Continuing a series of posts from my book Brazilian Evangelical Missions in the Arab World, let us consider the story of the first indigenous Brazilian missions organization
Missão Antioquia (Antioch Mission) excerpted from pp. 55-56:
In the midst of a charismatic renewal in the state of Paraná in the late 1960s, two young Presbyterian pastors, Jonathan Ferreira dos Santos and Décio de Azevedo, founded a Bible school. Preaching, prayer, healing, miracles, and holistic ministry to the surrounding communities characterized the school’s existence in this continual atmosphere of renewal. Though the school’s leadership was initially resistant to the idea of global missions, American missionary Barbara Burns and others who taught at the school were instrumental in sharing a global vision. As the community began to pray for the world, the first missionaries were sent to Portuguese-speaking Mozambique in the mid-1970s. Hence, not unlike the atmosphere of revival that first moved North Americans and others to Brazil in the mid-nineteenth century, revival within Brazil also pushed Brazilians to take
notice of the rest of the world.
In 1975, the school went one step farther and founded Missão Antioquia (Antioch Mission), Brazil’s first interdenominational and national missions organization. Azevedo was named the mission’s first president. In 1977, the mission opened a seminary and missionary training center in Paraná, which, along with the mission, moved to São Paulo in 1980.
Missão Antioquia currently has ninety-two Brazilian missionaries on the field in nineteen countries—four of which are serving in Arab countries in North Africa and the Middle East. According to their website, their primary areas of ministry include evangelism, discipleship, church planting, children’s ministry, community development, and sports ministry, among others. The mission has not only sent Brazilian workers overseas, but it has modeled a spirit of unity and partnership through initiating the Associação de Missões Transculturais Brasileiras (Association of Transcultural Missions Agencies).
To learn more about Missão Antioquia, visit their Portuguese only site HERE.