Friday, July 24, 2015

Salvation on the Streets

The "Red Light District" of Belo Horizonte is a neighborhood populated with brothels, porn theaters, and lost souls… it's the perfect place to do ministry! We went there several times on this trip, each time bringing worship, the Word, and the presence of God. Our first night in the Red Light District, during our second or third worship set, a man who was either going to or coming from a brothel was drawn by the music and stopped by to see what was going on. A few members of our team approached him with a translator to talk and share with him. After a few minutes of conversation, the man put his hands over his face and started to weep uncontrollably. His sobs were audible even over the music! Then he dropped to his knees and just started crying out to God, confessing and repenting of his sins. This went on for several minutes. Once he calmed down a little bit, he stood back up shouting, "Jesus! Obrigada Jesus!" (which means "Thank you Jesus" in Portuguese). Without any hesitation at all, he joined in with us praising, dancing and just worshipping Jesus. While watching this man it was clear that as he listened to the worship music and talked with our team, he came under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and got right with God. He was born again right there on the street and he responded with exuberant worship. Some of our team joined him in singing and dancing, celebrating his new life in Christ!

Our New Brother (in the striped shirt) giving
praise to God! 

Sergio Saved!

The second Tuesday in Brazil we met a man named Sergio during our homeless outreach. After we introduced ourselves, he immediately began to tell us his story through the translator. Up until four months ago, he had been addicted to drugs. He had gone through multiple rehabs but it was of no avail. He needed something more than rehab. That's when he began asking God for help and, even though he did not know God personally, he began to experience victory over drugs. Now, four months later, he's free from his addiction and even going to school to enter into the work force, but he is still separated from this ex-wife and ten year old son who live together in a distant city.

Clearly Sergio was aware of God's existence and he recognized his need for Him, but he had never heard the grand story of redemption. His eyes locked on us as we began to share about the forgiveness and restoration that Jesus won for him on the cross. The good news was being presented to him for the first time! Once he heard about the necessity of repentance and faith, he began (with tears) to voice a humble cry to Jesus. First he asked for forgiveness for all the crimes he committed against God and then thanked Him for making a way for him to be saved and have new life. After this, Sergio excused himself because he was late for his class at night school, but then, about ten minutes later, he returned! He decided to skip class and spend the rest of the evening talking with us. We praise God for His faithful pursuit of Sergio and what took place in his life that night.