Currently playing on many Christian radio stations is a popular Bethel Music song entitled, “Glory to Glory”, whose refrain goes like this:
We go from glory to glory to glory,
We’ll never be the same, we’ll never be the same,
We go from glory to glory to glory,
We’re forever changed, forever changed.
Those lyrics accurately capture the spirit of the September 2018 Brazil mission trip. They unquestionably describe the hopes of many of us as we initially embarked upon this trip. No matter how close we now feel to God, deep within each heart is a longing to draw ever closer, to encounter Him at such a profoundly impactful level that it permeates our very being, drawing us even closer and at the same time drawing others to Him because His light shines so appealingly in us.
We arrived in São Paulo Friday morning, September 21 – 107 team members from eight different countries: Austria, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and from more than 20 states in the USA. While many team members had enjoyed previous mission trips with Global Awakening, well over half of us were first-timers. Regardless of our previous participation status, our level of excitement and anticipation for the upcoming days was extraordinarily high. And as it turned out, none of us were disappointed. In fact, I do not believe it would be an exaggeration to say our expectations were not only met, but greatly exceeded. Over the next eleven days, we held multiple services, morning and evening, in three different cities at six different churches. Some of the churches were smaller and could only accommodate one busload of the mission team members without overwhelmingly outnumbering the congregation, while other larger churches easily accommodated all three busloads.
- Immediately after gathering in São Paulo from all over the world, we traveled 3 ½ hours to the city of Bauru, ministering there from Saturday through Monday at the following churches: Mensagem Amor de Deus, Pienadoracao, and Avivamento Pleno.
- From Tuesday through Thursday, we stayed in the city of Aracatuba and ministered at two different churches: Ministerio Christo and PIB Aracatuba.
- Finally, from Friday through Sunday, we stayed in Sao Jose do Rio Preto where all team members ministered at one church, Quadrangular SJRP, for morning and evening services. One of these services included a powerful time of ministry and impartation to over 60 pastors of different denominations from all over the city.
We were blessed to have an incredibly talented Brazilian worship group, Pier 49 Band, for each of our major services. While most of the singing was in Portuguese, they honored us by occasionally singing in English. Regardless of the language or lack of ability to literally translate lyrics, the songs carried a powerful anointing that transcended any dialect and ushered us right into the presence of God.
After praise and worship, we were taught by one of the highly gifted and inspiring Global Awakening leaders (Randy, Tom, Steve, Kim, and Blaine) on such topics as Removing The Ceiling to Healing, How to Live a Supernatural Life, How to Sustain Revival, The 5-Step Prayer Model for Healing, Ways to Receive a Word of Knowledge, and many more. During each anointed teaching, the leaders generously shared the sometimes poignant, sometimes humorous, always faith-building healing experiences he had personally witnessed and participated in. The church members and their invited guests, having participated in the uplifting praise and worship and after being taught about our faithful and compassionate Savior whose will is to heal, were always by this point in the service cloaked in an atmosphere of elevated expectation and soaring faith. And they were never disappointed! At the end of every service – EVERY service – we witnessed God’s miraculous healing power as people with all types of sicknesses and conditions came forward for prayer.
Below is a summary of the healing statistics as witnessed by our team members during the trip. But realize that these statistics, while impressive by any standard, cannot begin to convey what the team members observed as we stepped far beyond our normal comfort zone and prayed for the healing of one individual at a time. We witnessed awe and initial disbelief in their eyes as conditions they had suffered from, often for many years, abruptly disappeared. We saw preliminary hesitancy to test for the ability to do things they had previously been unable to do or unable to do without tremendous pain; then came wild excitement and exaggerated use of the affected area upon realization that God had completely healed them. We observed tears and a wide range of emotions, gratitude and praise to God, expressions of affection and thankfulness to us, radiant smiles and gratitude from family members who had suffered alongside their hurting loved ones. While none of these results can be adequately depicted by the data which follows, we nonetheless present it in order to give honor and glory to God for His goodness, for His faithfulness to His word, for His lovingkindness.
- Attendance: 14,800
- Physical Healings: 1625
- “Blasted” under the power of the Holy Spirit: 1710
- Sovereign Healings (multiple conditions): 654
- Emotional healings & Deliverances: 601
- Salvations: 61
- Re-dedications: 17
- Blind Healings: 19
- Deaf Ears Opened: 27
- Tumors Disappear: 15
- Lame walking: 3
- Metal Miracles: 19
Beyond the actual services themselves, we were all deeply touched by the openness, kindness, and loving spirits of the people at the Brazilian churches. The tremendous warmth of their first greetings (multiple embraces and heartfelt words of welcome) never let up for the duration of our visit. Some churches thoughtfully provided delicious Brazilian snacks, some full meals, and others graciously picked up the restaurant tab for our huge team! One of the larger churches displayed huge welcome signs and had church members with beaming, smiling faces line both sides of the long church entrance, cheering and applauding as we all walked through. We were totally overwhelmed and genuinely humbled by such thoughtfulness, such graciousness.
Prior to the trip, most of us had taken time to learn a few Portuguese words and phrases to better communicate with the Brazilians. But just before leaving Brazil I, quite by chance, learned a new word that should be known and understood by every team member. The word is saudade, pronounced [Saw DAH dee]. The Brazilian who taught it to me said it does not have a one-word English translation, but refers to something you’re longing for, yearning for, or even aching for, something you’re missing intensely. I sincerely believe that every team member will experience saudade for our time in Brazil. The fact is, we simply cannot escape thinking about or even yearning for those eleven glorious days. For this was no ordinary excursion, no average venture, nor even a routine mission trip. As the lyrics from Glory to Glory declare, we are forever changed by the loving people of Brazil, forever changed by the impartation services conducted by the Global leadership team, forever changed by seeing the hand of God miraculously move to heal before our very eyes, forever changed by the experience of partnering with God to let His healing touch flow through us, forever changed by the relationships formed and deepened with mission team members. No, we are not the same people we were when we entered Brazil eleven days prior. We know beyond all doubt that we’ll never be the same, never be the same…
“For we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory. “ – 2 Cor 3:18 [NASB]