Naomi lives in Recife/Olinda in north-eastern Brazil. Naomi is involved in church-based and Bible-based community development and evangelistic outreach. Naomi is working with the Presbyterian Church of Brazil. Since the start of 2012, Naomi has been working alongside the Peixinhos congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Brazil (IPB) and more recently with the IPB congregation of Beberibe.
Naomi is involved in empowering the local church to start to question what it is that God has called them to do amongst their communities in sharing the Good News of Jesus. Encouraging, training and facilitating them in this process of beginning to think for themselves and prayerfully work out what God has called them to do together, is not only challenging, but is also a long-term process. She is also involved in the production of contextualised, evangelistic and discipleship material particularly for illiterate and functionally illiterate families.
Naomi comments, “Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:27 addresses the local believers and describes them as follows, ‘Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.’ The work I am involved with in Brazil is very much based on the theology behind this verse. God has called and equipped the local believers with the specific task of bringing glory and honour to his name in both the building up of the local believers and in reaching out to the lost with the good news of Jesus. Hence it is the local believers who are the body, and it is God who has appointed each one with differing gifts. I offer training and specific teaching material designed for working alongside poor communities. I am not the one doing the outreach, setting up the programme or running the project, as I am not a body-part of the local church. I am not a member of the local body, but rather have been sent out to help the local body work better, particularly in relation to reaching out to the poor communities with the Good News of Jesus in a biblical, culturally and contextually appropriate form.”
Naomi’s work can be best summed up as church-based and Bible-based community development and evangelistic outreach with the local body parts being involved in various outreaches including; reading room activities, Coffee with God Bible studies, Good News Club activities, football evangelism, film days, family visits, street evangelism presentations, nursing home visits/evangelism, etc.
All the various strategies and activities have the purpose of equipping and encouraging the local congregations to be the witnesses in their communities that God in Acts 1:8 has commanded them to be. As Naomi comments “my prayer is that together we will continue to see children, young people and adults around us each day as Jesus Himself sees them “harassed and helpless without a shepherd”; “lost souls” for whom Jesus came “to seek and to save” and that we will have the same obedience to the “Heavenly Vision” as the apostle Paul.”
From 2005 to 2011, Naomi worked alongside the IPB congregation of Casa Caiada and local churches within the neighbourhood of Aguazinha, seeking to help these poor and marginalised people by sharing the gospel with them.
Before going to Brazil, Naomi was a Biology teacher at Hunterhouse College in Belfast. She spent two years (2000-02) as a volunteer in mission in the Valley of the Lord Orphanage in Recife, Brazil. She also has a Masters’ degree in Theology from Queens University Belfast (UTC) with specific emphasis on how best to work with children at risk in Brazil. Naomi´s home congregation is Sloan Street Presbyterian Church, Lisburn.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Naomi has continued to serve in Brazil which has been badly affected by the pandemic. She has adapted her work and witness to comply with local restrictions.
- Give praise to God for the hunger and enthusiasm to learn that is evident in the congregations where Naomi is involved in church-based and Bible-based community development and evangelistic outreach.
- Pray for patience, guidance and direction from God in all the training sessions with the various congregations.
- Pray that the actions and life of these congregations would truly be based on God’s Word and that many souls who are lost will be found.
- Pray too for good health and safety for Naomi.
Naomi has recorded two film clips (a short 3 minute clip and longer 15 minute clip) which can be downloaded and used in church services, prayer meetings or events to raise awareness and prayer for what God is doing across the world, as we seek to go deep and wide in global mission involvement. These are available from the Mission Department. Contact email@example.com / 028 9032 2284.
July / August 2022
The various evangelistic events or ‘Going Fishing’ events over the St John the Baptist period were all encouraging. The footballers in particular really enjoyed the activity of carrying a large heavy plastic bag and trying to run with it across the pitch. They listened really well when we shared with them how only the Lamb of God can take away our heavy burden of sin. Pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to work in the lives of these men who are so keen and open to hear from God’s Word before they start their football game.
The evaluation and reflection time by members of Beberibe congregation on their recent evangelistic event was also really encouraging. As the group grow together, discovering and sharing their gifts and talents, pray that they would continue in their enthusiasm to share the Good News of Jesus boldly with those they meet.
The Reading Room times with the children and teenagers in Peixinhos are going really well. When it is bucketing outside it is great to see the children sitting/lying in the Reading Room totally engrossed in their books.
A conversation recently with one of our teenagers who has just started coming to the Reading Room with Rosa was really encouraging. After sharing the events of Philip’s encounter with the Ethiopian Eunuch and the verse, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved”, the young girl proceeded to ask various questions ,“Was this for everyone?, Could anyone believe in Jesus?, Could anyone be saved?”
Rosa then had the wonderful experience of explaining what repenting and believing in Jesus meant to this young teenager.
At the end of May there was severe flooding in the Recife and Olinda area with many families losing their homes, belongings and over 120 people died during the severe rains. Thankfully most of the families we work with managed to put their belongings including fridges and cookers up on bricks in their houses to prevent water damage due to the floods. The local council also helped in donating food baskets and giving financial aid to those affected. Each of our volunteers together with other folks from the congregation donated spare blankets and sheets which they had in their house. Oranges were also handed out as many of the children were getting severe colds and flu due to everything being wet.
Two of the teenagers from the Good News Club are learning to play the guitar and we were all really encouraged and so thankful to God for answered prayer when one of the taxi men I had got to know during the pandemic, donated his daughter’s guitar which she wasn’t using anymore. He actually offered it to us on the day we were going to look at prices of guitars in the city centre – God’s timing is always perfect!
I am looking forward to meeting up with many of you during my deputation time in September – I am now fully booked.
- Give thanks for the various events over the St John the Baptist period and pray that God by his Holy Spirit would continue to speak to those who were present.
- Pray for the training in both evangelism and the Principles of Teaching in both Peixinhos and Beberibe.
- Pray for each of the children and teenagers of the Reading Room that God would draw them to himself and that they would come to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Pray for wisdom and guidance to the volunteers as they share with them what it means to be a Christian.
Caixa Postal 73
AC Central Recife
Avenida Guararapes 250
To download a printable PDF of this bulletin or for a previous bulletin visit the Mission Reports listing at the top or the Global Mission monthly bulletin archive.