What is the ministry's long-term vision?
We plan to roll out our counseling and teaching ministries through the following phases:
- Phase one: Start providing counseling and teaching services shortly after we get settled in Recife by partnering with local churches and Christians institutions (other ministries, missions organizations, Bible colleges and seminaries) as well as with secular institutions of higher education who have both the physical space as well as the need for our services
- Phase two: Open a local Christian counseling agency in Recife from where most of our services will be provided (counseling sessions, workshops, as well as our counseling training programs)
- Phase three: Recruit and train Brazilians who are gifted in counseling to start proving counseling to the community for the purpose of making the counseling agency self-sufficient long-term.
- Phase four: Work with others on establishing other Christian counseling clinics both in other parts of Recife, as well as in neighboring cities in northeastern Brazil. Recruit other counselors who are willing to pursue long-term counseling ministries in Brazil.
We also plan to conduct research and to develop a writing ministry (through blogs and books) throughout all four phases
Why raise support and not simply provide these services in Brazil as a “tent-making” (financially self-sufficient) ministry?
We are raising support from friends and family for two main reasons. First, we want to provide quality biblical counseling to individuals, couples, and families who need those services but who cannot afford them. There is a scarcity in Brazil not only of quality Christian counseling but also of financial resources to afford those services. The few in society with financial resources already have access to some kind of counseling (though not necessarily Christian). We want to minister to those (both in the body of Christ as well as in the community at large) who are suffering but who cannot afford counseling. Second, we want to raise a community of individuals who believe in our mission and who are willing to be a part of this great endeavor both through their financial investment as well as through prayer. We need a team to come behind us to make this dream a reality and impact the lives of thousands of Brazilians.
Are you saying all your services in Brazil be provided free of charge?
Our commitment is to work with everyone we feel adequately equipped to help and who need what we have to offer. We will develop a generous sliding scale so that those who may be able to pay for counseling can do so. In those instances, all the proceedings will be put back into the ministry, to help make it as self-sufficient as possible. No individual, couple, or family will be turned away due to their inability to pay for counseling.
Why not go through an an already established missions organization?
After much prayer and deliberating, we felt led to pursue our ministry vision through a non-profit instead of through a missions organization already in existence for the following reasons:
- Neutrality: As we plan to provide counseling services to those serving in full-time ministry in Brazil (pastors and missionaries, for instance), we did not want to be in a situation where our counselees did not feel safe to be completely open and vulnerable in counseling out of fear of what their own missions organizations could find out as a result of counseling. By working through our own non-profit, we believe it will be easier to ensure the confidentiality necessary to make counseling safe (Note: our heart is to keep confidentiality for the purpose of safety, not for the purpose of making people stay stuck in their brokenness; we want to provide others with a space where they can experience enough healing to reach out to individuals in their own lives for greater transparency, vulnerability, and intimacy).
- Flexibility: Our desire is to minister to everyone who needs our services and who we believe we are adequately trained to help, regardless of religious background or denominational affiliation. We did not want to limit our outreach to a specific subset of the population.
- Guidance: We believe we will receive more adequate guidance under the direct shepherding of our non-profit board, which is made up of individuals with ample experience in business, counseling, and full-time missionary ministry.
- Ministry Identity: Our goal is to impact lives by setting up a fully developed counseling ministry in Brazil. We believe this goal will be more easily achieved through an organization solely devoted toward that end.
How can i get involved?
- Pray for the Bragas: for a quick transition to Brazil so that they can start implementing the ministry, as well as for protection and adaptability as they settle in Brazil
- Pray for the ministry: for the right contacts with those in Recife the Lord wants us to minister to, as well as for wisdom as we seek to establish all the various facets of our counseling and teaching ministries
- Donate: consider supporting our ministry through your generous giving. For more information on how to do so, please click here.