The fire of God fell in Brazil!
I set foot in Brazil for my second time this year and God showed up in a powerful way. Each time I go back to a country, my awareness of the culture and spiritual atmosphere grows. Relationships are also strengthened and these elements help to make ministry more effective and fruitful. This trip definitely built upon the last, and the favor God has given Make Way Ministries in the country is very evident. This year, PLM Brazil made the decision to publish my book, Pile of Masks, in Portuguese. We made the book available throughout the trip and many people purchased copies, with the proceeds going to help PLM Brazil. It is humbling to have the book getting into the hands of many people throughout the country. Several people shared with me that the church in Brazil needs to address the issue of hypocrisy, so the message of my book was timely and warmly welcomed.
Brasilia- First Sunday Morning and Evening
After nearly twenty-four hours of travel, I arrived in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, on Saturday night. The next morning would be the start of twelve days of preaching and traveling. On Sunday morning, I was invited to preach at Pastor Airton’s Church called ICCR in Brasilia. I spoke there last year, and it was a blessing to come back and have a chance to minister this year as well. The Lord put a message on my heart from Matthew 24 and 25, about being prepared for the return of Christ. I shared from three parables and spoke about how a lifestyle of preparation should impact our priorities. It was a great time together and we were all challenged by the Word. It was a blessing to fellowship with the precious believers of ICCR.
That evening, I spoke at Igreja Famílias Benditas in a neighborhood called Vincente Pires. This was my first time ministering at this church. Pastor Eronaldo and his wife are passionate people and they are pastoring a church made up of mostly young families. Our service that night was powerful, as the Lord gave me several prophetic words before I ministered and many people were touched even before the sermon. I shared a message about reaching out to the world with the Gospel. Our altar ministry was filled with the presence of God. Many lives were touched, and many children and young people were hungry for a touch from the Lord. One young boy in particular really touched my heart. We wept together as I prayed for him. Afterwards, he told me through the translator that he couldn’t put into words how special it was to him that I would come and what the Lord was doing in his life that night.
Caldas Novas- Monday and Tuesday
Monday morning, Paulo, the Director for Pure Life Ministries Brazil, and I traveled to a city about four hours from Brasilia called Caldas Novas. I spoke at an Assemblies of God church on my last trip, and they had us back for a two-day conference. It was a rich blessing to see so many people I had connected with last year, and we had a wonderful time of fellowship after each service. Both of the services were powerfully anointed by the Holy Spirit. On Monday night, I spoke from the story of Elijah on Mount Carmel and shared about how the presence of the Lord is like a fire in our hearts. We sought the Lord for His presence at the end of the message and had a move of the Spirit as people passionately pursued Him.
On Tuesday night, I shared about developing a lifestyle of evangelism. Before the worship, I felt the Lord give me a word for a mother who had an estranged relationship with her daughter. Out of several hundred people in the service, one woman raised her hand to acknowledge that it was her. I shared what the Lord had put on my heart and we prayed with her. She fell to her knees weeping under the power of God. It was so special for the Lord to speak to one of His daughters and call her out from the crowd. A couple of people responded to an altar call for salvation as well, praise the Lord! After the message, we prayed for many who felt a call to missions/ evangelism. The Lord moved again, and afterwards, there were many who wanted personal ministry and prayer, so we stuck around and ministered to many who needed it.
Uberlandia- Wednesday and Thursday
From Caldas Novas, we traveled a couple of hours to another city called Uberlandia. A large Presbyterian Church called Quinta Igreja Presbiteriana de Uberlândia had invited us to do a two-day conference as well as speak at a city-wide ministers meeting. On Wednesday night, I spoke a message about King Solomon, with principles from his life that can help us avoid many of the mistakes that he made. The people were very responsive and Pastor Lucio and his wife were very gracious to us.
On Thursday morning, I had the opportunity to speak to a group of ministers from different denominations throughout the city. I shared much of my testimony and also talked about how to deal with sexual sin in the ministry, from both a personal perspective as well as a ministry perspective. One young man in particular seemed to be very affected by the message. Afterwards, my translator and I had an opportunity to speak with him, and he broke down weeping about some personal issues in his life. Because of that, he proactively sought out biblical counseling and I believe the Lord is going to do a great work in his life.
That evening, I spoke a message about the return of Christ and encouraged the people to pursue holiness, have healthy relationships, share the Gospel, serve God wholeheartedly, pursue God passionately and be prepared to suffer as needed. We took some time to seek the Lord and allow Him to speak to our hearts. There was a strong connection made between the church and PLM Brazil that I believe will open up many doors in that area of the country.
Brasilia- Friday and Saturday
On Friday evening, I was invited to speak at a National Baptist Church of Brasília. They asked me to come in and speak specifically about the topic of sexual sin. I shared my story as well as basic biblical principles of sexuality. Before the message, I felt led to give a call for salvation and several men stood in their seats to pray to surrender their lives to Christ. Afterwards, we gave a call for anyone who was personally struggling or knew someone who was and wanted to pray for them. Several responded, and by speaking with some of them after the service, it was evident that God was touching their hearts deeply.
I ministered at the Baptist Church that Paulo and his family attend on Saturday night. I spoke a message about not allowing the fire of God in our lives to be put out through distraction, compromise or neglect. There was a sweet presence of the Holy Spirit during the worship and message and the people were very grateful for the ministry. I believe God ministered to many hearts that night.
Brasilia- Sunday Morning and Evening
On Sunday, I spoke at two services in the same building. Each church was affiliated with the same denomination and their congregations share the building on Sundays for their worship services. On Sunday morning, the church had many young people and Pastor Frederico was a passionate man who had trained many of the teenagers on the worship team to play and lead worship. I felt led to pray over their worship team before the message. I spoke about the story of Achan and gave a warning about what can happen if we hide our sin from others. It was a blessing to be with these believers.
On Sunday evening, I returned to the church to speak in Pastor Atila’s church. During worship, the Lord redirected my message and I ended up sharing about what happens when the fire of God falls in our lives. We had a powerful time of ministry after the message and the leadership of the church laid hands on me and prayed. I experienced the Lord’s presence in a special way, and I’m grateful for how the Holy Spirit ministered to their congregation.
After the service, we went to pick up my wife, Brittany, who had flown into the country to spend the final week with me in ministry. The Lord opened up some doors for us to minister together, and it was a blessing to have her there with me.
Brasilia- Monday and Tuesday
A church called Dokimos in a local area called Gama invited us to do a two-day conference on Purity of Heart. They asked me to speak on the themes of repentance and holiness. The church was filled with many young families. After a rich time of worship, I spoke Monday night on the beauty of repentance. I shared some basic principles about repentance and closed with the stories of the rich, young ruler and Zaccheus. When we had a time for people to seek the Lord, many came forward to be prayed for, crying out to the Lord. One couple in particular shared about a significant breakthrough they had experienced that night. They said that they believed the Lord had orchestrated the trip just for them!
On Tuesday evening, we returned to Dokimos Church and I spoke about the world system and why we need to be separated from it as believers. It was a tense atmosphere, which is typical when I share these kinds of messages. At the close of the service, I thought about giving a salvation call, but I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to. After praying for the people, Pastor Luis came up and gave a call for salvation, and several responded. I was so grateful that the Holy Spirit had laid the same feeling on his heart. Our two evenings at this church were a real blessing and the Lord was faithful to move. In the final service, the pastor and leadership team had Brittany and I come on stage to pray over our family and ministry. It was a special time being ministered to.
Brasilia- Wednesday and Thursday
On Wednesday evening, I had the opportunity to be a part of a podcast for a church in the city. I was interviewed on the topics of repentance, holiness and sexual sin. We had a rich discussion and I strongly encouraged all who might be listening and are struggling with sin in their lives to bring it into the light and reach out for help. I pray that many will get in contact with PLM Brazil who are in need. It was a great experience to be a part of the podcast and I pray many will hear its important message.
On Wednesday night, Pastor Eronaldo from Igreja Famílias Benditas invited Brittany and I to speak at his church. We shared our story together, each highlighting lessons that we have learned through our experience that we thought would be a help to the families in the church. The Holy Spirit’s presence was evident. We offered to pray with anyone who wanted prayer, and many came forward. While we were praying for one woman, a demon began to manifest, and we took authority over it and commanded it to leave. We then prayed with the woman a prayer of repentance. The Pastor’s wife took over ministering to her and she testified that the woman got free that night, praise the Lord! Many of the families wanted prayer, and we laid hands on many and prayed into the night. It was an incredible time in the Lord.
On the final night of ministry, Brittany and I were invited to share with a group of about forty people at the home of a precious family who hosted us for most of the trip. Hamilton and Vanessa lead a small group in their home, and they asked if we would share our story with them. Brittany felt that we should also conclude with a foot-washing service. We shared our testimony together and the people were touched. Then, we went out to the pool area and asked the couples to wash each other’s feet while Brittany and I washed the feet of those who were without a spouse. We prayed many prophetic prayers over people and many were deeply ministered to. As I looked around the pool, many couples were praying for one another and weeping in each other’s arms. It was a special, intimate time, and we were told that many were talking about it the day afterwards.
Trips like these are both incredibly exciting and very exhausting. Preparation before the trip can be extensive, and the hardest part is that many of the places I go, I have never been to, so I am preparing for a service in a culture and denomination that I am unfamiliar with. This usually leads to feeling unsure and inadequate going into the trip.
But then, when I step foot in the land, and begin to see God moving, I realize how much of the second-guessing and insecurity is really just spiritual warfare. I am so amazed at how the Lord continues to open doors, anoint the ministry and change lives as we go out to minister. As is typical of my ministry, I was able to speak to multiple denominations and church cultures. I so appreciate the diversity of the Body of Christ. This trip was also special because it provided a couple of opportunities for me to minister alongside Brittany. The Lord has given her a lot of wisdom and the women were very grateful to have a chance to hear her speak as well.
Brazil is a special country, with a diverse culture and its own unique spiritual challenges. However, the same Holy Spirit who moves in other places is alive and well in Brazil, and He is doing a great work in the hearts and lives of those who are open to Him. I was so humbled and grateful to play a part in what He is doing in this wonderful nation.
Thank you to each of you who prayed for the trip as well as financially support Make Way Ministries. Trips like this do not happen without the prayer and financial support of people who give their time and money sacrificially so that lives can be touched around the world. To make a tax-deductible gift to Make Way Ministries to help us reach the nations for Christ, you can go to our Donate page.
I shot a nine-part Vlog of the trip describing what the Lord was doing each day and it also contains footage from the services. You can watch the first Vlog here: