Something a little different this morning. Read Gerson’s story, as he shares about his family’s call to mission in Brazil, and how he, like Jonah, resisted for a long time.
Dear Brethren in Christ,
Grace and peace be with you all.
My family and I came here to serve the Lord in January 2005. We have been here in the state of Amapá for 15 years and currently live in the town of Mazagão Novo, which is 35km from the capital of Macapá.
My name is Gerson Cesar Rubini and my wife is Nádia. I have three children: Leandro, Gislaine and Patricia. Patricia is our youngest daughter, not yet married, and helps us a lot in the work here.
When the Lord called me to full-time work, I was a lorry driver, self-employed and driving all over Brazil. One day I was driving in my lorry and passing through the state of Bahia when I saw a very poor village, a place where life was very difficult and miserable. At that moment I prayed that the Lord would send one of His missionaries to that people because I felt so sorry for them and cried to the Lord on their behalf. It was then that the Lord started to speak to me. “YOU preach the Word to this people,” He was saying. For several years I struggled against this calling, yet those words continued to burn in my heart.
One day my cousin, who had terminal cancer, arranged a meeting in her home and she said she wanted to give some advice to the young people there. This she did, and then she turned to me and looked me in the eye and said: ‘…and you, who received the call of God and haven’t obeyed, don’t be negligent with regard to His calling.’ I started to cry as only I knew what had happened that day. I hadn’t even told my wife about it.
When we arrived home I told Nadia, my wife, already knowing her response as she has always been very keen as far as the Lord’s work is concerned. Then I went to my father’s house and told him that we would be leaving to go and serve the Lord in a distant state. I knew beforehand that they would be against it, as they always had a different viewpoint with regard to the mission field. My mother panicked and started to cry, pleading with me to stay. I relented to her wish. Shortly after this my mother discovered she had pancreatic cancer and passed away. Around four years later the Lord started to speak to me again and I was determined that this time I wouldn’t leave the state of São Paulo since my work was everything to me. However, I realised that God was working in my life because I started to lose things that I thought were very important to me. Thieves stole my lorry, my only means of making a living. At first, I was desperate, not understanding why the Lord had allowed this, but in fact the Lord was trying me and preparing me for His work.
It was then that the Lord started to speak to me. “YOU preach the Word to this people”
Shortly after this my wife and I went to a missionary conference in São Paulo. There the Lord spoke to us both; the reports were so challenging from start to finish. The Lord rebuked and called us again and we both cried a great deal during the meeting. We didn’t know what to do; there was no escaping this time. We were both frightened, but we began to pray and asked the Lord’s leading. A missionary called Eurico Kohls gave his report and at one point said, ‘Brothers and sisters, I am old and the problems I’ve had with my back hinder me with the Lord’s work up north. Please could you pray with me that the Lord will send a couple to this region because I cannot continue because of my health problems.’ At that exact moment we knew that the Lord was sending us to this place. We spoke briefly with brother Eurico and told him we would like to visit.
Several days later I was returning from a business trip and my wife phoned me to say that brother Eurico Kohls had phoned and wanted to speak to me. I wanted to know how he had found me as I hadn’t even told him my surname or phone number! We arranged for him to visit us. I was going to pick him up and mulling over everything in my mind. I began to be afraid. ‘Lord, how can I look after my family up there?’ I confess I was very apprehensive. At that moment a truck appeared in front of me with a big sign on it which read, ‘ONLY BELIEVE!’ I knew in my heart that I didn’t need anything else, I just needed to believe that God would provide.
Shortly after this we travelled up to Amapá, where we are today, and the Lord has opened the way. We have a little church in Mazagão Novo and a work among the tribes that live along the side of the Amazon River. We have various preaching points up to the islands of Pará and the gospel is reaching the indigenous people who speak Apalaí, Wainã and Tiryó.
We would ask that you pray for this work, that the gospel may go forth and that doors may continue to open. Please pray that we may have health and strength to continue the work and that the Lord may give us wisdom and prudence in all that He has committed to us.
Yours in brotherly love,
Gerson and Nádia
- for more people to respond to God’s call on their lives to serve Him, wherever He is leading them
- for the work in remote tribal areas of Brazil, to reach unreached peoples with the gospel
- for spiritual maturity and discipleship within the church in Brazil.