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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Brazil and Israel's Union

In 2011 Maoz Israel founders Ari and Shira-Sorko-Ram traveled to Brazil. For years Maoz has had an office in Brazil and has published a newsletter in Portuguese, but this was the first time Ari and Shira went on a speaking and teaching tour of Brazil, to share about what God is doing in Israel today.

In this video you'll see some of the highlights of their trip, and hear about the exciting revival happening in Brazil today!


We have just spent two weeks in Brazil.
Our purpose was two-fold as it always is when we travel outside of Israel. We were there to educate Christians concerning God’s plan for Israel in these last days.
Secondly, we were there to encourage God’s people to be actively involved with Israel’s salvation – through prayer, sharing this knowledge and giving.
So it was with these expectations we set out for Brazil.
From the plane we could see the rich countryside – thousands of square miles of the finest agriculture. We knew Brazil is a power to be reckoned with, but we were amazed at just how prosperous the nation has become – everywhere we went.
But as we talked to the Brazilian pastors, we were even more amazed.
We were told that some 20 years ago, there were about 10,000,000 Evangelicals in that nation. Today there are more than 40,000,000 believers! In a nation of 180,000,000 people, that is over 20% of all Brazilians.
There are estimates that in another 20 years that figure could actually reach 50%!
0511 - Lagoinha Church, Brazil
The Lagoinha Church in Belo Horizonte is one of the largest in Brazil with over 45,000 members
with multiple services. Ari spoke in their Sunday evening service.
Everywhere we went, the leaders were hungry, the people on fire. Brazil is definitely in revival mode. Wherever we went in whatever city, churches were everywhere.
It is not at all surprising then that economically the nation is also booming. Where the Church grows, the people prosper. No two ways about it.
The economy of Brazil is now the world’s seventh largest economy and one of the fastest growing in the world.
Yes, the government is very left wing and very much against Israel. Brazil has been one of the first to recognize Palestine as a new state.
But the Evangelicals have a growing opportunity to change this – if they are discipled to understand the Word of God concerning Israel.
One pastor told us that some Brazilian Jewish businessmen had sought him out and told him that in this nation of anti-Israel politics it is plain to see that the Evangelicals stand out as a bright light with their foundational belief in the Bible.
They are therefore more prone to stand by Israel in her struggle to exist even though the world is becoming more and more hostile towards her.
0511 - Eva 0511 - Julio
Left: Eva Ratz, Israeli-Brazilian, has been with Maoz 14 years. She is head of the children’s department at Congregation Tiferet Yeshua in Tel Aviv and our Israel-Brazil coordinator. Right: Pastor Julio Otani, who has served as Brazil administrator for 10 years, lives in the large city of Curitiba. He introduces the Maoz vision and ministry to Brazilian pastors and publishes the Maoz Israel Report in Portuguese.
In contrast, we thought about the United States with her ever-growing anti-Israel stand and her moral decline.
If the Church as a whole does not take hold of the horns of the altar and plead for revival in the U.S., the economic deterioration will likely continue.
The Church in Brazil is young – and yes, many sectors of the Church have limited understanding about Israel and the existential challenges she faces.
Because of Brazil’s Catholic history, there is not always a lot of knowledge about what the Bible says concerning Israel as we approach these last days. (See Romans 11)
But that is all the more reason we were honored to be invited by many Brazilian pastors and churches which gave us the opportunity to present “the case for Israel according to the Bible,” and to show what Maoz Ministries is doing to bring the message of salvation to our Israeli people.
We found pastors hungry to understand the Word of God on this subject. We had opportunity to speak to several hundred pastors and thousands of people in the churches.
Ari spoke in one  of the largest churches in Brazil with a membership of 45,000 in the city of Belo Horizonte. The leadership immediately asked him to stay and speak at a pastor’s conference the following day. However, we had meetings scheduled the next day in another city.
0511 - Belo Horizonte
The metropolitan area of Belo Horizonte has over five million people.
The city is full of many hundreds of evangelical churches.
Because the Church is young there, it is important to get Biblical truth to the people before heresies such as replacement theology move in through anti-Semitic or just plain ignorant voices.
God has given us leaders in that land who have opened many doors to Maoz Ministries. In all we spoke 25 times in those two weeks.
Julio Otani has done an amazing job directing our Brazil office. God has given us a man who is totally sold out to his calling – to reach  his people with the Good News and the blessing waiting those who bring salvation to Israel: “I will bless those who bless Israel.”

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