Missionary Update: The Wacasers in Brazil [July 2013]

Bobby, Charlene, Jessie, and Brennen Wacaser have served the Lord as church planters in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil, since 1985.

July 4, 2013

Dear Friends,

We are in the middle of one of those experiences that we have been privileged to enjoy several times since beginning our ministry in Brazil. On several occasions we have been asked to host individual youth in our home who were sensing a call from the Lord to use their life in missions or gospel ministry and who wanted to have a cross-cultural experience to validate that call.

This summer (our winter in southern Brazil), we are getting that privilege threefold. We are hosting two teenage girls from the Tampa, Florida area and one young man from the Houston, Texas area. I am going to let them share with you a short report of their experience as they traveled and ministered together with our outreach ministry, Projeto Vida, on a three week mission trip to the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. They traveled with a team of 12 Brazilian missionaries in a motorhome, which was their “home” for three weeks.

Carley Clark (age nineteen from Brandon, Florida)

“And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” (Acts 5:41-42)

When I first came to Brazil in 2010, I began to feel the call to missions. Every year that I came back to Brazil with my student ministry, the call became stronger and stronger. In August of 2012, I felt the Lord calling me to come to Brazil for a summer to experience the true life of a missionary–not just the week-long trip that I had experienced several times before. I thought that I was prepared for everything until I went on a three week long trip with Projeto Vida to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

The Wacasers’ summer interns! The last girl on the right is Rachel Weaver, another intern, but she’ll be around for 10 months, not just the summer.

Our first week in Rio was really great. We were able to witness to a lot of people and many people from the church responded to the call to missions. We left this church to go stay at a camp for what I thought was a couple of days, but turned out to be for a week and a half. The camp that we stayed at was in rough state. The room that the girls stayed in had dirty concrete floors, the bathroom was disgusting and had no doors to the stalls or the showers, and there were spiders and bugs everywhere. I was not excited to spend the next few days here. The next morning, I woke up with an eye infection, a cold, and what seemed like a thousand mosquito bites all over my legs. I was really missing my family, and I had no way of contacting them. I was also on clothes washing duty, so I spent the day with a few others washing the clothes of fifteen people by hand, and later that day I took a freezing cold shower.

While thinking about how awful my circumstances seemed to be, I thought back to my devotional time a few days before where I read about how the apostles were beaten and left rejoicing because they were counted worthy to suffer for the Name. Day after day, no matter what their circumstances were, they preached the gospel, and that is what we are called to do. I realized how selfish I was being and that I needed to rejoice that I am counted worthy to suffer for the gospel. When I take an abundance of cold showers- I rejoice. When I have an eye infection and a cold- I rejoice. When I have to paint Spiderman on a little boy’s face who probably hasn’t had a shower in a week- I rejoice. I’ve learned that missions is not easy. It’s not glamorous. It’s exhausting. But it’s worth it. We are called to spread the love of Christ to the nations and I rejoice that God has chosen me to share His Name to the people of Brazil this summer!

Paige Rechsteiner (age 19 from Tampa, Florida)

One of the days when we were in Sao Paulo we went to an area with favelas, which are like small shacks stacked on top of each other. This area was known for being rough and for drug trafficking so we decided it would be best if no pictures were taken. Two other girls and I were face painting for the kids and it was awesome to see that a simple design on the children’s faces would make them so happy. Few of the children had nice clothes and they didn’t smell very good, but God reminded me how dirty we are with sin. We are filthy and smelly in His eyes, but God still looks to us with open arms and a loving heart, which is exactly how He wanted us to look at those children. No matter how dirty or smelly they were, I still wanted them to come to me and talk to me. And when they saw their face colorful with paint, they were happy and all of their smiles that day made being there worth it.

Trent Smith (age 20 from Lufkin, Texas)

My first trip with the Alpha Team of Projeto Vida to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo was incredible! I met the team in Rio during their time of rest after they had already worked with another church the week before. It was nice to arrive during their days of rest as it gave me an opportunity to get to know the people that were with Alpha team. It also gave me an opportunity to learn some skits that we would perform before we went into schools.

There are two things that stick out in my mind about the trip that are special to me. While we were putting on a presentation in a school in Rio de Janeiro, I was praying for the people that were present and listening to the presentation. I looked up and noticed that many members of the team had their head down and were praying for the presentation as a whole as well. This happened without any prompting from the leaders of the team. It was a blessing to see people responding to the Spirit prompting them to pray!

The other moment that is really special to me happened on our first night in Sao Paulo. Daniel and Victor, two of the leaders, had asked me to play guitar and sing a song at the end of the church service that we were attending. I was feeling really negative about the whole thing. I’m not really sure why, but I just kept thinking, “They aren’t going to understand the words because I’m singing in English.” And I just thought that it was going to be awkward with no actual worship taking place. As I began to sing, everyone present began to sing along in a beautiful mixture of English and Portuguese. God was able to use me, despite my bad attitude, to lead people to the throne in worship. I was floored. That is a moment that I will never forget.
Bobby, Charlene and Brennen Wacaser
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279-1
Bairro Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR  Brasil

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