José Carlos Pezini - October 2017 Update
Portuguese-Language Ministries Coordinator
Dear friends and supporters,
It is a joy to share some great news with you. Three years ago, Steve and Kay Wright came to Brazil to visit the church planting projects that their church, Zionsville Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, has supported. I had the privilege of accompanying them and during the days we were together, they shared with me about the Great Banquet, a retreat ministry which had greatly impacted their congregation. They invited me to attend a “Great Banquet,” and I did so the following year. Seeing what God was doing through this three-day weekend largely led by lay people, I heard the Lord whispering in my heart that the Great Banquet would be a wonderful gift to the Church in Brazil.
Steve Wright agreed with me, and we began planning for a Brazilian version. Zionsville Presbyterian Church started inviting Brazilians who spoke English to its semi-annual banquets to become the seed group of a Brazilian leadership team. In two years twenty people, ten men and ten women, traveled from Brazil to attend a Great Banquet. Steve and Kay returned to Brazil two years ago to guide this leadership group in preparing for the banquet. Then, with the blessing of God, we set the date for the Great Banquet in Brazil.
This September, the dream that had been birthed three years ago was fulfilled. We launched the Great Banquet in Brazil, and something extraordinary happened in the lives of those who participated. Not only did the “guests” (participants in the Great Banquet) have their faith renewed, but those who served as leaders were tremendously impacted by the presence and anointing of God in that place. To get an idea of what happened, watch the video made by the team from Zionsville Presbyterian Church HERE.
How does this new ministry fit into the SARA Ministries in which my wife and I are involved? Through the SARA Ministry, pastors are being revived in their desire to seek the kingdom of God first. As a result, their lives are being transformed. Because of the renewal they have experienced, they constantly ask me how SARA can help them bring renewal to their congregations. I believe that the Great Banquet is one way God can answer the cry of the Brazilian church, for the Great Banquet is a lay-led movement that motivates laity to be more effective in the kingdom of God and ready to serve the Lord as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.
I am grateful and thankful to God for Steve and Kay Wright for their effort and dedication, for accepting the challenge and believing that it was possible to bring the Great Banquet to Brazil despite cultural and linguistic barriers. I am thankful to Zionsville Presbyterian Church for its partnership and financial investment over the past three years. Without them, it would have been impossible to carry out such an ambitious undertaking.
I want to close this update with some prayer requests. My younger brother has been diagnosed with colon cancer. He has had surgery and is recovering, but he continues to need prayers during his recovery. Also, Odete and I need your prayers for our health and for safety on the roads, as we drive to many of the retreats we lead. Finally, pray that God will give wisdom and discernment to the SARA Ministries. They have grown exponentially, and we need much wisdom to make the right decisions.
Thank you for being part of this wonderful adventure of being in mission with God in Brazil. Without your prayers and financial support, we cannot continue to respond to God’s call.
Pezini and Odete
Read more about Pezini's ministry by clicking HERE.
The Outreach Foundation is seeking gifts totaling $95,000 for support and ministry funds for Pezini and $5,000 to defray costs of attending SARA retreats for those who cannot afford them.