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True Happiness in Dark Days

Many churches in Brazil teach non-biblical beliefs such as prosperity theology. Pastor Hernandes Dias Lopes tries to use his widespread influence on social media and in Brazilian churches to rebut those teachings.

More than 30 years ago, Jessie stood in her wedding dress, exchanging vows with her beloved Martin at an evangelical church. It marked the beginning of a journey filled with unexpected twists and important faith discoveries—a journey in which the Christian Reformed Church has played an important role.

Jessie grew up in the Roman Catholic tradition, but her faith in God and her understanding of Scripture were limited—as is often the case for many people in Brazil today.

"Many Brazilians say that the Catholic church feels like an institution rather than a community," said Pastor Hernandes Dias Lopes, ReFrame Ministries’ Portuguese ministry leader. Lopes is also the author of June 2024’s Today devotional series, “True Happiness.”

In general, many Brazilians who consider themselves Catholic have very little to do with the church. They attend Mass on major church holidays but otherwise think very little about their faith or beliefs.

When Jessie married Martin, her apathetic faith began to change. Her husband and his family helped her see that church and faith could offer her more.

In the Presbyterian Church in Brazil, Jessie “found her spiritual identity, professing her faith and building a blessed family,” Lopes said.

Through the church Jessie had easy access to the programs offered by Luz Para o Caminho (Light for the Path), the shared media ministry of the Presbyterian Church in Brazil and ReFrame Ministries. It is made possible by support from Christian Reformed congregations and individuals.

Over the years, Jessie and Martin listened to the programs, first on the radio and more recently online. Lopes offered Jessie answers to some of her most challenging questions about the Christian faith.

In 2023, Luz Para o Caminho became a lifeline when Jessie and Martin needed it most. Each had received a cancer diagnosis.

As the couple navigated health and financial challenges of three combined surgeries and 12 combined months of radiation treatments, they often found themselves exhausted and unable to attend church. Yet they knew they had somewhere to turn.

“I always follow your sermons on YouTube, and I am grateful that you bring the Word of God to so many places,” Jessie said. “Your videos gave me strength, increased my faith, and gave me joy and hope in the most difficult time of our lives!”

“By God's mercy,” Jessie recently shared, both she and Martin are in remission.

“Their testimonies stand as a testament to God’s unwavering love, his healing touch, and his ever-present grace," Lopes said.

Listeners to ReFrame’s Portuguese media ministry and the other language ministries reaching almost every country are thankful for the prayers and support of CRC members.

“I have no words to express my gratitude to God and gratitude for your videos,” Jessie said. “I can’t imagine people, countries, or places that don't have access to God’s Word.”

On June 26, readers can join a special online event to hear more about how God is working in ReFrame’s Portuguese-language ministry. Visit to sign up for the live event or to receive the recording.

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