Rev. Dr. José Carlos Pezini (Mission Staff) - December 2013 Update
Portuguese-Language Ministries Coordinator
At this season of Advent and Christmas, Odete and I feel like Mary, the mother of Jesus, who “magnified the Lord” for the “great things he has done” (Luke 1:46, 49). Indeed, God has done amazing things in our lives and through our ministry among pastors and leaders here in Brazil.
Seeing how many pastors there are who are in great distress, pastors who are tired, lonely, and who even face burnout, my colleague Pastor Mário and I decided to create a specific retreat ministry to serve them. We call it “SARA,” which is an acronym for the Portuguese words meaning “service, help, refreshment, and friendship.” During this three-day retreat we speak on themes of leadership and spiritual formation within a warm, loving atmosphere. The effectiveness of this ministry among these pastors has far exceeded our wildest hopes as you will see in the following testimonies:
Davi Nogueira: There are no words to express the joy I received when I attended the recent retreat. As a theological student, this opportunity gave me the privilege to grow and mature for that which God has prepared for me and for my family. Pezini, you have meant more to me than I could have imagined: my pastor, friend, companion, mentor, supporter, counselor, and an inspiration, even a father to me during these days that have been very intense and challenging. I praise God with a heart filled with gratitude for the time you gave me as we met together. It was a time of refreshment, of sorting out my thoughts, of finding a new direction in my devotional life, and experiencing fellowship, the kind of which I had not enjoyed in a long time. May the Eternal God continue to use you powerfully as a mentor to all that were present… and above all, as a model pastor, leader, and friend who is called to help us through life and ministry to understand a little more about who Jesus is.
Fábio Quintanilha: Experience with Christ shows us that he takes care of us, and we need not fear difficulties and challenges (Psalm 23:1-3). However, our humanity pulls us away from our Good Shepherd, causing us to walk down our own paths. Facing such a pull makes it necessary to stop and hear God’s voice. Such was the case in my encounter with Rev. Pezini. It was during a prayer of pleading to God for help. I was tired of trying to do things in my own strength and in my own way. After meeting with Pezini and later sharing with other pastors, something marvelous happened. The fruit of this encounter was the work of God. How should I describe this? I believe that the words of Isaiah say it well: “renewal of strength” (40:31). I express my gratitude to the Lord and ask that similar gatherings take place in the future so that other pastors and leaders may be reached. To God be all the glory!
Matheus Abrahão: I would like to give thanks for the wonderful time in October at the pastors’ retreat. Pezini, your life has made an impact on my ministry. The teachings I learned about the missional church and about communication that transforms will be very helpful to me and to my community. I say this because it will change the way we work and focus upon our objectives. The truth of the matter is that some objectives are already changing because of new understandings. Also, the opportunity to deepen my spiritual life through your teachings about prayer and meditation has been very important in my personal life with God. The opportunity to know and be with colleagues from other regions of Brazil who live in different religious and cultural contexts is very good because it gives us new ideas outside our own context. Our church and our mission here in Rio Grande do Sul have been greatly blessed by your ministry both directly and indirectly. I hope to have the privilege to continue learning with you.
Such testimonies greatly encourage us to keep doing this retreat ministry alongside our on-going mentoring of pastors, teaching in local church settings and training centers, and participating in both the work of the Evangelization Department of the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil (IPIB) and the Center for Training Church Planters (CTPI). I want to thank each one of you for your support. Without your support and prayer it truly would be impossible to continue this ministry. I am glad to serve as part of The Outreach Foundation family. Odete and I always pray for each one of you, and we would like to encourage you to continue supporting us in the coming year.
Amount needed in 2014
The Outreach Foundation seeks to raise a minimum of $8,000 per month for support and ministry funds for Pezini To make a donation, click the Donate Now link in the sidebar.
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