In nearly thirty years of ministry, I have been honored to travel internationally to several different countries. Each time, I found myself touched by the outpouring of love by the people I was sent to serve. My most recent trip to Brazil was all that and more; to borrow a favorite phrase of a close friend, it was all that AND a bag of chips!
The hunger of the Brazilian people for God’s word, and their reaction to the message, was like nothing I have ever witnessed before. Even in advance of my arrival the expectation of the people was high. They prayed and prepared trusting God would move mightily; such expectation does not go unnoticed with God. I am reminded of the woman with the issue of blood, she expected and so she received. God honors faith and our heartfelt sense of expectation.
In the US, we are blessed with abundance. This includes an abundance of opportunities to hear and be taught the Word. It is however, a double-edged sword. We have access to a wealth of knowledge via online learning, books, and television. There are numerous church services, workshops and conferences where Christian gather to hear godly leaders preach, teach, and worship. We are a very blessed nation. Because this knowledge is readily available to us, we can mistakenly take it for granted.
The word that was shared began a stirring among the people, and they became excited, wanting to hear more and more. At first I found myself bewildered by their reaction, I did not understand what all the excitement was about. Later it was explained to me, the word and the teaching were fresh revelation to the people in Fiera De Santana, Brazil. Knowledge that had become common to me, was fresh revelation to them. They were stirred to act and respond to the word of the Lord. They wanted to know more about how to develop healthy relationships and fulfill their personal role in the body of Christ. They grasped the importance of each individual doing their part to change their church, their city, and a nation. Change does not begin by changing the masses, it begins with change in the one, ourselves…. and it trickles over to others. If we take responsibility for our own transformation, we will empower the church to establish the kingdom on earth.
The people of Brazil are fertile soil, and the word of the Lord is seed ripe with possibilities. I fully believe that God is preparing a bountiful harvest and a changed Brazilian nation, let us continue to pray for these beautiful people. God is up to something good.