Immersion. Cultivation. Influence. Transformation. These few words describe how the Fellows’ excursion to Brazil was exceptionally more than just a mission trip. While there was much work to be done, this trip was designed to challenge the way we view God, His global mission, and His church outside Western culture. This one-month trip transformed and influenced the Fellows just as much as our teams influenced the partners they worked with and transformed lives for the advancement of the Kingdom. Through this experience, the Fellows did not just hear about the Brazilian church but got to live among it and witness the Lord’s work in Brazil firsthand.
Christ is not limited to one culture or one country. On the contrary, we serve a God who is present and working everywhere, from Anchorage to Tokyo, and beyond. The Bible describes our God as high above all nations, not one or a few (Psalm 113:4). It is very humbling when we come to realize that our nation is not at the center of God’s plan and that his mission extends beyond our people group. God seeks to bless all peoples of this earth and that is his missional basis on a global scale. Living in a different culture for a month, we were able to see that we all worship the same God and in that, we have great unity in our wide diversity as human beings.
Through working with partners such as Lifeshape Brasil and Word of Life, we realized that these people are just like us: fellow image-bearers and brothers and sisters in Christ who all share the same love for the same God. Furthermore, we all share the same goal of being witnesses for Christ and bringing people to know Him and have a relationship with Him. Not only that, but we had the opportunity to walk alongside Brazilians (both Christians and non-Christians) and share with them the good news of the true gospel, as well as disciple them and help them cultivate their faith. Through camps, street evangelism, and leadership teaching, the Fellows got to help these Christians better cultivate their relationship with Christ. We were also served by the Brazilian Christians we were working with and were able to create close community with them through our work in servanthood to Christ.
There is no doubt that our Fellows class came from this immersion experience transformed; instilled with a sense of Gods profound sovereignty, omnipresence, and love for this world and His people in it.
Diversity is essential in the body of Christ, as we all form different members of it and if each culture was not so distinct from the other, then all the parts of the body would look somewhat similar or even the same. If they were the same or too similar, then the body would not be a body at all!
All parts of the body work together to serve the head, Christ. We are all His servants, and we all serve him in different ways both individually, and as cultures, and then collectively as one body. This trip was an opportunity for us to get a taste of God’s true character and a hint of what his plan for the nations really looks like.