Brazil

“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.

Be Intentional in Helping Others

Guy and Elena Key have been serving in Brazil under appointment of the International Mission Board since 1984. Brazil has been in the hearts of Mr. and Mrs. Key’s families for many years. Mr. Key is a second generation missionary in Brazil, and Mrs. Key is a third generation missionary to Brazil. Her grandparents served there as missionaries with the Foreign Mission Board from 1920 to 1960. Yes, Mrs. Key’s family has served in Brazil for almost 100 years!

One component of the Keys’ work in Brazil is to help Brazilians who are called into missions, both in Brazil and cross-culturally. Likewise, as Mission Friends leaders, one component of our work is helping the families of preschoolers to engage in sharing God’s love with those in need. Immigrants to the United States are 1 segment of our population who have many needs. Mr. Key gave the following suggestions for specific ways to befriend Brazilian immigrants, but these suggestions would be applicable to any immigrants to our country. Share these suggestions with your preschoolers’ families and encourage them to be intentional in helping others:

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Others in Our World

As we teach preschoolers about the missions area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this month in Mission Friends®, we are also focusing on the Christian concept area World. This is a broad and wide concept area that is not always easy to convey to preschoolers. As I think about the concept area World, I like to remember the concept area as “Others in Our World.”

For many years we used the Christian concept area Others. That concept area was changed into the two concept areas of Community and World. When this change was made, at WMU® we generally thought of Community as encompassing other people who live near me. The Christian concept area World includes other people who live far away. We want preschoolers to learn that God loves people around the world, and missionaries tell others in the world about Jesus and His love.

This month as we focus on World as a concept area, the writers of the activities and stories in Mission Friends Leader lead us to focus on the following aspects each week:

Session 1: God loves people of different cultures all over the world.

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