Name: João Costa
Church: Igreja Vineyard Central was planted in 2013 with a current church size of 120.
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Network: Acts 29 Latin America
What are your biggest challenges in reaching your part of the city?
Rio de Janeiro is a very religious city, but the secular mindset has invaded the new generation in our city with full force. And this scenario is increasing due to the large number of churches that preach either a prosperity gospel or a legalistic gospel. So, our biggest challenge is to show the real Gospel despite people’s skepticism as we embrace the unchurched and non-believers and invite them into community.
What are some things you guys are celebrating as a church right now and how are you seeing God at work in and through your church?
We are celebrating the raising up of leaders in our church. Also, we are very excited to see new believers in our church and this next month we will baptize 8 more disciples of Jesus.
What are some ways that your church is impacting your city?
The members of our church are involved in variety of volunteer service opportunities in our community, but there are three main ways that we are focused on serving our city together as a church:
1. We host a monthly music concert in a big public square close to our church building.
2. We partner with a local food bank that serves homeless people living on the streets in our neighborhood.
3. We engage in a weekly tutoring program in a slum [favela] called Morro da Providencia. Members of our church —teachers and artists— volunteer to help kids from this impoverished neighborhood with their school lessons. It’s a wonderful way to help those children work towards a better future and it is an open door for us to share the Gospel with their families.
Where do you hope to see things in Brazil in 10 years?
I hope to see many gospel-centered churches planted in each of the 10 major cities in Brazil. I would also love to see a Seminary started to equip the next generation of leaders and church planters from our churches.
If you are interested in opportunities on how to partner with our Acts 29 US Southeast/Latin America Global Partnership, please contact Gabriel Forsyth.