Three events took place this last week that allow a glimpse into how the world changes. After finding the story behind the events, I remind myself and my friends about tools for acting out our hope and contributing to the good of the world. Continue reading
My main responsibility, after trying to be a loving husband, father, and grandfather, is to help coordinate the people in Martureo who are creating a Brazilian Center for Missiological Reflection
I have copied here for you the report from our Martureo site about some of our accomplishments in 2017. In Martureo we understand how important it is for Brazilian mission practitioners to carefully consider how they give witness to Christ and participate in his mission in all spheres of society. And I am very pleased with what we were able to accomplish.
Martureo Assessment September 2016
I have just finished doing an assessment of the work done by Martureo over the last couple of years. This has helped me figure out where I can contribute in my new responsibility as Executive Coordinator. When we finished this Assessment, we were actually quite amazed at how active the Brazilian Center for Missiological Reflection, Martureo has already been, and are encouraged by the response.
The work of Martureo made visible
|Courses have been well attended.||The first missiological issue Forum involved Brazilians in the challenge of quantifying the mission task.|
|Books–translated, published– and well received.|
|Marcos is receiving more invitations to speak at conferences than he is able to accept.|
|Series of 10 video series on Islam. The first three were viewed by 40k people and widely shared in social media.|
|Articles are read, commented and shared.
The response to Martureo in numbers Continue reading
When Brazilians think about how they participate in God’s mission they are “doing missiology.” Hopefully the work of thinking will help them to do some good. If they are successful we are all likely to benefit.
- The implications are global–because Brazilians from many Christian groups add to the numbers of Christ followers who are attempting to follow God’s call in almost every country of the world. They are doing the kinds of things that you and I like to support: helping people out of poverty, training young people, using sports to shape the lives of kids in urban and rural settings, training people in job skills, rescuing people from sex-trafficking and worse, meeting medical needs where there are no doctors, training new followers of Christ and training leaders for they communities, and so much more.
- The implications are personal–for both the families who move away from Brazil, and for the families they meet and serve. Brazilians want to work for the good of the world, and invite people to follow Jesus. The friends of the missionaries, back in Brazil, are learning about, and engaging constructively, in the lives of people in other parts of the world, in other realities, bringing greater understanding among peoples.
- The implications are “discursive”–that is when Brazilians think, from their experience, from the Biblical story of the gospel, and as Brazilians, they are providing all of us with new perspectives and better understanding about the mission.
- They add new ways, and new words, to help all of us get our hearts and minds around what God’s mission is and how He works to bring salvation and justice to the ends of the earth.
- They add new ways and new words and new paths of service that renew the possibilities for some of the older mission sending countries (such as our own) can respond more fully to God and to His call to all to participate in His mission.
So the idea behind Martureo, the Brazilian Center for Missiological Reflection, is that much good and much harm can be, and has been done by the way Christ’s followers think about, prepare for, do and support the missionaries who enter our troubled world from Brazil. Better thinking about mission, thinking about mission that is more connected to the conversations about mission in other parts of the world and in other times in history, and thinking about mission that is “more Brazilian” are keys to tipping the balance toward doing more good.
So, in Martureo we work with influencers and doers. Martureo does not send or train missionaries. The influencers are the ones who organize and lead the process to train, support and send missionaries from Brazil. The doers are the people that some call missionaries. They are the ones sent by churches and mission agencies and who work for the good of their neighbors both near and far.
We publish materials that help these leaders think clearly about the mission and how they involve themselves in it. We teach. We do research and publish the results. We gather people to discuss progress, problems and solutions.
We trust that this will help all of us understand better the God who loves us, loves humanity, gave himself for us, and called us to be his people.
The world is changing, and I am excited to join a team of Brazilians who are leading some of those changes, as they follow God into His mission. I recently accepted an invitation to become Executive Coordinator at Martureo: the Brazilian Center for Missiological Reflection. Of course, it sweetens the deal to know I get to travel to Brazil regularly!
There are actually several cool things that excite me about this new inistry. First, I have been preparing for it all my life. I first went to Brazil almost 45 years ago. After college, Lois and I moved to Brazil where we began our family and learned to serve.
Second, this time I will be building upon the outcome of answered prayers. When we first went, many friends joined us and prayed that Brazilians would one day participate in global missions. Now thousands serve, all over the world, and invite people to follow Christ and work for justice and peace for all of humanity. Martureo was founded by Marcos Amado to promote evaluation and reflection on the meaning and practice of mission from Brazil.
Third, this is building a new future. A new generations of Brazilians is creating pathways for service and, for years to come, many people will continue to follow Christ along them! Martureo is their tool, created by and for Brazilian leaders so they can grow in their service to Christ and participate in His mission. And I get to join them as they figure out how to do it.
Fourth, I am especially excited about serving in a Brazilian organization under a Brazilian boss. It gets complicated to explain, but this means I will change organizations. I leave my US-based mission agency–United World Mission. Now my work grows a Brazilian agency–Martureo.
If you would like to join me and support this new generation of Brazilians, or support me as I work with them, you can make tax-deductible contributions to Martureo. You can chose to make a monthly commitment or to make a one-time contribution.
Alternatively you can mail a check to:
PO Box 480
Wheaton, IL 60187
I need your prayers more than ever. It was a definitely a huge privilege and honor to receive this invitation to coordinate the work of Martureo. But it will be one of the biggest challenges I have faced in my life. But I am excited about investing my life with new generation Brazilian Christian mission leaders.
I have just returned from my first trip to Brazil for working in Martureo. Read the full blog post about Martureo, and my participation in it.
Please pray for me in this new venture, and stand with me.
Timothy Halls (and Lois)
In late April, I started a new job in Brazil. I am now the Executive Coordinator for Martureo: the Brazilian Center for Missiological Reflection.
Marcos Amado founded Martureo to produce resources Brazilians need to assess their experience in global mission and chart a course for the future.
When Lois and I went as missionaries to Brazil in the 70’s we believed Brazilians should not so much receive missionaries as send them. Over the next few decades that is exactly what happened. A movement of Brazilians in global mission emerged and grew. Dozens of new Brazilian mission societies were born. Thousands of missionaries were sent from Brazil to all corners of the earth.
Their experience has been fruitful, but also problematic.
Spontaneous growth and a lack of planning meant that most missionaries were poorly prepared. Churches and their leaders were unaware of what it would take to send and sustain them. Still Brazilian missionaries produced positive outcomes where they went. The lives of many whom they served improved. Some decided to also follow Jesus. New churches were formed.
But poor theological and missiological preparation also led to ineffectiveness and unfortunate harm was done. There were negative consequences for sending churches, missionaries and thee people they had gone to serve.
Today, a highly motivated new generation of Brazilians has begun to re-think how they will join Christ in his mission. They are creating new paths for entering the world with Christ through social entrepreneurship, peace-building, government and non-government agencies, business acceleration and startups focused on some of the key global challenges of human development.
Martureo exists to help this new generation rethink how they follow Jesus into mission.
Martureo offers them greater access to foundational missiological thinking and encourages new missiological reflection rooted in Brazil’s own mission experience to missiological reflection by:
- Organizing workshops and forums for leaders and students to reflect critically on mission practice and improve or develop new practices.
- Producing mission-focused content for publication in a variety of formats.
- Publishing missiological textbooks for publication in Brazil .
- Developing classroom and online courses for mission trainers.
- Inserting missiological reflection into major gatherings of Brazilian evangelicals.
Over the past couple of months these activities looked like this:
- Marcos spoke at a national Missions’ Conference for 1300 young people about the challenge of Missions in the 21st century and gave a breakout seminar to 150 of them who wanted to understand the relation Islam to the gospel.
- He gave the plenary address to 1100 attendees at a pastors’ conference near São Paulo.
- Dr. Martin Accad, from the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies in Beirut, Lebanon, gave a course on Islam in São Paulo to 80 students in an intensive course over 5 days, 3,5 hours every night.
- Martureo released a translation of Lesslie Newbigin’s book The Gospel in a Pluralist Society.
- We added 12 new associates to the team and I have met with them to define how they will extend scope of the missiological reflection that Martureo makes possible.
Lois and I do not have plans to move to Brazil. But the team I will work with is primarily in São Paulo, Brazil. So I plan to be in Brazil approximately 12 weeks out of each year for the next several years. In the coming years we will work out and implement a sustainable and scalable model for Martureo to encourage deeper, more informed and more Brazilian reflection on participation in Christ’s mission.
We do have many long-time friends in Brazil, so it should not surprise you if we figure out how out to go live there for a few months at a time.
You can make tax-deductible contributions to Martureo to support me in this new job. It is through the prayers and contributions of friends like you that I get the privilege of learning with Brazilians about the mission of Christ in the world, and serving them as they work out their participation. Thank you for joining me in it.