and leave! And yet the Lord’s call was clear. Ok, Lord, we will do it! Then the Lord began to work.
Ben Ward, the Asia-Pacific Area Director for Global Partners, told the Australian Wesleyan Methodist Church about our trip, since East Timor is very close to Australia. They became excited about a possible partnership and said they would send someone with us! Pastor Aryanne and two others have decided to stay in East Timor for three months.
The price of this training is high. The Brazilians are willing to lose their jobs, give up their university degrees, or sell their cars so that they can “do missions.” The Lord’s mission is clear. It is of the utmost importance that The Wesleyan Church of Brazil sounds a clear call to action, believing in the power and presence of the Lord to go with them to their near—Guyana, their far—Mozambique, and their hard—East Timor.
“Have I not commanded you? Be brave and courageous. Do not be afraid: do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 NIV).