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 firstname.lastname@example.org / 028 9032 2284.
The month of February has flown in really quickly and thankfully carnival is now over.
During the month of February, the ‘Reading in the Park’ was very encouraging and we now have a group of children and pre-teens who are very eager to listen to the story time. They particularly look forward to getting a free book/booklet to take home with them which is linked to the Storytime. Some of the parents have come to thank us for the books and are showing a real interest. The sticker album book of heroes from the Bible has proved the best so far as apparently everyone was swapping stickers for the next couple of weeks trying to complete their albums.
The evangelism training sessions with the members of Beberibe congregation are encouraging and the group are enjoying sharing and learning together.
Beberibe’s street evangelism event is on the 31st March in which we hope to use John chapter 3:14-16 as our main theme; “just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Pray that as we compare the bronze snake being ‘lifted up’ with Jesus being ‘lifted up’ on the cross the Holy Spirit will open the eyes of many who listen to see and know the real meaning of Easter.
We hope to use the M&Ms once again to share the Good News of the meaning of Easter.
A ‘Family Day out’ for those linked to the GoodNews Club in Peixinhos is planned for 11th March.
The Good News Club children and teenagers hope to visit their ‘adopted’ grannies and grandads towards the end of March and lots of preparations are being made for the street evangelism presentation at Easter.
- Give thanks for the various training events and for the enthusiasm to learn. Pray that those who attend will be given wisdom and courage to boldly share the Good News of Jesus with others whom they meet and that others in the congregation will also be given this enthusiasm.
- Pray for the various evangelistic events planned for Easter.
- Pray for the ‘Family Day’ organised for 11th March particularly for safety.
- Continue to pray that the various ‘Fishing’ strategies including the ‘Reading the Park’, ‘Reading Room’ and ‘Good News Club’, both in Beberibe and Peixinhos will be used by God to‘catch fish’.
Caixa Postal 73
AC Central Recife
Avenida Guararapes 250
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