Sergio leads our Jews for Jesus work in Brazil. He is a family man. So staying out until 4 am for several days isn’t exactly his style … or his wife’s … or their two teenage sons’. But once a year they do a marathon outreach for the crowds at Carnaval, where many people they talk to are drunk or high. Some are homeless. It’s hard for Sergio to tell if his work is really bearing fruit. So we asked you to pray for this year’s outreach – and God did something wonderful to prepare Sergio for this year’s Carnaval.
A week before the outreach, Sergio attended a pastors’ brunch. The chairman of the group introduced him to speak to the 17 pastors present, saying, with tears in his eyes, that five members of his church had become believers through the ministry of Jews for Jesus during Carnaval. Sergio says, “I was speechless – I had no idea of this. He then said, ‘Sergio, we have no idea how many other churches have been receiving people that you have been witnessing to throughout these years. Only the Lord knows.’ This was such a tremendous encouragement to hear just before our outreach!”
So how did this year’s outreach go? Sergio says, “I was impressed by how many drug addicts came to us, willing to be sent to rehab centers. One, a homeless man with no contact to give, said he would come to my church so we can lead him to a rehab center. He used to attend church and even taught Bible classes. After he got involved with drugs, he was too embarrassed to return. At the end of our conversation he asked if I could hug him. He was very dirty and smelly, but I hugged him without hesitation. He started to cry, and promised to show up at my church saying he really wanted to return to the Lord. Please pray with me that God gives him the strength and courage to do so.
“One afternoon a Jewish woman, Martha,* wished me ‘Shana Tovah’ (a Jewish New Year’s greeting). I asked why she was giving me a New Year’s greeting. She said she meant ‘Laila Tov’ (meaning ‘good night’) and she was evidently drunk. She was with her ‘atheist Catholic’ boyfriend. Martha said she is not religious, but is willing to know more about Jesus and Jews for Jesus, and she gave me her contact information.
“Even with a small number of people, we were able to hand out 20,350 broadsides and get 77 contacts (including eight Jewish seekers and 56 Gentile seekers). I’m finding that a handful of people can do as well or better as many people, with God’s help.”
*not her real name
We hope you will enjoy the photo gallery from this year’s Carnaval – it’s a small sample of the pictures taken by Sergio’s older son, Israel.