After running the long, arduous course of education on the lostness of so many parts of the world, we have settled on one place in particular. This has been difficult. Our hearts have been broken for so many regions and people groups in this process.
Before going on with the specifics, let me encourage everyone: educate yourself on the lostness of our world . . . places like South Asia that is referred to as the "heart of darkness" and the thousands of people groups (over 6,000) who await someone to come and tell them about Jesus. The lost are everywhere. Right now our world population is 6.61 billion. The population of unreached people groups is 2.72 billion. That's 41%. Unreached means they don't have the gospel. Staggering, isn't it?
Visit the Joshua Project or People Groups .Visit the International Mission Board and read about opportunities to go . . . short term, long term, ministry teams from your church (from teenagers to retirees), your family vacation, so on and so on. Give to the Lottie Moon offering that goes to support over 5,300 missionaries who are already engaged with lost people groups.
There are lost here in the U.S. - - everywhere, and ministry in the culture in which we are a part is so important. We are blessed to know so many who pastor, teach, lead, foster, adopt, do prison ministry, counsel the unwed pregnant, share Christ with neighbors, co-workers, grandchildren, and the list goes on. But God has asked us to go, and we've said yes. Finally, we know where!
Here's the whole scoop! We are going to Caxais do Sul in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, South America. There is much we don't know, but here's some things we do know:
- The city of Caixas do Sul is the center of Italian culture in Rio Grande do Sul, and in southern Brazil. It is also the least evangelized city in the state. It is located in the northern mountainous region of the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
- Brazilians of Italian descent are one of Brazil's least evangelized cohesive people groups. Due to their isolation and density of numbers (about 540,000), Italians in the state of Rio Grande do Sul have proven to be particularly resistant to evangelization, in a state that is known for being the most resistant to evangelization (southern Brazil is one of the biggest challenges)
- Brazilian Portuguese will be the primary language of use and study, but we will be learning Italian as well for the evangelization of the smaller rural communities where Italian is still the "heart language" of the people. Language study and cultural acquisition will take approximately one year.