SARA: Retreat Ministry for Pastors
in Brazil

About Our Partner

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The Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil

SARA is an acronym for a retreat ministry that was developed by Outreach’s Portuguese-language Ministries Coordinator, J.C. Pezini, and a colleague in the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil, the Rev. Mario Gois. SARA means “serving,” “helping,” “refreshing,” and “befriending” in Portuguese. A typical retreat involves up to 20 pastors over three days. The outcomes envisioned for those participating in a SARA retreat are that they will establish (re-establish) a life of personal piety making use of the classical spiritual disciplines; that they will find a spiritual mentor; that they will engage in spiritual conversations with fellow pastors as part of being colleagues in ministry; and that they will take a regular day off. A movement has begun, says Pezini, humbly amazed at what God is doing. In all these retreats, the emphasis is on the importance of the pastor having a daily devotional life, doing exercise each day, and engaging in regular serious reading. Recovering a vital devotional life renews the pastor’s delight in God and the capacity to listen to God.

The Impact

SARA, a retreat ministry for pastors in Brazil, was created to address a huge crisis in Brazil among pastors who are laboring hard but whose souls need restoring. In just a few years, Outreach Foundation's Mission Staff J.C. Pezini and a team of Brazilian pastors have seen SARA retreats multiply across the country and across denominations to provide a time of refreshment, healing, friendship and on-going support for those who serve in ministry.

SARA was created to address a huge crisis in Brazil among pastors who are laboring hard but whose souls need restoring. In just a few years, SARA Ministries has reached more than 400 pastors in 12 denominations. Pezini and his SARA colleagues are involved in 16 mentoring groups around the country, each of which has two retreats per year. Pezini has trained others who are committed to the vision of mentoring pastors.

The Need

The Outreach Foundation is seeking gifts totaling $5,000 to defray costs of attending SARA retreats for pastors who cannot afford them.