Miraculous Provision to Launch New Teams in a Recession
Can countries that traditionally received missions support change and become mission sending nations? Absolutely. The story of YWAM Brazil proves this to be true!
The Price Tag of Cross-Cultural Missions
Many of us working in missions are blessed by the provision of people who support us in our work. What an encouragement! These people value what we do to reach the lost, multiply disciples, and meet felt needs.
Not everyone who is called to missions comes from a wealthy community. Yet some of those who have very little are surprisingly generous. This happens especially if the receiver is a trusted friend, or the cause is dear to the giver’s heart. These godly people will give to those who spread the
God’s harvest workers are often in distant places. They work with those from different faiths and cultures. They may find that their work is not valued by those who would be able to give. “Why do you want to work among those far away and strange people?”
A Missions Movement Defies the Odds
Lucio* is from Brazil. He has been serving in missions for many years. He says: “Economically the decades of the 1980s and 90s were the worst years in the nation’s history. Inflation reached 5,000% from June 1993 to July 1994. Dollar exchange rates increased several times a day.”
Surely this was not the environment from which a new movement of missionaries would be sent out. And yet that was when a wave of Brazilians went out to reach the lost!
YWAM organised a conference on missions in a large church. The founder, Loren Cunningham, was invited to speak. He shared that the mission was involved in every nation on earth, except for two island communities. One of these, called Sao Tome and Principe, was a Portuguese-speaking nation.
The Brazilians were excited to learn of this – they too spoke Portuguese! The first pioneer team was formed. They prayed and fasted. They learned principles for presenting a vision with integrity while inviting others to partner in prayer and finances.
“Let the Poor Say, ‘I am Rich’!
Not everyone they approached was supportive. One pastor said “You will never make it. Stop dreaming and go get a job!” O
All YWAM Brazil was praying and cheering for the team. As powerful testimonies came from Sao Tome, more and more YWAMers rose to their feet. “God, please send me as well!” They established new works in Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, Isla Verde, and Macau. Teams to Gambia, Gabon, Russia, Albania, India, Guinea, Indonesia, Senegal, and more followed!
But there was another benefit for these pioneers. Lucio says “The Brazilians went overseas in spite of their economic crisis. They were strongly dependent upon God for finances. This was modeled to the young people that they were serving in the nations. They were inspired to do the same!”
A Historic Movement Slows Down
The Brazilian church grew, and so did the economy. Strangely, when the recession ended, the powerful Brazilian movement into the frontiers slowed. It is difficult to say if there was a direct connection.
4 Principles to Remember
- God began the Brazilian missions movement within a serious economic crisis.
- A clear, specific challenge was presented (Sao Tome and Principe).
- Leadership training helped people turn their dreams into a focused plan. They set specific goals and action steps.
- Teaching was given on faith, team formation, finances, and prayer coverage.
“At that time ‘everything was impossible.’ The school leaders, although American, had very little money. But it was easy to follow them as their situation was like ours. God did what was impossible.”
“The school leaders also modeled personal devotional times. This helped us to be faithful in our own spiritual lives. We saw that this was key to facing the challenges on the field.
“Finally, we were taught to hear from God and define our goals in a measurable way. Then we put our plans into practice, completing them in small steps.”
What about you?
Does fear of not being able to raise support keep you from saying yes to God’s call to reach the lost? The story of the movement in Brazil can happen in your country as well. What is impossible can become possible. Even in a recession, when money is scarce, we can send out missionaries.
*Not his real name