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1,200 to 1,500 Brazilians accept Christ during mission trip


MARIETTA, Ga. (BP)–They exalted the Savior, equipped the saints and evangelized the sinner. Then they watched as 1,200 to 1,500 Brazilians prayed to receive Christ as their Savior.

Sixteen volunteers from Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga., traveled to the Vitória da Conquista community in Bahia, Brazil, to evangelize and to teach believers witnessing methods during a March 2-14 mission trip.

Using material from Darrell Robinson’s book, “People Sharing Jesus,” the team taught more than 600 people in seven Brazilian Baptist churches how to share their faith.

The evangelism method, based on Robinson’s “Total Church Life” strategy, adapted for use by Brazilian Baptists across the country, presents a natural, sensitive approach to helping others know Christ.

The Roswell Street volunteers — led by the church’s pastor to Brazilians, Odilon Pereira, and lay leader Don Beasley -– joined with the Brazilian churches to practice sharing their faith and then went to the streets in a Wednesday-Thursday evangelistic effort.

The teams shared Christ in public schools, chicken factories, prisons and anyplace where crowds gathered. They also went door to door in neighborhood homes to share the Good News of Christ.

They ended the week with a citywide crusade held at the city’s Sport Gymnasium. More than 2,000 people attended the Saturday night event, and 125 people accepted Christ.

All together, in the community of about 300,000, from 1,200 to 1,500 people prayed to receive Christ.

“I have never been in one environment when I saw so many people respond to Christ at one time,” said Ernest Easley, Roswell Street’s senior pastor, who has used the People Sharing Jesus strategy for more than 15 years.

“Not only that, but we left an army of 600 people who were just trained in sharing their faith,” Easley noted, rejoicing in the fact that the newly equipped churches would follow up with the new believers.

“The whole thing was a reminder that God still honors one-to-one witnessing. Soul-winning is still on God’s agenda,” the pastor said.

Peter Cunningham, Roswell Street’s minister of missions, also noted the uniqueness of the trip, saying, “This time, instead of leaving medical supplies or a newly constructed building, we left people trained to evangelize!”

“It was wonderful,” agreed Pereira, who marveled at the openness among the people of his native country.

He said he is equally excited about what is happening in his own backyard in Georgia.

Pereira pastors the Brazilian Fellowship at Roswell Street Baptist Church, which has expanded its outreach to the growing Brazilian population in surrounding Cobb County, with an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 Brazilians now living in the Atlanta-area church’s community.

In addition to the Sunday School and a worship service in Portuguese, Brazilians also can attend Roswell Street’s American services with simultaneous translation to Portuguese.

In the past eight months, more than 100 Brazilians have become Christians and currently there are 57 home Bible studies, Pereira reported.

“More and more are coming,” he said joyfully.

Roswell Street, which plans another trip to Brazil in July 2007, also hosts an African Fellowship in Swahili and a Hispanic Fellowship in Spanish in addition to its traditional and contemporary services.
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    About the Author

  • Shannon Baker
    Shannon Baker is director of communications for the Baptist Resource Network of Pennsylvania/South Jersey and editor of the Network’s weekly newsletter, BRN United. Read All by Shannon Baker ›