One Tenth of One Percent
Most of us do not do nearly enough to reach the millions in the cities. This report is about a group of believers trying to reach the masses in Brazil.
February 27, 2010
Every passing day seems to bring some new disastrous tale—earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes and more. No area seems to be exempt; around the world populous cities are being hit harder and harder. Although we become somewhat desensitized if it does not directly affect us, every calamity brings hurt, heartbreak and death to untold multitudes, and even more significantly it sweeps thousands into eternity—unprepared. While we see the multiplying disasters, all these are just “the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:8. “The time is near when large cities will be swept away, and all should be warned of these coming judgments. But who is giving to the accomplishment of this work the wholehearted service that God requires?” Evangelism, 29. Not only will these disasters multiply, but entire cities will be swept away—we can hardly imagine it. The question comes to us, what are we doing? “At the present time there is not a thousandth part being done in working the cities, that should be done, and that would be done if men and women would do their whole duty.” The work that we are doing is not even one-tenth of a percent! May the Lord help us to rectify this problem. “Ministers of God’s appointment will find it necessary to put forth extraordinary efforts in order to arrest the attention of the multitudes. And when they succeed in bringing together a large number of people they must bear messages of a character so out of the usual order that the people will be aroused and warned. They must make use of every means that can possibly be devised for causing the truth to stand out clearly and distinctly. The testing message for this time is to be borne so plainly and decidedly as to startle the hearers and lead them to desire to study the Scriptures.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 109.
One group of believers who is putting forth “extraordinary efforts” to reach the burgeoning masses in the largest city of the southern hemisphere is Alexandre Bernardes and team. São Paulo ranks as one of the largest cities in the world and is definitely the largest in both South American and the entire southern hemisphere. It, like other large cities, is only being preserved by the mercy of God holding back the four winds until we arise to do our appointed work—more than one-tenth of one percent. For nearly two years Alexandre, Olimpia and the others have been proclaiming the message of truth over the airwaves of one of the largest Protestant radio stations in this metroplex of twenty million. As a result of their faithful efforts, many are hearing and receiving the message of truth for this time.
Several months ago, I had the opportunity of seeing firsthand how the Lord is blessing the work of this faithful team. Being in Brazil for a campmeeting and week of prayer in other locations, I ended the journey by spending a week in São Paulo. working with the radio team and contacts. It was a full week, but one that showed how the Lord is seeking to warn the crowded inhabitants of the cities before it is forever too late. From the airport, we went directly to the radio station to share a message of truth over the airwaves. After the radio program was over, it was out in search of the lost sheep of Israel. During the week, each day was spent in house-to-house visitation of interested listeners from the radio program. With an estimated forty thousand listeners at any given time, this provides for lots of contacts. It was absolutely impossible to attempt to visit all who were interested, so we had to spend our time visiting those who had manifested the most interest. While we attempted to visit those who were close in proximity, the vastness of the city overwhelmed us and many hours were spent in negotiating traffic, trying to untangle the twisted directions and finally to find a dear soul who is searching for truth, but still has questions.
One dedicated man had heard the radio program and responded to come to some of the Bible classes. Like most of the other
listeners his background was in Pentecostalism. He began to study further with fellow believers and became convinced that he had to leave his upbeat church to worship in an obedient church. As we visited in his little abode, it became a several hour Bible study. He still had questions on the gift of prophecy in the last days, and so we showed the Biblical importance of a last-day prophet. It turned out to be a blessing because one of the men who accompanied us (a listener who helps out in the radio work now) was also having questions on that very topic. One Bible study, but two families were reached.
Another man that we visited has been a Seventh-day Adventist and even a leader in his church for several years, now, but his first contact with the present truth message was through the radio. He had been a Pentecostal and had gone into business with another Seventh-day Adventist businessman. Together they opened a radio station and began airing Christian programs. It was a problem because they both had to allow each other to air their particular programs, so it was a half-Pentecostal, half-SDA radio station. The Pentecostals complained to this man who decided to buy the other half of the business from the Seventh-day Adventist man, then he would be able to control all of the programming. After he became the complete owner, he started removing the Adventist radio programs one by one. His Pentecostal friends still complained that there were too many Adventist programs. He finally agreed to expunge all present truth from the radio. The last Seventh-day Adventist radio program was the one hosted by Alexandre. As he was just about ready to remove his program, he heard a program that really interested him—why are there so many denominations. As he listened his heart began to be convicted and he decided to allow the program to stay on the air, but more than that he would become a closet listener to the program. After awhile, he enjoyed the teachings so much that he moved the program to a better spot. As his Pentecostal friends came and complained that he had not only not removed the program but moved it to a better location, he made his decision that he was going to become not just a closet listener to the program but was going to unite with those that he had determined to rid from his station. After studying further, he was baptized and has become a faithful believer and missionary for the truth. His radio station has closed, but his heart has opened to the final warning and now he actively shares the message he once persecuted.
Hundreds of other stories could be told of those who have come into contact with the message of truth for this time through the airwaves and how it has changed their lives. The evangelistic work of the radio program has greatly expanded during the past year and fruit is being seen from the efforts put forth. Every month they invite the listeners to come to a four-hour evangelistic message on various topics. They have also started special prophecy classes for the listeners in different parts of the city and people are responding and making decisions for baptism. They held a stop smoking clinic with an eighty-percent plus effective rate. CDs from the radio program are being sent out each week. Every two weeks they organize a major literature distribution near one of the subway stations of the city. A Bible worker is making visits and conducting Bible studies with those who are interested. Several months ago they expanded their efforts to have a presence on the internet with a website supporting their radio work. The work is going forward and thousands in the populous city are hearing the message of truth. Please pray that the Lord will bless the efforts of these faithful workers. They have many more plans and desire to do all that they can to warn their city before it is swept away. May we each be inspired to raise the standard higher and determine to do more than just one-tenth of one percent.
By Cody Francis. Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058. Phone: 800-467-4147. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.missionspro.org