When the opportunity was presented for me to work with Pure Life Ministries in Brazil, I felt strongly that the Lord wanted me to take the trip. I had no idea how much He had in store. As always, He was so faithful to do what only He can do. I am humbled and grateful to be a vessel that the Holy Spirit can flow through.
Arriving in Brazil
The spiritual warfare on these trips is very evident. In fact, on the final leg of my trip, I looked out the window at the city of Brasilia, and in my thoughts I could hear a voice that was so pronounced, telling me, “Who do you think you are to fly out here? You have nothing to give to these people. This was all a mistake.” I had to agree with the voice that—in my own strength—I truly did not have anything to bring to the people in Brazil. But because the Lord had called me, and had given me a burden and anointing to minister, I knew this was just an attack of the enemy to try to get me to doubt. This is one reason why it is so vital to have our ministry champions praying before and during the trip. Paul tells us we are in a battle and that we fight with spiritual weapons (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Thank you to all who stand in the gap for Make Way Ministries!
I was picked up at the airport by Pastor and the President of Pure Life Brazil, Airton Barboza. He is a great brother in the Lord with a passion to see God move in his country. He brought me to the Pure Life residential house where five students and two staff members live. I had the opportunity to meet the students and take a walk with them through the town of Brazlândia that first evening. It was a great to get to know them through a couple of the students who were able to translate from English to Portuguese. We had an intimate chapel service together on the property.
Friday Night in Goiânia
My first service was in a city about an hour away from the PLM house. I was invited to a large Assemblies of God church to speak at a conference they were having about “Values We Cannot Compromise.” I shared my testimony and about our need to live in transparency and integrity. I talked about how the spirit of the world is trying to draw believers away from their sincere pursuit of the Lord. At the end, a couple of men came forward, asking for prayer for issues they were experiencing in their lives. The church was very receptive and it was a blessing to be with them.
That Sunday morning, I spoke at Pastor Airton’s Reformed Church in Taguatinga. The Lord had given me a message as I prepared for the trip called, “Don’t Let the Fire Burn Out.” The message came out of a few verses in Leviticus 6. I preached the message for the first time at their church. The people were very receptive and there was a good spirit in the service. Pastor Airton’s nephew, Victor, was my translator for much of the trip, and did a great job communicating the message to the people in Portuguese.
That evening, I spoke at a Presbyterian Church in the area. The church was going through the “five solas” of the Protestant Reformation, and asked me to preach on “solas Christus.” I shared a message about the reason that only Jesus is sufficient and worthy of worship out of Revelation 5. It was a blessing on this trip to have the opportunity to speak in five different denominations and experience how each worshipped in a unique way.
The following day, I traveled with the Director and one of the staff members of Pure Life Brazil, Paulo and Fred, to a city called Caldas Novas. It was a five-hour drive, and I ended up as the driver, which required I quickly remember how to drive a manual transmission and learn how to adjust to traveling on the roads of Brazil. With frequent traffic cameras and speedbumps, it was a different pace than I’m used to. But we arrived safely, and met the staff of an Assembly of God Church there.
Pastor Andre and his staff had a huge spread of food prepared for us and we enjoyed fellowshipping together. That night, I preached at a youth meeting at their church. There were probably around 500 young people gathered together. I preached a message the Lord gave me about making sure that we stand for the Word of God, even when we live in a world of conflicting messages. I talked specifically about sexuality and other areas where the world’s message opposes the Word of God. I gave an altar call for salvation and several young people responded, some with tears. One of the young ladies came to me after the service and said that she had been invited by a friend and wasn’t sure she wanted to come, but then she felt the Lord drawing her to give her heart to Jesus. She was very grateful that she had been there that night. I also gave a call to the young people who wanted to come forward to take a stand for Jesus in their time. Many came forward, and we had a great time of ministry. The Holy Spirit touched many of them.
The next night was open to the whole church. I shared a message about keeping the fire of God in our lives burning. I closed with a call to repentance, and many people cried out to the Lord. Several came forward and responded to Him when the altar call was given.
The third and final night, I shared about the need for God’s people to walk in faith and in their God-given authority to reach the world around us for Jesus. That night, the altars were filled. Twelve people were baptized in the Holy Spirit and many others were touched with fresh fire from heaven.
Our time in that city was really wonderful. The people were very receptive and the fellowship we experienced together along with Pastor Andre and his wife, was special. One day, Fred and I went to a local barber shop to get haircuts. We had an opportunity to minister to the one cutting our hair. The other barber asked us to pray with him as well. God gave Fred a word of encouragement for the other guy sitting in the barber chair next to us. It was a great reminder about how the Lord wants to show up in every day life.
Biblical Counseling Camp
We then travelled to a small area outside of Brasilia, where there was a Christian campground. Around thirty people came who were involved with biblical counseling from around the country to attend Pure Life Brazil’s first annual conference. I had the privilege of doing four sessions on the following topics: The Nature of Sexual Addiction, The Process of Repentance, Sexual Sin and Hypocrisy and Counseling Sex Addicts with Grace and Truth. The property where we stayed was designed as a place to seek the Lord, and there was a lot of time to pray and walk the property, which included a beautiful waterfall. There were eight other sessions taught by other ministers as well. It was a great time together and I enjoyed having a chance to meet many counselors and counselees from around Brazil.
Saturday and Sunday- IIR
We were invited to minister to a group of young people at a charismatic church in Brasilia. That Saturday night, we showed up and were warmly received by the leadership of the church. They were so appreciative of our willingness to come and share about topics that are often difficult to bring up in many church settings. I shared a strong message with the young people in the meeting about making a decision for God, despite the threat of persecution. Many of the youth came forward and were ministered to by the Holy Spirit at the end of the service. Many stayed behind to talk, along with two parents who were asking for advice on how to walk through a difficult situation with their daughter. That night, we stayed with one of the leaders of the church, Hamilton, and his wife and had a wonderful homemade Brazilian barbecue. The fellowship was sweet! The following morning we attended the Sunday morning service at IIR and enjoyed a rich time of deep worship and a great word from one of their staff members.
Sunday Night- Baptist Church
That night we travelled to a Baptist Church outside of Brazilia. We had a really wonderful service there. The people were very engaged in worship and with the message. I preached, “Don’t Let the Fire Go Out.” The people were receptive and the Pastor of the church led the people in a time of confessionary prayer after the sermon. His wife was blessed to share with me that she had just had a conversation with someone regarding what I had preached about and felt it was confirmation from the Lord. What a great night of ministry it was!
Monday Night- IIR Couple’s Meeting
I was so blessed to be invited to the home of the leaders of the charismatic church that I spoke at on Saturday night. They had asked around twenty couples from their leadership team to come to their home and asked me to share a message with them. That morning in prayer, the Lord gave me a revelatory word from Genesis 3. He showed me some things about marriage that I had never seen before. That night, I shared the story of our marriage as well as the teaching the Lord had given me. It was a very intimate time, and I believe that the Lord will use it in a tangible way in the lives of those couples.
My final day, I was able to spend with Pastor Airton and his family. I had a chance to visit some of the monuments in the capital city and eat some great food. It was a wonderful time of fellowship, and I hope to see them again in the future.
I came home so overwhelmed at the goodness of God. I could never have imagined how many lives He would touch on the trip or how my own spiritual life would be impacted. He truly did over and above anything that I had imagined. I’m so grateful and humbled to be used by Him to expand His Kingdom here on the earth.
This kind of trip could not have happened without our ministry champions who pray fervently and give generously to Make Way Ministries. If you would like to join us in reaching the world with the Gospel, please consider visiting our Donate page and sowing financially into our ministry.
If you want to watch my VIDEO VLOG through the trip onsite, I have it available on our YouTube Channel. Below is the first video in the series.