Taking Christ’s Love to the Streets

Born into a Christian home in São Paulo, Brazil, Leandro was not very interested in religion. Until about a year ago, he said, when God “took me by the arms and transformed me.”

The 22-year-old student at Botucatu Medical School in São Paulo had heard many messages preached by Back to God Ministries International Portuguese leader Rev. Hernandes Lopes. One message on revival especially touched Leandro at his core. “My soul cried out for the presence of God,” Leandro said.

Leandro and several other young people told Lopes, “We cannot hear a message like that and continue to live the same way. We must come to the Lord with our all hearts today.”

Lopes prayed with the young people. “There were abundant tears,” recalls Lopes. “The young people decided to fast and pray, looking for a revival.”

Leandro became a leader of young people in his church. God led this group to go to the streets to share the gospel in the city squares—to areas of prostitution and drug sales—regions usually forgotten by the church.

“It’s beautiful to see how the Spirit of God leads us to these places, to these people. God has challenged us to love these people through a cup of hot soup on a cold night or a hug, a prayer, a song we sing.”

Leandro’s group has seen many people surrender to the power of Jesus Christ. That, he said, creates more love and more passion for his work.

Saving Gustav
One night, God led Leandro’s group to a place where they found 20-year-old Gustav.

“He was sitting in the square in torment,” Leandro recalls. “It was 11:30 p.m. We asked permission to love him. Gustav was startled, but he allowed us to sing a praise song.”

Gustav started crying, and Leandro prayed with him. “God's presence was extremely strong over us,” he said. “Gustav gave his life to Christ. He told us later that he had left home with the intention of taking his life that very night. But the love of God flooded his life.”

Leandro’s group discipled Gustav in the Christian faith and participated in his baptism a few weeks later.

“Our prayer is that young people everywhere may take their position as ambassadors of the kingdom,” said Leandro. “We pray they would be willing to give their lives for love of Jesus, to look around them and manifest the kingdom of God in our cities and neighborhoods, to awaken the Church to leave its four walls.”

Pray for this group of young people in São Paulo. Pray that God will keep them strong in their commitment to walk in the ways of the Lord.

And pray that God will continue to use the Portuguese outreach of Back to God Ministries International to bring a true revival in Brazil, starting with the committed enthusiasm of young people like these.

About the Author

Nancy Vander Meer is a staff writer with Back to God Ministries International in Grand Rapids, Mich.