Hello, Hannah and Jacob here! We are getting ready to take a trip to Brazil for about a year to spread the Kingdom of God. We have both been on short term mission trips to Latin America, and we want to invest more of our lives in this type of ministry.
I (Hannah) have considered taking a trip like this for a couple of years. In August, I started to look at gap year possibilities, and I became certain that The Lord had called me to work in missions before I went to college. I did a little bit of research, but heard from a friend that the organization I had been considering had a few problems behind the scenes, so I lost a lot of my passion for finding a good trip. Jacob and I started dating in October, and a few weeks into our relationship we discussed the possibility of going on an extended mission trip together. He had a heart for South America, but I was hesitant. I had been to Honduras and Ecuador already, and I wanted adventure. I wanted to experience something new that I had never seen before, and I didn’t want to be held back by my boyfriend. I remember praying the night after we talked, “God, if you want me to go with Jacob to South America, fine. But you’re going to have to be loud and clear.” A few weeks later, I was remembering Ecuador with my best friend, and my heart felt very heavy. I knew South America was the new destination, so Jacob and I began to discuss more specific countries. During this time, a young couple from my youth group, named Allie and Andrew, announced that they were going to Brazil. I couldn’t get the country out of my head, so I resolved to join them.
I (Jacob) heard my call a little differently than Hannah. I have always been a music lover and have loved playing music for others. I felt like God wanted me to do something with this passion, but I never knew what that something was, until I found out about an organization that equips Christian musicians in foreign countries and uses music as a way of spreading the Gospel through the missionaries that they have equipped. My genuine reaction was, “What? This is a real thing?” It was like God told me what he wanted me to do for His Kingdom: be a missionary by spreading His love and truth through the musical abilities that He’s given me. I have had a heart for South America since my trip to Ecuador, and I specifically felt God tugging my heart to the people of Brazil. When Hannah and I had talked about going on the trip together, we couldn’t decide on a place until God revealed to both of us that Brazil was His destination for us. It was just a complete tidal wave of certainty and assurance that this was the place that God had been waiting to show me for a long time.
The city that we will be living in is called Curitiba. It is in Southeast Brazil and is home to almost two million people. The city suffers from extreme poverty that has been covered up by some good environmental initiatives and infrastructure improvements. From the outside, the living conditions look relatively decent, but low incomes and literacy rates keep the people living there from rising out of poverty.
We have been given an opportunity to invest in the community in Curitiba through a couple of organizations. The first, called Lionsraw, is a strictly soccer based organization that works with kids. Through Lionsraw, we will be playing lots of soccer and teaching English as a second language in schools in the area. Both of these things open doors for our team of five (the two of us, Allie, Andrew, and Thad, our leader) to build relationships with kids, parents, and teachers. Another organization is called Samaritan’s Feet, and they have a global mission to give every person in the world a pair of shoes. They also wash people’s feet in order to share about Jesus and his love. In addition to working with these organizations, we plan to start a house church that will meet once or twice a week. This involves the five of us inviting the people we meet, getting to know each other, preaching from the Bible, and worshipping together. Those who attend are free to branch off and start their own house churches. This is a major way that the Gospel can continue to spread in Curitiba(or further) after we leave.
At first, we will only stay from the beginning of August until Christmas. We will come back home through most of January and February because during this time, it will be summer vacation in Brazil, and we won’t have any projects scheduled. We plan to fly back after these two months and stay through July of 2016.
Financially, we need to raise about $12,000 for the first five months. $8,640 of this is paid directly to Lionsraw Brazil to pay for our housing, food, insurance, and travel expenses while we’re there. Our goal is to raise this by May 1st, but it isn't required at that time because we pay by the month. Round trip flights generally cost a little less than $2,000 each. Any money that we raise that exceeds these expenses can be used for further mission work. For example, we could buy dinner for a family in need or help sponsor a soccer event for the kids. Or buy ourselves deodorant because no one will listen to us talk about God if we smell.
-Jacob and Hannah
If you have any further questions please contact Jacob at (770) 378-9098 or Hannah at (770) 315-1741
Thanks so much!