Wednesday, February 6
A recent survey by Todd Johnson, director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, reveals that Brazil is sending the second highest number of missionaries to the rest of the world: around 34,000. Thirty years ago that number was a few hundred at best! The following story may help us make sense of such astounding growth. It is told by Nídia Mafra, lovingly known as “Bugra,” a missionary of the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil working in Florianópolis.
“On the International Day for Women, I wanted to honor the women I know. So I decided to choose one in particular. She is a patient who was in reverse isolation. She had gained my respect in spite of the fact that she believed in God in a different manner than I do. She was physically very frail, due to opportunistic illnesses in her advanced state of AIDS.
“When I walked into her room, she gave me the biggest smile and said, ‘Bugra, your fragrance arrived before you did!’ I asked her, ‘Do you like my perfume?’ Her response was simply, ‘Your perfume is both strong and mild at the same time. It reveals both your strength and your delicate approach. Your perfume says it all. It speaks for you.’
“I told her that she had been chosen to honor all the women we celebrate on March 8, 2012, and because of that, I had brought her a green Indian dress that she had requested. When she saw the dress, her face lit up with another big smile.
“I prayed for her, and as I left, she said, ‘Bugra, keep spreading this perfume that reveals God and that shows the love of Jesus’—and one small teardrop fell from her face! I knew she was speaking not only about my perfume but about the love of Christ revealed through the people of God.”
—Rev. Dr. Tim Carriker, PC(USA) mission co-worker, Florianópolis, Brazil
Let us join in prayer for:
Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil (IPIB): Rev. Aureo Rodrigues de Oliveira, moderator, Rev. Roberto Mauro de Souza Castro, stated clerk • United Presbyterian Church of Brazil (IPU): Anita Wright Torres, moderator, Wertson Brazil de Souza, first secretary • Ecumenical Post-Graduate Program in Sciences of Religion (PGCR) of the Methodist University of São Paulo: Dr. Jung Mo Sung, dean, Rev. Dr. Leonildo Silveira, director • School of Higher Theological Studies (EST): Rev. Dr. Oneide Bobson, rector • Ecumenical Commission on Land Rights: Rev. João Dias de Araujo, president
Presbytery Partnerships: Presbytery of East Iowa and Presbytery of Mississippi, with the IPIB; Presbytery of East Iowa, with Presbytery of Ceará
Let us pray
Gracious and loving God, pour out over us the fragrance of Christ, that he might be known through our deeds and words. In Christ’s name. Amen.