One of my students at Eternity Bible College, Nate Becker, is a missionary in São Paulo, Brazil. He and his wife, Jessica, are currently serving there, bringing the message of Jesus to everyone they encounter. Much of Nate and Jessica’s attention is focused upon serving the children living in the slums. These children live in a world of hardship; their situation is dire, to say the least–especially when it comes to familial and economic issues.
When most people think of “missionary,” they tend to imagine someone spending the majority of their day preaching and teaching Scripture. While the proclamation of God’s Word occupies an uncompromising central role in their calling, a lot of Nate and Jessica’s time is spent organizing vocational training programs, putting on art classes, and working hand-in-hand with locals on their farms. Nate relayed to me the other day how, previous to being called to São Paulo as a missionary, he never had experience being a farmer, nor did he ever consider himself to be an agricultural guru. And yet, this is exactly what he finds himself doing these days as a missionary. For Nate and Jessica, the message of the Gospel is adorned with the beauty of practical service. Nate and Jessica are committed to doing whatever it takes to bring hope. They’re not afraid to put their hands to the plow and be a farmhand, if that’s what it takes.
Truly, Nate and Jessica embody what it means to be ministers of the Gospel. As the great “Christ Hymn” tells us, God’s Son became to us a servant (Phil. 2:5-11). In this act, God’s love became visible. In Christ, God loved us deeply–to the point of showing us that he wanted to be near us. Indeed, ministry is all about presence. I’m thankful for partners in the Gospel like Nate and Jessica who take the life-giving presence of Jesus wherever God might call them.
I have asked Nate to write a guest post to share a little bit about their ministry. Consider praying for them and for the people they serve!
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Mission Work in Brazil
By Nate Becker
We believe that there is power in the life of Christ. In three years, fishermen were transformed into apostles and the world was never the same. When the life of Christ is present, the surrounding lives are affected in ways that shape generations. As Christ is alive in us, we believe that He has called us to invest our lives for the change of the generations by carrying comfort for the broken and hope for the needy. This calling manifests itself greatly in ministry to kids. Having both been raised in Christian homes and given our lives to Christ at early ages, we know the value of receiving gospel seed during the foundational years of life. We have been given a special passion to see the little ones among us grow into godly men and women who seek the face of God, because we know that as children grow up learning to love and be loved by God, they have much more of a chance to withstand the hardships of this world and flee the deceptive pleasures of sin.
Recognizing each specific physical or emotional need as an opportunity embrace a heart with the love of Christ, we pray for the Spirit to use our lives to reflect that love into the hearts of all who God put in our reach–that they may know, and rise to tell their children of God’s greatness, and in so doing change the generations with the truth of grace.
In 2013 we both arrived in Brazil to serve as missionaries with AMO Ministries. AMO was founded by Jessica’s parents who had come from Miami, FL in 1997 with a vision to reach the street kids of the region of São Paulo and their families by carrying the gospel message of Jesus Christ into the heavily afflicted slum communities known as “favelas”. Jessica was active throughout her teen years, but after a season of life spent in the states for growth and education God called her back to serve alongside her parents and the team of Brazilian volunteers who had come to Christ through the ministry of AMO and dedicated their lives to carrying the gospel into other favela communities. Nate also joined the AMO team in 2013 after serving for many years with his family’s itinerate evangelistic ministry in the USA as well as seasons in local churches in Texas, Georgia, and Florida.
After serving together for 4 years as single missionaries, we felt God leading us to marriage and to serve Him together as husband and wife, leveraging our marriage and lives for the proclamation of the gospel and the redemption of God’s little ones.
If you are interested to know more about our ministry or to see how this passion is worked out through the everyday life on the field, we invite you to follow us on Facebook or see our blog. There we share stories of our everyday life and how God is working here in Brazil.
www.nateandjessicabecker.com/blog (entry password is: “beckerblog”)
Also, we have put together a couple of quick glimpse videos with pictures to help give context to the stories we share. The first (“favelas”) walks through different favelas we minister in, kind of giving a general idea of where these kids come from, the second (“Gleba”) shows a bit of what it’s like when we’re in the communities working with the kids there.