In our Week of Prayer for International Missions, we are looking into the life situation of missionaries serving around the globe—today we are going to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Eric Reese is a missionary who serves in the slums of Rio. In 1992 I personally spent two months serving in one of the slums just outside Rio. The Favelas (slums) in Brazil are unlike anything you have ever seen in the United States, so any missionary who lives and serves in these areas is in need of our prayers. Here is Eric’s story from the IMB website:
It’s late at night and missionary Eric Reese can hear gunshots in the streets behind him. He’s heading home to his wife, Ramona, and two daughters, thanking God that he’s able to. Eric’s mission field, the urban poor of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is often a dangerous one. “In these communities, it’s an ugly evil you’ve got to deal with,” Eric says, “but you’ve just got to deal with it. We can’t stand here and just let these people shoot and kill each other without the Gospel being preached.”
A police officer from a church in Texas gave Eric a gift he still uses today—a bullet-proof vest. This isn’t a common tool for missionaries, but Eric and his family are thankful that someone cared enough to offer an extra measure of protection, especially during night ministry. “It’s important to note that I cannot use a bullet-proof jacket when ministering in slums run by drug dealers because they would see me as a snitch. In these settings, Jesus has been my covering,” Eric says.
When we give to Lottie Moon, we provide for expected needs of our missionaries, like homes, cars and medical needs. But Southern Baptists are also dedicated to providing extra measures of protection for those who are willing to risk it all for the sake of Christ.
If you would like to follow all of the testimonies from the International Mission Board you can click here.
If you would like to contribute to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering to help support missionaries all around the world, please send a check to: Living Oaks Baptist Church, 8855 East 91st Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 74133. Please write “Lottie Moon” on the memo line. One hundred percent of all the gifts we receive will go to help missionaries share the good news of Jesus.