Portuguese church partners with WELS to send a missionary in Brazil

Dear Friend,

Meet two friends of mine: Rev. Denício Godoy, and Rev. Dr. Artur Villares. One lives in South America, the other in Europe.

Denício is from a small town in Brazil with minimal Lutheran presence. Years ago he enrolled at a local seminary, but was troubled by the lack of clear Lutheran confession in that church body. He searched online hoping to find a confessional Lutheran voice in his native Portuguese. The Lord led him to Artur and our sister synod, the Lutheran Church of Portugal (ILP). Artur had answers for Denício’s questions. He told him about his treasured fellowship with WELS and the other churches of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference (CELC).

After Denício finished seminary, he declared himself to be one in faith with WELS and the ILP. He was received by colloquy into our fellowship, and on April 3, 2022, he was ordained and commissioned as the ILP’s missionary to Brazil. A European (ILP) and a North American (WELS) church partnered to send a missionary in South America! Probably nobody could have imagined this even a short time ago, but the Lord made it happen.

Denício will work to plant house churches in his Brazilian hometown and in the large city where he has moved with his family. And, God willing, this new ministry’s reach will be much broader than that. A trained media professional, Denício translates and shares WELS materials online. The plan is for a stepped-up web presence in Brazil where we can share devotions and confessional Lutheran materials, stream worship services, offer courses, link to other CELC churches and resources, and—most importantly—get in touch with people who want to hear more.

In Portugal, the ILP’s online ministry is constantly turning up people all over the world who want to hear the good news about Jesus in Portuguese, the world’s eighth most spoken language. Artur is currently working with several of them. Our prayer is that this new ministry in Brazil will broaden our reach and deepen our roots in the world’s largest Portuguese-speaking country. The results are in the Lord’s hands, but his Word never returns to him empty (Isaiah 55:10-11)—and the potential in Brazil is unlimited.

Doing this well involves start-up expenses plus the ongoing costs of licenses, facilities, production of materials, travel, and partial support for Denício (who also works part-time at a local radio station). Will you help by donating to WELS’ Brazil Fund? Will you pray that the Lord Jesus would bless Denício and his family, Artur and his family, and the work of Portuguese-language gospel outreach in Brazil and throughout the world? Thanks for thinking about it—and for your partnership in the gospel (Philippians 1:5) that has led to exciting new developments like this one!

In Christ,
Dr. Kenneth A. Cherney, Jr.
WELS Europe Team representative to the Lutheran Church of Portugal

P.S. Brazil is a country of 200 million people. Lord willing, your donation will position us to greatly expand gospel outreach in the Portuguese language.