Back-to-Back in Brazil

18 August 2011 |
Igor Amestegui and Nelson Salviano

Igor Amestegui and Nelson Salviano

On February 19, Latin American Regional Coordinator, Igor Amestegui, flew into Belo Horizonte (BH) to oversee the start of the work in Brazil. Welcoming him at the airport was Nelson Salviano, the national coordinator. BH is Brazil’s third largest city (pop: 6 million). The plan was to run back-to-back seminars in BH and Governador Valadares (GV), 200 miles to the east.

The training started with 16 people in GV, situated in the shadow of Ibituruna (lit: “black mountain”), world famous for paragliding as it is blessed with great thermal winds. Then it was back to BH for three days with another 37 people. While BH and GV are centers of Christian work in Brazil, topical preaching prevails, often in an improvised and unprepared manner. Igor notes how it is common for “the preacher to deliver a series of well-known slogans which are completely unrelated to each other and to the Word. But we believe that if a transformation can take place at the center, in BH and GV, it may well spread through the church in Brazil.”

In BH, Igor’s attention was drawn to a pastor from Visosa, Hélio Miguel de Siqueira (and his wife Gláucia Teixeira Costa de Siqueira) – pictured in the photo.  Hélio had been a dedicated church planter and evangelist for years, until he was called to be the pastor of a large church. He recognised that his old style of preaching was not building up the church and that he needed this extra training.

Igor picks up the story: “Hélio told us that what he was learning was useful to him in his new role.  He then asked us to pray for him, and we knelt down together with them both. His final comment was that the seminar had come at an important stage in his life. It was all providential, since it was giving him the tools he needed to improve the quality of his preaching.  Now Hélio is showing great enthusiasm for taking part in the next levels.”