Friday, February 3, 2012

Timeline of Brazilian Mission

1987 -- Three missionaries and their families arrive in Brazil. They were allowed to enter the country as missionaries because a small independent Lutheran congregation in Gravataí, RS, invited and sponsored them. The first year is spent learning the Portuguese language, settling in rented homes and beginning to understand the customs of the country.

1988-89 -- Visits are made to two other areas of Brazil where people have shown interest in the WELS. Two more missionaries accept calls to Brazil, making a work force of 5. One of the missionaries is sent to the city of Dourados, MS, to work with and through a family that has invited the WELS to this area.

1990 -- Work begins in Porto Alegre, RS, with a Christian Information Center. Congregational work is re-established in Gravataí, RS, after the first family with its independent church separates from the WELS.

1991 -- One missionary accepts a call stateside. For the time being he is not replaced. His position as field coordinator is handed to one of the other missionaries.

1993 -- Work begins in the city of São Paulo, SP, with the move of one of the missionaries from Gravataí, RS. A Christian Information Center is equipped and used for outreach, and an extensive mailing program is begun.

1994 -- Another missionary leaves Brazil to accept a stateside call. His position as field coordinator is given to one of the other missionaries.

1995 -- A new missionary, a seminary graduate, is sent to Brazil, and begins his training in Sâo Paulo, SP. The following year he moves to Gravataí, RS, to work in that city.

1997 -- Long distance mission work begins in the city of Várzea Grande, MT, through regular trips by the missionary in Dourados, MS.

2000 -- The missionary who worked mainly in Porto Alegre, RS, accepts a call stateside. The work in Porto Alegre, RS, is closed.

2002 -- An evangelist (finished pre-seminary training) is sent to Várzea Grande, MT, to work in this mission field.

2003 -- The work in São Paulo, SP, is closed for financial reasons. The missionary there is cut from the budget and accepts a call stateside. The coordinator jobs falls to another missionary. A new missionary is assigned from the seminary to work in the Gravataí, RS area.  A LATTE professor begins teaching trips to the seminary in Gravataí, RS.

2005 -- A program of full-time seminary training is begun in Gravataí, RS, with three students. One of those is the evangelist who had been working in Várzea Grande, MT. That mission area goes back to long-distance work by the missionary in Dourados, MS.

2006 -- A national church body is formed, with the name of Brazilian Lutheran Church (Igreja Luterana Brasileira).

2007 -- The first national pastor graduates and accepts a call to the Gravataí, RS, congregation.

2008 -- The national church holds its first convention in Dourados, MS.

2009 -- The missionary who is field coordinator and head of the seminary program accepts a call stateside, leaving one missionary in Gravatái, RS. The second seminary graduate is assigned to a new mission opening in Presidente Prudente, SP. The third student is assigned as a vicar in the Dourados, MS, congregation. 

2009 -- The WELS formally discontinues full support of the Brazilian mission, calling back the one remaining missionary. The missionary in Dourados has been serving as a self-supporting volunteer for several years already. The vicar in Dourados leaves the ministry program to go into another field of work. LATTE Professor is assigned as WELS Friendly Counselor to Brazil.

2010 -- The second biennial convention of the Brazilian Lutheran Church is held in Gravataí, RS.

2011 -- The first pastor's conference of the Brazilian Lutheran Church is held in Dourados, MS.

2011 -- Pastor's Conference

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