Need a cool idea for a service project? Head to the beach and hand out bottles of water along with TODAY devotionals!
Rev. Milton Ribeiro, pastor of Jardin de Oracao (Garden of Prayer) Church in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and a partner with The Back to God Hour Portuguese-language ministry, took his youth group to the crowded Gonzaga Beach. The teens carried cold water and 1,000 Portuguese CADA DIA (TODAY) daily devotional booklets.
“It was a very warm day, so people welcomed the cold water,” reports Ribeiro. The teens, who wore matching shirts identifying themselves as part of the church, were pleasantly surprised that only a handful of people refused the devotional booklets.
Ribeiro was grateful to observe many people actually reading the CADA DIA right there on the beach.
Tucked inside the front cover of each devotional was a picture of the church, with the address and worship schedule. The church, which also partners with The Back to God Hour in follow-up ministry, is a growing congregation, adding 50 new members through evangelism last year.
The teens were excited to be part of this project, Ribeiro said. “For me, the importance is motivating the teens in the work of the church.”
Their efforts were part of a nationwide outreach project. The Back to God Hour’s Portuguese-language ministry prints a special Christmas CADA DIA every year, which many people use in place of a Christmas card.
“The first page is blank so people can write a personal Christmas message to friends and neighbors,” explains Rev. Celsino Gama, The Back to God Hour’s Portuguese ministry leader. Churches and individuals distributed a half million CADA DIA booklets in 2006.
Ribeiro and his youth group plan to repeat the project. “Next time we bring water and offer the devotional booklet we’ll say, ‘Here is a little message about Jesus—the Water of Life!’”