God found trash but made it a treasure!

God found trash but made it a treasure!

Canadian Team

It was a very special day as our boat headed to Boca do Aritapera with our visiting team from Canada and Brazilian health professionals and local volunteers. Prepared for the heat, dust, and whatever challenges we would face, we looked forward to supporting the church planting effort by providing health and dental care, children’s activities, evangelism and special meetings for the local women as well as helping to build a new church building. We were once again witnessing the power of God to change lives in this community through the persistence and endurance of people like the local leader, Aldo. He relates:

“I had been addicted to alcohol and drugs since my youth. I provoked people and ended up in physical fights many times. My family suffered as I failed to provide basic provisions and they lived in a state of tension because of my hostile nature. Then one day I got into a fight and was stabbed. I went into a coma for 15 days while God showed me hell, heaven, and the Earth and what He is planning to do. Then God miraculously brought me out of the coma. My wife and I gave our hearts to the Lord but it took years before I had complete victory over my addictions. I tell people, ‘God found trash but made something luxurious from it’! Our four children also received Christ at a young age. As I grew in the Lord my heart burned to let everyone know the saving grace I had experienced and, together with my whole family, we evangelized our neighboring communities.”

2 of Their Kids, Aldo and wife.

Aldo and his wife are now leaders of three churches and are reaching out in four additional communities building up the body of believers and training leaders through discipleship and cell group meetings.

Two months later we returned for the festive dedication of the new church building. Boatloads of people arrived from surrounding communities to celebrate with a huge fish fry and then “packed the house” for a memorable night. They heard the exciting history of the PAZ Church, a challenging word, and then all thanked God for bringing light into the darkness of this community!

Thanks for blessing PAZ with your faithful giving to this ministry. This story is being repeated time and time again across the Amazon! We are seeing the multiplied return as people like Aldo have their lives transformed and pay the price to reach other communities with the Gospel. Your financial contributions, as well as visiting teams, help us come alongside these workers with assistance that accelerates the outreach, building new churches, providing boats and other transportation, etc.

As we celebrate Christmas—God giving us His most precious Gift, Jesus, may we give Him our best in 2019!

Merry Christmas! We love you!

Viktoria Fulop—for the PAZ Team Guest House Coordinator

“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat…”

“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat…”

Dear PAZ Friends and Family,

As I talked with Pastor Lima by phone, we cried together as he shared the desperate situation of the thousands of people fleeing from Venezuela seeking refuge in his northern Brazilian city of Boa Vista. Some have walked up to 220km (137 mi.) to get there, with many arriving sick and malnourished, bringing only what they can carry on their backs.

Shelters provided by the UN and the military are full with thousands living wherever there is space—bus stations, open squares, etc. It is heart breaking to see women and children living in vacant lots with little food and minimal protection from the elements with the rainy season approaching. People scrounge through the trash for something to eat—and that is on the Brazil side of the border. In Venezuela, where the situation is worse, people are paying high prices for spoiled meat when it is available. Basic necessities are more and more scarce. Crime is on the rise as people struggle to cope.

Our Boa Vista church is reaching out to the Venezuelans in the city with meals and financial assistance for lodging and medical assistance. The setting provides the opportunity to show the love of Christ meeting both spiritual and physical needs. Besides a weekly Spanish service with free Sunday morning breakfast, the church is also sending truckloads of food and supplies to the PAZ church they planted in Maturim, Venezuela for distribution. You can imagine how dangerous it is to drive a truckload of food through a nation that’s going hungry! But God has given us favor in the fact that the former Venezuelan consul to Brazil, a strong Christian, is the president of our church in Maturim. Because of his credentials as a former military leader, he has favor with the government which has facilitated the process of getting supplies into the country.

The needs of the Venezuelans has put a financial strain on the church as it reaches out to help. We would like to bless the churches in Boa Vista and Maturim with this outreach. Would you prayerfully consider sending a special donation this month to help with the suffering people of Venezuela?

As Jesus said, “For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me. …Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”
(Mt 25:35-36, 40)

Thank you so much for your help with this special need!

For the PAZ team,

Jeff & Becky Hrubik

An Open Door to Hearts in Japan: A Choose Life and Coffee House Update

An Open Door to Hearts in Japan: A Choose Life and Coffee House Update

When you think of church, what comes to your mind? Depending on your upbringing, background and current situation, many things positive or perhaps even negative come to mind. Ask a Japanese person what they think, and they aren’t sure. Church does not fit into their cultural vocabulary, so the easiest thing to do is just ignore it. And that’s what most Japanese people do. Even when invited to a church, they are hesitant to come. Unfortunately, the church in Japan has not done much to help get past this stigma.

When praying about how to make the church relevant in Japan, God gave our missionary team a two-fold strategy to target the felt need in Japan: depression, loneliness, isolation and suicide. For the last two years our team has been working hard to develop this strategy, and everything from the way we do church and ministry to the very place that we rented for our church has come into line with this vision.

The first major area we developed was Choose Life, an online suicide prevention system that allows people to message in and talk to someone. We created a whole course in 3 languages (Japanese, English and Portuguese) to train church laypeople to be able converse with a suicidal person and offer them the hope of Jesus Christ — our Living Hope. Our first training graduated over 30 people ready to work the messaging system. As of August 1, the system has been up and running, gaining steam. Many people have already used it, connecting with church people and receiving the love of God.

The second major area, and perhaps and even greater stride towards changing the social mentality of church in Japan, is the opening of our very own Paz Coffee Shop. Developed by our team of missionaries with our coffee expert John Eisenmann leading the charge, we researched how to pull off a great coffee shop that people would love to come into, buy coffee and sit and chat and enjoy the atmosphere. The coffee shop would function during the week and then on Sundays would close to host the meeting of our Paz Church. Also the Coffee Shop would make money, pay the rent, provide good jobs and establish credibility as a legitimate business, opening the way for quick future expansion to new locations. Each new location would be a multiplication of our church as well as our business. With this model, if we multiply a church of 100 people every 3 years, we can reach all of Japan by 2050!

Paz Coffee Shop Grand Opening
On Saturday, September 15 at 2:00 pm we opened the doors of Paz Coffee Shop for business and invited everyone. People came in right off the street — thoroughly enjoying the Coffee Shop so much that many came back the next day for church as first time visitors. What a huge success! Watch the film below for some quick highlights from the Grand Opening.

In the weeks following the Grand Opening, we have seen a large influx of new people with a good number of people returning a second and third time. While we still have a lot to learn and adjust, we can already see that our big challenge now will be connecting people to the church. But even if we connect only one person a week to the church, our churches will multiply not just every 3 years, but every year! God is giving us Japan and we praise Him for it. And we thank you for your heart-felt prayers and support. Together we CAN win Japan for Jesus. By God’s grace we WILL win Japan for JESUS!

Choose Life

Choose Life

How do you reach a land with the love of God when less than 1% is Christian? How do you reach a land that is affluent, not needing social assistance like most other countries? This has been the cry of our prayers ever since launching churches in Japan, and over the last couple of years God has shown us very clearly the need of the Japanese. If we meet the need, they will find the love of the Savior.

Will you help us meet the need in Japan? We have the right people in place. We have many volunteers finishing their training. We have found our first coffee shop/church location and rented it.

We have already raised $25,000 of our $200,000 goal and now we need your help to raise the remaining $175,000 necessary to turn this incredible ministry opportunity into a reality. We believe that this will make the difference for the church in Japan to reach and transform more people than ever before with the love of Jesus.

EMPOWER – PAZ Conference 2018

EMPOWER – PAZ Conference 2018

Coming soon the great EMPOWER – PAZ Conference!  Empower, is an English word meaning to give power.

An annual conference for all leaders and members of the PAZ churches with the purpose of empowering them to fulfill the mission of making disciples of the Nations and implanting the Kingdom of God, primarily through the planting of new churches.

The event will be September 20-23, 2018.  September 20th (morning) and 21st (evening) are programs reserved for ordained PAZ pastors; and on the 21st (after 2pm), 22nd (all day) and 23rd (morning) are programs for all the PAZ family and guests.

The conference this year will be held at Estância Árvore da Vida, Sumaré/SP. Estância is renowned for its vast green campus with a great variety of trees, lakes, kiosks, walking trails, etc.

We will have the illustrious presence of two north-American pastors Craig Terndrup and Charley Elliott (Gateway Church, USA) and our precious leaders Jeff Hrubik and Abe Huber.  We also will have national pastors Paulo Mazoni (Igreja Batista Central, Belo Horizonte) and Joel Cardoso (Igreja Metodista Renovada).  We will also many other precious pastors from our pastoral team.

The praise and worship will be led by the PAZ São Paulo ministry team.

By the grace of God, we believe this conference will mark your life forever.  They will be days in which the Lord will bring growth, wisdom and anointing over your life and ministry.

Sign up and more information at: www.pazempower.com

Jeff & Becky Hrubik
Presidents of Mission PAZ