Transformation Celebrated in Brazilian Community
December 15, 2011
On December 16, 2011, the community of Algodao de Jandaira came together to celebrate. It was not the celebration of Carnival, a celebration that Brazil is usually known for. No, this celebration was the dedication of a monument at the entrance of town that was erected to commemorate the mighty work of transformation that God has been doing in this community for almost eight years.
The monument was proposed by the City Council and the Mayor, Isa Rodrigo Alves. The celebrations actually took place on two evenings. Friday night was the official dedication of the monument. Representatives were present from the city of Algodao de Jandaira, the churches in the city and members of First Baptist Church of Valentina, a suburb of Joao Pessoa, Brazil. The guest speaker was Steve Loopstra, who had written a book chronicling the amazing work of God in this desert community. The second night, Saturday night, was a celebration of the designation of that date, December 17th as “The Day of the Evangelical.” Bishop Simone Ximenes shared with the crowd that only one other city in the country of Brazil has designated such a day, and that is the capitol of Brazilia.
Until 2004, the city of Algodao de Jandaira was a dying community in the Northern desert area of Brazil. It had not rained with any significance for 23 years. God had called a small church in the city of Joao Pessoa to come the three and a half hours to minister in Algodao. After a year and a half of visits and prayers, in January of 2004 the “Rains of Blessing” came, and God began a work of transformation that was the motivation to designate the memorial as a reminder to all of what God is doing in the city.
The raising of a monument to God’s working in a community has its roots in God’s instructions to Israel to build a pile of twelve stones at the crossing of the Jordan River as a reminder to future generations of the miracle God did in bringing them across on dry ground. Today, in the island country of Fiji, many communities erect markers and monuments as testaments of God’s coming to their communities.
The story of God’s transforming revival in Fiji is documented in the DVD from The Sentinel Group called “Let the Sea Resound.” The story of the transformation of Algodao de Jandaira is told in the book entitled, “When God Transforms the Desert,” by Steve Loopstra. “Let the Sea Resound,” can be ordered from The Sentinel Group at their webstore, www.revivalworks.com.