“Church” Is a Verb

“My passion is the university student,” said Chris Julian, a university student worker. He and his wife, Melody, have devoted their lives to students. They started working with students in their hometown of Memphis and then moved to South Carolina and Alabama before settling in Brazil about 20 years ago.

Now in Sao Leopoldo, they work with students and started a house church called Zoe, which means “abundant life” in Greek.

“We teach that ‘church’ is a verb and not something we do once a week,” Chris Julian said.

Although Zoe meets once a week like any other church, the gathering celebrates “where we’ve seen God moving the week prior.” They share food, testimonies, prayer, and Bible studies and then seek ways to engage the community.

“We’ve worked in slums, given out free hugs and hot chocolate at metro stops, and held block parties in our home,” Chris Julian said. This comes easily for Melody Julian who has the gift of hospitality and loves to cook.

On 2 university campuses, the Julians have started simple Bible studies called Z Points, hold game nights, and work with the English departments.

“We believe in giving back in an effort for the right to be heard,” Chris Julian said. And this has proved invaluable, because they are invited to help in the classes. Although they cannot openly share their faith, they are asked, “Why are you here?”

“That opens the door wide!” Chris Julian said.

And that’s good news, because less than 1% of the population knows Jesus Christ. But the Julians have seen several come to Christ in the 2 years they have been in Sao Leopoldo.

Chris Julian requested prayer for

  • opportunities to share faith on campus
  • openness for people to hear the truth
  • maturity for new believers
  • Zoe

Janice Backer is a freelance writer living in Jefferson City, Tennessee.

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