Sabbath, December 29, 2007
Dear brothers and sisters in all the world: We are living in the last moments of this earth’s history. Current events show us the nearness of Jesus’ return; and the command to each of us is: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:19, 20. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:1.
The Federal Republic of Brazil is the largest and most populous nation in Latin America and the fifth largest in the world in both area and population. It spans a vast area of 3,286,742 square miles in the central and northeastern part of South America. It shares borders with every other South American country except Ecuador and Chile (i.e., Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and the French section of French Guiana). In addition to its continental territory, Brazil also claims several small island groups in the Atlantic Ocean: Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, Fernando de Noronha, and Trindad and Martim Vaz. It also owns a group of small coral islands called Rocas Atoll. Brazil is a federation consisting of twenty-six states and one federal district, making a total of 27 federal units. The population is 187,268,800 inhabitants.
In this country, the presence of religion is very important, as attested to by the fact that very few Brazilians are atheists–less than 10% of a population that numbers almost 190,000,000. Until recently, Catholicism was the dominant religion; but the latest statistics show that Protestants and charismatics (including charismatic Catholics) make up 49%.
We, the International Missionary Society of the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement, are represented in 11 of the 27 Brazilian states with 300 members, but we have church buildings in only seven states.
This large territory and population present us with a great challenge, for on one hand we feel a sacred obligation; and, on the other, we have a fervent desire to evangelize this land.
In 1927, Pastor Carlos Kozel began the work in Brazil, in the city of Apucarana, Parana state. After a while, his first health books were translated into Portuguese; and thus the message was spread through the canvassing work. This was one of the most successful ways to work. There were times when the canvassing work in Brazil supported the missionary work of pastors and Bible workers. Now we are passing through a great crisis, and the colporteur work has declined. One of the reasons for this decline is the fact that our publications no longer meet the needs of the people.
We are convinced that through the colporteur work the preaching of the gospel will have a great impetus. The servant of the Lord stated: “This is a work that should be done. The end is near. Already much time has been lost, when these books should have been in circulation. Sell them far and near. Scatter them like the leaves of autumn. This work is to continue without the forbiddings of anyone. Souls are perishing out of Christ. Let them be warned of His soon appearing in the clouds of heaven. –The Review and Herald, Aug. 13, 1908.” –Colporteur Ministry, p. 25. For this reason, we are in contact with the Publishing Department of the General Conference, to which we are grateful for their concern and support in this very important branch of the work of God. With the goal of reviving this work here, we wish to translate into Portuguese and publish two important books: A Better Way to Health and Healthful Nutrition.
From neighboring countries we have received requests for places where young people can work as colporteurs; and therefore we have a good prospect of success, because in this country of continental proportions we have plenty of places where those who wish to may labor. Unfortunately, we find ourselves without resources to carry out this project, and so we turn to our dear brothers and sisters in all the world to ask for your assistance. Come and help us, extend us your hand across the ocean, and be an active co-worker and sower in this cause, always remembering: “… He which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6.
We gratefully look forward to your cooperation. May our loving God doubly recompense your generous effort.
–Adalicio F. de Souza